How To Blog Successfully: 10 Blogging Pitfalls You Should Avoid

Blogging has proven to be an amazing way for us to express ourselves, build memories, make friends, and even start businesses. Every blog has a different voice and it’s great to see the many directions people choose to take in their online journeys. However, many of us fall into blogging pitfalls that really should be avoided for an optimal blogging experience.

Don't get caught in these blogging mistakes that lead to burn out and stress.

Blogging Pitfalls To Avoid If You Want To Blog Successfully

Becoming a slave to your stats.

Your stats are like your weight. It’s fun to dream about what it COULD be, but checking everyday or multiple times a day is not going to do anything for you. Make long term goals, subtle changes, focus on writing well, and keep a distant eye on your stats.

It’s good to know who is visiting your site, how they found it, and how much time they’re spending on it because this knowledge can help us improve our blogs by catering to what people seem interested (or not interested) in, but obsessing over those numbers will only distract you from better uses of your time.

10 Blogging Pitfalls To Avoid

Obsessing over comments

People are reading. Your content means something to you. That’s all that matters. It’s okay to want comments.  It feels good to get a response to something you spent hours putting your heart into, but it’s not the end all and be all of blogging. Engage your readers, invite them to comment, ask for advice, pose a question..the rest is up to them. It will do you no good to hem and haw about how you got more comments yesterday than you did today. Spend your time instead improving your site’s functionality.

Putting unnecessary emphasis on your page rank.

You may or may not realize this, but all sites are ranked in Google and yours is one of them. Alexa tells us where we rank out of millions and millions of websites. The theory is that the lower your Alexa ranking is the more desirable your site is to advertisers. For some, this translates into a competitive thing among bloggers. How can X site have X ranking when all they do is post reviews!?!!? I post amazing content everyday and she posts only once a week, how can she possibly rank higher than me!?!?!

It is easy to get wrapped up in this number and there are ways to improve it, but it’s not as important as we think it is. Alexa is not queen of the internet, Alexa does not consider your feelings when ranking you, and does not care if you hold a 1.5 million ranking and your friend is sitting at a ranking of 200,000.  The bottom line is you will never be number one, so let it go. Spend your time focusing on your content instead.

10 Blogging Pitfalls To Avoid

You’re blog envious

There will always be a blog better than yours. There will always be a design you want or a post you wish you’d written or a title you wish you’d thought of. It’s normal to aspire to be successful. It’s normal to find a blogger and hope to someday get as many comments. It’s not normal to hate them for it or to spend your time looking for something wrong with them or to leave anonymous comments calling their children ugly.

A blogger is usually successful due to a combination of time, effort, great content, and/or an expertise in their niche. Instead of expending your energy wishing you were as successful as another blogger, wish them well, and focus on your own site. With time, effort, great content, and/or an expertise in your niche…you will get there too!!

10 Blogging Pitfalls To Avoid

You’re responding to blog drama

It’s all around us. The setback of this hobby we all love is that through writing things are often misread or misinterpreted. Sometimes we write passionately and hit publish before we’ve taken a moment to think about the consequences of our actions. When you hit publish about anything you have an opinion on, chances are someone, somewhere will disagree with you.

There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion and saying so, but the moment you choose to personally attack someone or get involved in a scuffle between bloggers, is the moment you say no to supporting women online and yes to killing brain cells. Just walk away. Instead, spend that time focusing on your writing. (Are you seeing a trend here yet?)

Spreading yourself thin…and not the good thin that makes you want to go shopping

With SO many avenues to reach potential readers for our sites we all spread ourselves thin. Writing, commenting, email, Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, Flickr, The BlogFrog, YouTube…the choices are endless.  It’s okay to dabble in networks to see if they might work for you. Trying new things and staying current is important, but plan your time wisely. Unless you have hours to spare, you should think about how you can get the most bang for your buck before you get online. Creating blocks of time for the things you need to do will help you accomplish more, and faster.

10 Blogging Pitfalls To Avoid

You no longer leave your house

Maintaining a life outside of your computer is still important…if for no other reason than that it provides you with more things to blog about. You must fight the pull to spend every waking hour on your computer. Your friends will start calling you weird. Your husband will find a new wife. Your children will start skyping you for attention. And your mother will worry about you. It’s not worth it. You must continue to exist in the real world.

You’ve run out of things to blog about.

There’s no such thing. You can’t run out of things to write about because number one, whether you want to admit it or not there is always something going on in your brain and number two…I just won’t allow it. Draw your inspiration from conversations you have with friends, books you’re reading, current events, bloggers in your niche, and when all else fails, feel free to peruse my gigantic growing list of writing prompts.

10 Blogging Pitfalls To Avoid

Losing sleep

The less you sleep, the more obnoxious you are to be around. Blogland is not going anywhere and the only other people awake with you at three in the morning live in Australia. Please go to sleep. You will think more clearly, write better, and be altogether more enjoyable when you’re well rested.

10 Blogging Pitfalls To Avoid

Caving in to the pressure to perform

Staying consistent with your writing is important, but you do not have to write every single God forsaken day. Nobody wants you to get burned out and everybody wants thoughtful content. If writing every second or third day is what works for you then start there. We live our lives with enough guilt, feeling pressure to write more often or to not miss a day is not only irrational, but it’s not fair.

