Blogging Mistakes & Solutions From 513 Of My Closest Friends (#blogchat)

#blogchat lessons blogging mistakes by crowdsourcingI attended #blogchat this Sunday night, the regular chat hosted by Mack Collier (@mackcollier – see “what is #blogchat” here). This Sunday’s topic was on blogging mistakes and I found the content on this particular chat to be extremely informative.

The problem:

In a Twitter chat as popular as this one, the tweets stream by at a rapid clip. If you’re not passively participating, it’s hard to capture all of the nuggets as well as add some insight or questions of your own.

My Dumb Idea:

So what stupid thing did I do? With some inpsiration from a previous post on another chat by @KCBakes, I used the transcript graciously provided by @hashtracking and pulled out the raw content (minus retweets, off-topic chatting, etc.) and sorted that into major groupings (“the main blogging mistakes”). Then, I analyzed the first of three major batches of mistakes and condensed it into what you have below.

Let’s get started already!

So, with that, here is Part 1 of Blogging Mistakes based on the wisdom of the #blogchat crowd. I got a ton out of taking the time and going through the details. If people find this helpful I’ll complete parts 2 and 3 – I’ve already done the sorting. There are about 10 more major topics and the next parts get much deeper than part #1 here! (Warning: Slightly Long Post)

Mistake #1: Lack Of Clear Goals & Blog Topic

One of the major mistakes that many bloggers hit is that they pick a topic that is too broad, theta they’re not passionate about or that doesn’t allow them to offer unique content or a different viewpoint.

Possible Solutions:

  • Pick a specific niche that you know well and have a lot of interest in (@thecatholiccoup, @BarryBirkett)
  • Start with a mission in mind (@technologytim)
  • Can you distill your blog into one sentence? (@JohnRQuinn) Do you know its core message? (@skooloflife)

#blogchat Quotes:

AboveTheStatic
Biggest blogging mistake to date has been not focusing content to a specific audience. Spread to thin, nothing to anyone. #blogchat

BarryBirkett
Big mistake to pick a topic in which you aren’t knowledgeable and/or don’t have big interest — both will show. #BlogChat

PartyBizConnect
@mackcollier My biggest mistake was not understanding what I really wanted to write about. #blogchat

SuperAdrianMe
mistake in blogging was selecting too wide a spectrum to write about. Or should I call that challenging? #blogchat

BruceSallan
Biggest mistake is to follow…rather than lead! #blogchat #DadChat

skooloflife
One huge mistake I made was not identifying the core message of my blog.. doing this really got my readers more involved #blogchat

RobertPickstone
@mackcollier Biggest mistake was starting with site that didn’t focus on posts. Too much fluff around edges #blogchat

JPlovesCOTTON
@danielnewmanUV If a blog doesn’t offer unique content or viewpoint, I don’t read it more than once or twice #blogchat

technology_tim
i would say the biggest way to avoid a mistake is to start with a #mission in mind! Know why u are bloggging http://t.co/CLKFD2FP #blogchat

JohnRQuinn
@MackCollier Few weeks ago we talked about distilling your blog to one sentence. Not sure I can do that. That’s a mistake. #blogchat

thecatholiccoup
We talked about this in #31DBBB how not finding your “niche” can hurt you :( but otherwise some ppl would have 10 blogs lol #blogchat

marcymassura
My biggest blogging mistake has to be my blog name. 4yrs ago I loved it. But now? …..#blogchat

kamkansas
Changing the title or URL for an established blog will lose readers. Before you pick a URL, make sure you’ll love it long-term. #blogchat

Mistake #2: Writing Uninspired Or Off-Topic Posts

Many people have times where they write average, undifferentiated and uninspired posts. In addition, adding other types of posts that don’t mesh with their blog’s purpose or types of content that no one cares about (e.g. rants, editorials, opinions) can down the quality of a blog.

A related issue that came up includes using poor titles for otherwise good content.

