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76 Responses to 10 Blogging Mistakes That Make Your Blog Look Unprofessional

  1. Kingsley October 9, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    Thanks for listing out few mistakes we need to avoid. You forget to mention changing themes every time{am one of them}

    • Andrew October 9, 2012 at 2:41 am #

      Kingsley

      Why does changing themes make your blog look Unprofessional?

      Andrew

  2. Simo October 9, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    Thank you! I´ve already made some changes to my site.

    • Andrew October 9, 2012 at 2:42 am #

      Simo

      Great! What changes did you make?

      Andrew

  3. Corinne Edwards October 9, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Dear Andrew –

    My pet peeve is pop ups that appear just as you are about to read a post.

    If I can’t click them off immediately I just leave. Some are stubborn.

    I think your blog which has a whole page about your services is a much better idea.

    • Andrew October 10, 2012 at 1:04 am #

      Corinne

      I dislike pop-ups as well and immediately shut them down when one appears.

      Many people truly like them and they can build your list, quickly.

      Not sure if it makes the site unprofessional but I agree they are annoying!

      Andrew

  4. Jane October 9, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Too much ads and too many colors are what I mainly notice with newbie blogs (not all but the ones that are really desperate for money).

    I’d say this is indirectly (or directly) is due to the fact that bloggers are really desperate for money and they don’t also want to spend on premium/professional themes.

    • Andrew October 10, 2012 at 1:09 am #

      Jane

      I agree…when a blogger is desperate…visitors can see it a mile off.

      What many bloggers don’t understand is the click thru rate of ads. It is very low. It is less than 1%. Then less than 1% actually buy the product.

      So to get one sale for an ad, you’ll need approx 10,000 visitors!

      Andrew

  5. Lorie October 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Poor grammar and over monetization top the list of blog mistakes for me. Great post.

  6. Ashrin Srithika October 9, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    Thanks Andrew!
    Really a perfect post. I have also seen many bloggers will use very complicated words, which the readers will not easily understand. The readers will get frustrated by checking the meaning of those words. I think it will also make the blog look Unprofessional.

    • Andrew October 10, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Ashrin

      Yes…simple words…I agree.

      Perhaps the blog owners feel they come across as more knowledgeable if they use long words!

      Andrew

  7. Jose October 9, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    I have my Insurance blog I will correct some mistakes, this article is really helpful!

    • Andrew October 10, 2012 at 1:11 am #

      Jose,

      What did you change as a result of the article?

      Andrew

  8. Theodore Nwangene October 10, 2012 at 3:24 am #

    Thanks Andrew,
    Those are the most common mistakes i see on many blogs, although i haven’t made any of them but i have friends who do and i will refer them here.

    Thanks for the insight.

  9. Liz October 10, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Hi Andrew, this is a great compilation of things to avoid with any wordpress theme. Great job.

    I especially don’t like #5. Too many ads are distracting as well as unattractive. I’ve seen blogs with ads that have nothing to do with the target audience. This makes the visitor feel like they have to have their guard up while perusing the content. Also, too many pop up ads or requests to sign up for their personal newsletter is also what I consider a little “low class”.

    There is a very popular blogger, (I won’t name names) and they recently updated their wordpress theme to a custom theme. They have 5, count them 5 separate boxes and areas in which you have a chance to enter in your email and name for their newsletter. This is on every post and page of their website! To me, this is way too much and comes off as a little desperate.

    • Andrew October 16, 2012 at 6:35 am #

      Liz,

      I dislike pop-ups as well – nor sure if it makes the blog unprofessional, though.

      And yes, 5 areas where you can opt-in is over the top!

      Andrew

  10. Nick Stamoulis October 10, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Changing the permalink structure is very important for SEO.Sometimes an article has a long post title which then creates a long URL. We recommend when posting a new article to shorten the URL to around 3 words (/new-blog-post) to keep the link clean and organized.

    • Andrew October 16, 2012 at 6:36 am #

      Nick,

      That’s great advice for SEO purposes.

      Andrew

  11. Debbie October 10, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Great list here Andrew. Sure glad i have you around to keep me on the right path, so I don’t make some of these mistakes.

    I really had to smile that this though. Point 3 you say, ‘Very similar to pint 2 above.’ Is that suppose to be point not pint. Or is that the UK way?

    Sorry but just had to ask? LOL

    Thanks for always keeping me on the right track.
    Blessings to you,
    Debbie

    • Andrew October 16, 2012 at 6:38 am #

      Debbie,

      Sure it’s meant to say ‘pint’!

      Not really. Poor grammer…oh no…so unprofessional!

      I shall tell Joy she missed that one.

      Andrew

  12. Radha Krishna October 10, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    One silly mistake most of the bloggers do is they keep the blogroll and meta login widgets as they are, thus making their blog look unprofessional.

