Are YOU making these 5 huge beginner blogging mistakes?

Are YOU making these 5 huge beginner blogging mistakes?

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5 beginner blogging mistakes that will turn readers away

If you want to know how to become a great blogger, you need to identify some of the biggest mistakes bloggers make. These 5 blogging tips for beginners should help you avoid the worst blunders.

There's nothing wrong with being new. In fact, being fresh at anything can be a fantastic advantage in some areas. Have you ever heard the saying; "ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice"? Well, there's a lot of truth to that. New bloggers have that fire in their belly, that says "come at me, I can handle it!", which is an extremely valuable trait.

But, at the same time, being a new blogger means that you will run into some common beginner blogger mistakes. Mistakes that are easily avoidable, but can really turn readers away if not addressed.

There are at least a handful of beginner mistakes that make a huge impact on your blog, and that can really separate a fresh blogger from a seasoned one. So, if you are new to blogging, here are some tips to help you avoid the biggest blunders!

>>You should definitely also read: 10 Mistakes Commonly Made by Bloggers + Why They Will Kill Both You And Your Blog!

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An idea that's great in general, still might not be great for your blog. If your creative brain is pumping out blog post ideas like a firehose, you might need to rein it in a little.. What you need, is to learn how to blog consistently.

Filling your blog with everything that comes into your head might feel like a great way to top up those blank pages, but you might be doing your blog more harm than good. 

You may have an awesome post lined up covering 15 ways to braid your hair for summer, but if your audience comes to your site for info on knitting, that post will be totally out of place no matter how great it is.

Further more, if you post content on your blog only, or whenever, you "feel like it", you'll end up with a blogroll that's about as predictable as teenage girl with PMS. Your readers won't have a clue when to expect your posts, and it may not take many unproductive visits before they start looking for a steadier relationship.

If you want to build a solid foundation of recurring readers, you need to give them consistency, and a place to visit where they know what to expect. If your posts are random in content and timing, your readers will soon find a more consistent blog to follow.

solution - learn How to post more consistently

Know your niche, and target your content to suit the people that you're aiming to reach. You need to aim in order to hit!

Create a posting schedule and stick to it. You can create tons of content in advance if you like, but schedule it so that it fits into a set posting pattern.

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This isn't to say that you can never break the mould, but, for the most part, and as a rule, your readers need to know when to find you and what to expect from you.

It's a bit like any other relationship; spontaneity is fun, but you'd probably like to get to know the person you're sharing your life with, not to mention whether or not he's planning on turning up for dinner.

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2. You're covering too many topics

If your sidebar looks like a well-stocked diner menu or your header is a noteworthy collection of drop-downs, you might wanna start shedding the categories.

I know, it's hard to categorise and it's hard to let go. Besides, won't all these categories help readers navigate better? Make it easier to come up with blog post ideas? Capture a larger audience?

Probably not. Probably rather the opposite.

Blogs that drown readers in categories can feel messy, heavy to navigate and full of content that each individual reader can't relate to. Simultaneously, you can end up stressing to fill each category on a regular basis and actually adding to your workload.

By opening up your blog to a wide variety of topics, you could literally end up losing readers. Those who come to you for, say, knitting, might have to wait a good while before you have time to post the next great jumper pattern, because you're busy posting paleo cookie recipes, yoga poses and origami. Sure, these topics might all seem relevant to each other in a (way) larger context, like, say "lifestyle". But your unique collection of interests may not seem all that connected to everyone else. Because of that, your readers who want knitting patterns may gravitate towards a blog focused purely on knitting, and those who are looking for yoga poses will find a dedicated yoga blog.

After all, wouldn't you?

Solution - learn How to narrow down your blog topics

As painful as it may seem, you're gonna need to sit down and take a good hard look at your categories to see which will have to kick the bucket. This should be a little bit easier if you've taken the time to find your perfect blogging niche, and learnt how to create a posting schedule.

So, how many topics should a blog cover?

Well, there's isn't a uniform cut-and-dry answer to that question. It entirely depends on what blog you have. However, there are a few things you can do to find the right balance for you.

Primarily, see if you can group posts that are closely related, and consider deleting topics altogether if they don't speak directly to your core audience.

You can always use tags to sort your posts within each category, but try to limit your actual topics down to about 5 - and make sure these topics are very relevant to the niche you've chosen to cover.

If your sidebar looks like a well-stocked diner menu or your header is a noteworthy collection of drop-downs, you might wanna start shedding the categories.

>> Hey, there's a FREE Checklist Download at bottom of this post!

3. You're assuming that people are inherently interested in your daily life

I'm pretty interesting, right? 

Probably not hah, except to those who know me and love me. But I do have interesting things to say about blogging (and gluten-free living, for those who follow The Gluten Free Lifesaver), because that's what I know and love, and that's what you've come to my blog to read about.

