1. Poor Branding and Site Layout
Blogging is also about branding. If you want to set your blog apart, you need to build your identity. Components that are essential to this are your blog title, domain name, and site layout.
Regardless of what your reason for blogging is, you need take your blog title seriously. First off, it should match your niche. Apart from strong recall, a title that matches your blog’s focus is advantageous in terms of SEO.
On the other hand, you need to also make your title flexible enough in case you want to broaden your scope. For instance, your blog title is My Make-up Haul. What if you decide to write on body and wellness products? The focus of your blog will slightly change, and your title will no longer match your niche.
It’s also important that you own your domain name and it should match your blog’s title. This will make your blog easier to remember. Plus, people see sites that have .com or .net URLs as more credible sources than those that don’t, so don’t go thrifty on this. Buy your own domain – it usually costs $10 a year.
Layout is equally crucial to branding. You need to pick a color scheme and typography that not only matches your niche, but also allows for easier usability and readability. Though these are essential to the look and appeal of your site, be careful not to go over the top.
For instance, a banner will help you show what your blog is all about. It doesn’t have to take up most of the screen and cause readers to keep on scrolling down just to get to your content though.
2. A Writing Style That’s Too Formal
This is where most beginner bloggers commit a misstep. Sounding too stiff or pedantic can drive your readers away. It’s a blog, not an academic paper. Write as if you’re talking. Keep it casual and loosen up. People will enjoy your content more if you keep it conversational.
Be wary though that you shouldn't just keep on blabbering and jumping from one point to another. Don’t fill your blog with word vomit. It still pays to create an outline of some sort to organize your points and to keep you focused on the topic.
Information is readily available on the Internet, but you can’t simply Google stuff and claim them as your own. That’s plagiarism. It doesn’t fly at school, at work, and definitely not in the blogosphere.
Learn how to cite to your sources. Let them know that you used their content on your blog and credited them. Apart from losing credibility, plagiarizing others' work can get you penalized by Google. It may take a lot of time before you can counteract the magnitude of its impact.
They say that the beginning is always the hardest. When it comes to blogging, you can start more effectively when you know what you need to avoid.