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My Top 5 Blogging Blunders You Can Avoid

This is a guest contribution from Gary Newell.

guest-post-mistakes.jpg

I started blogging almost two years ago and since then, my blog has grown considerably.

I have learned a lot in a relatively short period of time and I want to share five of my biggest mistakes so you can avoid falling into the same traps.

1. I didn’t link to my own articles

For well over a year, I would write articles and post them on various news sites and social media networks.

This isn’t a bad thing to do but I never linked to other articles I’d written so people bounced off my website very quickly.

For a while I couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t click on the menus at the top or click on the links in the “most popular posts” section in the side bar of my blog.

The truth is people clicked on my article in the first place because they may have been mildly interested in the title. I needed to give them a reason to stick around. And so do you.

It is up to you to sell your blog posts with great titles but then you need to try and sell other blog posts on your site. By not linking to your own articles you are just giving readers an excuse to leave.

2. I sold an outbound link to another site

There are various ways to make money from blogging but selling outbound links is not one of them.

There are a huge number of sites that provide lists of how to make money from your blog and some of them suggest selling links. I think this is bad advice.

Selling links is a sure fire way of annoying Google so selling one link for $10 isn’t worth plummeting to the bottom of Google’s rankings.

Another danger I discovered when I sold outbound links is other sites selling the same link, reducing the value of the link. I also realised the site I was linking to had a dozen pages of bad reviews. I quickly retracted the link and refunded the purchaser!

3. I spammed social networks with links

If you read the get-hits-quick guides for getting visitors to your blog, they will often say that you should embrace the social networks. I posted all my blog posts on social media before I realised the “trick”.

The “trick” behind getting value from social media is actually engaging with the people. You need to have conversations with people before they trust you enough to follow you and share your links with friends!

For many of you, this won’t be a surprise.

You have to get involved and comment on other people’s articles and build up a comment Karma. You also have to post not just your own links but link to other people’s articles.

4. I randomly posted affiliate adverts all over my site

For a while I became disillusioned with affiliate schemes. I placed adverts across my site but nobody was clicking them.

Then one day, I realised why. I was doing it wrong.

Placing an advert at the top of the page is just eye candy. Hardly anybody clicks through to them.

I found that if I provided an ad for something that was related to my content, that wasn’t easy to find elsewhere and was something people needed then they would click through and purchase goods. I’m not making millions but I am getting a good return now.

I also found that Amazon links don’t work when sporadically splashed around the site. If you link to content and write articles that link to items on Amazon without overly selling the item then people click through and buy goods.

5. I kept all the best articles for my own blog

This is a recent one really. I have only written a couple of guest articles because as a blogger I wanted to keep my best content for my own blog.

I thought that if I want people to visit my site then I need to have the best content on my site.

The truth is, however, that to get people to click through to my site I needed to have great content on other people’s sites as well. I also accept guest articles and they often attract a great number of new visitors.

Summary

Be careful about following advice on how to get rich quick from blogging or advice thats tell you how to grow your blog ridiculously fast. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

My five blogging blunders have helped me become a better blogger . I have learned that if I write good content and build relationships with other people in my niche area, my blog grows naturally. And it has.

I’d love to know…. what have your big blogging blunders been and what did you learn?

Gary Newell lives in Scotland with his wife Stephanie and three children. Gary runs the blog Everyday Linux User which provides news, reviews and technical how-to’s.

 

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Comments

  1. Fortunately, Gary, I didn’t do what you first did and spam social networks with links to my posts – without at least building relationships first.

    However, my mistake was that I didn’t make proper use of those relationships.

    I’ve realised now that occasionally you should ask people to share your posts, invite them to comment or suggest they include them in their own weekly round-ups.

    If the content is genuinely good then you’re equally doing these people a favour by bringing their attention to it.

  2. Kristi says:

    Hello! So I’m completely new, bare with me. I’m a tad confused as to what links won’t hurt my google ranking. If I were to post about, lets say products I generally like and link to where I found it. Would that hurt my blog? Would that kind of linking constitute being an outbound link? And should I avoid doing that?

