We all make mistakes, it's a given, how else would we learn otherwise, right? Now that you're serious about blogging (you wouldn't be reading this post if you weren't), let's get you past all those little trips in the road before you make them. It will save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run.
They will seem pretty simple and that's why they are easily overlooked by beginner bloggers. Let's get you on the right track...
You've chosen your favourite colours and you've added them to your template, fine, I get it, I did that too. The only issue you could possibly have with the colours you've chosen is how dark it is. Ditch the dark background and lighten up your blog, your readers will thank you for it. It's much harder to reach light text on a dark background on screen, it tends to pull and hurt the eye, so the easy your posts are to read the better. Ditch the dark background and blinding colours too - we light bright colours, but not too bright.
A lot of new bloggers tend to write with a very 'essay' type style, which in most cases makes it very hard to read and enjoy. Don't forget that you are sharing your content with real people with real questions, who are searching for a solution or to be entertained.
A great trick is to write the way you speak, and as your experience in writing develops, so will your unique style. Writing is an art and as a blogger, you will need to spend some time writing as much as you can, the more you write, the better you get.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
This is where a lot of mistakes are made and it's expected at the beginning. When bloggers first discover seo, the main thing they take away is 'keywords', which means they tend to focus more on the amount of keywords they have in a paragraph rather than the content itself. Yes, keywords are valuable, but too much of it and your content will be difficult to read.
I always say, choose great content over keywords. If you can slip your keywords in the title and in a couple of paragraphs, then that's great. We all want to create content that our readers will love and for this they will keep coming back, so focus on writing great pieces, that are easy to digest and as you write, the keywords will develop naturally. In fact, if you are always writing to your niche, the keywords will be included either way.
Too much content in the sidebar
Although it's awesome to show off all your awards or latest offers in the sidebar, try not to over to do it. Readers nowadays care for a clean sleek design, so keep it simple. Instead of adding all this content to your sidebar, why not create a separate page for them, and have one image on the sidebar that is click-able and takes them to that page. You will receive more clicks on your website, and readers who are far less distracted.
Think about it, we are all being marketed to everyday, all day long. Even without our mobile devices, a walk down the street ends in seeing ads even if we don't realise it.
You want your readers to focus on what's important, instead of all having all these ads or awards fighting for their attention.
Using images you don't own
You're probably wondering what images to use and whether they have to be taken by yourself, so I can understand why some of them end up being Google searched images, which are not free to use and could end in a lawsuit. Images are a big deal, so if you cannot use your own all the time, use royalty free images, two of my favourite websites are Pexels and Unsplash, but there are many more to choose from.
Of course the only downside to using free images, would be seeing them all over the internet. It happens a lot and that's nothing to worry about, it's better to do that than to receive an email about copyright. If you are a personal blog, I would definitely suggest using as many personal images as possible, so you can connect with your readers.
There are many more things on the bloggers rookie list, if you know any and would like to share them with me, please comment below.