9 Actions That Tag You as an Amateur Blogger

Don’t worry if you feel like an amateur.

We all go though that phase at some point unless we are trained by the best of the best in the industry.

If you are self taught like myself, them I’m sure at some point you would have experimented and made the following amateurish choices.

There is nothing wrong or bad about being an amateur, its just a phase and will soon pass as you learn and grow from being an amateur blogger to a professional blogger.

The nine actions that I’ve listed here is not an exhaustive list and there are much more that you can do that might brand you as a noob blogger.

If you have been blogging for let say more than a year now and you are still making these amateurish mistakes then its time you took action to step up your game and made the transition away from being an amateur.

Domain Names

There are 3 sections under domain names that will make you look bad.

  • Free Domain Sites
  • Free Blog Domains
  • Poor Domain Selection

Free Domain Sites – These are sites that allow you to have a free domain and run a website but clutter it will loads of advertisements and popups. In an effort to get a free domain amateurs rush into making a bad decision in choosing this option. Even if you are an very good writer or have great plans, you might not get very far. Strictly avoid.

Free Blog Domains – These are sites like WordPress, Tumblr, Blogspot and many more out there. While this is not a bad thing, most readers and business put a lot of trust and respect into bloggers who invest in their ideas. This might seem amateurish to a small business owner who is looking for guidance. Also this restricts your options to customize and grow your business. If you are here, there are still options to move up.

Poor Domain Selection – No one likes a domain that’s (heycheckoutmyhotnewwebsitethatrocks.com). If you are here then my friend someone has either misguided you or you really need to take up some classes on blogging and domain selection. I understand exact domain match, but this is pushing it too far. Even though you have got a custom domain, this does not seem appealing and clearly has Amateur plastered all over.

Site Design

Nothing screams poor user experience and amateur blogger than a bad site design. In an effort to save cost bloggers go for free themes.

Some of these themes are good and are designed from Professionals no doubt. But they should also fit your content, strategy and product placement.

My recommendation is to choose high quality design frameworks like StudioPress themes (aff link) or MyThemeShop Themes (aff link) for your blog. They usually have a wide range of themes for almost every industry. This way you can be confident that your site is well coded and SEO ready in addition to a design that says problogger not amateur blogger.

Plagiarism

Noob bloggers get writers block and soon have no clue what to write about. From writing unique content they to move copying other bloggers content, spinning it and publishing it.

Before they even realize, it has become a routine and readers start noticing that the blogger has lost focus and is churning content from other blogs they read.

You don’t want to be tagged as an amateur blogger then you should stop taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.

Branding

Branding is a way to show your readers who you are, what your blog is. Simply put tells the readers where they are and for them to know when they visit back.

Keep your branding simple yet memorable that people can speak about you with a persona in mind.

Using just text and zero branding will result in readers forgetting you faster than you can say blog.

Some of the simplest ways you can brand your blog and make it look profession are as follows.

  • Setting up a profile page on your blog
  • Adding a Logo
  • ​Brand Social Media Pages
  • Structuring your site layout

Rich Media

We are in 2015 right now, the year of rich media.

Usage of images, video and audio are on the rise. The combination different types of content is a great way to show your readers that you are well knowledgeable about the systems and you use them appropriately.

One thing that will tag you amateur is when you use skewed images, extra long videos or auto play when a reader visits. Avoid these simple things.

Avoid over using these as well. I remember reading a blog post a few days back on my feedly feed and all I could ever see on the post was four lines of introduction followed by about six YouTube videos.

Now that just shows that even top bloggers sometimes can behave like an amateur.

Copyright and Disclaimer Notice

Every blog, website and online media requires to have a clear copyright notice and a disclaimer notice listed on all pages of the blog. The FTC takes this very seriously and has warned Amateur Bloggers to Disclose Freebies or Be Fined.

There are loads of tools online that help you set up simple and effective copyright notices and disclaimer documents.

While not every reader pays attention to these documents, there are several bloggers who need to know what information is being shared and used.

By putting up these documents on your blog, you show that you care about your readers and the data used and shared on the blog.

Distracting/Misleading Images

I’ve seen blogs with huge header images, some with flowers and some with massive backgrounds that are so distracting that you forget why you got to the blog.

