4 Mistakes Every Blogger Should Avoid

I don't know about you, but when I started out blogging I didn't have any friends who were seo experts or even knew the first thing about html. So, I had to learn everything from scratch.

Many a mistake has been made along the way. Of course, I've learned a lot, but what a waste of time and energy!

I've spent endless nights fixing mistakes, not to mention the time that was invested in messing things up in the first place.

In this post I'll share the 4 biggest mistakes I've ever made on this website. We will start out with the worst blunder and work our way down.

Duplicate URLs

What's that?

Let's say that every page on a blog links to the about page, with the following url:


Now, on some pages the link may accidentally look like this:


Can you see the difference? The www. is missing in the second example. These urls are so called duplicates, because they show the same page.

Having duplicate urls leads to lower pagerank, since the pagerank juice in this example is split between two urls. As you already know, lower pagerank means lower search rankings and results in less search engine traffic.

In an ideal world, every url should follow the same format. Most seo professionals recommend that you use:


When I started my website, I wasn't aware of the importance of standardizing the urls. So, the first two years the pages on my site were roughly 40% with www. and 60% without.

There are a number of approaches to resolve this issue. I suggest you search for "no duplicate content" for information on plugins and redirects.

As you probably already have guessed, the search engine traffic increased significantly after having dealt with the problem. Give it at least 2-3 months for the changes to take full effect.

It's also highly recommended to set your preferred domain with Google, so they clearly know which url format you prefer. Here is an easy guide to Google Webmaster Tools that covers the key features.

Vague Branding

It's not necessary to have a url that reflects the content of your blog, even though it's helpful.

Anyhow, when a first-time visitor arrives at your blog, you quickly want them to know what your site is all about. In addition to the tagline, site design and photos are helpful tools.

Let's take a look at an example:

My website is about personal development with a focus on meditation. But the first two years I used the tagline, "Personal Development That Works!"

But why did I settle for such vague branding?

I thought the tagline was perfect. But thanks to having joined a blog group, I finally changed it. The new branding is much clearer, "Personal development with a focus on meditation."

But that's not all. Remember to use the tagline in the title of the index page, so that both your readers and the search engines know about it.

Not Experimenting With Adsense

Adsense provides a lot of free tools, there are no legitimate excuses for not experimenting to find out what works best for your blog.

I didn't experiment much because I honestly thought I already had the perfect color palette. The ads blended really well with the rest of the site and I was quite excited about the number of clicks I was getting.

I also presumed I made use of the best ad formats in the ultimate positions. So, as far as I was concerned, there was really no need to experiment with Adsense. O'boy, was I wrong.

I hadn't even set up channels to track what pages, positions and ad formats performed the best. Not to mention turning off the image ads, to see what would happen. Finally, I realized that I had been completely blindfolded.

As soon as I recognized the dormant potential of Adsense, I did over two months of intensive testing - what an eye-opener!

As a result, I changed to the best performing color palettes, adjusted the ad positions, reduced the number of Adsense ads and put link units in the right places. Before long, the click through rates and earnings increased significantly.

You may earn more per click by reducing the number of Adsense units and replace them with ads from other networks, such as Chitika. Experiment and see what works best on your blog.

When tracking the channels you receive a wealth of data about individual ads and pages. I encourage you to put Adsense to the test.

Promoting The Wrong Affiliate Products

Here are some basic questions you should ask yourself when scouting for affiliate products:

Is it a quality product that you're willing to recommend to your readers?

What is the commission?

Is the seller's landing page properly set up?

Does the product sell well?

I recommend that you invest a lot of time and energy into choosing the right affiliate products. Don't just put up some flashing banners on your blog and bombard your email list with hyped sales pitches.

Besides, text links usually outperform banners.

Once you have found a product that you believe in, start to promote it and closely track the results. Then, you can experiment with various changes.

Have the courage to drop products that don't sell, even though you have invested plenty of time and energy into it. What is the point in promoting something that doesn't convert?

So, how did I approach affiliate marketing?

I was looking for a really profitable product. So, the first affiliate program my personal development / meditation site promoted was Forex currency trade. Needless to say, it was a short-lived partnership.

Don't make the mistake of seeking out affiliate programs just because they offer high commissions. What you really want are easy-to-sell products that are closely related to your niche.

Affiliate marketing is a skill that takes time to hone. Be creative, and you're half way there...

Let's recap. By avoiding these fundamental mistakes you will get more search engine traffic, earn more money and it's easier for first-time vistors to tell what your blog is all about.

Best of luck!

Related:   Blogging Skills   Online Productivity   Search Engine Traffic

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