    • Gary Newell says:

      I still provide outbound links from my site. That isn’t a bad thing, in fact it is generally a good thing. What you don’t want to do is provide a blind link to another company that you have no relationship with and that isn’t relevant to the article. Google are clever enough to work out what is a genuine link and what is likely a host of sponsored links.

  3. Lalith says:

    Nice article
    Most of the bloggers don’t use social media at their initial stages of blogging , from which they loose lot of social media exposure . Social media is best way to improve traffic at inital stages of blogging .

    Thanks for sharing article

    • Gary Newell says:

      Social media is also a great way to meet other people in your Niche. Get friendly with a few other bloggers and you end up getting used to promoting each other’s articles with works for everyone.

  4. Hey Gary,

    Just like you I made some mistakes while blogging. When writing sometimes I forgot to link to my own articles and that was really bad.

    I also used to flood social media site with links upon links. Trying to get traffic to my blog by spamming and the result was that I didn’t get much.

    When writing guest posts though I always try my very best to submit my best write up for guest blogging. This is because I didn’t want my article being rejected.

    Thanks for showing us your blunders and hope that many will learn from them.

  5. Kam Kay says:

    I have been guilty of not linking to my own posts in the past. As a result, the bounce rate for my posts was too high when I first started blogging. Since then, I have been very careful not to let the traffic wander off without having them browse at least a few more pages. Interlinking has paid off since then!

  6. David Boozer says:

    I am guilty of the last one Gary… Great post though, thanks!

    • Gary Newell says:

      Another thing I have realised is that when guestblogging your guest article doesn’t have to be related to my blog at all. This means I am more likely to write my best stuff as a guest article because it doesn’t fit on my blog anyway.

  7. Deanna says:

    Thanks so much for the info. My Blog is in its infancy and I need some help! I will keep your info in mind and if you can shed any light on my page please do! Thanks

  8. Sri Varshan says:

    Hello Gary,

    Point 3 & 5 is something that most us do, yes that includes me too. Will definitely mark them as “not to do stuff” going forward. If you ask me what are my blogging blunders, well that’s a huge list :-) and am planning to bring that up as an article too. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice day.

  9. Luke Guy says:

    Gary, Thank-you for sharing this article. Number #3 hits base with most bloggers. They’re like, “How will people know?” By being your, and acting like a Real person. Like you said, engagement is key. Building relationships is the “secret sauce” as they say.

  10. Jane says:

    Hey Gary – these are typical mistakes made by bloggers. In particular putting up affiliate banners randomly all over the blog and hoping that people would click and buy through their links :) I’ve done the same mistake while I was a newbie and now realize how stupid this is.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. paulrinaldi says:

    Hello Gary, you really got a good article, i have learn from this article and i realized that i was doing blunder in my own blog that’s why my blog don’t rank in Google because i make many mistakes,,,,,
    Thanks for save us to make mistake

  12. Ha Ha! I wish I read this when I first started blogging, because I do believe I have committed some of these blogging fallacies! But you certainly learn from your mistakes and make sure to let others know :)

  13. Dk Patel says:

    Such a nice post written by you with short and clear idea what not to do in blogging…
    And really gonna help to all new Blogger..
    Simply you and your Post are awesome

  14. Abel Ligas says:

    Hi! How I should social networks to avoid is spam? How muach link on day is enough?

  15. Lisa says:

    I was guilty of #1 in the beginning, no more! #5 I did the opposite and always tried to make guest posts the best in fear they would not get posted :) Great tips for newbies and longer timers alike, thank you Gary.

  16. Janet Huey says:

    This may be old school, but correct grammar and punctuation even in comments is important to me. I won’t bother going to someones site if they don’t care enough to proof comments.It may seem like a small detail, but it can be a turnoff and you won’t know why the reader did not engage, they’re just gone.

