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Blog TipsWriting Tips

How To Blog Successfully: 10 Blogging Pitfalls You Should Avoid

By Sep 2, 2010October 28th, 2014477 Comments

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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.

477 Comments

  • Angela says:

    Thanks for sharing this. As a brand spanking new blogger, I need to know about what to avoid and what will bring some traffic to my site. I’m looking forward to reading more from this site–its amazing!

  • Sharon Russ says:

    Love this article…makes so much sense!

  • Hi, I just joined the SITS community and happened across this blog post. I have to start by saying a heartfelt THANKS! For a number of years, I’ve have a little blog that was mostly created for friends and family who live away to keep up with the kids. I don’t have many followers and I’m not looking to make any money off of it. But for some unknown reason, I still manage to fall victim to quite a few of the pitfalls you mentioned here. Well, I will fall victim no more! Thank you for reminding me to do this for me!
    Liz

  • Lindsay says:

    I read this post just in the nick of time! I am new to blogging, only 3 months in, but I have become infatuated (a much prettier, less extreme word than obsessed). It was refreshing to be reminded that the world will not collapse if I step away from the computer, and that people are going to start finding me obnoxious should I become a blog obsessed recluse. Thanks for the reminder to stay focused on my content, it was just what I needed!

  • Patty says:

    This is such good info. I love blogging and I hope I never see it as a chore. For me it is an outlet a destresser–just like crafting. With all the stresses of being a working mom of three (elementary, teen and college kids) crafting and creating are my outlet and road back to sanity on a nightly basis (yes I craft at night when the kids are asleep ;))

    I am new to this site and am already enjoying it.

  • Paige says:

    This post was extremely helpful and JUST what I needed. My sits feature day is about a month away and I have to say blog envy/not having enough time/ not knowing what to write about day after day has put me in a blog rut. But this post was inspiring, thank you!

  • Awesome tips! And so true.

  • This is a very insightful post! I’ve been seeing a lot about this lately. I’m not sure if it’s the time of the year, the economy or both but it seems to me that blogland has been hit by the bloggingblues lately. As a new blogger it is a little eye opening but keeping all your comments in mind lets me know that I can do just fine! Thank you for the post!

  • Kim Harris says:

    Love it! Love it! Love it! This sounds so much like me when I first started blogging. lol

  • Ado says:

    Oh my goodness, I’m a new blogger and already guilty of many of these things AND I forgot to leave the house today! (-: Thx for the tips.

  • ManWifeDog says:

    I needed to be reminded of SO many of these things! Loved this. 🙂

  • Ann Odle says:

    You forgot to mention guilt! I’m guilty about taking time to blog; not taking time to blog; forgetting and running out of time. Oh the guilt! I think I’ll just have to learn to say “too bad people, you get what you get from me and that’s the best I can do!”
    Thanks for all the great tips here!

  • Megan says:

    LOVE, love, love this post! So glad I found it… it is so very easy to get caught up in so many areas of blogging. Keeping the focus on writing is so important! THANK YOU for this post 🙂

  • Ninisays says:

    This is some really great advice…some of which I need to put into practice ASAP!!! Thanks for sharing this!

  • April says:

    Awesome post! I was just thinking I need to step back a little but there was that nagging voice saying no you can’t ignore your blog …this is just what i needed to hear…that it is okay to lay off if you are feeling a little burnt out.,..

  • Jenn S. says:

    Wow, some of this post rings true for me. There are so many great blogs out there. It can be a little intimidating or daunting. The thought, “Am I boring?” has actually gone through my head a time or two. This post has helped keep things in perspective for me. Thanks!

  • Mari's Cakes says:

    I wish I have read this before. You are right, we should be living life first and then writing about it. When I started I knew nothing about blogging, nor have family members or personal friends that blog, so I was on my own. I have to admit I did get anxious at first with my stat, but in time things fall into place and people all over will start visiting your blog on their own and not by you watching your stat 🙂 I have a while that I post when I can, sharing more of my time with my family, life and home. After all that’s what I write about, my family’s favorite recipes, and my love for them. To learn to live first and blog later and when I can, has made me feel so much relaxed and happier! Thanks for sharing your tips 🙂

  • I totally agree with some of this because some of it was me. I am figuring out that I have to let go of some stuff and concentrate on what works. I want my blog to be fun, informative and a place where people can share their experiences.

  • Viviene Grace Vargas-Bigornia says:

    what is this? I feel like you are directly talking to me!! wahh.. thank you kat for this post. i feel so guilty haha.. now i know better =)

  • annabelle says:

    Thanks for the tips. Its a bit intimidating being the new kid on such a giant block.

    I am looking forward to finding my voice and my style.

  • Emilene says:

    Spot on! What a relief to discover I’m normal, as I certinly can identify with so much of what you’ve said! This is probably one of the most valuable sites I have discovered since I started blogging, thank you for the effort you’ve put into creating it!

    Phew, what a relief to realise that I don’t actually HAVE to post EVERY single day! 😉

    http://www.caminosantiago2012.blogspot.com

  • Danielle says:

    I am so guilty of almost all of these things and let me tell you today really put things in perspective for me. I spent the entire morning hooked up to an IV due to dehydration and it was horrible. I am going to get more rest and spend less time glued to my computer screen.