Possible Solutions:

Find a unique angle and do research and reporting (@kamkansas)
Keep a list of good ideas (@ConceptCrucible) so you have things to write about when you need a post
“Feel” your topics (@stauchistory)
“Filter your writing with your POV” (@samfiorella)

#blogchat Quotes:

heidicohen
@kalishdj While an occasional post that’s personal in nature or related to current events can show a human side, avoid hot buttons #blogchat

MikeHale
Does anyone else not write a post they were thinking of if they see something similar from someone else? #blogchat

Chris_Eh_Young
Blog when you have something to say, not just to say something. Add value, not posts. #blogchat

kamkansas
Make sure you have time to invest every week. A good, in-depth blog post takes time to research, write and edit. #blogchat

ickmanelius
In my first blog, I tried to clash too many facets/topics together… and sometimes, a recipe is better with fewer ingredients. #blogchat

obpetersen
Always try with each post to teach readers something new #blogchat

kamkansas
Understand your audience and their problems. What do they already know about your topic? Content needs to be useful to them. #blogchat

dustbury
@MikeHale I have faith in my ability to tell a story I’ve already read from a different angle. #blogchat

Chris_Eh_Young
@oziomedia A lot of my posts are reminders to myself of what I need to do. They get the most response. #blogchat

Kathrynclang
I have found that if I spend some time helping others – sincerely – then it comes back to me #blogchat

RobertPickstone
Big mistake was throwing in random posts that readers were just not interested in #blogchat

OurMochaMoney
Short posts definitely help get past the writers block. U don’t feel the pressure to right a thesis #blogchat

LisaPetrilli
@danielnewmanUV Others may talk about same topic but only you can tell it from your perspective/experiences! #Blogchat

JohnRQuinn
@kalishdj I don’t blog about off-topic stuff, but I certainly share those things on Twitter and G+ :) #blogchat

kalishdj
@MackCollier: does being true to yourself extend to an occasional “off-topic” post, e.g. a political POV, or always a no-no? #blogchat

ConceptCrucible
@Ribeezie I keep a list. Anything I could remotely write about, I write down, and then pick off of it when I need one. #blogchat

kamkansas
Don’t go it alone with just your opinion. Find a special angle. Do some research and reporting. Readers will thank you for it. #blogchat

johnRquinn
@MackCollier Hardest thing for me is bending what I want to write about into my planned “buckets.” Feels artificial, sometimes. #blogchat

CLRochelle
@Vidocq_CC @MackCollier Same here. I try to blog by using a screenshot image of my tweet to kick me off #blogchat

stauchistory
I won’t blog daily for the sake of blogging. I need to “feel” a topic in order to make it work. #blogchat

thecatholiccoup
My biggest mistake was just writing nonsense with no actual goal. My first few posts sound ridiculous! #blogchat

Chris_Eh_Young
My biggest blogging mistake: Blogging for the sake of blogging and not really saying anything. #blogchat

Chris_Eh_Young
@kamkansas I find the cathartic posts are the ones people respond too most. Many relate. #blogchat

samfiorella
@LisaPetrilli You can never go wrong if you always filter your writing with your POV. #Blogchat

JessicaLevin
My biggest mistake is not staying on topic with my blog. I tend to get mushy and not focused. #blogchat

dashingly
I think my biggest mistake was made at the beginning – I started my blog to rant and quickly learned that no one cares for it. #blogchat

JTDabbagian
@dashingly Nobody cares about editorials. Learned that the hard way. I still do them though to keep my writing skill up. #blogchat

kamkansas
Don’t slap a so-so title onto a great post. Putting effort into your titles will pay off. #blogchat

RobertPickstone
Mistake: boring headlines. Been guilty of this #blogchat

james_holloway
Mistakes: Off the wall titles to try to grab attention. #blogchat

Mistake #3: Not Using WordPress.org

There was almost unanimous agreement that self-hosted WordPress was the best platform to use for blogging. Some of the people using other platforms were already planning on moving over to WordPress.org. One area of confusion was around how to select a host (see some information about that here).

Possible Solutions:

  • Start a blog on WordPress or migrate your current blog over to WordPress.org
  • WordPress has a blog import function that takes data from other blog platforms (check on how to export your other blog first and the limitations)
  • Find a host that specializes in WordPress
  • Don’t go cheap on hosting!

#blogchat Quotes:

DixieLil
Sorry I’m late #blogchat..biggest mistakes: not posting consistently and not starting on wordpress…never too late! @MackCollier

PjsandCoffee
My biggest blogging mistake is not getting my new blog setup! #Blogchat

osakasaul
My mistake was going with a free WordPress theme; developers park SEO-sapping links, I can’t remove! #blogchat FYI @brucesallan @petalocsta

thecatholiccoup
@CraftaholicAnon yes I’ve been researching hosts but get sooo confused esp bc idk what I’m looking for in a host :( #blogchat

CraftaholicAnon
@wordwhacker @CLRochelle @ConceptCrucible yes WordPress boosted my SEO so much. #blogchat

JTDabbagian
@chrisyates11 Blogger doesn’t have anywhere near the power of WordPress, IMO. #blogchat

CLRochelle
@ConceptCrucible @CraftaholicAnon Agreed! WP is much more SEO friendly #blogchat