    • Gary Newell says:

      I agree with you to a point Janet but I have had this conversation with my wife in the past. My wife has said she would never hire someone for a job who did not have good grammar and pronunciation. I said that for me it depends on the job on offer. I wouldn’t expect the best car mechanic or builder to have great grammar and as long as they are good at their jobs and can get their point across then I am willing to forgive a little with regards to their spelling and grammar. I think it is the same with blogging. If the blog is written by somebody knowledgeable but they struggle slightly with prose then that does not bother me.

  17. Raghav says:

    Totally agree, i have made some serious mistakes, few of the above if i remember myself correctly. It is of vital importance that we use social media for exposure, but keeping in mind that we are not spamming the world around us.

  18. I shared this with my blogging students – and you are correct – we all learn not to make these mistakes – eventually!

  19. Scott Cofer says:

    Boy did this resonate, Gary. I scored a perfect 5 … guess that gives me an “A”, although it’s not a test score I am proud of!

    Learned my lesson though, and started over with a new blog and a completely new approach.

    This is great advice for people starting out … or starting over.

    Thanks!

    Best,
    Scott

  20. Marcie says:

    I used to think about saving the best stuff for my site and had to nix that thought. That’s counterproductive to my blogging goals. Now, I have a stack of drafts that I need to complete and submit.

  21. Drewry says:

    when most of us started out with blogging and affiliate marketing not knowing how things work and excited about getting our names out there, we did just that. even I today have major adjustments to make to my personal website. The good thing about making mistakes is that you’re taking a huge leap of faith in humility and swallowing your pride. As Internet marketers, we all blundered and made mistakes along the way by adding too much advertisements to our blogs and websites, adding too many affiliate links in the body of our content, and possibly sharing too much content at once on social networks. The beauty of the Internet is that though we make mistakes along the way, we still produce unique content and keep going the extra mile, while people sit back and watch how much we improve as bloggers, Internet marketers and unique content producers. For everyone who runs a business on the web, it is a valuable lesson to be learned, as well as money to be made. :-)

  22. Great tips! Ya it wont help that you throw your link all over social networks if no one is going to click on the link. Building that relationship first is key.

  23. David says:

    Awesome tips! The worst problem that I faced in my early years of blogging was the high bounce rate. However, with time more and more visitors are sticking around on my site as I link to my articles frequently, like you have mentioned to do so here.

  24. James says:

    I’m guilty of point 5. My naive thinking was that how could I just guest post out my best article. Thanks Gary for sharing this insightful post. It will sure help folks like me.

  25. Salman says:

    Nice share Gary … I have seen many bloggers making these mistakes. Even I used to be pretty lazy in linking to appropriate content from within my blog articles. But after many advises and suggestions from various bloggers in my niche, I am overcoming this !

  26. faith chapomba says:

    Hey, Such a wonderful post, at least I have picked something to bear in mind when writing my next post. Otherwise I have been failing to link my blog Posts and posting many affliate ads on my blog. Thank you.

  27. Cii Koo says:

    Agreed, I’ve made ​​some serious mistakes, some of the above if I remember correctly myself. It is very important that we use social media for exposure, but remember that we are not spamming the world around us.

  28. diwaker says:

    hi,

    Great post and very well written.Your article is very useful for new bloggers. I feel that i am doing a mistake that is defined in last in this post.that is I have keep all best article for my blog. If i share these article in different social media or article submittion sites so they give us backlink for my sites then this will increase traffic to my site.

  29. Wherever you find a high supply of something, there is always demand for the same – with regards to those people still selling get-rich-overnight-online schemes. Shows how people are still chasing for that ‘easy overnight money’, it’s just sad.

  30. I would say i am guilty of number five. I have done that until a few days ago. I always like to post the best article to my blog. But the fact is that i could post the best to top blogs and increase traffic to my blog.

    I have a question concerning number one, why didn’t you link to your articles, it sounds so ridiculous because everyone wants people to see their works, they don’t care if the work is good or bad, all they want is people to see their craft.

