I’m absolutely perfect, so I’ve never ever made a single mistake.
You can’t tell, but that sentence was dripping with sarcasm.
I’m not perfect, no one is, but that’s why we have things like On Blast Blog, to help others avoid common blogging mistakes that others (like myself) have learned from.
Granted, I haven’t hit every single item on our coming list, but I’ve been the victim of a few bad decisions, but that comes with the territory when you’re first starting out.
Just because these are common mistakes made by rookie bloggers, doesn’t mean that they instantly cause your blog to fail.
On the contrary, your blog is a solid wall of rock, but every rock has its cracks. This list isn’t about point out the problems; it’s about strengthening your blog as a whole. No one’s pointing fingers here.
Besides, we’re all too busy typing, am I right? Alright, maybe not the best nerdy blogging joke, but it wasn’t the worst either.
Maybe the number one spot on my list should be “Don’t make Nerdy Blogging Jokes.” I say embrace your inner blogger; it’s that passion that drives your content.
Speaking of driving content, check out this guide on how to promote your blog and increase traffic. It’s the internet equivalent of the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Be Like Matt Banner, Not Matt Bummer
We all remember those classic “Do’s and Don’ts” books where you were given a situation and two fictional characters each represented the choices you could have made in that situation.
The book always said something like, “be like Johnny, not like Timmy,” you remember it.
If you don’t remember, check out these ten reasons why you should start a blog today while I come up with a better analogy.
Okay I’m back, and it turns out that my original analogy was absolutely amazing and couldn’t be topped. So, we’ve got out characters here, the difference being that I am real. So, I will be Matt Banner, and the fictional blogger making rookie mistakes will be Matt Bummer.
Awesome, isn’t it? So, let’s see what mistakes tend to happen after you create a blog and start blazing away on your first post.
- Matt Bummer likes to Automatically Play Music and Videos when People Land on his Blog Homepage!
Ouch! Matt Banner knows better than to shovel music or videos down a visitor’s throat when they first reach his blog.
This one is something you may not realize when you come up with the idea. Say you’re blogging about dinosaur fossils and you think “hey, the Jurassic Park theme would go perfect here!”
So, you slap it on the page, along with a sweet video and make it all play at full volume when a visitor arrives. How awesome is that? Not very.
You see, most people read your blog while they’re out and about, at work, or maybe while listening to music themselves. If you forcibly hijack their computer with your automatic mood setters, you’re ruining their experience from the get-go.
Matt Bummer has great content like Matt Banner, but that auto-triggered music and video is keeping people from sticking around on his blog.
- Matt Bummer Didn’t rename the Admin Account!
This is a WordPress specific mistake, but as we’ve said countless times before, WordPress is one of the best blogging platform options. Since most people use this platform, Matt Bummer decided to try it out himself.
He forgot one thing though, he didn’t change user name for the administrator’s account.
It’s really simple to do, but because he didn’t change it, the default name “admin” got left in its place. This simple username is an easy target for nasty hackers, and Matt Bummer’s blog about weight lifting suddenly got hijacked by rainbows and kittens.
Don’t make yourself an easy target if you use WordPress; rename the username on the main account to something less easy to guess like your name with some numbers, or another familiar username that isn’t “admin” or “administrator”.
If you need help picking out a name, I suggest going full-blown epic like “SupremeBlogLord22.” Now that’s a username!
- Matt Bummer is Using Generic Links in His Posts!
Dude, what are you thinking?! It may sound like a simple thing, but if you place a hyperlink into your content, and you highlight a generic phrase like “click here” you’re not telling the reader where that link is taking you. I for one don’t just click links unless I know where they’re going.
There are too many viruses on the internet nowadays for people to just “click here” so avoid using something generic like that. Matt Bummer did, and now people think he’s trying to infect their computers.
Instead, be like me, and incorporate a link that identifies where it’s going. Perfect example, why don’t you check out this list I made of 151 blog post ideas? Go ahead and check it out, I worked like a dog to make that list and I love every idea on it.
They are all my children, but since I have 151 kids, I can’t recall all of their names.
- Matt Bummer Has Default Permalink Structures!
Oh alternate Matt, I sincerely hope you read this post about yourself, which you can’t, because you don’t exist. Since we’re all fans of WordPress here, this is a little tip for those of you who have started a blog on that platform, or those who plan to.
If you don’t have one yet, here’s my guide on how to start a WordPress Blog. So, your permalink settings control the URL that each post gets when you publish it.
The default setting creates a post ID URL. This means that you get some odd looking link to your post that looks something like this: www.yourblog.com/?p=224 so in other words, not good looking and not easy to find.
By going into your settings and changing the permalinks to a customer structure that allows you to put the post’s title in it will make your post easier to find for people, and for the almighty Google, which is the goal really.
- Matt Bummer Has a Barren “About Me” Page
I read a fantastic article written by Neil Patel that a colleague of mine recommended to me about connecting with your readers. In his article, Neil goes in-depth about how to create the perfect “About Me” page that allows you to connect with your readers.
I loved his advice and I think you will too. If you’d rather not leave the comfort and safety of my warm and inviting article, I don’t blame you.
In essence, the article talks about the absolute necessity of creating a relationship, a friendship with your readers.
If your “About” page does say anything about you, or open up a way for readers to ask you questions, then how can they ever connect with your content? Think of yourself like an online celebrity, only you want people to know everything about you.
You want to be trustworthy, and the only way to prove that is by opening up to your readers.
- Matt Bummer Doesn’t Have any Pictures in His Posts
The alternate version of me is just as good at writing as I am, but I use pictures in my posts.
Not many people are interested in reading a giant wall of text, no matter how much you space it out (you should break it up into paragraphs though) so you need to give them a reason to read it.
