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7 Practices That Make You Look Like a Rookie Blogger

I remember the first time I got a comment on my blog. I rushed to my favorite forum yelling, “I got my first comment! I got my first comment!” Boy did I feel like a noob when one of the seasoned bloggers replied, “Yeah. I got that exact same comment on all 12 of my blogs, too. It’s a spammer bot, stupid!” Well, that’s just one of the 7 practices I’ll be discussing here that make you look like a rookie blogger. How many of these mistakes are you making?

1 – Using the same free theme everyone else is using

At one point I could always tell the rookie bloggers who’d been through a certain blogging training seminar because they all used the exact same free WordPress theme. It was an ugly, boring theme and most didn’t even change the header or the background color. There’s nothing wrong with using a free theme when you’re just getting started, but do something to customize it so you stand out from the crowd.

2 – Using free images from Wikipedia

Yes, I realize there are some good free images at Wikipedia, but I also know they’re few and far between. Find a good stock image website like PublicDomainPictures.net or FreeDigitalPhotos.com. And never, ever use water-marked images on your blog. That just screams “Rookie!

3 – Using poorly-aligned images

Re-size your images so they line up with your content. One sure sign of a newbie blogger is a post where the content runs into the image or there’s one word of text all the way over to the left, underneath the picture. Use your preview button to see how you post is going to look to your readers before you hit publish.

4 – Leaving the meta data in your sidebar

Just delete it. Delete the whole widget or delete all the links. Whatever it takes. Get rid of those meta links in your sidebar. Do. It. Now. Please.

5 – Lack of formatting

It never ceases to amaze me when newbie bloggers just hit “publish” on one huge block of text and expect people to be able to read it. Honestly. You’ve seen other blogs, right? If you don’t understand how your text generator works, take some time to play with it… preferable before you hit “Publish.

6 – No ‘About’ or ‘Contact’ page

In the beginning I always forgot about these two pages two. Now, they’re the first two pages I add to a new blog. Do yourself and your blog a favor and add an “About” page and a “Contact” page today.

7 – Spam in the comments

Those are not real comments. They were left by a spammer. To prove it, click on the link in their name and see where it leads. Viagra, you say? Hmmm… Delete those spam comments because they’re just calling attention to the fact that you’re a rookie blogger.

If you’ve made a lot of these same mistakes, don’t worry. Everyone does. We all started as rookies. But, as the saying goes: If you wanna run with the big dogs ya gotta get off of the porch. Clean up these rookie mistakes today.

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6 Comments (Add one)

  1. Tim Bonner

    I started out with a free theme Ste and I think most people do but then upgrade at a later date.

    I agree, if your blog looks like everybody elses then how are you going to stand out.

    You might want to change the link in point 2. The link should be to freedigitalphotos.net rather than .com.

    I must admit, I hadn’t thought about poorly-aligned images so much and one or two I noticed a word had gone all the way over to the left. I just fixed that now!

    If your theme is responsive though would this not change for each different visitor depending on their monitor resolution?

  2. Ryan Biddulph

    LOL on 4 Ste ;) I left the meta link for many months before waking up. Zero experience I guess.

    As for themes use a free, clean theme if need be then edit extensively. My freebie is fine because I heavily stamp RB all over it ;)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

  3. sherman smith

    This is a great way to look in the mirror so you can see what you have to clean up.

    I’ve made a couple of these mistakes and as a matter of fact one of my blogger friends made a header for me because I was using the same lame one for over a year… Sad isn’t?

    Everything that is real is subject to change. Change is good if you don’t want to be boring and monotonous.

    Thanks for sharing Ste!

  4. Gerry
    Gerry

    Couldn’t agree more. There is, of course, a lot more to blogging, but this is very good advice. Not that I am an expert, but this all makes perfect sense.

    Blogging sounds easy and it does come naturally to some people, but the rest of us have to struggle with it. Thanks for the post.

  5. rani

    I need a nice free books related theme but i think according to this article i am stuck on first step lolzz on my blog contact page privacy page comment privacy are present but not have About page. but i think i mention about all over on my posts lol

  6. Rebecca

    My blog started out that way back in the day. I’ve since then put more time and effort into making sure it best represents my business.

    That meant hiring copywriters to create content for me that I can then add and edit to fit my voice. I also invest in professional images because I really want my blog to be professional and informative, while also showcasing my services as a dentist.