People visit your blog to have a particular problem solved in their own daily lives. Be it juicing, exercise tips, blogging guidance, book reviews, horse grooming.. you name it. Your readers want to know how they can get better at an activity, or they might look for inspiration, motivation or help. Very few people have strangers tearing down walls to find out what they ate for dinner.

In fact, unless your name's Kardashian, others probably won't find your unmade bed or latest domestic dispute very compelling. Sad but true.

Now, I'm not saying you're boring. Far from it! You're most likely pretty awesome. It's just that we all have our own unmade beds, domestic headaches and dinners to focus on, and unless you're offering us an actual solution to either of those things, we probably won't want to spend a lot of time reading about them.

So, how personal should you get?

Don't make the mistake of assuming that other people haven't got a life of their own. Your readers' time is valuable, and if you can't fill it with solutions to their problems, they will find those answers elsewhere.

That's not to say that your blog should be void of personal information. Far from it! You have to share some insights into your own world and personality in order for your readers to connect and relate to you. Personality is an important part of a successful blog.

But, there's a difference between adding personality to your blog and making it a personal diary. If you wan to be a great blogger, you need to learn that fine line.

>> If you want a better blog but you just don't know how to go about it, a Personal Blog Review is a quick, cheap and super efficient way to get great results, fast! Click to learn more..

solution - learn How to make it personal without making it boring

Personal information is great, and value-adding, in small portions. For example, you might like to know that I've been a full-time blogger for half a decade, or that I used to work in business development and marketing before I turned to blogging. That's the kind of information which builds credibility and gives you an insight into my skill set.

On top of that, you may be interested in learning that I'm Norwegian and married to an Australian, or that coeliac disease was the catalyst that made blogging my livelihood. Perhaps you'd be like to know that I was just like you when I started; I jumped in with a big dream and no blogging experience, but still managed to get ahead.

Now I like to work in my pajamas, drink martinis when I cook, and I would never go back to corporate life. 

Btw: my biggest blogging secret is that I am terribly unphotogenic. Cameras literally hate me. As a result, I'm shockingly bad at selfies. I mean, 5 years of blogging and I still absolutely positively suck.. Believe me, I try, but I just can't get the hang of it. I freeze up and freak out. Just look at these prime examples of unparalleled awkwardness (And these are the good ones!): 

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That's me trying to look all cool and hot and shit. Right.. I cringe at the thought of the poor people who had to witness that weirdness. 

- Never was a prettier donut eaten by a crappier poser. It's actually pathetic how many pics I actually have to take to get one worth posting. It's literally embarrassing.

How's that for a fun fact! 😩

Now, that's the kind of information which shows you we're the same, you and I (though, you're most likely more photogenic). Tidbits like that let you get to know me that little bit better. Just a bit of fun, that makes your blog more personal and lets your readers form a relationship with you. 

It needn't be more than that. Just now and then, a bit of insight into your personality.

What you might not find terribly interesting, is that I had granola for breakfast, my parents are currently visiting my sister, my left knee aches, and my cat likes to sleep under the coffee table. Imagine getting riveting updates like that every day. I mean, yawn. Not relevant, and not digestible in larger doses. Bin it!

So, unless you're a big-name celebrity or your blog is a personal diary, you best keep personal information relevant, entertaining and intermittent.

Your readers’ time is valuable, and if you can’t fill it with solutions to their problems, they will find those answers elsewhere.

How to use images in blog posts

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4. Your images are shitty

Are images important for bloggers? Do I suck at selfies??

I think you'll find that's a yes 😁

Say, how do you like the photo above this paragraph? What does it say about the person who posted it or the blog it's posted on? Nothing exceedingly positive, amirite.

Any blog relies heavily on imagery. If you can add that magic photography touch, you will inevitably end up drawing readers in and showing them how awesome your content really is! I mean, you may have kick-ass content to share with the world, but if the pictures make it look dull and unprofessional.. well, people might miss out!

Revamp and professionally redesign your Instagram account! Blog it Better!

Great photography or attractive graphics might actually be the one thing that’s standing between you and the blog of your dreams!

Tell me, have you ever sat at a restaurant and swooned over the beautiful food on the plate in front of you, only to realise that the 2D version on your phone looks like a different dish at best, or a pig’s dinner at worst?

Yes, you may have the biggest, baddest lens, the most buttons or the coolest smartphone.. but do you have what it takes to transform your lunch into an enticing promise of total deliciousness? Can you make people salivate with the click of a button?

Even if you're not a food blogger, don't you think that your blog could benefit from some mouth-watering, jaw-dropping, breathtaking photography?

