6 Blogging Mistakes You Might Not Have Considered

By Guest Author

This is a guest post by Bamboo Forest. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Talent and smarts don’t always equate to successful blogging. For example, you could be a great writer and use Twitter effectively to promote your site, but still miss the mark in other critical areas of your blog.

Lists with blogging mistakes are pretty common, and useful, but there are some mistakes that usually are not included. I created a list with 6 of them, and I suspect you might not be paying attention to those, so check it out.

1. Publishing a series of posts consecutively all on the same subject

I have nothing against doing a series on a blog as long as it’s done right. If done wrong, you’ll have created a scenario in which it’s painful to read your blog.

For example, you’re a personal-development blogger and writing a series on positive thinking. If you post five consecutive days on this subject you will have destroyed one of the greatest assets a blog can have, variety.

If you’re planning on doing a series on a single subject, I advise you don’t do it over consecutive days. Publish some posts on a different subject in between your series posts. This way you can still do a series without killing variety on your blog.

2. Not using pictures

While there are occasions when not using pictures is wise, much of the time it’s a costly mistake.

The most obvious benefit a picture provides is that it encourages people to dive into your post.

Another thing you must realize is that a picture is not merely benefiting the single post it’s in; it’s also benefiting your entire blog design.

People are often shallow when they land on a new blog. If they see you include pictures in your posts, they’re more likely to investigate your blog further.

Text without a picture is like a store without windows.

Just think of how many more subscribers you could gain over the long term by taking the time to include pictures with almost every post.

3. Failing to use subheadings

I used to rarely use subheadings in my blog posts because I don’t particularly like them. I later realized that just because I don’t like them doesn’t mean that everyone else feels how I do.

Unlike me, many people scan posts when they read them. If scanners come to a post that isn’t scanner friendly, they’re not going to give you the time of day.

Every post you write that’s not short should have subheadings.

4. Making paragraphs too large

I’m not going to give you a specific rule on what constitutes a large paragraph, but you know it when you see it.

Paragraphs the size of mountains are extremely intimidating to the eye. If I see a blog post with large paragraphs, I won’t read it no matter how good the content may be.

Keep your paragraphs short to encourage as many people as possible to read your content.

5. Not displaying all your content in a subscriber’s feed reader

Some bloggers opt to only provide a link to their posts in the feed reader.

While doing the above will get more people to click over to your blog from the feed reader, you’ll also upset your readers, encourage them to unsubscribe and will end up with a significantly smaller readership in the end.

The fact that virtually all successful bloggers have their entire post displayed in their RSS feed is all the proof you need that it’s the most strategic thing to do.

6. Waiting to do guest posts

If you have a blog with a giant readership like this one, it’s understandable that you don’t feel compelled to guest post.

But for most of us, the objective is to grow our readership so that one day it’s huge like this one.

With a small readership you can publish a remarkable post and receive almost nothing beneficial from it.

In fact, some very talented bloggers will publish remarkable post after remarkable post and never really go anywhere with their blog.

When you consistently publish great posts on your blog and get no retweets, and no new subscribers, it’s time to ensure that a significant percentage of your finest material is submitted to other blogs so that your blog not only gains subscribers, but also gets on the radar of other influential bloggers.

While nothing can guarantee you become a successful blogger, there are definitely things you can do to at least ensure you have a fighting chance.

About the Author: Bamboo Forest created Tick Tock Timer, an online timer that helps you stop procrastinating, get to work, and stay focused.




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31 Responses to “6 Blogging Mistakes You Might Not Have Considered”

  • Wasim Ismail

    Your last point is the best one, about Guest Posting, as guest posts are one of the best ways of driving traffic to your site, not just doing it one off, but consistently on the same blog, so you build you brand on that blog.

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      Guest posting is essential. It puts you on the radar and gets you new readers.

      And, you’re right… guest posting does contribute to also building one’s brand.

  • Lisa

    Thank you for mentioning #5.

    I’m new to using Google reader and yesterday I deleted two blogs because they only include a snippet of their posts. I hated doing so, but I don’t have the time to click over and read their post.

    I find it snobby to require readers to click through, in order to drive your web traffic up.

    If the article strikes a chord with me, then I will always click through to comment.

  • Josh Garcia

    Hey Bamboo,

    When I subscribe to a bloggers RSS feed and it is only the description of the post. I unsubscribe quickly. Your number 1 tip is one that I’ve made myself. Your tip is right on it!

    Have a great day.
    Josh

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      Descriptions are not well received. Full posts in the feed are! Thanks for chiming in.

  • Bob Bessette

    Hi,
    I think it’s interesting that you say that pictures are a must in blog posts. Ironically, the blog that you are guest posting on hardly ever uses pictures and Daniel is doing pretty well. I tend to agree with you that they help but DailyBlogTips I guess is one big exception to the rule.

    Best,
    Bob

    • Daniel Scocco

      I probably would be doing better if every post had a picture. The problem is I am lazy 🙂 .

      • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

        Bob, it is ironic. But.. not too long ago, Daniel did a post, himself, explaining that using pictures is smart strategy.

