9 Mistakes Every Blogger Should Avoid

9 Mistakes Every Blogger Should Avoid

Not knowing what your blogging motivation is (or having the wrong blogging motivation entirely)
It's important to have our hearts in the right place and know why we're blogging. I truly believe everything we do - whether for personal or business reasons - should be done with honesty and integrity. It's surprising how many people start a blog just to bag some freebies or with the intention of somehow turning it into a full time job. The reality is, we don't know we're good at something until we try it and that's no different for blogging. Not everyone can run a successful blog, that shouldn't put us off trying but it should make us a little critical of our motivations.

Creating content based only on what is currently popular
It's tempting to think that if you replicate what's on the popular pages of Bloglovin, you'll give people what they want and entice new readers to your blog. Creating content to fit in with what's popular means your authenticity will slip. No one wants to read a copycat blog; do your own thing, write about what you want to write about and don't get sucked into the popularity contest of who can get the most "likes." There is a lot to be said about longevity.

Being worried about someone stealing your ideas and/or being accused of copying other people's ideas
It's all been done before and no one owns any ideas - if you want to write about something, do it. Likewise, don't assume someone stole "your" idea just because you posted the same subject a day or two before. We all need to stop being worried about someone stealing our ideas or being accused of copying just because our editorial calendars match up. Unless someone literally copies and pastes our work or removes credit, we need to stop with the finger pointing and crying copycat.

Not giving proper credit to sources
Every day there are posts that use other people's photography and/or graphics without giving proper credit. If you don't own an image and don't know the source, don't use it. There is a photographer, illustrator, or artist behind every piece of work - we owe it to them to credit properly and by not doing so, we encourage other people to do the same. Think about whether you would be happy with someone taking your work and republishing it without permission or credit. The only proper way to credit is to list the original creator's name - Tumblr, Pinterest, and WeHeartIt do not count.

Giving advice without authority or experience
Having opinions and sharing them is awesome, giving advice is a little more complex. If we're going to share advice we have to make it clear whether it's coming from someone with credibility and authority, with actual experience - people who have studied and worked in the areas they are giving advice on. Every thing else should be offered up as opinions. When bloggers are providing business advice on complex issues (such as taxes) it's a little scary to think of all the ways that could go wrong.

Being overly promotional online
We all have blogs and we want everyone to know about it because we think it's the best, right? But ramming it down people's throats is a pretty hard sell and isn't very enticing. If all you do online is plug your own content, you're driving people away rather than inviting them in. We all know a few people who do exactly this, only push their own content via social media and don't engage with anyone or promote other people's work. Don't be that person.

Not using an editorial calendar to plan content and prioritising quantity over quality
Using an editorial calendar doesn't destroy spontaneity, it brings consistency, productivity, and efficiency to your blog. Editorial calendars help provide a stable flow of quality content with a maintained momentum that in turn helps grow a blog's readership. Not using one can lead to stagnant and sporadic posting with an uneven spread of content.

Being obsessed with numbers and statistics
No amount of staring at Google Analytics or reader totals will make them grow faster - stop playing the numbers game and focus on the long run. It takes time to grow an established blog; in the first few months, use your anonymity to your advantage, test out ideas, features, and subjects you want to explore; find your voice and build your brand. Don't fall into the comparison trap by comparing your blog to someone else's or being bitter over opportunities offered to others and not you. Likewise, don't accept every PR "opportunity" that is thrown your way in hopes it might grow your readership faster. Only authentic content will win the hearts of others - there are no shortcuts.

Not replying to reader comments
This should go without saying by now but still there are bloggers who don't reply to their reader comments. We can't expect to talk without being prepared to listen; we shouldn't expect other people to engage with our blog if we're not going to reciprocate.