Blogging’s a great way to grow awareness of you and/or your brand and, with bloggers now getting book deals and media contracts, it can also be a lucrative one.

Unfortunately, many bloggers shoot themselves in the foot by making some basic errors that holds their blog back from its true potential.

Knowing how to avoid these mistakes can mean the difference between just another blog online, and one that stands out as the kind people take notice of.

1. Not owning your own domain

Having your own domain – as in, blogname.com – certainly isn’t a must-have for all bloggers. But if you want to be taken seriously, having a professional domain makes that much more likely. The great news is you can even buy a premium domain and use it on free blog services like WordPress.com and Blogger.com.

2. Not owning your online property

For anyone serious about blogging, a self-hosted option is the only way to go. Not only does it give you more options for styling and customization, it shows you’re in this for the long haul, which can be an attractive proposition for brands looking to sponsor blogs.

3. Not optimizing your blog’s permalinks

Usually, a new blog’s permalinks are set to blogname.com/?p=123. Pretty ugly, eh? It’s not very search engine friendly either. As soon as you set your blog up, change your permalink settings so they just show the post or page name after the main URL. So something likeblogname.com/posttitle or blogname.com/pagetitle.

4. Forgetting to change your favicon

When you have a browser tab open, there’s a little icon on it that shows which site you’re on (Gmail has a red envelope, for example). This helps your site stand out when multiple tabs are open. Use a favicon generator like favicon.cc to make your own.

5. Having a generic logo

While you don’t need to go all out and custom design your complete blog as soon as you start, at the very least get your own personalized logo. This is one of the first things new visitors see and can say a lot about your blog.

6. Not using a web-friendly font

A lot of bloggers want their blog to stand out, so go for a font that looks cool. Unfortunately, on the web, it might be painful to read. Stick to a sans-serif font for all your main body content, and try not to use too many different fonts on one page or post.

7. Not submitting your blog to the search engines

While a blog is incredibly search engine friendly as it is, because you’re offering fresh, new content, they need to know you exist. You can speed this up by submitting your blog to search engines when live. Google makes it really easy to submit your blog.

8. Not learning SEO

Many bloggers will tell you content is king. It’s a good point – but if content is king, SEO is blogging’s queen. If you want people to find your blog, understand how SEO works – there are many free resources as well as paid options.

9. Not taking the time to format posts

Web pages that have nothing but lines of continuous text are horrible to read. Make your blog jump from the page by using short sentences, bullet points, headlines and great images. Even long posts can seem shorter with great formatting.

10. Not offering more than one subscription method

Many bloggers offer just an RSS subscription feed for their blogs. But email subscription is hugely popular for those that prefer it, while services like Odiogo offer another great option for the visibly impaired. Make sure you offer more than one option.

11. Not offering social sharing options

For many bloggers, social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are big drivers of traffic. Make sure you offer the most popular social networks as sharing options on all your posts, and make them prominent.

12. Wanting to be someone else

Perhaps the biggest mistake new bloggers make is to want to be someone else. But the other bloggers you want to be like already have that audience – so be you, be cool with making mistakes, and grow your style naturally.

These are 12 of the most common mistakes I see new bloggers make. While they may not all be crucial to where you want to go with your blog, they will play a big part in how soon you get there (if at all).

Blogging is fun. It can also be hugely rewarding. By making sure you don’t make these 12 most common new blog mistakes, it’ll be more fun and rewarding for you too.

A version of this post originally appeared on 12 Most.

image: chrisinplymouth

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Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
157 comments
Sam Adeyinka
Sam Adeyinka

Hey Danny, it's good to be here on your blog. I'm already liking this blog already. Speaking this mistakes, you really nailed it trust me! A lot of bloggers, especially newbie bloggers tend to make this blogging mistakes....and seeing that you highlighted well really lifted my spirit. I would be compiling the 30 blogging mistakes I see bloggers make and how to avoid it. I've been it now it's been 2 months but when I'm done writing I'd let u know. Thanks for sharing your expertise with us bro. Its much appreciated! Sam

Arun Kallarackal
Arun Kallarackal

Great article Danny! You pointed out some of the most common mistakes that newbie bloggers tend to make. Very useful for them :)

ambreen11
ambreen11

Its trustworthy steps. I too agree with all steps. Many bloggers are making some critical mistakes in the blogosphere. These steps are of great help to them.