        Though, one could argue, that even though pictures really help, the return they will get you is still finite. Perhaps the time it would take to put a picture up is better used elsewhere for Daniel, when it comes to returns on time investment.

        Many ways to look at it.

  • Joshu Thomas

    Nice write ups. I agree to most of your points here. except a few like usage of pictures – it depends on what kind of blog yours is. if you are providing great content then its okay you can save some more space without much images. example Dailyblogtips to convince you 😉

    cheers
    Josh Thomas
    NapIncome.com

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      I agree that there could be exceptions to the rule. But I think even DBT would benefit from using pictures. Particularly because his design is very minimalist (which I appreciate).

  • Julie

    Hi, you’re right–we’ve all read lots of blogging do and don’t lists. But your list has a couple things I hadn’t thought of. Thank you!

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      Thank you. Glad I could be of help.

  • Carolee a.ka. Blogging Biz Mom

    I know I have to start guest posting again………….

    I hear you about long paragraphs!

    I don’t understand how some blog authors can proofread and edit their blogs (that are one continuous paragraph with no white space) and not realize how hard it is on the eye.

    When I land on a blog like that, I leave right away. My eyes can’t handle it!

    If it looks like it might be an exemplary piece, I may copy it and paste it into a document and double space it.

    But rarely- who has time?

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      You and me aren’t alone. I believe most people, even if they’re not conscious of it, are turned off by paragraphs that run too long.

  • Winning Ideas For Life

    Great points. I would add few more
    7) Not responding to reader’s comments
    8) Not including links of older posts
    9) Not using popular posts widget
    10) Not putting disclaimer if you are using Adsense on your blog

    Thanks
    Naveen @ Winning Ideas

  • Shari Weiss

    Don’t agree with your first point about writing a series. Of course, I’ve only done one . . . fairly recently on How to Say NO to New Business. I published six posts on the topic in six days and had lots of good feedback. In fact, a few of the posts came from the feedback.

    One of the reasons I did the series was because I had gathered so much relevant information on the topic. But one of the main reasons was so that it would be easy for me to publish Every Day, which I had not formerly been in the habit of doing.

    Now, maybe when I have a slew of regular daily readers, the daily rant on a single subject might not work . . . it may be awhile before I experience that phenomenon.

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      There are always exceptions to the rules. And, those who make the rules aren’t always right 😉

  • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

    I enjoy pictures on blogs. I think using them is a skill just as writing good copy is!

  • Chris M

    Excellent post.
    I believe we have all made these mistakes repeatedly. However, I think the biggest mistake a blogger can make is ignoring the obvious. If what you are doing is not working then you must change. Continuing to do the same things over and over expecting different results is insanity.

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      Yes indeed. Actually, I will probably write a post regarding this subject. The trick, though, is knowing whether or not your blog can succeed without giving up too soon.

      Giving up too soon, or continuing on when you don’t have a winner are equal mistakes.

      A very difficult thing to gauge.

  • ray bak

    Guest Blogging: Is it ok to guest blog on one blog and get a good amount of readers form there or shoudl I try guest blogging on different blogs??

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      If the blog is HUGE, I think it’s OK to guest post there frequently.

      But if the blog isn’t HUGE, best to mix it up on where you guest post.

  • Dean Saliba

    I’ve never really understood why placing images is so important in posts that are not showing you how to do something.

    If I publish a post about how to install something,, or how to edit something, then I’ll use images to help get the message over. But I don’t see the use for them in other posts. 🙂

    • Bamboo Forest – Tick Tock Timer

      People find the aesthetically pleasing. And just as people do read books by the covers, they sometimes judge blog posts in the same manner.

  • Vivek Parmar

    thanks for sharing these tips, i’m commiting only two mistakes in that list and this year right from this month try to omiit them.

  • sandipan@inkjam

    Excellent tips. Could not agree more.

  • leeshinyoung

    I think all bloggers should learn to follow #2, #3 and #4 . It’ll make life easier.

    When I visit other blogs, what catches my eyes first are the pictures.
    I don’t have time to read long and monotonous content. So better make it short.

    and yes! thank you for #5…didn’t know about this…so I better change my settings now!

    God bless!

  • Brandon

    Nice post. I have a question on number 4, however – I get not doing longer paragraphs (that kills me also) but what about too many short points? Also not a preferred method? I know blogging isn’t exactly technical writing, but its a valid question. Thoughts?

  • Virgil

    I must admit I am guilty of some of these items, especially not including pictures with my post. This is a shame because I know how important they are to the visual impression my blog readers experience.

    Great post to re-focus my attention on quality rather than quantity of post.

  • Lucy @ VideoCharacter

    Using photos in content makes it more interesting, shows the creativity and inspiration you put into writing. It may serve as comparison or a metaphor for what you would like to present.

  • Debby Bruck

    Bamboo ~ Love you name!
    Six good points applicable to all occasions for writers.
    In this article alone, you have provided the illustration, subheads and short readable paragraphs. Not only have I lingered and absorbed each point one-by-one, but have clicked to review links. Since many have posted comments, this enhances the value of your suggestions.

    You have planted some thoughts about guest blogging. Thank you
    Debby

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