Pictures ladies and gentlemen, these are the great distractors. Throw a few photos in each post and suddenly your text is nice and broken up and easier to read.
- Matt Bummer Didn’t Install any “Share” buttons
The best way to get your blog’s name out there is to encourage people to share it. Blogs are like candy; everybody wants some, but there are too many flavors to choose from.
You may have the Ghirardelli of blogs, but you get passed up because someone else was generous with their Hershey’s bar.
Matt Bummer, my less attractive and inexperienced alter ego didn’t add a share button to his blog with a simple plugin. Without this, how is someone going to share his cunningly awesome content? They’re not, because the only other option is to copy and paste the link into your social network of choice, and that’s just not happening.
Having share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and so on, is the best way to give people the power to spread your blog. Think of it like a virus, only a good one. You want it to spread.
- Matt Bummer has too Many (Poorly Made) Plugins!
They say you can have too much of a good thing. It’s true, because one apple a day will keep the doctor away, but ten apples? That will kill you. I’m kidding, but if they’re crappy apples they just might.
The same goes with plugins. Having a lot won’t hurt you too bad, but having a lot of poorly coded plugins will bring down your blog’s performance. Check reviews and test each one out as you install them to see how they affect your performance.
“Matt, there are over 30,000 plugins on WordPress!” Yeah, I know I went through all of them (not really) but there are good ones out there. Just remember to check the reviews. These things can bring you some really powerful tools for making your blog the best it can be. Just remember, if you use WordPress.org you get a lot more options than WordPress.com.
What’s the difference you ask? I thought you never would, but luckily, I’ve already done a piece on WordPress.com vs WordPress.org. Click away dear reader!
- Matt Bummer Totally Ignored His Comments!
You don’t make a blog to stroke your ego. You create a blog because you have something to give to the world, something that no one else can give. What do you mean you don’t know how to start a blog?
Now that you know, we can move on. We make blogs for the people, for our readers. I don’t write these for my health, although my finger dexterity is through the roof, so thank you for that. I write these because I want to help people.
Don’t be like this guy ^^^
You, my beautiful readers, I want to hear from you, and when you speak, I listen. Then I talk back, and then you comment again, and that’s how conversations are made.
Matt Bummer doesn’t understand this basic communication logic. He’s afraid of trolls on the internet who are going to make fun of him. By that logic, he doesn’t respond to questions or compliments because he’s afraid of people on the internet.
Oh Matt Bummer, you sad, sad, nonexistent man. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been talking to you guys since the beginning of this whole thing, that’s how you do it.
Even if someone has something negative to say, respond and tell them something that makes you look like the bigger person; something along the lines of “Thanks for the Feedback!”
- Matt Bummer doesn’t update WordPress
Matt Bummer is also a communist. Seriously, who doesn’t want the latest and the greatest version of their preferred blogging platform? WordPress doesn’t auto-update but doing it yourself it quite easy.
What’s the benefits? Well, besides a coat of paint, each update also improves the features, performance, and security of the program. Think of it like a Facelift and some Botox, minus all the terrifying plastic expressions. It’s great, and it doesn’t cost you anything, so why wouldn’t you do it?
You may still think it’s hard to update. It takes one click. One.
That’s less clicks than it took you to get here, unless you searched and I popped as the first result, in which case, SCORE! I’m off topic though; the point here is that you need to keep your blogging platform of choice up to date to prevent issues down the road.
- Matt Bummer is Too Obsessed with SEO
I love me some SEO, and while it can help promote your blog, your readers aren’t interested in a post that has more keywords stuffed into it than a turkey dinner.
Keywords are good, they make google like you, but if you shoehorn them into every single sentence to the point where you’re writing about hairstyles and suddenly your sentence looks like this: “Hairstyles are great, hairstyles for men are great, and hairstyles that work on women are great.” See how many times I used that keyword?
Case and point, be conscientious of SEO and how you can use it to your advantage, but don’t let it rule your blog. Unless of course your blog is about SEO optimization, in which case, keyword ahoy!
- Matt Bummer is Trying to Sound Like Shakespeare
Listen, if you know how to eloquently deliver your diction with such syntax that the juxtaposition mirrors the reflection of a full moon on the mirror-like surface of a serene lake, then good for you, but there’s no need to show off.
People think that if they sound like someone from the Italian Renaissance, that they will have beautiful and captivating content. No, that’s not true, you’ll just confuse people and distract from the message of your post.
If you’re chosen language is English, write so it makes sense, but don’t try to sound like you belong on a stage in a high school rendition of Macbeth.
- Matt Bummer is Hiding his Personality
Matt Bummer may have made every mistake in the book, but he’s still a beautiful person. Oh wait, his new post went up. And…it’s drier than the Sahara Desert.
Listen, people don’t want to read a textbook, they want to be engaged, delighted, and complimented.
You look great by the way, is that a new haircut? Matt Bummer doesn’t let his personality shine through. I’d like to think I do, and you should as well. Don’t try to sound like a college professor; don’t try to sound like anything actually. Just be yourself.
Now It’s Your Turn
Lucky number thirteen ties the bow on this one folks. These are all common things that most people will probably do without thinking about it. If you’re guilty of all these things, well, you’re still a better blogger than Matt Bummer. He’s not even real!
In all seriousness, making mistakes doesn’t make you bad, it makes you human.
We all stumble before we learn how to walk, and blogging is like trying to take your first steps in a wind turbine. This list is here to make you aware, or to help you tweak your blog for the better, they’re not here to make you feel bad.
Ladies, gentlemen, honored robots of Google, I want to hear from you! Tell me what mistakes you’ve made that made you a better blogger! Let me hear what you think are common mistakes made by rookie bloggers. Don’t be a stranger, now! Tell me your thoughts in the comments!
We learn from our mistakes, and we blog on.