The Top 77 Blog Mistakes New Bloggers Make

There are tons of new bloggers online every day, and many, if not most of them make similar blog mistakes starting out. I thought it might be fun to compile a list of some of these. Without further adieu:

The Top 77 Blog Mistakes that New Bloggers Make

en Español, en Français

Top blog mistakes

    Domain & Hosting

  1. Not hosting their own blog
  2. Registering a blog name (URL) that has been copyrighted
  3. Registering a long and difficult to remember domain name

    Style, Design, and Basic Blog Ingredients

  4. Keeping the basic template that came installed on the blog
  5. Using a black background or one that flashes, blinks, or moves in any other way
  6. Using background music
  7. Not updating the blogroll that comes with the blog
  8. Not using permalinks for their blog posts
  9. Not protecting their blogs from SPAM comments with easily installed plugins
  10. Under-utilizing easily installed plugins
  11. Not including a clear way to contact them
  12. Not including a basic About the Author page
  13. Not creating a sitemap for Google and other search engines

    Blog Comments

  14. Keeping the first post & comment that came with the blog
  15. Forcing guests to register in order to leave comments
  16. Commenting on other blogs with nothing to say other than “nice post” or some other worthless nonsense
  17. Commenting on other blogs and posting spamming their blog’s URL in the post
  18. Not commenting on other blogs enough
  19. Not thinking through what they comment about on other sites
  20. Not responding to comments on their blogs
  21. Asking other bloggers to link to their blog in comments
  22. Gathering email addresses from people who comment and adding them to email marketing lists without permission (privacy violation)
  23. Posting affiliate links when making comments on other blogs

    Links

  24. Emailing other bloggers and asking them for links
  25. Not linking out enough
  26. Posting incorrect or broken links
  27. Not using their blog’s trackback capabilities to keep other bloggers in the know

    Blog Content

  28. Creating SPLOGS
  29. Setting high expectations for your readers and then failing to meet them
  30. Not learning blogging etiquette or blog culture before starting out
  31. Not choosing a niche to write about
  32. Not keeping their blog focused on that niche if and when they do choose one
  33. Copying the style and substance of other blogs
  34. Blogging about absolutely nothing
  35. Not proofreading their posts
  36. Failing to place themselves and then experiencing blogger burnout
  37. Stealing blog content
  38. Blogging about something they know nothing about
  39. Copying entire blog posts from other sites and thinking a simple link back makes it okay
  40. Failing to attribute another blog or website that you got an idea from
  41. Trying to blog as some fake anonymous persona like the kids in Ender’s Game
  42. Posting uninteresting titles
  43. Posting huge blocks of text without using headlines, images, etc. to break it up
  44. Posting at an irregular frequency
  45. Forgetting that they are writing for an audience, not themselves.
  46. Writing things in their blogs that may harm them in the future
  47. Committing libel
  48. Being unprofessional
  49. Attacking other bloggers just to get attention
  50. Sharing company secrets or private information on their blogs
  51. Giving away too much personal information (potentially dangerous)
  52. Not having their own voice when writing, instead using bland and dry language.
  53. Not engaging the reader to participate in the conversation (failing to stimulate comments)
  54. Blabbing too much without making any relevant points
  55. Writing about what everyone else is writing about
  56. Holding blog contests and not coming through on prizes you promised

    Blog Promotion & Traffic Building

  57. Advertising their brand-new site anywhere
  58. Promoting a site with less than 10 posts
  59. Using traffic boosters to get traffic
  60. Using any methods to get un-targeted traffic
  61. Over-submitting their blogs to social bookmarking sites
  62. Submitting bad posts to social bookmarking sites
  63. Under-publicizing their best posts
  64. Not entering Blog Carnivals to start building traffic
  65. Not including a link to their blogs in their email and forum signatures
  66. Not responding to emails or other messages

    Blog Monetization

  67. Worrying about making money with their blog before they even have any quality content
  68. Placing as many ads from as many ad networks as they can on their sites
  69. Clicking on their own AdSense Ads
  70. Allowing just about any site, even unrelated ones, to advertise on their blog
  71. Writing reviews of other sites through ReviewMe or other services and doing a shit job of it. Reviews can be bad or good, but they should at least be well written (happened to me today . . . argh!)