  13. Karen October 10, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    You’ve nailed all the factors to make a blog look very unprofessional. I can only add that simplicity can do wonders so keep your blogs simple with less clutter! Thanks for the tips here. I like your style of persuading people to read until the last word of your post!

    -Karen

  14. Cat October 11, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    I saved this article to read again. It has great hints! My pet peeve is sites that boot too slow and as I place the cusor to read something it jumps around, BLAH! ‘The future of backlinks was good also.

    • Andrew October 16, 2012 at 6:39 am #

      Cat

      Slow loading sites are a pain, I agree.

      Glad you liked the ‘future of backlinks’ post.

      Andrew

  15. jzeek October 11, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    i think i am committing some of the above mistakes on my new blog but with the help of this information i am going to correct them and will try not to repeat them again thanks for this great post keep up the good work…

  16. sajith October 12, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    Earlier I also use the display name as “Admin”. But a person named “Kate” show me the value of the real name as my display name. There onward I used my real name as my display name.

    The above article is very information and useful.

    Good luck.

  17. Hanamiti October 12, 2012 at 5:11 am #

    Thank you for this article. I do hate blogs which use one or more elemnts described in this post. Mostly I dislike overly monetized blogs, of course. But the meta login, blogroll, posts by admin and other stuff is quite dislikable, too.

  18. Alex October 15, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    These are so true Andrew… I find good ideas here in reading your post. Too much pop up can really pissed off the readers. Too much colors are also distracting… Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  19. Felicia October 15, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    That’s an excellent list of unprofessional blogging mistakes. With grammar, I understand that English is not the first language of many bloggers, so a few grammatical errors here and there is acceptable. However, if you cannot make sense of what the writer is trying to point out, as if the article has been spun with every word replaced with a synonym, then this is highly unacceptable.

    • Andrew October 16, 2012 at 6:41 am #

      Felicia

      Yes…agree! And there are many bloggers that still ‘spin’ unfortunately.

      Andrew

  20. Matthew October 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Problems are easy to spot. What makes the observation complete is if the appropriate solution is tagged along. And you have managed to do just that. This was a complete and a thoroughly helpful post. Thanks for that Andrew! 🙂

  21. Pritam Nagrale October 16, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    Perfect article for newbies as they make such mistakes more than old bloggers. WordPress blogger will no longer be seen in next WP version.
    Generally I do proofread my articles but I make it a habit to proofread them after at least 4 hours so that I can find more mistakes.
    Thanks for sharing these 10 mistakes.

    • Andrew October 16, 2012 at 6:42 am #

      That is a good approach to proofreading if you cannot get someone else to do it. I never see my own mistakes!

      Andrew

  22. Sarah Mae Park October 16, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    I do agree with all your suggestions. For me, the most important is the grammar. This is the main reason why readers view the site, to actually read your blogs. If you are not writing a good one, especially from the very start of your writing, readers will not come back and read more of your posts.

  23. Timothy Dietrich October 16, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    As every one of us see thing differently, so, our grammar and the words will be different according to context. For me best article on your blog is one that uses the grammar,words, sentences and phrases most common and known to the visitors of your blog.

  24. Joan - BlogBizBuzz October 17, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    Great list Andrew quickly opened up site and double checked – Whew for once nothing to clean up. Have other gremlins and need to find the right person to help sort them out in CSS but the basics are OK so thanks for the quick checklist ‘Charlie’

  25. erda October 17, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    Good solid tips

    I always cringe a little when I hear the stats that people using pop-ups come up with – they clearly do work to get a higher sign up rate. But they sure annoy the hell out of me.

    Seems like the themes of simplicity, consistency and clarity are behind your tips and I’m sure that anyone avoiding these mistakes will have a far better chance of building their blog successfully.

    • Andrew November 6, 2012 at 5:00 am #

      Erda,

      I also HATE pop-ups and have never used them. I hope I never do!

      Andrew

  26. Jeet October 18, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Oh boy, as soon as I read your first point I thought about others and you haven’t missed any of them. (I will still add some points here).

    1. About Us / About Me – A lot of blog themes have an about me text which some newbies ignore.
    2. Important pages like privacy policy, t&c and about us are very important for your blog to look professional.
    3. It’s embarrassingly easy to get creative commons images with CompFight and PhotoPin (I have stopped using direct flickr searches). Watermarked photos should only get a BIG no.
    4. Broken flickr / RSS links – Most themes just give you a place holder and you have to update the settings yourself.

    • Andrew November 6, 2012 at 5:01 am #

      Jeet

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with them all. Any of them would make the blog look unprofessional.

      Andrew

  27. Ambrosia October 22, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    This is a good resource for what to do properly on a blog.

    Most blogs I come across aren’t even close to professional.
    Unique images are often ignored and are just taken from Google or Bing images. Also watermarked images are very visually unprofessional.