  31. Shabina says:

    Yes, Points are valid for most situations, I got it when you said build comment Karma, I guess this is the reason I dont get any visits from my social sites. thanks for these points.

  32. Deborah says:

    Excellent advice. Some things well worth considering! Thanks for sharing some of your best content here! :)

  33. Gerry says:

    Thank you. Simple but true, great article!!

  34. Edson Hale says:

    Point No5 is very good but it needs a little elaboration. It depends upon the blog where you are posting your guest post. If it has high PR then fine to post contents better than those on your own blog. Otherwise you need to write routine guest post for low PR blogs. Am I correct?

  35. Find myself very guilty of several of those mistakes! Thanks for the refresher. I always wondered why no one read more then one post on my site at a time, until I realized that I was doing a terrible job of “guiding” my visitors through my site.

  36. nice post Gary – thanks (my conclusion from the read is there’s no short cut to make contact with the readers and it take effort and work),
    my mistake was SEOnuking it, thinking it would bring the site to the front.
    disaster, it went back – i got panic, but thankfully i add on fresh contents at least twice a week. it came back the actual spot gradually.
    i think SEOnuke don’t work now more – total disaster.

  37. Gareth Sear says:

    Like the article – some real basics that people constantly fail on. Really like the phrase ‘Comment Karma’.

  38. Nikhil says:

    Hi Gary

    I face the same when i am new at blogging. I added to much of affiliate and give to much of outbound of links to others. I not promote my blog well on social media and many more mistake. But It takes time to lean me new thing and what is right and wrong for my blog.

    Thank you for sharing this :)

  39. Great post Gary! I am happy to say that I haven’t yet made any of those mistakes. However, I do tend to spam social networks but only in terms of spamming my own timeline and I have got express permission from myself to do that, ha ha.

  40. Yes! I’m happy to see that I’m not doing any of these things. Does that mean I’m ahead of the game? Who knows. It does mean that I’ve been actively seeking knowledge and applying it to my second attempt at building a site. My new site is light years ahead of where my old site was even at its peak. So thank you for always being an educational source for the blogging world.

  41. Helen says:

    Thank you for your advice. It’s better to learn from the mistakes of others but mostly we learn from ourselves. Anyway your tips are really useful.

  42. George says:

    Thanks for explaining all the blunders that you done,it was really helpful.Hope no other bloggers repeat the same mistake.

  43. Abhay says:

    Thanks Darren for sharing your great experience with us.
    This post realy help me a lot.

  44. [ Smiles ] Hey, I will level with you; I believe that it natural to want to keep all the best article for one’s own blog. But, part of building success is sharing your work with others.

  45. Jeff says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences Gary. As one who has not yet committed to starting a blog (although wanting to), I appreciate knowing what to and what not to do. Thanks again.

  46. Geo Jolly says:

    Gary, you have given me great set of notices to look up. Am new to this field and your tips have helped me a lot to change myself for some thing good. Am in love with this blog!

  47. Vivek Sharma says:

    Hey Gary !
    Spamming social networks is the mistake which almost all newbie bloggers do, i used to post my link all over the facebook pages and comments for getting more and more traffic, but now realize, its totally stupid. Thanks for sharing these 5 valuable tips with us.

  48. Nik Parks says:

    I love this post, Gary!

    Recently, I’ve been learning about no. 3 myself. You’re right, it’s about interaction—having conversations with people.

    It took me a while to understand the power and the importance of Twitter. Now I love it!

    I’m going to check out some more of your articles, good sir.

  49. Danny Howard says:

    Great tips Darren,

    #5 was always a problem for me. Sharing content only on my websites is something that I’ve always done. However it’s so much easier just to create high quality engaging content on other relevant and engaging blog/websites that builds your reputation and gives you a chance to build more relationships than you would of never had before.

  50. Dev pandey says:

    Hi Gary,

    I love your article. The points which you have mentioned needs to be closely monitored. Actually speaking, for a newbie, this is the most common problem. Even i also had this issue at the begging but learn from my experience..and still learning. Thanks for post this useful information!!!