    Feeds

  72. Under-utilizing their blog’s feed
  73. Not having a clearly identifiable and highly visible way to subscribe to their feed
  74. Not using feedburner to optimize, quantify, and publicize their feed
  75. Using Feedburner chicklet that shows number of subscribers before you’ve got at least 50-100 subscribers
  76. Posting a partial blog feed instead of the full contents
  77. Overusing feed advertising

I’ve seen a few other mistake lists out there, but most cover things I’ve mentioned above. Here are a few good ones:

Ten Blogging Mistakes I’ve Made
The Top 10 Design Mistakes
Blogging Mistakes Final List
10 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

Think I’m missing any important points?

Photo: Alex Proimos

96 thoughts on “The Top 77 Blog Mistakes New Bloggers Make”

  1. Not tagging a post ;)

    btw, nice list and will make use of it. I’m new to blogging(few months now) and learning everyday :D

    I like your post from yesterday
    “Visit the Site’s Advertisers”.

  2. That was a really helpful list. I just started blog carnivals, when I started blogging about 10 years ago they weren’t big, so I did it the old fashioned way! But carnivals aren’t giving me much help so far however I’m attempting to stick with it! Gives me good content ideas in the meantime!

  3. Glad you all like the post, guys!
    Amanda – Keep up with the carnivals . . . they are great for building backlinks if not for bringing in a little traffic.
    Valet – I agree with you on getting too personal, especially early on. There were a few points made on the list about getting personal. It can sometimes even be quite dangerous (especially for kid bloggers)

  4. That’s a really nice post for those beginning bloggers. But I wanted to ask what are blog carvinals? Are they like social bookmarking sites or something different?

  5. Hey Alex. Blog carnivals are basically weekly events where different sites host each time. The hosting blog receives submissions from bloggers like you or me and then decides which posts are worth of mention in the carnival. I plan on doing a detailed writeup of how to participate to spread the love for your blog soon. Meanwhile look up “carnival blog” in Google. You’ll pull up the main blog carnival site first. Explore there to find out a bit more. Stay tuned for my primer on carnivals.

  6. #75 – oh no… Guess i have to remove that feature now!!

    Very comprehensive post Josh. Question for you, what’s “libel” – #47 ?

  7. Hey Melt! I don’t think it is a major problem, but I believe that psychologically, people are more likely to subscribe to a site if they see a large number. Saving the chicklet until you have a large amount of subscribers can only help a little.

    As for libel, it is making a false statement about someone or something. e.g. Writing a blog post about how your neighbor Joe is a peeping tom would be libel if he’s not really one (strange example, I know – too much CSI for me).

  8. You nailed it. That is a very comprehensive list. I will be linking to you in a later post on my site of stuff to do and stuff not to do.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  9. I like this article. Good starting point for honing a website. I printed it off and put a check mark beside each point after I implemented it. It is a bit of a to-do list for a blogger.

  10. This is an absolutely brilliant list! I’m happy to keep showing up in the same blog carnivals as you because your work rocks! Let’s take over the blogosphere, lol.

  11. I’m new to the blogging world and this list looks very useful. Thanks! I’ll be checking off some of these items in the days and weeks to come.

    One question I have that seems to always come up is the background color. Why do people say to stay away from dark or black backgrounds? I can understand staying away from high contrasting colors (i.e. red on black or yellow on black), but I’ve seen a few sites that do have darker background colors that look fine… at least IMO. If you have any handy links on the subject I’d love to read them.

    Thanks again for the great list!

  12. Kevin, very dark backgrounds seem to be hard on the eyes for many people. Back in the day, many people had sites that did this, but it realy has faded from acceptance. Look around . . . do you see ANY MAJOR websites that use black or extremely dark backgrounds? Not really. There is a reason for that.

