As you start to put pen to paper or really your words to the internet, it is important to learn a few things that you will need to avoid! For instance, there are things you could do to try and boost your website rankings or get new readers that could end up hurting your ranking or even getting it taken down if you are not careful! Not to mention you could end up wasting a lot of money if you are not careful. I want to go over some of the things that I have learned from personally building blogs, websites, and businesses that you need to watch out for!
All of these things I have experienced and at one time had to fix, remove, or just suffer the consequences. Really, you don’t want to waste time repeating my mistakes so here are the top things I think you need to know before you start blogging to keep you from wasting time, wasting money. or getting in trouble.
Paying For Backlinks
The first thing that you might have already thought about is paying for backlinks.
What backlinks are is – places where other sites link back to your site through hyperlinks in text or images. Google uses these backlinks across the web to weigh your websites domain authority. For instance, if a bunch of sites all over the internet, I mean thousands, are linking to your site then there is probably a good bet Google thinks your site is important!
This is pretty much how the algorithm thinks, but there is a lot that goes into it. Not only are the amount of backlinks important, but the type of backlinks are important as well. For instance if you have a site about dogs, then you will be ranked higher if your backlinks come from other sites about dogs or animals. Likewise, if your site is about dogs, you will rank higher for content written about dogs. It makes sense right? If people that rank for your same content are linking to you, then Google thinks you must know more about that subject. therefore, you rank higher!
It is all roped into the algorithm, but the important thing to know is backlinks can hurt you as well. If you pay for backlinks, you will most likely get backlinks to sites that have compromised rankings and penalties attached to them. In addition, these sites will more than likely not rank for things your site does. This means Google will see most of those backlinks as insignificant or even fake! If you have too many of these, Google could ultimately penalize your site.
You might be thinking – that is fine! I will just go around and guest post on other sites like mine then! Unfortunately, that doesn’t quite work either.
Google has updated their algorithm to scrap for guest posts and categorizes those posts differently then organic back links. What this all means is – buying backlinks and guest posting for back links is all a bad idea and could ultimately end up hurting you more than helping you. Now, it is a good way to get started. Although, I really would not rely on either method to building up your backlinks. The best thing to do is to write engaging content that other sites want to use in their own posts.
Something to consider is – Google is constantly updating their algorithm to fight against non-organic links, fake websites, hackers, and more. They are also constantly trying to improve the user experience on Google which means people get the best content every time they search instead of getting fake sites or bot sites looking to take their data.
For those reasons, website owners and bloggers need to be constantly updating their site and striving to become better to set themselves apart form the other fake sites!
One thing you might have never thought could hurt your website is approving comments on post!
While you probably heard that comments on your posts and website are a good thing, that is not always true. While it is true that comments will help give your posts more recognition and better rankings potentially, they could end up harming your website.
There are certain types of comments that you need to watch out for. Comments that bots look for that could potentially flood your site and make you spend hours and days deleteing them all. Those comments to look out for are spam comments.
Spam comments are comments that bots or phishers put onto your website in order to see if you will allow them to pass through to your page publicly. Once you allow these comments to go through, a few things will happen.
These comments will allow the bots to know they can post more on your site, and you could end up getting hundreds of these spam comments saying who knows what on your site. This is a huge problem because not only will your site look fake and cluttered, but Google will penalize you for these comments. Another kind of spam comments are from other sites and bloggers looking to post on your site for free backlinks.
Basically, these spam comments will have hyperlinks back to their websites in them in order for you to give them a free backlink. Although, sadly these comments are also usually very persuasive and positive telling you how great your website and post is. Even so, do not allow them to be posted on your site.
The best thing to do is limit comments by making every comment have to be approved on your site. This may sound drastic, but believe me it is the best thing to do when you start out. Later on, you can implement a filter for spam comments through a plug-in if the problem is bad enough.
Using Heavy Themes
Using themes in WordPress is highly recommended, especially if you are new to websites. Themes can give you a preset website that looks clean, has decent functionality, and sets you up for success. There are a ton to choose from as well! The best idea is to go over to Themeforest and start searching for your perfect preset website. Beforehand, there are a few things that you need to consider. First off, you need to see if the theme you choose is a lightweight site or not.
A lightweight site basically means there is limited CSS and HTML code in the backend. A lot of the themes you see will have all these crazy functionalities that you could use, but won’t need. More often than not, you will only use a few things on your page and all the rest of the cool gadgets in the backend that you are not using will end up slowing down your website a ton. Remember, Google penalizes sites with slow page load speed, so this is very important.
When I started creating websites, I found an amazing theme that had every cool feature you could imagine. Although, after spending weeks building my site, I found out that is was so slow, most people could not even get it to load. I have to spend more time researching for a new theme, more money to buy that theme, time re-building my site, and a lot of heartache just to get my site where I wanted it.
You seriously do not want to go through all of this. Save yourself some time, money, and heartache by just getting a lightweight theme in the beginning.
Signing Up For Things
While you might think that signing up for feeds to promote your blog is a good idea, then you would also be wrong.
When I started blogging, I quickly looked for the best sites I could sign up for that would pull my posts to output them to tons of people on their platform. Sounds like a great idea right? One in particular promised to do this to thousands of people for a very low cost! All I had to do was upload my RSS feed from my site to the platform and boom! Tons of people reading my blog, except that’s not a reality. Almost all of these platforms are scams and very few are worth your money. One I want to mention right off the back is a platform call Blogarama – it is a complete scam.
I quickly signed up for this site, went through the trouble of connecting it, setting up an account, and more. After a couple of months, I got curious to see where all my posts were popping up. To my surprise, I couldn’t find them anywhere. In addition, when I tried to cancel the service there was no where on my “dashboard” that would allow me to do so. I ended up having to call my bank and manually get the charges denied every month. Turns out, the platform was a complete scam, I had lost money, time, and faith in other platforms.
Not everyone is like that, but really I would not waste time on these external platforms. Stick to the basic social medias and build up your own following. Always direct people to input their email and build your own mailing list. Over time, you will be your own platform for more exposure by using your venues for communication.
New Blogger Mistakes
I hope this list of new blogger mistakes helps your save some time, money and heartache. Unfortunately, I did not have anyone to guide me when I started. I had to make all of these mistakes my self and waste a ton of my resources doing so.
Takes these lessons for what they are worth. There is not exception for writing good, engaging content to build your site the proper way.