Build Your Blog Series: 7 Common Blogging Mistakes

If you take a look at some of our first posts, you can definitely see how much we have learned.  From our pictures to our content, we had a lot of mistakes - and we're still working on most of them. :) Through our experiences, we've come up with a list of 7 common blogging mistakes to avoid:

1. Bad Blogging Etiquette:
Make sure you give credit where credit is due - add a live link to the site where you got your idea or recipe. Always ask permission to use another blogger's photo - whether or not they are copyrighted. If they are copyrighted and you do use them, you could get in big trouble (hopefully they will at least warn you first!). Be polite - use the golden rule. Treat bloggers (and their posts) the way you would want to be treated. As an overall rule of thumb: if you are questioning whether or not it's ethical, it probably isn't. ;)

2. Inconsistency
When we first started blogging, we would post sporadically with no organization whatsoever!  We would post at random times and go a few days without posting anything at all.  If you are inconsistent in your blogging, your readers will never know when to check back for new content.  Set up a schedule. Whether it's once a day, three times a week, or every Tuesday, just make sure you stick to it.  We post twice a day 12 hours apart (except for our link party which starts Friday night and goes to Saturday). Occasionally we'll throw an extra post in there, but not too often.

3. Bad Planning
This goes hand-in-hand with avoiding inconsistency. Between all of us girls, it is sometimes hard to all get on the same page and to plan far enough in advance to so that we aren't throwing together a post 20 minutes before it is scheduled to go live. Generally, we try to have our posts scheduled out two weeks in advance. Planning ahead gives you time to re-read and improve your post.  Re-write your title to make it more SEO friendly, clean out the info you don't need to include, and our favorite - check for grammatical errors, which leads us to number 4.

4. Grammatical Errors
Grammatical Errors can make a huge impact on your credibility. As a blogger, your content is everything, and if your content is spelled wrong, you're going to get backlash.  That is why planning ahead is important - it gives you time to check for errors.  I love this list from CopyBlogger of 15 Grammar Goofs (and I know we are totally guilty of some of these!).

5. Not Responding to Reader Comments
This is one of the hardest things for us (and we still struggle with it!). But if you don't respond to comments, you miss out on a lot of great chances to build relationships with your readers. While it may seem inconsequential, there is definitely a lot that is lost by not reading or responding to your comments.

6. Zero Community Involvement
As a blogger, a lot of your life is online. That's why it's so important to build strong relationships in your online community. Relationships with your readers (see #5) and also with the other bloggers in the blogosphere (especially in your own niche) will only enrich your blogging experience.  Hold group giveaways, blog hops or events. Swap buttons or other advertising.  A lot of places have Facebook groups specifically for bloggers in a certain area. Build a network of friendship and support, and everyone involved will benefit from it.

7. Clutter
If there are too many choices of what to look at, the majority of people will stop looking.  Make sure your blog is organized and clear.  You may want to cut down on ad space or rearrange your layout for easier navigation around your site. Keep it simple, clean, and focused.

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