GLHancock
Oh yeah. http://t.co/V0xEntFa (Blogger) and not WP – probably my biggest mistake of all. #blogchat

TiffanyAndLupus
I am having issues with creating new pages with blogger. It’s all latin to me :( #blogchat

JayEhret
@mackcollier My biggest blogging mistake was starting on the Blogger platform and not a self-hosted blog. #blogchat

CraftaholicAnon
my biggest mistake was starting in Blogger. switched to wordpress and so much happier! #blogchat

LMAOpress
I love how with WP you can actually schedule your posts-that seems like a great feature #blogchat

artlifestiletto
@JayEhret I didn’t realize that would have an effect. How is traffic maximized? I’m using a platform called onsugar #blogchat

JayEhret
@artlifestiletto There are WP plugins to import posts and redirect from Blogger. I had a developer handle it, but anyone can #blogchat

thecatholiccoup
@JTDabbagian I have a “career” blog there but you can’t monetize at least with blogger you can a little. #blogchat

JayEhret
@artlifestiletto My web and search traffic increased after I migrated #blogchat

thecatholiccoup
@CraftaholicAnon I haven’t heard of them hostgator and bluehost are the ones most ppl have referred me to #blogchat

Josepf
—>>> RT @profkrg: One of my biggest blogging mistakes was not starting out self hosted. #blogchat

stacyknows
i run 2 similar blogs one on blogger one on wordpress. I think google shows favoritism #blogchat

profkrg
I also wish I had purchased Genesis earlier :) #blogchat

mmaskaly
Hearing a lot of WordPress fans tonight. Thinking of moving from blogger to that, but heard photos won’t carryover. #blogchat

chrisyates11
welcome out the the 1990′s “@BruceSallan: @chrisyates11 – yes, I’m switching to WordPress – finally! #blogchat #DadChat”

Mistake #4: Being Inconsistent and Posting Infrequently

Quite a few people admitted to having been much to inconsistent or allowing for large gaps in writing.

Possible Solutions:

  • Don’t over-reach in the beginning. “Blog twice a week to start” (@BruceSallan)
  • “Quality trumps quantity.” (@PamMktgNut) Keep a focus on quality versus posting average material
  • “Wake up a half hour earlier to write each day” (@HerMusings)
  • “Don’t schedule. Don’t set minimums per week. Blog from your heart, for the moment.” (@LoisMarketing)
  • “Write posts ahead of time for rainy days!” (@thatnickjones)

#blogchat Quotes:

CathyWebSavvyPR
My biggest is not blogging often enough, but I have begun to remedy that, but putting blogging in my calendar! #blogchat

DerekWWade
Q1. My biggest blogging mistake is not writing often enough, and writing too much when I do. Ironic given my job. #blogchat

GraphicDesignNY
#BlogChat A1 I think the most common mistake for most is not writing as often as one should.

TiffanyAndLupus
T1: My biggest blogging mistake is not having enough posts aka consistency. #blogchat

SheilaS
My biggest blogging mistake; not writing posts ahead. #blogchat

LovelyLu
A1 I don’t blog often enough, I don’t have a routine to write. #blogchat

judithstephens
My biggest blogging mistake is I don’t blog enough. No consistency. Must do better. #blogchat

j_barrick
Another big mistake: Not being organized enough. I find whenever I keep a list of topics to draw from, I write much more often. #blogchat

MichaelCarusi
My biggest mistake: Not blogging often enough. My clients come first but my blog is a representation of what I do for clients #blogchat

JPlovesCOTTON
I lose consistency of posting when I get pushed & eat up my reserve posts #shameful #blogchat

BruceSallan
Consistency is KEY…so I advise not over-reaching until it is easy! Blog twice a week to start. #blogchat #DadChat

RtMixMktg
My biggest mistake = not writing consistently enough; clients’ biggest mistakes are often tied to “analysis paralysis” #blogchat

thatnickjones
#blogchat Something that I really need to do, write posts ahead of time for rainy days! Great tip, mistake if you don’t do it like me!

