Since starting Girl Loves Gloss eight years ago, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about what makes a great blog.
I’ve also learned the hard on my blogging journey and there are 5 mistakes bloggers make frequently that could be affecting their views and readership.
Truth be told, I wrote another blog before this for several years in a different field. So I’ve got at least 15 years worth of blogging mistakes under my belt!
When I read other blogs I look for particular things. There are 5 easy to fix changes that every blogger should make (in my opinion!) to give their readers a better experience.
Since I know many of my readers are bloggers themselves, I thought I would share. If you’re not a blogger, please chime in, in the comments on what makes a good reading experience for you!
5 Mistakes Bloggers Make
The beauty of writing your own blog is that you really get to write and say whatever you damn well please. I prefer to use the term “mistakes’ loosely, given there is no one right way to have a personal blog.
Having said that, there are definitely some things that make it easier/harder on your readers, and ultimately having readers is the goal of most bloggers. So here are some common mistakes I see from the blogs that I read that could be affecting how many readers they have.
Not Having Vertical Images or a Pinterest Graphic
We are living in a handheld device world where vertical video and images are key to good content!
You want your images to display well on mobile screens, not only so the viewer can actually see your content and beautiful photography, but so that they are Pinterest friendly!
Why Should You Care About Pinterest?
Because it’s still one of the biggest drivers of traffic to individual blogs out there. Pinterest doesn’t push horizontal content in its algorithm, because again – its a mobile world!
I always make sure I have at least a verticle featured image and a styled Pinterest graphic for readers to pin. The styled Pinterest graphic is there to catch the reader’s eye.
While the images on your blog might be pretty, they won’t stand out in a see of other pretty images on Pinterest necessarily. Adding some text with a catchy headline is whats going to get someone to click, read and hopefully share.
This helped me go viral on Pinterest with my What is Toxic Positivity Post – which has been directly shared from here 37,000+ times in less than a year!
Example of a Styled Pinterest Graphic:
Links That Don’t Open in a New tab
One of the biggest goals of any blogger is to get their content read. Ideally, we want you not to just read one article or post, but sniff around a little and read a few more.
Heck, I want you all to fall in love and come back frequently to see what’s new!
So when I see bloggers that don’t use links that open in a new tab or window, I scratch my head a little. As a reader, when I click on a link and it takes me to a retailer, my mind has changed thought path. I’m probably not going to remember to go back to the blog that mentioned that product in the first place unless I already follow that person.
However, if the link opens in a new tab/window, once I am done shopping and click away, your blog is still there and I might stick around a little longer and read a few more posts!
How To Have Links Open in a New Tab (classic Editor)
MUST READ POST >> How to Ask Brands for Press Samples
Not Having a Search Function
I’m not sure how this one could be any more straightforward and yet so many bloggers make it hard to find their content!
Any website or blog should have a search function that is easy to find (ie on the navigation bar along the top of your page, or above the fold on the sidebar.
If I discover your blog via google search/Twitter/Instagram/whatever chances are it was because I was already searching for something. Perhaps you had the answer, and now I wanna know more about what you have to say!
I often find myself searching blogs for their writer’s opinion to gauge whether a product is right for me.
Having Font Too Small for Mobile Devices
This one is something I was totally guilty of until recently… and didn’t even know it!
Google Analytics tells me that a 2/3 of my readers enjoy Girl Loves Gloss on their phones. Did you know that regardless of having a mobile responsive them, your blog text should be at least 16px to be easily read on mobile devices? In fact, mine is set at 20.
I genuinely didn’t think about this until I signed with my advertising network and they suggested it. In 2021, it’s important to consider accessibility and in a mobile first world, you don’t want to make it hard for what could be a massive portion of your readers to actually see your content!
Undercutting Fellow Bloggers
Ohhhh you knew there would be some tea spilling here didn’t you?
The blogging world is a big and a small place. Many of us work with the same networks and brands when it comes to sponsored work on our blogs and socials.
This means we all often get the same pitches from networks asking us to promote product XYZ via a blog post, Instagram post etc. Often these pitches are for a paltry amount given the amount of work involved.
This is rampant in the beauty industry especially, and many bloggers will refuse to work for less than they are worth because it sets the tone. If you continue to work for pennies, no brand or network will pay you dollars.
What it also means is that when bloggers counter with legitimate offers that are worth the work and time, they are less likely to be taken seriously because another blogger will work for significantly less.
“If you continue to work for pennies, no brand or network will pay you dollars.”
I’m reminded of the time I was contacted by a network for an Instagram campaign for a drugstore brand shampoo known for flaky scalp. The requirements were 2 Instagram posts, posted by specific dates (the first of which was only a few days from receiving the product).
One post had to be a flat lay/product shot, the other a selfie with the product. One of these products had to be taken where they would be used – either near the shower/tub, or in the store where they could be bought.
The images had specific tags and hashtags, as well as lit with natural lighting, high resolution and shot in aesthetically pleasing locations. Failure to meet requirements meant not only not getting paid, but actually being suspended from all future campaigns.
This was all to be completed for $40 total.
As you can probably gather, that is not nearly enough money for the value of that campaign. Yet, a week later I saw bloggers I know posting the campaign.
I get that some money is good money for many, but the worth is so much more. It creates an unhealthy environment where influencers feel they need to work three times as hard for peanuts because there are no standards being held.
There are undercutters in every field of work, but I promise you, you don’t want to become known as one. Know your worth, and charge appropriately; I promise the networks and brands have the budget.
I hope this post helped shed some light on some easy fixes you can implement to make your blog a great experience for you and your reader! Please leave your comments on what you think makes for a better blog down below!