Which Website Mistakes are Most Commonly Made by Beginners?
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Website mistakes are committed even by seasoned web developers.
The whole reason for owning a website is to draw in visitors, so you can sell your products, ideas, or inform your readers. You want to do everything you can to ensure that your website is generating new visitors, as you want to gain subscribers and possible customers.
There are many website owners who dive into building their website and focus on the wrong aspects. You want your website to offer something unique, as well as useful. If you are not offering anything different than your competitors, why would visitors continue to come back?
Making mistakes as a beginner is extremely easy. Don’t worry too much, because there are many website mishaps that can be turned around with just a little hard work.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that website owners tend to make.
The common website mistakes include:
- # Confusing navigation tools
- # No general direction of content
- # Outrageous color scheme
- # No real direction for your readers to follow or reasons for them to revisit
- # Website design that does not match your content
When users visit a website they want to quickly scan your site to see if you have what they are looking for. If they do not find this within a few seconds, chances are they will move on to another site.
You can attract anyone who visits your page right away with design elements, and a clear direction of what you offer.
In this article, we will give you a checklist of elements to help you avoid website mistakes.
Website Mistakes Checklist
Here they are:
You want your site to be user-friendly above everything else. Visitors need to be able to come to your site and navigate with ease. It is so frustrating to visit a website, and be completely clueless as to where to go, or not understand any of the content or headlines.
There is such a thing as having too much content. Readers can become overwhelmed with the wealth of information that is on your site. They can be lost as to where to find the information they are looking for, because it could be in too many categories on your page.
#2 Homepage Building
The homepage is the most important component of any website. It is the ‘window’ to the business. It is the often-visited page of any business. As such, the website design checklist should specially focus on creating an awesome homepage that conveys the essence of the business.
The homepage design should be rich in color combination and convey a purpose. For instance, you have a blog and you want to increase number of subscribers from the homepage. Adding a full-width below header template embedded with subscription code will be helpful. Whenever anyone visits the blog homepage, the subscription form will be visible foremost. The percentage of email subscribers will increase substantially.
The homepage should direct the visitor where to go and what to do. It should be a guide to take action. It should be awesome and intriguing. In short, create the homepage with a purpose in mind.
You have to have a clear direction, or your visitors will have no real reason to come back to your page. If they find useful content, then they will continue to return. You have to make it simple for your readers. Let them know what you are about, and what you can do for them. You want to hit on highlighting points of your business, and focus on those elements for the remainder of your site.
The very first thing a reader will look for is how you can help them. When your visitor sees that your site is useful to them, they will begin exploring. You want to sell your business to them, but do it in a pleasing way. People typically visit your home page first, and then your about page. You want to ensure that the content on your about page is engaging, because this is the time to tell your visitors that you are the one they need.
#4 Aesthetic White Space
The white space or “negative space” is defined is Wikipedia as “that portion of a page left unmarked: the space between graphics, margins, gutters, space between columns, space between lines of type or figures and objects drawn or depicted”.
White space lends a website aesthetic appeal. Make maximum use of white space within the website design.
Your content should sympathize with the issues that your visitors might be having. Then give a general background with relevant material that helps your readers see you have the experience that is needed to help them with their problems. Testimonials are a great way to show your visitors that you are the right business for them.
#5 Element Line Height
The fifth task on the website design checklist is to maintain proper and adequate line height. This might seem like a minor detail but paying attention to line height impacts the overall web presence.
If you’re creating a custom website from scratch or modifying a theme, study the line height and decide on a pixel which enhances the whole user experience. You can learn more about line heights from here.
#6 Avoid Flash Navigation
Earlier, using Flash used to be an important component of any website design checklist. The main reason behind the popularity of Flash for navigation is that people wanted to display impressive animations for the visitor. However, what about those people who are not using Flash? This became a major disadvantage.
#7 Unique Page Layouts
The fourth task on the website design checklist is to create unique page layouts for every page to avoid information overload. A major reason why many websites fail to generate any impact is because the pages are fully clogged. A page should display only relevant information and not become clogged. This fulfills the primary purpose of development a website – to hold the visitor’s attention and engage the visitor to take an action. Focus on the main agenda and eliminate the rest.