HerMusings
One way I have learned to improve consistency is to wake up a half hour earlier to write each day. #blogchat

hbuzzell
#blogchat not having even a small plan to keep me consistent

kivey105
It seems like my mistake is pretty common-not being consistent #blogchat

BruceSallan
@danperezfilms – consistency builds loyalty…you can always increase frequency. #blogchat

LMAOpress
I get annoyed when people just fall off of the blogosphere and stop posting #blogchat

LMAOpress
@brandibuzzard I love blogs that post 5+ times a week. I read blogs every day…and really enjoy frequent posting #blogchat

PamMktgNut
Quality trumps quantity! There are several blogs I don’t read/share anymore given their increased focus on quantity. #blogchat

lisadenoia
#blogchat Biggest blogging mistake # 1. Not posting regularly in http://t.co/CLbOiUuz — sometimes life and work just get in the way.

judithstephens
I think the blogging frequency expectations have changed in the past three years. I’d be happy if I blogged once a week. #blogchat

dashingly
Sometimes I get a rush of inspiration and post too often – it wastes good content b/c readers are overloaded. #blogchat

profkrg
Another of my biggest blogging mistakes was stopping for more than a year, losing what readers were there. #blogchat

LoisMarketing
Don’t schedule. Don’t set minimums per week. Blog from your heart, from the moment. That’s most engaging. #blogchat

mmaskaly
Everyone’s saying don’t stress about how many times you post, but I was always told to be successful, you have to post daily #blogchat

JPlovesCOTTON
@heidicohen you said 2-3 times a week is ok (whew!) do you think you need to post on the same day, same time? #blogchat
pamelamaeross
I think my biggest blogging mistake is inconsistency. Lately I’ve had trouble finding time & motivation to post. Lots started #blogchat

CathyWebSavvyPR
@sachac thx but that’s already what I do, I’ve both plugged blogging time into my own cal & use the WP editorial calendar plugin #blogchat

MikeHale
I like @copyblogger’s advice on posting frequency: “Write when you have something great to say” #blogchat

j_barrick
@brandibuzzard Blog as often as you can, but stay consistent. If you can’t maintain the pace, slow down until you can. #blogchat

JTDabbagian
@brandibuzzard That depends entirely on you. People will read 5+ posts a week, but your head will explode doing it. #blogchat

SunnyC
@jackinessity I’ve lost my blogging interest 2. It’s been a year, I think, since my last blog post. Sigh. #blogchat

kamkansas
Quality trumps frequency. 5 “just OK” posts a week will not get you as far as 2 great posts a week. #blogchat

SunnyC
@wordwhacker Yep, I started again. Quite difficult 2 start writing again. Had 2 force myself 2 sit in front of d PC 4 hrs. :) #blogchat

brandibuzzard
Is posting 2-3 times per week enough, or will people actually read 5+ posts/week? #blogchat

Mistake #5: Struggling With Blogging Style & Voice

Many bloggers make the mistake of not having their own voice, of trying to please everyone and of holding back what they really feel. In addition cussing, being too snarky or being overly wordy were other types of issues called out.

Possible Solutions:

  • “Once you find your voice, be true to it, you’ll feel whether posts add value. Everything else comes from that.” (@LovelyLu)
  • “When people over-think their sites and only post cookie cutter posts. I don’t want the content to be perfect, I want it to be REAL” (@geekgirlweb)
  • “Don’t try to write in someone else’s style. Write like you talk. That’s your authentic writing voice.” (@kamkansas)
  • “Always remember to write to who you want to talk to/do business with. What is “right” is what works for those goals.” (@SusanGiurleo)
  • “writing is one of those things like building muscles. just do little bit more each day and you’ll get into a groove” (@skooloflife)

#blogchat Quotes:

samfiorella
What is gold to one reader, is crap to another. Write from person POV/perspective. It will serve you well. #blogchat

LMAOpress
I have to admit I am worried about showing too much of myself in my blog-but I think that is the only way to get authentic readers #blogchat

LovelyLu
Once you find your voice, be true to it, you’ll feel whether posts add value. Everything else comes from that. #blogchat

geekgirlweb
#blogchat When people over-think their sites and only post cookie cutter posts. I don’t want the content to be perfect, I want it to be REAL

2ndchancemoon
Is it a mistake to share your blog with family, friends, co-workers? I know I hold back sometimes because family reads it. #blogchat

rickmanelius
Another mistake I make is holding back sharing my thoughts, my story, etc… thinking people not relate/care. And yet they do! #blogchat

JohnFeskorn
Blogging/writing mistake is getting stuck on worrying what others will think of it…Gonna try & write like no one’s reading #blogchat

claudiabia
Trying to please everyone is another big blogging mistake. Now, I write about what I like, the way I like it #blogchat

danielnewmanUV
Anyone willing to admit that they “Sell Out” a bit to drive more comments and sharing? Is that a mistake or good marketing? #Blogchat

samfiorella
Biggest blog mistake? Not having a specific POV in post is a mistake for me. #blogchat

kamkansas
Don’t try to write in someone else’s style. Write like you talk. That’s your authentic writing voice. #blogchat