  13. Having recently started blogging, your compilation of newbie mistakes makes a great reference for me to check against my blogs. I particularly like the blog carnival idea, having never heard mention of the concept before.

    I do have a question about a possible mistake I’d like to avoid that I don’t think I see on your list: how and when do you choose the number of post categories to make?

    Since my two blogs don’t have a whole lot of content yet, my posts are filed under a small number of very broad categories. I noticed that your blog has many categories, though, and was curious if you had planned them from the beginning or if they just sort of multiplied as your blog accumulated posts?

  14. Hey . . . I haven’t seen any consensus about blog categories. Personally, I think I’ve got a few too many. I wouldn’t focus on them too much. I think they are most important as keywords for finding posts. I’m not sure that there are any real mistakes you can make with categories other than using irrelevant ones.

  15. Thanks Steve. What I’d really like is for people to give the post a bit of social bookmarking love! It is one of the most popular posts here, yet only has 2 diggs. It hasn’t hit Stumble, delicious, or Netscape outside me and maybe one other person.

    I’ve had bad posts do better!

    Come on folks . . . If you find this post helpful, bookmark, Digg, Stumble, and pass the word on! :)

    Social Bookmark This Post

  16. Can you check how many I send you from my blog. It’s my second most viewed. That one way to spread it. :)

  17. Steve, I’m sorry to say that we’ve received a grand total of 0 visitors from your site. Interesting that your click through on the article is so low. We still love ya!

  18. Weird? Can’t force people. ;)

    I should had just copy the article while leaving the link instead.

  19. Steve, you can’t just copy an article from another site. That is conducting copyright infringement. You can paraphrase and quote a paragraph or two, but otherwise duplication is a big no, no.

  20. That’s why I would had left the link/source and author(already in my title). It was not a full cut and paste but just the 77 mistakes. I give credit where credit is do. Is it still copyright then?(another post for you on the ethic of doing this like the ReviewMe loophole ;) )

    I could always create a “teaser” and they would read the rest on your site if not too lazy to click the link :D

    copyright infringement: For me, it’s copying and passing it has mine.

    I will try the teaser and see if it works.

  21. Steve –
    Copying the list would constitute a copyright violation, even if there were a link or attribution. Some people aren’t as hard core as I am, but I work hard to write my posts and unless someone wants to pay me for use of my posts, I don’t allow it and I do go after copyright violators.

    That said, just do the teaser thing if that’s what you want . . . post a few of the numbers and tell people to read the complete post on our site. No problems there.

    Thanks!

  22. Thanks Josh for linking to our translation. Looks great and rewarding. I have just digged your post. Too helpful not to be supported ;)

  23. Pingback: Blog It and Earn It - May 15, 2007 @ Life Is Risky
  24. Great post! It will appear in the May 15th (ok 19th) edition of the Blog It and Earn It Carnival hosted on my blog. The post will be live in just a bit but here is the link Blog It and Earn It May 15. Hope you get a chance to stop by and thanks for the submission!

  25. Hi, great post. I have just Dugg it, so you’ll know that I like it. I used it to see what am I doing wrong, and I’ve caught myself being guilty of two or three things! Now I know what to work to improve my blogging skills.

    Thanks for the great post, once again!

  26. Hi Joshua,

    I chance upon this post and find it very useful from new bloggers like me. Wondering if you mind I translate this into chinese and put in in my blog?
    Thanks.

  27. Hey,

    So i’m fairly new to blogging like some others! I’ve committed a fair amount of these listed mistakes and sure I will be for a long while now. I’m still trying to figure a lot of things out. Trying to work out what these link backs are, how to use a blogroll and where to get a decent alternative template. Oh and also after purchasing atlastimfree.com I can’t find out how the hell I can make it display my blog!!

    So I guess it’s a case of dealing with one issue at a time. I’m going to come back and read this post every now and then and try and reduce my mistakes one by one.

    Like you said though I bet there are tons more and we will all keep making them no matter how experienced we get.