For example, in blog, we often notice that the sidebar is full of various elements like banners and subscription forms. Much of the time, various sidebar elements aren’t needed but still they are kept which only dilutes the whole purpose of the specific web page.
#8 Branded Logo
The next task on the website design checklist is to add a beautiful and attractive logo. A logo is an important benchmark of a website. Sometimes, web developers make use with text Headers but it is strongly recommended to develop a strong logo. Hire a logo designer to create a branded logo.
Web designing has come a long way since the early 1990s. The scale and budget with which websites are created today is amazing. Focus on the usability of a website design more than just the color and attractiveness. The website design should hold intrinsic value in the overall purpose of creating a website. The design should be interactive and purposeful.
Beginner Blogging Mistakes
hen an experienced blogger reads their very first post, they will see how far they have come.
Writing gets better with practice. But we can also lose something. That’s why it’s good to look back and see what experience taught us.
1) Stay Focused
Whenever you look through tips on how to make a blog, this is the first one you get: choose a niche. I ignored that advice. I decided: “I’ll just write whatever I feel like writing.” So, the blog turned into a hot mess of book reviews, feminism topics, yoga tips, productivity articles, and whatnot.
I wish I found a precise answer: “what should I blog about?”
2) Be More Consistent
I just wrote whenever I felt like writing, and it usually took a month before a new post popped up. That’s a huge mistake. Since I didn’t post regularly, the blog turned into a diary. No one felt like visiting it since they didn’t expect to find new content there.
Since I created a blogging schedule, and I made a true commitment, things changed.
3) Work With Other Writers
Do you know what students do when they can’t write a paper on time? They conduct an online search: “who can write my assignment?” And they find a reliable writing service to complete content for them. It’s the same thing that bloggers can do when they schedule a post but they can’t complete it.
If I worked with professional writers from the beginning, it wouldn’t have taken so long to make the blog popular.
4) Write for Other Blogs
I was too “shy” to reach out and submit guest posts since I was afraid of the webmaster’s criticism. I wasted time on the way of becoming noticeable.
I recommend all new bloggers to engage in guest posting ASAP. Choose good blogs and write good content. It’s how you get noticed.
5) Invite Guest Bloggers In
Those great blogs that feature your guest posts – they are doing you a favor as a new writer, but they also gain the advantage of receiving content to feature for free. Since I opened my blog for guest posts, I developed great relationships with other bloggers. But I also got more content to publish.
6) Engage the Readers
When I started blogging, I was all about content and I wanted to deliver the best quality I could. But to get the readers engaged, there sometimes needs to be incentives.
Giveaways are awesome, and I took too long to realize that.
7) Try to Earn through Blogging
My biggest mistake was to approach blogging as a hobby. That’s why my marketing efforts were below average. That’s why I didn’t bother to engage the audience much.
At one point, I got a message from a brand asking for collaboration. It went really well. That’s when I realized: if I approach blogging as a job, I could become very successful. And that’s exactly what I did.
8) … But Place the Audience First
It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing this for money or just for fun. The audience always comes first.
9) Design Matters
I started my first blog on a free template. It was awful. The opportunities came after I decided to invest more in the design. I paid for a premium theme, but I also hired a designer. Having an easy to use and sleek design will keep people coming back.
10) Maintain the Spark
When blogging became a job for me, it felt like too much pressure. What sponsor should I accept? What giveaway should I organize next? What should I do to become more popular?
That shouldn’t happen. The initial enthusiasm is what keeps blogs fresh and authentic. Always remember why you started and keep your brand as aligned to the starting goal as you can.
11. Illegally Borrowing Images and Treating them Like Your Own
Don’t steal images off the Internet without permission. Eventually, you will get caught and could end up with a costly lawsuit. It is much easier to pay for images on the front side.
Another great option is to use free images from sites like Pixabay, Pikwizard or Unsplash. Even better, use photos that you or your team have taken personally.
Blogging is the single most organic way to get your brand on your customer’s radar. However, given how successful blogging is, there are tons of bloggers out there to give you competition. Luckily, that means there are a lot of mistakes others have made that you can learn from.