    A lot of blog viewers need images to relate to the text and especially if it’s a topic when you’re trying to educate people on.

  28. Timothy Dietrich October 22, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    I do consent with all your recommendations. For me, the most essential is the sentence structure. This is the primary purpose why visitors perspective the website, to actually study your weblogs. If you are not composing a excellent one, especially from the very begin of your composing, visitors will not come returning and study more of your content.

  29. Andre October 23, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    I try to keep my blog not to have over ads so that my readers don’t irritated with it.
    Great post and i agree with it.

  30. Veronica October 23, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Professional-looking blogs always get high traffic. Those that looks untidy rarely get offers from PR firms and they might get lots of visitors but the bounce rate must be killing their owners!

  31. Kelly October 23, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    I always get conscious about my blog. You are right about making it as professional-looking as possible!

  32. prabhat October 24, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    hello andrew,
    great suggestions for everyone. i have removed meta,blogroll and i have made my permalink simple. but still i make many mistakes which yoou have mentioned above. so i will try to follow these tips. thanks for guiding newbies like me

    • Andrew November 6, 2012 at 5:03 am #

      Prabhat

      Great – it sounds like you have taken some action.

      Those that take action are the ones who have more chance of success.

      Andrew

  33. Rajkumar Jonnala October 25, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Hi,

    Well after reading your post i’ve learned some of my unprofessional mistakes which i had but not from now. And yeah after reading your post i will make those changes.

  34. Sanjib Kumar Saha October 25, 2012 at 4:15 am #

    Hi,
    Your post was attractive and quite convincing. It was good knowing all the “DON’TS” of blogging. It was brief and apt. It was a load of information along with the most effective pictorial description. It gives a clear vision to your words. Its a lot of help for the newbies. An unprofessional blog is a big “TURN-OFF” for the readers. It shows how unestablished the blogger is. Thanks for the share.:)

  35. Gabriel October 25, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Ahhh! Reading this was painful! I think I’ve had some of the ugliest blogs in the world in the past. Wrote in them every day, got traffic, but compared to something like this blog, they were(are) extremely unprofessional looking. You’ve gave me some good ideas though on how to clean it up, at least in future posts. Thanks

  36. Md. Masud Parvage October 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Really these are the common mistakes of us. But from today I’ll apply this suggestions to decorate and make professional for my own blog.

  37. Gail Gardner November 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    I agree with all of these except the action step you suggest for #5 because there is a very good reason advertisers insist on having their ads above the fold. That is where they convert.

    I mentor many bloggers who experiment with ad placement and design and I can tell you that those who have tested ads above the fold have dramatically increased their incomes. Very often they go from pennies to hundreds from changing a single ad.

    There is some consistency in what Technorati and other similar sites that approach me about advertising want:

    300×250 (or 250×250 or 250×300) above the fold in the upper right corner

    728×90 above the header OR 468×60 in the header

    Those are the two sizes and placements they want because those are the ones that convert best. The two other sizes most bloggers use regularly are 125×125 in the sidebar (sometimes above the header, but not necessarily) and 468×90 at the bottom of the posts.

    I am using those sizes on GrowMap and manage them with Yaro Starak’s CrankyAds plugin and those are the sizes I recommend to other bloggers.

    There are worse things than having a couple of ads above the fold – like putting giant blocks of AdSense between your post title and content. That makes your blog look like it is an MFA (Made for AdSense) and many will click away without ever bothering to find out if your content is worth reading or not. They will just assume it isn’t and leave. If a blogger does that I will almost never link to them or share their content.

    • Andrew November 6, 2012 at 5:06 am #

      Gail,

      Thanks for sharing your insight…it sounds like you have done a lot of testing.

      I suppose my approach is to give advice first and not ‘advertise’ too much!

      Andrew

      • Gail Gardner November 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

        Hi Andrew,

        In your case you make a living offering services so advertising isn’t as critical for your blog. For many other bloggers, their income will come primarily (eventually) from advertising so they need to know what works.

        • Andrew November 7, 2012 at 1:42 am #

          Gail,

          I do make income from my services but just as much from my products.

          I could advertise those much more on the blog but I tend to promote the products via my list.

          Andrew

    • Jeet November 6, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      @Gail: Awesome information there. I think 125×125 banners are also very popular, but I doubt that they attract a lot of visitors. I have seen plenty of successful bloggers using one or two ads above the fold. I guess the ‘timing’ of putting the ads up would also matter. If you new and no-one cares about what you have to say then you are probably better off without a lot of ads.

  38. Lisa November 6, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    EEEk guilty of “Admin” displayed on posts, off to fix it. I also hate seeing self pings on the bottom of articles, I only found out how to fix it with a “no self pings” plugin a few weeks ago, everything looks a lot tidier now (I hope!)

