Ever heard of the “7 Deadly Sins“? The 7 Deadly Sins stem from the Christian tradition (the Roman Catholic tradition to be more precise), and the Catholics created this grouping of sins because all other sins are believe to stem from these seven.
Whether or not you are a Christian, you can agree that these 7 sins or vices are definitely not good. In case you don’t know the 7 Deadly Sins off of the of your head, they are pride, greed, lust (inordinate or illicit sexual desire), envy, gluttony (which is usually understood to include drunkenness), anger, and laziness.
In the same way that there are 7 deadly sins in life, there are 7 deadly sins for blogging, too!
Here are the 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging:
1. Choosing a Bad Host
When I created my first blog, I went looking for the cheapest webhost/server company. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money because I’m a bit of a tight-wad, so I picked a cheap hosting company.
The problem with picking a cheap hosting company? You get poor results, poor speed rating, poor security, and poor service if anything happens.
Now, yes, when you’re just getting started with your blog, you can settle for a cheap host like BlueHost, HostGator, or even GoDaddy, but if you want to get started on the right foot, you need to choose a good host. If you’re new to blogging, I recommend SiteGround. They have built in security and caching plugins for your WordPress blog(more on that later) and amazing customer service. If you’re looking for the top host in the game, though, head over to Big Scoots. They service some of the biggest blogs on the internet, including The Super Mom Life Blog and Sweet Tea and Sprinkles.
2. Using Any Other Plugin to Track Stats Besides Google Site Kit
There are many plugins that you can use to track your stats, such as JetPack, Monster Insights, and WP Statistics, but you might as well us the plug-in created by Google themselves!
Google recently created their own plugin that lets you track both your stats and your Google Search results, called “Google Site Kit.” They will not show you all the stats inside your dashboard, but this will help you set up both your analytics and search console account! From the dashboard, though, you’re able to see your users, where they came from, what devices they are using, and how often your WordPress blog is appearing on Google searches. From there, you can quickly be redirected to either the full analytics page or search console page.
3. Not Triple Checking that Google Can and Are Seeing Your Posts
You wrote a post! Great! Now what? Are you sure that people are able to see it?
Inside Google Search Console, you are able to check to see if Google has indexed your page so that people can find it on Google! You can use Google Search Console to upload a sitemap (Click here to read about that) as well as check the status of individual pages. Usually, it takes a little bit for Google to index your posts. Uploading a sitemap will speed up the process, but you can take one more step to speed up the process.
Extra Step: Download, install, and activate the plugin “IndexNow” on your WordPress blog. This little plugin will send a ping out the various search engines, actively informing those engines that your new post is live! Best part? It’s completely free and activates on installation.
4. Not Compressing Images
Images talk better than words – hence the quote, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Many bloggers, though, don’t take the time to compress their images!
When working with images, keep all full screen images smaller than 2,000 pixels wide. If your image is not going to take up the full canvas (full screen), your image does not need to be larger than 1,600 pixels. If your image will appear on only half of the screen, my favorite size is 1,200 pixels.
If you are using images, take a little time to shrink the physical size of your images by using an app like Canva or photoshop. When you export the image, export with a quality of 70-80 (I tend to do 72 personally).
After you change the size, though, you still aren’t done.
Next, use a website like TinyPNG to further compress your images. On this website, you upload your image, they compress it, and then you download the newly compressed image! If you’d rather have an automatic compression program use the plugin Imagify on your WordPress blog.
5. Not Having a Great Caching Plugin
If your blog is slow, people will leave your website. That is a fact! You can speed up your website by using a great caching plugin.
*Bonus, a good host will come with free caching plugins. This includes SiteGround and BigScoots.
6. Not Having a Security Plugin
WordPress claims to be the most popular website platform in the world. That being said, many hackers are looking to hack WordPress websites. Having a security plugin like Wordfence (my personal favorite) or Sucuri. You often don’t need to pay for the premium security measures at the beginning, but not having a WordPress Security plugin can cost you your entire website down the road.
7. Developing Your Website or Blog on Your Own
My wife started a blog a few years ago (before she met me). She spent HOURS on figuring out how to set everything up, and when she was all done, she still was not happy with the results. Thankfully for her, I came along and created a new website homepage and secondary pages. Now, her blog looks like a true website! (note, we have a something new coming 👀
Rather than spend hours and hours figuring out how to create a website, you can hire a developer to design and launch your website! That way you can have the website of your dreams and not lift a finger on the design. No more wasting times on themes, options, and frustrating layouts. Plus, if you have a good developer, they will be able to help you not commit the other 6 of the 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging.
Need a developer? I know a guy 😉
Starting a blog is hard. Fixing a broken blog is harder. As you begin or continue your blogging journey, make sure to not commit these 7 Deadly Sins of Blogging. You’ll thank yourself one day that you did.