Avoid these seven blogging mistakes, and you will find that you will have more success in your eCommerce business. Your blog posts will begin showing up in search engine results, which means more traffic. Then, you’ll entice readers to join your email list so that you can keep them coming back again and again.
As an added benefit, when done correctly, you can expect to see an increase in your conversion rates and sales.
12. Writing to Everyone Including the Kitchen Sink
As a business owner, you should have a clear picture of who your target customer is. If you don’t know, now is the time to get crystal clear.
If your audience is too broad, then no-one will find your blog, and it will not help you increase your traffic nor sales.
Things you should know about your customer include:
- Age group
Many marketers recommend fleshing out your customer and getting into their brain. The more you know about your customer, the easier it will be to talk to them in a way that they understand and that will drive sales.
Create an icon and direct all your blog posts to that persona.
13. Not Collecting Email Addresses from Day One
Hopefully, you have already started collecting the email addresses of your customers. If not, begin today.
Your email list is your greatest asset for your blog and your online store.
Once you have the email address of a blog reader, you can email them every time you create a new post — which will drive traffic to your blog. Even better, you can send them special offers, discounts and notifications of new products.
With your product and brand in front of the eyes of your customer, your sales are bound to increase.
To collect the email addresses, you need to offer your clients something of value for their information. Some things you can offer in eCommerce might include:
- Free Shipping
- A Coupon
- Free Product
Whatever methods you use to entice your customers to join your email list, start right away.
14. Not Taking Advantage of Automated Marketing
Email automation can drastically increase your traffic and sales.
You can automate email campaigns based on many of the shopping and browsing behaviors of your customers.
A welcome automation workflow could automatically send a series of blog post emails that talk about one of your products or how your company began.
In each email, create interest in the content on your blog. Then, include a link back to the blog post. This method will increase traffic to your blog and encourage engagement with your brand. When skillfully executed, it will also increase your product sales.
Other Mistakes to Avoid While Blogging
1. Focusing on the Wrong Social Media
Social media can be a game-changer when it comes to blogging and there are some platforms that might as well have been designed to skyrocket your traffic and get you hundreds of views. However, social media, in general, can be a serious time hog and not necessarily worth your while if you’re focusing on the wrong platform.
Instagram is a great platform and some people generally do make a living from Instagram. But in terms of driving traffic to your bog, well…it doesn’t!
Whilst spending loads of time on Instagram might be great for instant gratification and quick likes, there’s also not an easy way to grow a genuine audience either! In general, people don’t tend to leave Instagram itself, so in terms of getting website clicks, that’s most likely to be another no-no!
On the other hand, Pinterest is a wonderful site to use if you’re looking to grow your blog. It’s more of a search engine than a social media platform but has 322 million active users every month! I know people who’ve grow their blog from nothing to a million views in a year, just by harnessing the power of Pinterest!
So, if you’re looking to grow your blog, spend less time on Instagram and much more time Pinning!
2. Expecting it to be Easy and Glamourous
Building a travel blog takes time. In fact, building any blog takes time. It also takes patience, dedication and one heck of a lot of hard work!
If you’re starting a blog because you think it will be easy-peasy work then you’re about to be in for a serious wakeup call my friend!
Blogging is hard! There is a LOT to learn. And if you don’t have the passion and the determination and the dedication to make it work, you will give up.
There are a lot of people out there today who do make money from their travel blogs, but it’s not all jetting off to the other side of the world for free, staying in forest tree-houses and swinging about in Bali! Most of the blogs that are big today have been going for 3 years or more. And it’ll likely take 3 years or more to see those kinds of results!
Nevertheless, don’t be disheartened, because you should always remember this:
Those bloggers that you look up to right now? Well, they had to start at the bottom too! And if they can get to where they are now, then there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t either!
3. Falling for Fake ‘Partnerships’
This is something that literally maddens me so much but I also see is online more or less every day. Brands will sometimes reach out to smaller ‘influencers’ and ask them if they’d be interested in a partnership. Now, this is quite common with the larger brands and people with over 10k followers. But always be careful if your reach isn’t quite that high and make sure the partnership is genuine.