Broadband Forum
Broadband Forum

This is a great post that all bloggers need to read as well as an example of the type of posts needed in this niche of ours…I gave you a digg and subscribed.

Keep it up

 

Broadband Forum
Broadband Forum

This is a great post that all bloggers need to read as well as an example of the type of posts needed in this niche of ours…I gave you a digg and subscribed. Keep it up  

Atep
Atep

Hi Danny, thanks for the article. This is very useful for new bloggers like me.
Looks like I have not implemented the ten step.

Atep
Atep

Hi Danny, thanks for the article. This is very useful for new bloggers like me. Looks like I have not implemented the ten step.

Putri
Putri

God, I forget the third step.

Putri
Putri

God, I forget the third step.

Jeane@Philippines Outsourcing
Jeane@Philippines Outsourcing

That was really gold mine article. SEO have been a part of the online media community and utilizing one would mean a great margin for blog/site efficiency. Learn from others mistakes and develop a strategy to combat and avoid any of that. Must share post.

Jeane@Philippines Outsourcing
Jeane@Philippines Outsourcing

That was really gold mine article. SEO have been a part of the online media community and utilizing one would mean a great margin for blog/site efficiency. Learn from others mistakes and develop a strategy to combat and avoid any of that. Must share post.

Nyasha K.
Nyasha K.

What a great post! As a new blogger myself, i was not sure how to get started and was intimidated by the other very popular blogs discussing the same topics i want to discuss. Your last tip resonated the most with me. Being true to myself and cultivating my own voice will take me far. i am inspired by your blog and always find it entertaining and informative.

Nyasha K.
Nyasha K.

What a great post! As a new blogger myself, i was not sure how to get started and was intimidated by the other very popular blogs discussing the same topics i want to discuss. Your last tip resonated the most with me. Being true to myself and cultivating my own voice will take me far. i am inspired by your blog and always find it entertaining and informative.

Nyasha K.
Nyasha K.

What a great post! As a new blogger myself, i was not sure how to get started and was intimidated by the other very popular blogs discussing the same topics i want to discuss. Your last tip resonated the most with me. Being true to myself and cultivating my own voice will take me far. i am inspired by your blog and always find it entertaining and informative.

saramtevis
saramtevis

Thanks for sharing Danny. Great tips, going to share this right now.

saramtevis
saramtevis

Thanks for sharing Danny. Great tips, going to share this right now.

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QuanTechResume
QuanTechResume

That is an extremely useful article - thanks! You've distilled down some critical information - information that would take a good deal of time to collect from web. I'm launching my blog shortly - and this will be a great reference!

QuanTechResume
QuanTechResume

That is an extremely useful article - thanks! You've distilled down some critical information - information that would take a good deal of time to collect from web. I'm launching my blog shortly - and this will be a great reference!

SEOInLeeds
SEOInLeeds

Great article - another good tip is to vary the media of the posts so some written, some video, some pictures

SEOInLeeds
SEOInLeeds

Great article - another good tip is to vary the media of the posts so some written, some video, some pictures

Shelley Pringle
Shelley Pringle

Thanks for the tips, Danny! As a new blogger, I am guilty of quite a few...and now I know how to fix them.

patricksplace
patricksplace

I like your list, Danny. I think that #12 is the hardest to overcome, particularly at first, because a lot of us jump in trying to do it just like someone else we've seen who writes a blog we like. It takes a while to get comfortable in your own voice, but it sure makes it a lot more fun once you figure out what that voice is!

patricksplace
patricksplace

I like your list, Danny. I think that #12 is the hardest to overcome, particularly at first, because a lot of us jump in trying to do it just like someone else we've seen who writes a blog we like. It takes a while to get comfortable in your own voice, but it sure makes it a lot more fun once you figure out what that voice is!