  28. Pingback: Red Adictos
  29. Whatever you mean with “Under-utilizing easily installed plugins”, using too many plugins will slow down your site. Moreover security is a concern especially with wordpress. I would’n consider not using plugins a mistake.

  30. A great list, I have to say. I think the best thing I’ve experienced since I started blogging, in addition to success, is the helpfulness of other bloggers…like this post. thanks for the advice and keep it up!

  31. That’s a lot of useful tips up there. I especially like “Writing about what everyone else is writing about”. I really believe if you think hard, you can come up with some original ideas.

  32. I’m confused about number 24:Emailing other bloggers and asking them for links, does this mean link exchanges or asking for links ‘for free’?

  33. Some people say that I must be a horrible person, but that’s not true. I have the heart of a young boy — in a jar on my desk.

  34. I wish I had access to this list when I started blogging in 2005 — it would have saved me from a lot of headaches. Good information too — I am linking to this article from my blog.

  35. There is no way I can contain my blogging mistakes to one list. I’ll be lucky if I can contain it to one website. Come read (and learn) about my blogging mistakes.

  36. Thats the second time I have read about blog carnivals in the last 20 mins – I will have to go and research. This is a brilliant article and I think I have avoided a lot of them :)

    Anyway, been meaning to do my ‘about’ page for sometime now! Thanks for the reminder.

  37. Great list put together. It’s amazing how many people will start a blog for the sole purpose of putting ads and affiliate programs just to make money and forget about quality content. This is definitely some great content and extensive list of things not to do to have a successful blog.

  38. WOW what a long list of information. You mention very important points. I am blogging on different blogs and i always try to post some important info or give something on every blog so people will read my comments. I think one mistake they done quite often, didn’t user very good graphical header. I can give my example and also my friends example, we always like to visit blog with good graphical header image and spend some time here visit every links, time and time again visit this blog.

  39. very very thankful of you to put our attention towards top 77 this is the information that every blog writer needed…i just copied out in my notepad and read always to remember it… Thanks

  40. Very informative article. And how long did you develop you blog to get such useful experience? I have a great wish to make my blog, but is it really necessary to post my words in the huge ocean of blogs and sites. Another rubish box? I like you creation. Thanks!!!

  41. The biggest mistake I know is creating a blog on a topic you don’t love just to make money. It’s not only a time waster, but is not fun, too. You should’ve added a special “Strategy” or “Focus” section to your list.

    Also, it is nice to focus on the positive, not the negative. Thus, a list of 77 right things to do, when starting blogging, would be more useful :)

  42. What an excellent list you've put together here. I really believe one of the greatest mistakes a blogger can make is not choosing a topic for their blog which they have a great passion and knowledge for. The passion will be the sole thing that allows you to continue writing – well after the initial desire. Don't write about a topic – just because you believe it might start making you money.

  43. Long list, thanks for the info though. I have been following most of the rules automatically without thinking, though there were a few things that I took note of. The first and foremost thing that I see people miss is having good, quality, well written content before anything else.

    -Tyler

  44. Thanks a lot for this post, man. I have been committing many of these blogging sins for over a year now… :( I do have a decent amount of good content at this point, but it is time to implement some changes. I am leaving this comment to let you know you have inspired me so much that I am using your list as a guide for redeveloping my sites. Thanks again.

  45. Very nice list.
    I myself have just started this blogging thing and yes, I’m doing it for promotion but, I really try to read all the comments and develop a quality comment that means something. I have made some mistakes ( you list really does help).
    In the short time I’ve been blogging…. I really hate those “good list”, bye comments and give me a link. One thing I noticed here is you just don’t have any of those. Good job.
    I also found a useful comment about the back ground color in one of your comments. My site has a dark color theme and I think it fits with the content but, after reading this I think when I get the blog going, I will not use this color theme.
    thanks for the help, it is very appreciated.

  46. Thank you Joshua for your post on The Top 77 Blog Mistakes New Bloggers Make. The part that I need to work on more was on the area of Blog Promotion & Traffic Building. Look forward to your other posts. Thanks.

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