The way a legitimate partnership works is that the brand will give you something for free, you will promote it across your social media and blog and if someone buys through you, you earn a commission through the sale. It’s a lot like affiliate marketing.
However, a lot of brands will often reach out to people with a much smaller reach and offer them a partnership if they buy the product.
NEVER accept a partnership or sponsorship where you have to buy the product.
This isn’t a real partnership. This is just the brand trying to make money. I once had a brand reach out to me and ask me to buy a t-shirt at 75% off (which still made it $40!) for the ‘possibility’ of being featured on their Instagram account! It’s safe to say, I deleted the email!
If that ever happens to you, I recommend just completely ignoring it. You’ll have brands that want to work with you properly one day, so just get rid of the fakes! It’s totally not worth it!
4. Writing a Diary of Your Adventures
But, hang on a minute! Isn’t that what a travel blog is, a diary of my adventures?
One of the worst things you can do is make your blog read like a personal journal. It may sound harsh but your blog should not be about you. If nobody knows who you are and you’re not a celebrity that gets papped on the street, then who’s going to care about what you did last weekend?
Your blog should be all about your audience!
And every post you write should have a focus on how you can help them. Your ideal audience will have a problem that they want to solve. Whether their problem is how to travel the world for less, how to start a blog or how visit New York City on a budget, there will be the reason they are searching for a site like yours in the first place.
If your blog doesn’t solve their problems or answer their questions, then it won’t get clicks or views and you’ll struggle to build an audience. It really is that simple.
So, focus on your audience and don’t ever start a blog post ‘Dear Diary’! 🙂
5. Not Re-Reading Your Content
This may seem like an obvious one but it would surprise you how many typos there are on the internet! Even on the most popular travel blogs, people still write ‘our’ instead of ‘out’ or put one ‘s’ in necessity.
So, it’s extremely important to make you re-read your post before you hit Publish. Even small errors will stick out like a sore thumb and if your blog is fairly small, you really don’t need anything to tarnish your image. From a brand’s point of view, they’re not going to want to work with someone who’s sloppy on their own blog, are they?
Plus, as well as correcting errors, re-reading sometimes gives you little flashes of inspiration to add something to the end of a sentence or flip a phrase so that it sounds better. Even the most experienced writers edit their work as there really is no end of benefits to proofreading.
6. Not Being Consistent
Another thing that’s pretty key with a blog is consistency. If your audience expect something from you and you don’t deliver, they’re slowly but surely going to lose faith in you.
And this is possibly the worst thing that can happen to any blogger!
So, consistency is key.
If you say you’re going to send out a newsletter every Wednesday, you send it out every Wednesday. If you say you post Monday and Thursday, then you make damn well sure that you do that!
However, (and trust me with this one) consistency is sometimes much easier said than done and requires both planning and discipline, but we’ll get to that!
7. Trying to do Everything for Free
I understand that in the beginning, you’re most likely not making any money with your blog and the temptation is not to spend any either. Especially if you’re not getting anything back.
I totally understand, but this can actually be one of the worst things you can do, especially if you eventually want to make your blog profitable.
For a successful blog, you need to go self-hosted, you ideally need a premium WordPress theme, a domain, an email provider and none of these things come free. You can start a blog without being self-hosted, but it’s never a wise idea and there are so many restrictions, you’ll have to change it anyway if you want to make any money!
So, although you may not want to, if you’re serious about blogging, spend a little at the start and it’ll go a long way. Here’s my favourite Blogger Resources to set yourself up for success.
8. Not Having a Schedule
This links directly to what I was saying about consistency. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to keep myself on track is to have a blogging schedule. The easiest way to make yourself a schedule is with these 3 steps:
- Chose what day or which days you’re going to post and stick to them. If you want to post twice a week on Monday and Thursday, write that down and stick to it!
- Try to plan all your content. It’s no good getting to Sunday afternoon and having no idea what you’re going to post tomorrow. Plan out all your content and you’ll find it a lot easier to stay on track.
- Write it in advance too. Similar to planning what you’re going to write, it’s no use always rushing to write all your posts the day before they’re due to be released. The best way to ensure you’re not always rushed off your feet is to have at least a week’s worth of content written in advance. It’s also good to have a couple of backup posts too – that way if you fall ill or aren’t able to write as much as usual one week, you’ll still have something to post!