DadInTheCloud
@JessicaLevin I sometimes have a hard time deciding between “I” & “We”. The latter makes my blog sound more business-like I guess. #BlogChat

b_gardiner
my biggest challenge/mistake is being too snarky in my posts. When I get fired up I always get a proofread b4 posting! #blogchat

danielnewmanUV
@MimiBakerMN writing what you think others want to hear rather than what you are passionate/inspired to write. #Blogchat

danielnewmanUV
@pheffernanvt @LisaPetrilli I agree 2 perspectives can make the difference. Blogs need to show that, not read like news articles #Blogchat

SusanGiurleo
Always remember to write to who you want to talk to/do business with. What is “right” is what works for those goals. #blogchat

GLHancock
Mistakes for business blogs may be different from other blogs. #blogchat

skooloflife
@Canadian88 writing is one of those things like building muscles. just do little bit more each day and you’ll get into a groove #blogchat

oziomedia
Another big blogging mistake I commonly see is posts that sound like the writer is writing to himself and not readers. Boring! #blogchat

PamMktgNut
Don’t listen 2 people who tell U what to write, not write if they aren’t UR readers. Ex: don’t write posts w/lists etc. #blogchat

FarhanaRahman
@thedomesticexec Totally! My readers know I love them cause I write as I talk. And I talk in a very personable way. Jokes, advice. #blogchat

danperezfilms
@jtdabbagian I put company bloggers in another category as their expression is limited to company policy/identity… #blogchat

MikeHale
I think trying to write to please everyone, which I did early on, was a mistake. Now I write what I want and I’m happier #blogchat

MimiBakerMN
@PamMktgNut Trying to transfer my everyday voice over to my blogging voice has been my biggest struggle! #blogchat

fromthecompound
I tend to use the f word…Is that terrible?“@kamkansas: Write like you talk. That’s your authentic writing voice. #blogchat”

LovelyLu
Find your voice first, then worry about SEO and other analytics. #blogchat

SunnyC
Another mistake is writing 2 please my readers n not staying true 2 myself. Authenticity of posts disappear. #blogchat

Gorgeoise
@ErinScandalous my blogs tend to be wordy and too text heavy. Working on it! #blogchat

MackCollier
@johnRquinn I think in general, blogging works best 4 you & your readers if you are on a regular content schedule, but can b hard #blogchat

danielnewmanUV
How many of you think that it is a big mistake to be too “Bland” with your content? Read the same stuff everywhere? #Blogchat

JessicaLevin
I use the word I a lot in my blog. Not sure if that is a mistake or not. #blogchat

danperezfilms
@michaelcarusi Blogging isn’t “complex” for those who love to write. For those that chase SEO, it is. #blogchat

kamkansas
@fromthecompound I recommend taking cuss words out of your writing voice :) #blogchat

stacyknows
@Chris_Eh_Young mlost people talk all day long and don’t say anything #blogchat

LisaRaymondAZ
@kamkansas You can also segment the posts with bold or colored text for easier and more interesting reading. #blogchat

TheSimpleDude
@MackCollier Which is bigger mistake: Content that doesnt appeal to all existing readers, or content that wont attract new ones? #blogchat

familyfoodie
My biggest blogging mistake was “Fear” I had such a hard time “putting myself out there” #blogchat

PamMktgNut
Write in your voice, your tone so people can connect with YOU! #blogchat

Going through this has been a great way for me to really internalize many of these lessons learned. I hope you got a lot out of this too. If I do Parts #2 & #3, here’s what will be included:

Community, Audience & Engagement, Blog Commenting, Major Annoyances, Blog Statistics, Share Buttons, Post Length, Planning, Guest Posting, SEO, Blog Design, Burnout, Categories, Tags & Permalinks, Promotion, Video & Multimedia, Mixed Bag of Mistakes and finally, Blogging Wisdom.

Click here for Part #2

Related posts:

Comments

  1. Unbelievable #Blogchat recap, Tom! This is seriously incredible, and I am going straight to Twitter to tweet a link after this comment ;) Thank you so much for investing the time to pull out the nuggets, I love how much #blogchat has grown in the last 3 years, but that also means that it’s much harder to go back and find the ‘good stuff’. That makes posts like this SO valuable! Gracias!

    • Hey Mack. Thanks a lot for the nice words. I’d done this once before (lightly) on another blog chat transcript so I thought – why not go for it. There was a ton of valuable information on Sunday so I didn’t want to lose it all. Mistakes and solutions – can’t go wrong with that topic!