These days more and more people of all ages, professions, and interests decide to start a blog and it’s easy to see why. Blogging has become one of the common things in a modern society and one of the most popular ways of communicating your ideas, knowledge and spreading the latest news.
However, as easy as it may seem to many, blogging is not a piece of cake. A new blogger must get acquainted with numerous technical details and be cautious with what they do. So, if you’re a new blogger starting from scratch, be sure to review and analyze some of these common mistakes beginner bloggers make to prevent them from happening to you.
- Choosing the cheapest hosting provider or free subdomain
Many inexperienced bloggers-to-be sometimes decide on the cheapest hosting provider or go for a free subdomain because it sounds effortless. However, if you want your blog to blossom, you should definitely be willing to invest in it.
“Cheap” and “free” can come along with a variety of disadvantages that you should most certainly try to avoid. Choosing the cheapest hosting provider comes with a price. For example, the speed and bandwidth will be limited, which basically means your website may be really slow, and that might turn off your visitors.
Moreover, sometimes you won’t have your own personalized domain. Sub-domain doesn’t allow for proper branding of the blog, for example, myblog.wordpress.com doesn’t sound too professional. This simply means that you won’t even own your own blog’s name.
Along with these flaws, you may not be able to place any ads, which can prevent you from earning any decent capital in the future.
You might also be faced with poor customer support – should you encounter any difficulties, you’ll have no one to turn to for assistance.
- Choosing a very flashy template with too many plugins
People will judge your blog by its cover. But don’t go overboard when it comes to the appearance of your blog. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best solution and leaves your website looking rather professional. Cluttered blogs may be unappealing to potential visitors.
If a reader is unable to navigate your website easily, they might just give up on it, no matter how great the content is. Use a lot of white space and make sure that the search box is noticeable.
Another thing that might cost you your visitors are plugins since they directly affect the speed. You should try to stick to a bare minimum number of plugins, since an excessive quantity of them can cause your website to malfunction, for example, the images won’t load or the process will be painfully slow.
For each plugin you use, a server request has to be sent when anyone tries to view your site, adding more code to the browser which, again, affects the speed.
- Not testing your website in different browsers
Not all browsers operate the same way. Every web browser has its own distinctive features. That’s why you are advised to test your blog in separate browsers and ensure that it appears the same way in any of them, especially if you’ve customized the template.
Browser testing guarantees that all segments work consistently and as planned in different browsers. Google Chrome is undoubtedly the most popular one, but that doesn’t mean that you should overlook readers with other preferences.
More than 5% of internet users still utilize Microsoft’s programs, more than 17% utilize Firefox, 3% utilize Safari and 1% utilize Opera. Considering that, not testing your site in these programs will make over 26% of your visitors feel left out.
Don’t forget about the mobile browsers either. More and more people find it more convenient to browse the web via their cellphone or tablet, so it’s essential to ensure that your website works and looks perfect in those browsers as well.
It is, however, impossible to test each and every device out there, so you can use a cross-browser test service instead.
- Missing a disclaimer
This is another common rookie mistake. Having a valid disclaimer on your website prevents potential legal issues. A disclaimer is a statement that is put on websites with the goal of reducing your liability for any possible negative outcomes of visiting your website.
Almost all websites have one, and you should follow their example. Even though a disclaimer doesn’t necessarily provide the unlikelihood of possible legal actions, it can protect you. If a visitor proves that some inaccurate information from your blog has harmed them somehow, you can be found liable in court.
Blog disclaimers in the form of a short statement are usually included in the footer or the sidebar of the blog. If your disclaimer is more of a longer paragraph, it is advisable to put it on a separate page. Your disclaimer can also be put as a paragraph in the terms and conditions section.
There are no specific rules or regulations on what a disclaimer should contain, but it should basically inform your readers that you don’t necessarily guarantee the complete reliability or accuracy of the information found on your blog.
- Not reviewing default settings
Not all websites have the same default settings and not all of them will be in accordance with your expectations. Reviewing default settings is a must since it will save you so much time that would be otherwise wasted on correcting the features you dislike in the future.
Default settings refer to different features and vary from site to site. For example, if you’re using WordPress the default blog settings may not be the best for you, so make sure to review and update them as necessary. WordPress offers you the possibility to customize the layout and design of your blog, header, background, change your email settings, etc.
On HubSpot, you can decide whether to show summaries in listing pages, use featured images in listing summaries, or enable social media auto-publishing. Ultimately, you want your website to be unique and completely agreeable with your preferences.
In conclusion, whether you need additional income or you simply have an excess of creativity, starting your own blog can be an amazing journey and a fulfilling experience that will help you develop your potentials and possibly earn some money while doing that.
However, if you want to do it correctly from the start and have your blog reach its full potential, be cautious of the mistakes above.