Stick to these 3 points and post on a schedule and you’ll find it a lot easier to keep on track of your blog. Plus, your audience will know exactly what to expect from you.
9. Not Having a Long-Term Plan
I love having goals. I like pushing myself until I hit them and I like it even more if I hit my goals before I planned to. Having a long-term plan for your blog is super important. It’s no good working towards something without having a bigger picture. So, ask yourself this:
What are you blogging for?
What result do you eventually want?
If you want a million website views, how long quickly do you want to get there? Is that your 2-year plan?
I find that setting myself a specific, time-based goal works really well.
So, try to define something you want but don’t be vague. For example, do you want 1000 Pinterest followers or 100 blog views per day? Write it down!
Next, decide when you want to achieve that by, but make sure it’s actually achievable. You’re not going to achieve either of those things overnight!
Plus, define your ultimate goal, whether that is monetary, audience-based or whether you want your blog to be a featured on a certain website. It’s always good to set yourself a few ultimate targets.
Now all you have to do it work out how to get there. Put a series of steps in place with the end result being your goal. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to work towards something when you know exactly what you need to do in order to get there. When it comes to blogging, I find having a long-term goal and plan is really helpful.
10. Not Showing Your Personality
Now, this may seem like an obvious one but blogs aren’t meant to read like a monotone pile of drivel.
Everyone is unique. Everyone has funky little quirks that make them who they are. Whether that is your way of speaking, funky little anecdotes that you use all the time, jokes, sarcasm or wonderful descriptions, don’t hide it.
Let who you shine through in your writing!
Don’t let your writing seem stiff or read like an essay. Be fun, be interesting and write how you speak and your readers will thank you for it.
Procrastination is an art in itself rather like blogging, however, if you find yourself staring at a blank Word Document and end up opening YouTube or Netflix far too frequently, then you may have a problem!
However, I totally understand this! Sometimes you just don’t want to do anything. Trust me, I have those days but I always end up beating myself up for it when I don’t get anything done!
Why not set yourself a to-do list at the start of the day and if you don’t fancy one task just move on to the next. Either way, procrastination is a serial blog killer so always try to remember your goals – Netflix won’t help with those!
12. Not Asking for Help
No matter what stage you’re at with your travel blog, making the mistake that you think you know everything will never get you anywhere. You can’t be the expert at everything and there will always be someone who is more skilled than you.
There is no harm at all in asking other bloggers for help.
Whether you just want opinions on new page design or you want someone to proofread a post for you, just ask! This can be a great way of finding out what people are interested in too (which can be a super-easy way to plan your next blog posts!).
Whatever is it just ask! Other bloggers aren’t your competition, they can be your friends and the blogging community is actually super talkative! As my father always told me, if you don’t ask you don’t get!
13. Not Connecting with Your Audience
Similarly, it is not a silly idea to ask your audience what they think either.
Unsure about a post? Ask people if they found it useful.
Unsure what to write next? Ask people what they’re struggling with.
Unsure what people prefer? Ask them!
Ask, ask, ask!
The only sure-fire way to know for certain what your audience thinks is to ask them. Plus, connecting with your audience is the best way to gain their trust. You don’t want to come across as just the author, you want to get to know them, become someone they rely on for information and answers. Not only will you see an increase in your engagement by doing this but you can also increase your brand awareness and revenue by building a relationship with your readers!
It’s a huge mistake as a blogger not to connect with your audience. They will love you for reaching out and you will certainly get a buzz from helping them! After all, helping your audience is why you started a blog in the first place, right?
Your audience will always be your biggest asset. So, treat them well and talk to them and you won’t regret it!
Experience Teaches Things
I wish I knew everything there is to know about blogging. But I’m still learning. I wish I listened to experienced bloggers more.
When I started, I didn’t even know: what is a blog? I took a long time to learn more about blogging, and I wasted a lot of time by trying to figure out things for myself.
There’s an immense base of knowledge we can count on. If we connect and learn from each other, we’ll develop a community that will make us all better at what we do.