  • r says:

    what great tips, i can see me doing them all lol..iv been thinking of blogging now for a while and thanks to you as i take my first steps, i now know what not to do!! 🙂

  • Elle says:

    Love the cautionary tale on what not to do!! Of course we all know these tips are simply common sense.. but I do think that once in a while we do need reminders.

    Elle, XO

  • Helena says:

    I needed to read this.

  • Eves says:

    Thanks for the tips, you can never hear these suggestions enough!

  • maggie says:

    sometimes all we need is a gentle reminder 🙂
    Thanks
    Maggie

  • Jodi says:

    I have also been guilty of all of these as well, thanks so much for this post!

  • I’ve just started out blogging so I haven’t fallen for any of these traps yet but could most of them ahead in my horizon after reading this. Thanks for the heads up, I’m going to do my best to dart over them. To keeping blogging fun!

    • lynn hahn says:

      So great that you found this group at the beginning of your blogging. I blogged for years and wondered how to get into a group. I just figured out how to find groups a few months ago! I was computer-challenged. I’ve been taking lessons and getting computer-clever YA HO. You should do well with your blog:)

  • ADHD Hawaii says:

    Thanks for the insightful tips. As a new blogger, I find myself obsessing over stats, losing sleep, etc. I’ve created a daily schedule that I (try to) follow…{wink}

  • I loved this post! The tips are important and having some of my errors pointed out made me more aware. I find watching stats is like watching grass grow so I only look every so often now. This weeks goal is to get to bed before midnight!

  • Alicia says:

    These types of posts are what’s needed for us all. Great little reminders to help get stay focused on building great blogs. I’d like to thank you for the wonderful post… two thumbs up!!

    Alicia
    Healthy Living And A Balanced YOu-Empowering MOMspiration http://www.aliciahunter.net🙂

  • Jill says:

    This was terrific! As a new blogger, these tips were very helpful. I have received so many tips… These were very realistic for me. Thanks again. Jill

  • Great post! I’m a cartoonist but relate to a lot of the info shared here–good reminders for anyone who is a blogger, artist or anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.

  • KIKI TWITTER @NTRALBCOMESHER says:

    i’VE FOUND MYSELF GUILTY OF A FEW THINGS MYSELF! LOL!

    http://www.naturalbecomesher.com

  • Regina says:

    Hey Yall,
    Thanks for all the tips! It’s difficult losing sleep on the blog when having to get up early in the morning and go to work!
    Regina
    http://www.cottonfieldfarm.blogspot.com

  • Wendy says:

    Thanks so much. I fall into many of these pitfalls, and this blog post will help me not get caught up in the pressures to suceed (and perhaps even get some much needed sleep)

  • Nancy says:

    I’ve blogged off and on for 4 years — I usually go on hiatus after I become dejected at my stats or lack of comments. But I have always come back to my blog, because I really missed it! I’ve learned not to worry about numbers, but focus on the quality of my writing, which makes me happy. And that’s what it is really all about — isn’t it? Have a great day!

  • Colleen says:

    Wow! It would seem I have fallen, but I CAN get up. Thanks for the great info and wise words.
    Best,
    Colleen

  • Karen says:

    I’m a newbie at this blog thing. Didn’t even know Alexa existed. :o) Trying to follow the advice to concentrate on writing well and not worry about the stats. Blogging has helped me clarify my thinking about my subjects.

  • Shennan T. says:

    You’re right about obsessing over comments. Too many bloggers focus on comments when they should worry more about getting great content on their blog.

  • Torie says:

    I feel it consuming me already. It is so easy to get caught up in marketing and stats – it is an addiction to see those numbers rise.

  • Tanya says:

    Great post. Very helpful.

  • Catalina says:

    Loved the humor b/c I saw a bit of myself falling into a couple of those pitfalls in my earlier days. Great reminder thanks!!

  • Tashelle says:

    Thanks for this! This was really awakening. I am considering starting a blog and this is a great set of rules for a newbie!

  • This is all great advice, taken to heart. Thanks!
    xo
    Heidi

  • Oh, the sleep I’ve lost since I started blogging! I’ll find myself hot on the trail of a HTML fix at 1am, or come up with a brilliant idea just as I’m starting to fall asleep. Of course I have to hop out of bed and write it down ASAP!

  • Honey says:

    Great blog post. I have been guilty of all those things at one time or another. This is a good reminder to focus on the things that will actually improve your blog.

    Blessings
    Honey

  • Nemo @ Daily-dabble.com says:

    “Live your life first, write about it later”

    This week I also came to the same conclusion, for some reason when I blogged before (been offline for 2 years) I’d spend entire days in blogland and my life didn’t exist.
    Then I got a job that did the same and had to stop blogging, but again my life didn’t exist.
    Now I’ve resigned and am between jobs, but I understand the value of living daily life, even if it’s just doing the chores around the house… Live your life first, write about it later.
    That is the key!

    Great to have found your site 🙂 Love it!