Friday, November 27, 2020

I made these 7 blogging mistakes so you don't. Sharing lessons learned and tips


When I started blogging in 2011, I had no idea I'd make it this far. Looking back at it, it has been a bumpy ride for me throughout all these years. And I take full responsibility for it. Sometimes I just lost interest temporarily, didn't have enough time to blog, or experimented too much. 

I've made a lot of blogging mistakes and have learned from them. And after all these years, I'm making things right by following rules that are prerequisites for an actual, well-maintained blog. If you're new to blogging or don't know where to begin, my blogging experience might be of help. After all, precaution is better than cure. 

Ask yourself

First of all, answer these essential blogging questions in your head.

Do I need a blog?

We all will have to agree with the fact that blogging is not for everyone. If you're not in this for the long run, then don't bother starting one at all. Save yourself some time and do what really interests you. 

What kind of blog should I start?

Think about the one topic that you can talk about any and everywhere. For example, tech gadgets, food, health, and fitness, the topic choices are abundant. You might want to study a bit about blog goals for beginners. 

Do you want to blog about your life?

If you want to talk about yourself, then you better be a celebrity or be prepared with a decent social media following. Nobody wants to know about a person not known out of a small circle. Google for a blogging tips forum, and you'll find out what to focus on as a new blogger. 

Will you be blogging to help others? If yes, can bloggers make an impact?

Again, do you have what it takes to influence people? But not to worry here, as all big influencers started from nowhere. The power lies within your words and the techniques you will use to grab attention. 

Should I start a blog or a Facebook page?

Are you looking for fans or readers? The former means you need a Facebook page, and the latter points towards blogging. If you're a small business owner, you're probably looking for customers to sell to, so an FB page is a more suitable option. You can also make money from blogging, but that will mostly be through ad posting and affiliate marketing.

#1 Choosing the right niche:

I was eagerly interested in Fashion and everything surrounding it. But then I also wanted to write about other stuff. Then I wanted an "everything under one roof" kind of a thing. I had to face the trials of a newbie blogger. Eventually, this resulted in me deleting a few blogs until I finally chose the perfect topic, and that was makeup. If you're interested in a beauty blog too, I suggest you check out this post.

If you're unsure about the niche, jot down a personal blog checklist, and list the topics that interest you the most. Then dig in a little deeper and look for niches within those topics. 

#2 The perfect template:

I made my blog suffer by constantly changing templates to meet my so perfect criteria. I had forgotten, there's no such thing as perfection. I have used magazine-style templates, photography templates, and even minimalistic templates, but I was never satisfied. Then came a time when I regained sanity and chose the template active to this day. 

Pick a template relevant to your blog idea. Responsive blogs with a rich interface generally seem too much and may confuse the reader. Use a theme that highlights your writing and keeps everything else second.

#3 Following a pattern (blog post format):

blog post format
blog post format

Blog post format is also one of those areas where I experimented the most. I would sometimes change headings, add headings, post photos in between the post, or post all together after the written content. 

After all this time, I've learned that it isn't at all necessary to follow a strict pattern when it comes to blog post design. Of course, there are headings, sub-headings, and other essential points that are always present. But the number of headlines, paragraphs, and photos doesn't have to be the same. I now find placing photos between blog posts better than throwing them all at the end. 

#4 Too much or too little information:

A blog kind of works like Google. People read what you write to find answers to their questions. If they can find what they were looking for without being overfed with useless information, they'll come back. I realized the hard way that stuffing blog posts with a lot of information can exhaust readers, and they won't spend another second more and leave. 

Also, think about how many blog posts you need before launch? Well, I recommend starting with 3 to 5 published posts and 3 to 4 in a draft. It may not sound like a lot, but your focus should be quality content over quantity.  

Keep in mind the 7 C's of communication. The message delivered should be:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Concrete 
  • Correct
  • Coherent 
  • Complete 
  • Courteous

Now I try to make sure my blog posts have at least 5 of the 7 C's. 

#5 Picture Perfect:

picture perfect

Photos are the second most important piece of content after solid writing. A blog without images is like a half-painted canvas. There was a time when I specially prepared a white background before taking shots. I will say it does look professional and highlights products perfectly. Then I changed the scene sometimes, but the pictures didn't turn out as I expected them to. 

Now I take snaps, making sure the background is clean, and the room is well-lit. I used a digital camera about 5-6 years ago, but since mobile phone cameras became a professional quality, I started using my phone for the shots. 

#6 SEO Optimization:

Nowadays, a lot of people want to blog because it brings passive income. But what still a lot of people don't know is that without SEO, a blog is just a plain online journal. 

I didn't follow SEO practices and lost out on so much organic traffic. Had I done some research when I started my blog, I would not have included this mistake. 

If you want to monetize your blog, apart from adding Adsense, it is required to include proper SEO tags and attributes for your blog to be listed on search engines and gain traffic. 

#7 Blog promotion:

Last but not least is to get the word out there. How do people find out you've launched a blog? I didn't care much about it when I started my blog and regretted it later. As soon as you have your first few posts published, get going and tell your family and friends first. Then post it on your social media and find blogs with relevant content to yours. Comment on their posts and leave your blog link where allowed. Cordially ask other bloggers for a link exchange and offer to do guest posts for quality blogs.

To conclude:

Blogging is a fun and rewarding experience. It does take time, but your efforts mend the way for success. If you're all ready to launch your own blog, then brace yourself and jump into the blogger pool :).

Kiran Ahmed Author

I would love to hear from you. Leave in your valuable comments, questions and anything you want to share, below. Comments with irrelevant links will not be published.

1 comment :

  1. Great tips! I have just started my blog, so this was really helplful, thank you :))