    • Andrew November 7, 2012 at 1:44 am #

      Lisa,

      I’m glad you took some action and things look better!

      Andrew

  39. Rojish November 8, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    Having too many banner ads and filling up the sidebar with lot of unnecessary widgets are the common mistakes I found in many newbie blogs. Honestly speaking I also did the same mistakes while I started my first blog few years ago (desperate attempt to make money). Anyway now I give special attention to keep all the blogs nice and clean 🙂

    • Andrew November 8, 2012 at 1:46 am #

      Rojish

      We all make mistakes. The best thing to do is what you did…learn from them and take action to rectify.

      Making your blogs nice and clean – what difference has it made?

      Andrew

  40. Sagar Gholap November 12, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    It’s fun to read things I used to do with my blog when I just started off with blogging. This post made me a bit nostalgic about the earlier times.. :p

    But this post will definitely help those who are just starting with their own blog!!

    • Andrew November 14, 2012 at 2:54 am #

      Sagar

      …and hopefully some more experienced bloggers who may not uderstand or know about best practices.

      Andrew

  41. Peninggi Badan November 29, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    this post is really helpful to make blog professionally.Andrew, I want to ask about over monetization point above. Based on your opinion, how many ads that suitable for our blog in order to look professionally? i’m agree with you that many ads make our blog unprofessional..

    Thanks Andrew for great posting. This is small thing that can make big different

    • Andrew Rondeau November 29, 2012 at 2:47 am #

      Peninggi

      I would go with no more than 2.

      Andrew

  42. Santosh December 2, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    A key factor not mentioned is the fact that so many blogs use incorrect spelling and grammar! Although I myself am not perfect when it comes to either of these, when I notice very simple mistakes on a website I find it very dissapointing that people cannot be bothered to proof read their work.

    • Andrew Rondeau December 3, 2012 at 7:35 am #

      Santosh

      Agreed – my wife checks all mine before I publish.

      Andrew

  43. Justin Mott December 14, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    HAHA Ok I’m guilty of the Meta Login and the Admin name. Thank you for the heads up. Kind of makes you feel funny to think that I haven’t changed that yet.

    • Andrew Rondeau December 16, 2012 at 1:31 am #

      Justin

      Hope you have changed it now!

      Andrew

  44. Joseph Adediji January 12, 2013 at 3:10 am #

    Greta Points Andres, I also hate it when a blog has no search form and a contact page.
    I believe these two are important, without a search box, how do i quickly find a post am looking for and without a contact page, how do you expect me to reach you easily.

  45. Glenn Shepherd March 25, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Hi,

    There are some great points made in this post. I’m especially glad that grammar was mentioned. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, even those with a good grasp of grammar and spelling, but what makes a site look totally unprofessional is the impression that the owner hasn’t given any thought to spelling and grammar or simply doesn’t care. This just makes things look sloppy.

    The one thing I’m not sure I agree with is the point about the blogroll. Are you saying that you believe a blogroll full stop makes a blog seem unprofessional? If so, why? Or are you saying that to leave the default blogroll option there in its default setting is what’s unprofessional? If it’s the latter then I wholeheartedly agree. But a working blogroll can only serve to build relationships, build social proof, create backlinks and help your visitors discover other great content.

    Now, of course people will be directed to other sites through a blogroll, but if you insert a the code target=”_blank” into the link then clicking on the link will only open the link in a new window or tab rather than taking the visitor away from your site. Also, so long as you’re providing value on your site then you shouldn’t need to worry about people navigating away via a blogroll. If your content is good enough then your visitors will be more likely to return

    • Andrew March 25, 2013 at 7:11 am #

      Glen,

      I specifically meant the WordPress blogroll.

      As you say, having your own personal one is fine.

      Andrew

  46. Glenn Shepherd March 25, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Hey Andrew,

    Thanks for the clarification. In that case, I agree with everything you said then! 😉 Great stuff buddy 🙂

  47. Siegfried March 31, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    Great list but I dont think blogroll makes you look unprofessional, unless links there are default set.
    best regards!

    • Andrew April 3, 2013 at 4:04 am #

      I did say the ‘default (i.e. WordPress)’ blogroll is what makes your blog look unprofessional.

      Andrew

  48. Radu Gabi May 5, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    Very true! Brilliant tips – Small details make the difference.
    For a big while i was first on google search results with a keyword.. and simply .. didn’t understand why my friend who was under me, on 2nd position with a better design has more sales like me. After hired a pro designer and changed my theme completly.. my sales increased about 20%. Follow these rules guys.. it worth it! Belive me

    Sry for my english

    • Andrew May 8, 2013 at 4:25 am #

      Gabriel

      Sound like you had some fun and it was all worthwhile. Good job!

      Andrew

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