An amateur blogger is often too excited about his or her blog and jazzes up the blog way beyond whats required.

Some bloggers even add images of beautiful girls and what not to attract readers which are not only misleading but also give the wrong image. You will start losing readers and will clearly set the picture of an amateur blogger.

Advertisements

One thing that turns off any reader is loads of advertisements.

Amateurs are in such a hurry to make money that they load their blogs with so many ads that there is literally no more place for the content.

This is very bad for you and would sky rocket your blog bounce rate.

Even Google advices to keep each page to a max of 3 advertisements. Such that you do not impact user experience and the readers get the content they came for in the first place.

Social Integration

Social integration with your blog is a way to improve user experience and even drive social media traffic to your blog.

Social integration is a way to authenticate your blog and your social profiles. Add social media share buttons on your blog and allow your readers to engage with you.

This shows that you are aware of the various marketing platforms and allow readers a way to communicate with you.

If you are able to avoid these nine actions as a bloggers you are already on the path from amateur to pro.

14 Comments

  1. Dereco Cherry Reply

    Great tips you shared here. I have seen people set their blog up with no social plugins or anyway to share the content. You are correct about them missing out on social traffic to their site.

    • Dereco, Thanks for stopping by. We all have busy schedules and there are well over hundred blogs that we follow and read regularly. We ought to make it easier for the reader to promote. We have to take that extra step.

  2. These are indeed some of the most common mistakes new bloggers do and wonder why they get no traction and they end up quitting! thanks for sharing!

    • Your welcome Julie. Its man’s nature to make mistakes, but learning from it and coming out strong is what makes us successful.

  3. Hi, There! Great tips and may I please offer you one more? I recommend showing your avatar as a real human and branding yourself differently than “broke bloke.” It’s hard to create a relationship with something (not someone) like that!

    • Hey Jayme, I understand. I’m not new to blogging I’ve been blogging for well over 8 years. This is more sort of a brand experiment. I’ve left small breadcrumbs of my identity all over the web. If you know who I am then I’m doing a good job at brand promotions. Else I need to work on my strategies.

      Also, we always build relationships with brands even though the person behind it is not seen. How different can it be with this blog?

      • It’s interesting what an avatar can do for a first impression. First, I want to make it clear that I’m not a perfect blogger. There are a lot of things that I could be doing better.

        I have seen your avatar with the mustache and your broke bloke name to go with it. Because of both those things, I wasn’t drawn to you like I am with other people, and because you seemed to be hiding your real self (and declaring that you were broke), it made me question what your motives were behind sharing my articles but not leaving comments on them. In short, it gave me a bad impression of your intent.

        Obviously, that impression is different now, but I agree with Jayme – it’s not really desirable to create a relationship with a disguise that claims it is broke.

        It’s true, we don’t see the face behind some brands, and I think there is a lack of connection there too. The product or service is what makes that brand stick out, but when it comes to information blogs, I guess it’s nicer to see some sort of face or real person behind/running the blog. That’s something I’ve had to come to terms with on my own blogs.

        • There are two reasons, One is because I did hit rock bottom and two is that I don’t want people to feel sorry for me and yet I want to be able to get back up on my feet and show my community that I can make it on my own. And with the help of awesome folks like yourself I’m in the right direction. I do leave a few bread crumbs of who I am on the web. Soon you should find a more updated me on the web.

  4. Millo lailang Reply

    very nice list of the amateurish mistakes. This would be very good post for all the new bloggers 🙂

    • Hey Millo, thanks for stopping by. I’m glad that you find the tips useful.

  5. A free blogspot URL is just about the worst thing someone can have for their blog. It looks so cheap. Most of us have been there!

    I hate to see local businesses who get a free Wix site and feel pleased with themselves for having done so. Again, it looks cheap and lowers my confidence in their ability to do a good job for me if I hire them for whatever it is they do.

    • Darren, people are quite hesitant to invest in their efforts or idea. They lack the confidence that they can make a difference and succeed. By taking a leap of faith, once can truly test one’s self and stay professional.

  6. Great advice! Loads of advertisements are a big turn off when i am reading someone’s blog.

    • I could not agree more with you on that Tom. These days even top business blogs have so many ads, that I sometime wonder if Google ever penalizes them for bad UX.

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