This is a guest post by Brandon Connell from Make Money Blogging.
Mistakes are bound to happen. Even us bloggers who are practically OCD about making our blogs look perfect. That’s why it is even more important to take notice about the small issues, and fix them before you publish them.
Here are 10 of the most common mistakes in blogging that are very true with most of the bloggers.
1. Misspelling & Grammar
I thought I was perfect in regards to this issue. Until a couple of days ago when a reader and commentator told me I had a typo in the title of one of my widgets. I had that widget in place for at least a week in plain sight before anyone even noticed it. And if a reader didn’t tell me about it, I probably would not have noticed it for a year! When you are looking for misspellings, you generally aren’t looking at your titles. You assume that your titles are the ones that are paid attention to the most, so you overlook it.
Titles aren’t your only worry though. It is a good idea to go back to some of your old posts when you have free time, and see if there is anything that you need to fix.
2. Accidental Publishing
I am the kind of blogger who likes to stay ahead of the game by writing articles ahead of time and scheduling them to post. Imagine how bad I feel when I accidentally hit publish on an article that I was supposed to schedule! This kind of thing is avoidable if you just adopt a policy of waiting before you save or publish anything. Think about it over and over to see if anything was left out. If after a reasonable amount of time you feel that every base has been covered, you can then save or publish your article.
I have made the mistake of reviewing a company before, and mistaking their name for someone else. Both companies reminded me of each other for some reason, so I mixed them together. This can be bad, and will require you to hurry and fix it before someone reads it. But if you have regular traffic, it is hard to keep away from some readers when you make this mistake.
3. Not Having A Clear Plan
We may have all made the mistake of not sticking to a niche. When you first start, you are eager to get your opinion out. Then you realize that it may be better to teach something you know about instead. So what ends up happening is you change strategies in the middle of your blogging career.
The problem with this, other than from a seo point of view, is that your marketing strategy has to change too. The types of blogs you comment on has to change, and directories you submit to also has to change.
If you have a clear plan in place, you can start out in a niche and build a strong following from the beginning. Your articles can be more focused rather than dodgy, and you can build your professional resume under that niche much faster.
4. Not Tracking Progress
In the past, I have launched websites because I was too eager, and forgot how I was going to track my marketing progress. Nowadays, I find myself quickly adding Google Analytics and other tracking tools to my sites before I even begin to delete the default content and start writing. Why? Because I want to know where every single hit comes from right from the launch.
If you forget your tracking, you will have nothing to show your potential advertisers, or buyers should you want to sell your blog. Tracking is something you simply cannot forget if you want to be successful in the blogging game.
Without the tracking, you might end up performing marketing tasks that simply do not bring in enough traffic. With tracking installed, you can quickly determine what marketing is not working and transfer your time and money resources elsewhere.
5. Not Collecting Names
Another issue I had when I started was my failure to have a newsletter. Not only that, but I didn’t link up my rss feeds and twitter account in plain sight. If you don’t start this from the beginning, you will find yourself playing catch up in the future.
By having newsletter subscribers, feed readers, and twitter followers from the beginning, you are utilizing major traffic sources. They can also be a source of revenue if you are blogging to make extra cash. There are actually opportunities to sell tweets, and put your affiliate links within newsletters. This is simply something you do not want to ignore.
6. Not Having A Product
When I started, I actually had my ebook ready. I created my blog to help promote my ebook, and I ended up teaching on my blog instead. Now I offer my ebook free to those who sign up for my newsletter.
You may be trying to build a subscriber base, but if you don’t have an ebook to offer your subscribers, then it is much harder to get them to give up their email address. Come up with an ebook packed with information, and offer it to new subscribers. Once you have built a loyal following, it will be much easier to sell an ebook for a good price.
7. Not Holding Contests
I recently started a contest that lasts a month long. I have readers tweet a message and follow me to enter with a chance to win free advertising on my blog for 3 months. By holding this contest, I am using leverage to get new Twitter followers. How? Well when someone enters my contest, they tweet my URL. Their followers potentially become my followers, and I get a bunch of traffic from their tweets.
Holding contests is a great way to get comments on your blog, new traffic, new subscribers, and new followers. It has been an excellent source of all of the above for me, and will continue for as long as this contest is open for the rest of the month! I just wish I held a contest on my blog much sooner.
8. Not Being Social
I have been spread thin when it comes to social networking and social bookmarking. I have only recently signed up for HubPages because I am always on 50 other sites every day contributing and promoting my brand.
While you don’t have to focus on joining every single social program out there, it is wise to jump on the ones that are popular and well followed. You should have Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon and a few other social accounts from the start. Expand your social presence as you grow. Just be careful not to take away from the quality of your blog because you have no time.
9. Not Being A Guest
Guest posting is a vital and major step in your blogging career. I am still working on guest posting for ProBlogger. Maybe one day Darren will sort through his email and get to me. Until then, I find myself guest posting on various blogs in my niche. Guest posting is your chance to teach others what you know, and put your name out there as an expert.
By guest posting, you are putting your brand in front of readers who may never have found you otherwise. It is a good idea to get on blogs that have a steady comment rate, and you can convert those readers into your own readers.
Guest posting also allows you to build some back-links. It isn’t important to get your desired anchor text within your guest posts. Focus more on the quality of your guest article, and traffic will come your way.
10. Not Interlinking
When you first start out in the blogging world, your initial articles may never receive comments. But if you are wise about it, you can drive some traffic to those old articles and get comments on them. How? By interlinking within your new articles, and pretty much any articles you have published.
I use a WordPress plugin called BM KeywordLink which works kind of like inlinks and kontera. You can specify which keywords and phrases go to a URL that you specify. This way, certain words will automatically be linked in every single article I publish. I can also use this to sell text links throughout my blog.
View your blog as an asset, and make sure you avoid the mistakes I listed. You can end up with a very popular blog, and avoid embarrassment by thinking before doing (or not doing). Don’t leave potential traffic sources on the table, and don’t forget to treat this as a business.