The more you blog, the better you get at it. There’s no right way—everyone’s style is different, that’s the fun of blogs.
But there are some common mistakes that it’s worth knowing about. You have been warned!
1. Too many gadgets and embellishments
It’s so easy to add embellishments, gizmos, widgets, and other bits and bobs to your blog, and the choice is enormous. It’s rather like adding apps to your phone, except that apps don’t stop you from using the phone as, well, a phone. Scale it back!
2. Light text on a dark background
Dark backgrounds are headache-inducing, not to mention tricky for the sight-impaired. Use caution.
3. Too much information
Being personal is good, but beware of over-sharing. People may well be visiting your blog to be uplifted and inspired, or to escape into your world. They may not wish to hear about your family arguments, or the fact that you’re feeling under the weather.
4. Not enough information
Your blog readers will be curious about you—at the very least, about who you are and how you got into blogging. If you are confident enough to reveal a little about yourself it’s a sure fire way to build trust and encourage readers to comment, share, and make contact. Anyone trying to stay anonymous on the social web looks suspicious.
5. Uninspiring blog post titles
Your blog post titles or headlines are crucial. Every word counts—in an RSS reader or in the sidebar of your blog, the title might be the only thing visible, so it has to be interesting enough to persuade someone to click and donate their valuable time to reading your blog post. Be descriptive rather than cute. Everyone hates being ‘tricked’ into clicking.
6. Links not saying where they go
When linking to another blog or site, say where it is you’re sending people. It’s not sufficient to tell readers to ‘find out more about the exhibition here.’ It would be far better to say ‘find out more about the exhibition at the Royal Academy website’ or even ‘find out more about the Royal Academy’s Summer Show.’
7. Mixing too many topics / lack of focus
There is a school of thought that says a blog should be focused on one thing, and that you should not go ‘off topic.’ But there are many wonderful bloggers who do slip in odd details about other things they are up to, or family news, and readers love it. Just try not to blog about everything—people are more likely to come back again and again if they know pretty much what your blog is about, and that’s what interests them.
8. Using automatically loading music and video
Background music, video, or animation that starts automatically can be annoying and distracting, and many people browse blogs while they are at work. So be considerate.
9. Not posting frequently enough
It can be difficult to keep to a regular schedule, but it really is important. When you start posting more regularly, subscriptions, page views, and comments all tend to improve. Do whatever it takes to publish something at least once a week.
10. Spelling and grammatical errors
It just doesn’t look great, does it? Spelling mistakes immediately undermine a blog’s credibility and could make the difference between you being offered that book deal… and not.
Blogging for Creatives is Robin Houghton’s step-by-step guide to everything you need to know about how to design and profit from a beautiful blog that people will want to return to again and again. With advice on which blogging platform to choose, essential tools and accessories, and how to take your blog to the next level, whether you’re looking to create a platform for your creative trade, an inspirational journal, or a hub for people with similar tastes and interests, learn how to benefit from being part of the blogosphere in this accessible, non-techie book.