Live your life first, write about it later.

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  1. says

    oh my god. this post hit me in all levels!!!!! the stats, the comments. i just talked about this recently! omg im an addict -_-

    i just have to defend myself though…

    You no longer leave your house -> i barely really doo!!! but im out of the country. and i dont have friends here to go out with really. so i have a reason to stay at home. i just live with my grandparents who are also at home everyday. plus i dont have a valid driver’s license here. so there :) but i still go to mass every sunday when my grandpa does. so at least i’m not really home 7 days aweek. just 6. lol

    next. i sleep late .. because back in my home country.. when it’s midnight here. it’s morning there.. so there… i have a good reason to sleep late so i can TALK to my friends and family :)… i wake up late to though so, im not really sleep deprived.

    excused! :)

  2. says

    This was a great post! As I get more involved with the blog world, I see the potential for all of the above to happen. I’m guilty of at least two, I stay up late blogging and I watch my stats. I began to blog for the love of my subject, but this is becoming not only love but another avenue for work. I want to retain my initial love but temper it with the business of blogging without losing my desire to enjoy. I can see that keeping this balance will be a challenge for me, but I’m glad I’m learning early.

  3. says

    Sound advice. I loved the little pictures and the comment about sleeping…I’ve become a blogoholic in the last few days, largely reading others and I really should get some kip (=sleep)

  4. Brie says

    This was, hands down, one of the best articles I’ve read about blogging since I started joining in these shenanigans a year ago! I am TOTALLY guilty of the lack of sleep. I do blog designs on the side and my husband gets annoyed with it (I do them for free and he doesn’t like I spend so much time without pay) so I do them at night when he’s gone to bed. *sigh* But seriously, i LOVED this post!

  5. says

    Totally needed this to keep away from that virtual cliff. Love blogging but let’s face it, sometimes, just sometimes, it’s a pain in the a$%. Thanks mama!


  6. says

    Wow what a timely post! I have just published a post yesterday about how striving to be a blogging super star can really do your head in! AND take all the enjoyment out of blogging..
    Awesome post. cheers

  7. says

    My O’ My this post was GREAT! Each point was so well said and just about hit each of the hard lessons that I have learned through my 1st year of blogging =)

  8. says

    What great tips! Unfortunately, I fall into too many of those categories. I obsess about my stats, fear I’m going to run out of blog material, and stalk bloggers I’m jealous of to try and grab their hard drives. I’m in sad need of a blogging intervention. That or go to BlogHer 11 next year. I can’t decide.

  9. says

    Greetings from Australia…hee hee!

    Great post-thanks for the ideas and morale boosting words.

    Have a happy weekend,

  10. says

    Funny you wrote this today as I just decided last week, after throwing myself in to blogging and twitter for the past few months, that I no longer care what I’m supposed to do with my blog and I’m going back to what I love doing. Thanks for the very straight and humorous words of wisdom! You rock!


  11. says

    Love this post….my problem is I have so much to write about and not enough time!

    And right now what’s on my mind…potty training. UGGH!!!

    Happy Friday!

  12. says

    That makes me feel better! I have stopped paying as much attention to stats, but comments are hard to ignore! I love what I write and I should be happy with that!

  13. says

    This is great! Hilarious…only because I got over all of this awhile back. I still have a tracking/stat system, but removed blog rankings and all that stuff and I so happy about it./ If and when you obsess it is not fun anymore. I enjoy it again!

  14. says

    I don’t want to be a comment hog, but after my first skim read of the article, I have just gone back and read the whoe,thing PROPERLY, and I love it. I’ve just tweeted it, because it is so full of great good sense for us wannabe blogger/writers.
    thanks for the reminder to keep living in the real world.
    To actually leave the house.
    Very timely for me as I tend to get a bit one-eyed when I love something. And I do love blogging.

  15. says

    this was great, so many things to remember. Im always struggling to hang with the “juniors and seniors” when I am clearly still a “freshman” :) Why can blogging get to be such a head ache. Thanks for bringing it all home. You girls are awesome

  16. says

    This was so helpful! I’m new to blogging and I can definitely relate to a lot of these pitfalls. I obsess over my design and stay up way too late in blogland. Thanks for all the great advice!

  17. says

    Wow I made the top 20 today. Can’t wait to read through and see if I am doing any of the no nos. Have an awesome Friday yall.

  18. says

    LOVING THIS! Great advice. I know I have fallen into at least 6 (if not more) of these pitfalls myself. It’s hard not to have blog envy and get caught up in stats and the like. Just keeping true to yourself will get you where you want to be. Thanks SITS!!

  19. says

    Eeh, I’m near the top!
    What a great list. Love the pictures too!!
    My daughter just vomited all over the floor at the end of a playdate and my husband is away for the weekend. Now that I have mopped up the puke I’m about to order pizzas online DELIVERED for the rest of the brood… looking forward to a Friday night ALONE on the couch…
    I WILL NOT SPEND MY FRIDAY NIGHT ONLINE, I promie (I really do have a Real Life)

  20. says

    Great reminders that I’ll for sure take to heart. Thanks so much for keeping us sane. SO glad I found SITS!!