Latest blog post: Sunday Seven - Episode 312

ab2bc
ab2bc

A great list Danny, thank you for reminding me of some things I needed to do. Being busy seems to cause me to fall into the grove of taking the easy way to accomplish tasks, and in doing so, I forgot those tid-bits you shared. Be Well, Bruce

ab2bc
ab2bc

A great list Danny, thank you for reminding me of some things I needed to do. Being busy seems to cause me to fall into the grove of taking the easy way to accomplish tasks, and in doing so, I forgot those tid-bits you shared.

Be Well,

Bruce

AllSupply
AllSupply

Very good list. Im certainly guilty of the favicon ommission. I just never thought it was that important, but I will take your advice on it.

AllSupply
AllSupply

Very good list. Im certainly guilty of the favicon ommission. I just never thought it was that important, but I will take your advice on it.

ALSpaulding
ALSpaulding

Great List Danny. You always got some good stuff cooking over here. number 12 is extremely important. I'd rather always see originality instead of the generic posts I see some blogger write. Sometimes you can actually tell who they have patterned themselve after. ~AL

ALSpaulding
ALSpaulding

Great List Danny. You always got some good stuff cooking over here. number 12 is extremely important. I'd rather always see originality instead of the generic posts I see some blogger write. Sometimes you can actually tell who they have patterned themselve after. ~AL

ExpatDoctorMom
ExpatDoctorMom

Thanks for the list Danny! I am off to work on SEO. On the blog directory thing... I didn't see many referrals coming my way from these directories... I put my blog on aobut 10 different directories and then stopped. A good friend did a review of my site and suggested I list it more... SIGH, ok! This friend has SEO expertise. He sent me SEO tips for my site which I will promptly devour! Best,Rajka

ExpatDoctorMom
ExpatDoctorMom

Thanks for the list Danny! I am off to work on SEO.

On the blog directory thing... I didn't see many referrals coming my way from these directories... I put my blog on aobut 10 different directories and then stopped. A good friend did a review of my site and suggested I list it more... SIGH, ok!

This friend has SEO expertise. He sent me SEO tips for my site which I will promptly devour!

Best,Rajka

Anthony_Rodriguez
Anthony_Rodriguez

I appreciate this list. I am a new blogger and I will take these to heart as I develop my craft and point of view.

Anthony_Rodriguez
Anthony_Rodriguez

I appreciate this list. I am a new blogger and I will take these to heart as I develop my craft and point of view.

WordsDoneWrite
WordsDoneWrite

Good list, Danny! I think I made half of these mistakes when I first started. Oh, to have had this list back then! ;-)

WordsDoneWrite
WordsDoneWrite

Good list, Danny! I think I made half of these mistakes when I first started. Oh, to have had this list back then! ;-)

easyP
easyP

@SEOInLeeds Eh good tip - never thought of varying media.

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@patricksplace I hear you on that, mate. I look back at some of the earlier posts on here, and it's clear to see I was "influenced" by others. Then the trick is getting out of that habit - but like you say, mate, it does make it more fun. :)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@patricksplace I hear you on that, mate. I look back at some of the earlier posts on here, and it's clear to see I was "influenced" by others. Then the trick is getting out of that habit - but like you say, mate, it does make it more fun. :)

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DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@ALSpaulding "Sometimes you can actually tell who they have patterned themselve after." Haha, how true this is, mate! :)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@ExpatDoctorMom Hi Rajka, The blog directories are much less useful than they used to be a couple of years back. Primarily because there are so many blogs on them, most get lost. If you are going to go with directories, try something like BlogEngage, or Networked Blogs (the added benefit of Networked Blogs is that you can drive traffic to your blog from Facebook, since they integrate well with each other). Hope that helps!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

@ExpatDoctorMom Hi Rajka,

The blog directories are much less useful than they used to be a couple of years back. Primarily because there are so many blogs on them, most get lost.

If you are going to go with directories, try something like BlogEngage, or Networked Blogs (the added benefit of Networked Blogs is that you can drive traffic to your blog from Facebook, since they integrate well with each other).

Hope that helps!

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@Anthony_Rodriguez Cheers, Anthony, glad it was useful and good luck with your blog! :)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

@WordsDoneWrite Only half? That puts you at least four points ahead of me, then! :)

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