After putting together the list of my best blogging tips recently, I thought it’d be helpful to also put together a list of blogging mistakes to avoid!
I’ve made my share of blogging mistakes over the past 10+ years of being a blogger!
And while I think it’s important to fail and learn from your mistakes, I do think there are some things you should avoid altogether as a blogger!
Fair warning: I get a little up on my soapbox here, but I hope that you can learn from blogging mistakes I’ve made in the past!
Are you ready? Here’s my list of 10 things you shouldn’t do as a blogger:
1. Don’t copy other bloggers.
Learn from other bloggers. Be inspired by other bloggers. But do NOT copy them.
This means: don’t knowingly copy their ideas, their posts, or their products.
There is so much room in the world for people to bring their unique and original voices to the blogosphere, but there is no more room for copycats.
2. Don’t disappear for weeks at a time.
Consistency is key if you want to be a successful blogger. If you don’t show up regularly, other people aren’t going to show up, either.
Pace yourself and under commit when it comes to how often you plan to show up and post. That way, it’s much easier to actually keep your commitment.
Decide how often you want to show up and commit to it. It’s great if you want to post multiple times per week, but can you consistently keep that up? If not, it’s much better to set a realistic goal to show up consistently every single week for one post!
3. Don’t over-apologize.
Seriously, stop apologizing for your hair, for the fact that you’re tired, the fact that you haven’t posted as often as you’d like to, or that you don’t have makeup on.
It’s fine to occasionally apologize if something is out of the norm, but don’t do it every time you go on live video or post. It gets old really quickly and exudes a lack of professionalism and confidence.
People love an upbeat attitude and positivity! It’s inspiring, and people are looking for inspiration and encouragement when they’re following influencers online.
4. Don’t beg for other bloggers to promote your posts.
I can’t tell you how many times people have been passive aggressive and manipulative in trying to get me to share their blog. (So many times, I’ve heard things like, “If you don’t share, our business is going to fail.”)
Or when I do share something, instead of them saying thank you, they’ll ask me to please share it in additional places.
It’s in poor taste and will not win you any friends or favors if you beg for people to promote your posts and keep pestering other bloggers for a free handout.
Instead of asking for a shout-out, why don’t you just do amazing work that people can’t help but talk about? And consider looking at the possibility of writing guest posts. This is one of the best ways to get your blog in front of new audiences and to build great relationships with other bloggers, too!
Focus on building authentic relationships and real connections with other bloggers, rather than just asking for favors!
5. Don’t be boring.
What makes you interesting? What causes you to want to follow someone else? What do you find interesting in others you follow?
If you want to keep people from following you online, be dull, lifeless, and boring. Trust me, it works every time! 😉
Embrace your unique gifts, talents and personality that make you interesting!
6. Don’t be a hypocrite.
I highly recommend being picky when it comes to paid opportunities. Make sure they align with your core values as a person and blogger, and also that they’re a great fit for your audience.
You’ll quickly lose your integrity if you accept all opportunities to get paid — even if it flies in the face of what you stand for.
Also, don’t change your mind all the time or preach the virtues of being a vegetarian one week and then talk about how to cook a great steak the next week. Be authentically who you are! People love real!
7. Don’t focus all your energy on making money.
If you make money your ultimate goal, you’ll likely crash and burn quickly. Make it your goal to serve your audience first.
Every morning, wake up and ask, “How can I serve my audience today?”
8. Don’t constantly be picking a fight.
While I think some of us are called to stand for different things, I think it’s important that we don’t seek out arguments, pick fights, or constantly make people feel upset or fired up.
Also, just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean that you need to fight back, be ugly, or passionately defend yourself.
Psst! Wondering how to deal with negative comments? Read this!
9. Don’t use click bait titles or subject lines.
Make sure that you actually deliver on what you promise — in your email subject lines, in your social media teaser text, and in your blog post titles.
No one likes to feel duped, and you definitely don’t want a reputation for that!
As a blogger, you want to establish yourself as trustworthy with your audience.
10. Don’t expect everyone to like you/read your blog.
Here’s the thing: you just can’t please everyone. The sooner you come to peace with this, the more you can enjoy blogging!
Part of being a blogger is learning how to be yourself and not be upset when someone doesn’t like who you are or what you say.
Serve as many people as you can, but also recognize that you can’t please everyone.
Finally, don’t expect all of your friends and family to read your blog. In fact, assume that they don’t and then you won’t be disappointed if you find out that they aren’t!
Go read this post for more advice on what to do when you feel like your family and friends don’t support your blog.
Dianne Lami says
Mrs. Paine, your name and your blog came to my attention through Hope*Writers. I’ve recently learned about this interesting business from “That Sounds Fun” podcast with Annie F. Downs whose guest was Brian Dixon of Hope*Writers. So, in a huge round about way, you have appeared on my screen.
I’ve made some of the mistakes you mentioned, primarily going AWOL for about five months so I could focus on writing a book. Big Mistake. In doing that, I have lost whatever tiny audience I had gained from blogging.
And, your message to Hope*Writers has completely redirected my blogging to ask the “Why,” to “write intentionally,” not just write a story to be writing. Thank you for sharing your tips on what to avoid in blogging. Here we go again! Failure is indeed a great lesson! Moving forward.
Crystal Paine says
I’m cheering for you… and I’m so grateful that my post inspired you! Thank you for taking the time to share!