Make sure you get your imagery right, brush up on those all-important photo skills, and give your fantastic content the sparkle it deserves!

solution - learn How to pick the right images for your blog

If you have every visited my blog The Gluten Free Lifesaver or its Instagram account @theglutenfreelifesaver, you will have seen that I put a LOT of effort into food photography. Great food photography has become a huge part of my blog, and it's no doubt a big driver of traffic to my sites.

This might surprise you, but Pinterest draws in just about as many views for me as Google does! That’s pretty significant! In fact, Pinterest alone, tops both Facebook, Foodgawker and Instagram put together for engagement and clicks into my sites. And why do you think that is? Images. Social media is majorly driven by visual media, and great imagery will inevitably pull people to your blog through these channels.

Blog it Better and The Gluten Free Lifesaver are very different sites as far as imagery's concerned. Food blogs are naturally very easy to fill with relevant photos, but blogs that are content-heavy might be harder to choose photos for. The solution can be cleverly designed graphics.

Look at the Blog it Better Pinterest blog board for example, what do you see? Branded graphics, not really photographs.

The Blog it Better Pinterest board is full of graphics (yes, you can click to see the board)

The Blog it Better Pinterest board is full of graphics (yes, you can click to see the board)

Whatever you blog about, there are ways to add attractive media to your site, and it's important for you to learn how to use images in blog posts. Find the style that works for you, and take the time to get good at it. 

My biggest recommendation is to spend time looking at what popular bloggers are doing. Observe the style and quality of their media content, and try to transfer that inspiration into something of your own making. Needless to say, I don't want you to copy or plagiarise other peoples' work. I want you to learn from them, so that you can confidently create your own.

What if you literally haven't got the gene or the time for taking photos or making graphics?

Fret not! There are stock photo sites -paid and free, that provide great alternatives to creating your own imagery. You can also use simple tools like Canva or Stencil, or buy ready made backgrounds, mockups and graphics from shops like Etsy.

Great photography or attractive graphics might actually be the one thing that’s standing between you and the blog of your dreams!

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>> Hey, there's a FREE Checklist Download at bottom of this post!

5. You've forgotten about formatting

Fancy reading a big lump of bland text that seems to never end? Uhm, no thanks.

Blog posts that lack good formatting can seem like giant, insurmountable mountains of words with no ending. There's nowhere for your eyes to rest, nothing to draw attention, no breaths to be had between paragraphs.. 

Likewise, blogposts that use confusing fonts, all bold text, large letters or crazy colours, are really, really hard to get stuck into.

Nothing turns people away like horrible formatting. I mean, who wants a migraine from reading a blog post? Not me. On the other hand, you can also increase blog post engagement with formatting. Good formatting, that is.

So, do you know how to format a perfect blog post?

Well-written blog posts should have paragraphs, punctuation, headlines and sub-headlines, bullet points, summaries and ingresses. Only highlighted text should be bold or italic, and artsy, handwritten fonts should be limited to headlines or graphics.

Good formatting is not only an aesthetic attribute, but it's also necessary for readability and SEO. Google's little bots that crawl your blog for information are easily confused. Crazy formatting sends them astray, and they have no idea where to go or what to tell Google about the content on your site.

Let's move on to some blog post formatting tips, shall we?

Solution - Learn how to format your blog posts

When you write a new blog post, go through it and think about where it's natural for a reader to want a "break" as they plough through the content. Read the post out loud if that helps you, and listen to yourself take breaths and pause as you finish a paragraph.

Where does your content naturally pause? Where does it jump to a new section or take a different route? These are good spots to break up the text.

Make sure you split your content with sub headings, and highlight sentences or paragraphs that you want people to focus on.

Cut the crazy fonts and coloured text, take down the letter size if needed, and definitely don't write in all caps. There's not much out there worth screaming about.

Blog posts that lack good formatting can seem like giant, insurmountable mountains of words with no ending.

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so, What are the top 5 biggest mistakes new bloggers make?

Let's summarise, shall we:

  • Creating totally random blog posts
  • Covering too many topics
  • Assuming that people are inherently interested in your daily life
  • Bad images
  • Forgetting formatting

If you can work on eliminating these issues, you will drastically improve your blog. To help you out, I have created a worksheet for you do download along with this post. It's totally free!

I hope you will action what you've learnt, and remember, you can always share your progress under the hashtag #iBlogitBetter for a chance to feature on one of my social media sites! :)

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to leave a comment or share this post if you appreciated the info :)

-Kristine x

To download your free checklist, simply click the button and follow the steps -->

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What's your biggest blogging mistake, and what have your learnt from it?

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Kristine x

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Kristine Ofstad - Blog it Better!


I've been a full-time blogger for half a decade and a business and marketing professional a decade before that.

Now I help bloggers reach their goals, grow their income and increase their influence by giving them the tools they need to confidently pursue their passion.

>> Click this link to read my story..