6 (More) Oddly Obvious Mistakes You Might Be Making Online


In May, Sarah and I spent 14 hours (!) giving mini consults to approximately a gajillion blogs.

503 comments later, I
a) had to drink some box wine and watch a lot of Parks and Rec
b) realized that both Sarah and I were repeating ourselves

If you wade through that sea of suggestions, you’ll see that there are 10-11 things that we suggested multiple times.  It began to feel sort of ridiculous and obvious, but clearly, these were things that people needed to be reminded of.  (Full disclosure: after making all these suggestions, I scrambled over to my Facebook page and took a lot of the advice I’d been giving others!)

If you subscribe to my newsletter you got an email outlining the first five oddly obvious mistakes that a lot of people make.  But since I’m not tooooootally greedy with my knowledge, I thought I’d share a few of our insights.

Here are six more oddly obvious, quickly fixable mistake that you might be making online.  Get to fixin’, tiger!

1. You haven’t customized the tabs on your Facebook page
You were super clever and uploaded the Twitter, Mailchimp, and Blogging apps to your Facebook page. High five, you!  But did you know that you can customize the app icons so everything looks matchy-matchy and ‘on brand’?  Yup, you can.  Here’s how. 

2. You’re not really interacting anyone on Twitter
Cleverly enough, social media is called that because you’re supposed to use it to be social.  What?  I know.  While it is really important to promote your posts and products, it’s more important to actually talk to people.  Make lists of people you know in real life, lists of publications you’d like to pitch, lists of bloggers you like and then talk to them.  Done and done!


3. You’re not writing interesting tweets/statuses to promote your blog posts
I know it’s incredibly tempting (SO TEMPTING) to set your posts to automatically update to Facebook and Twitter.  And then you end up with an update that looks like this: “Blog post: Stuff and Stuff [giant link].”  It’s time-saving, but it’s not engaging, friends.  I promote my blog posts on Twitter three times each day, with a different tweet each time.  Sometimes it’s a pull quote from the post, sometimes it’s a questions.  Interesting tweets are a lot more likely to get retweeted, too!

4. You’re only promoting your blog posts once
I know it feels a little over-kill-y, but because of the way we use Twitter, you can totally promote your posts more than once.  I promote each of mine three times (around 9 am, 1 pm, 8pm) with a different tweet each time.  If I’m feeling reallllly  ambitious, I’ll even pull popular posts from my archives and tweet those.

5. You’re not using photos in your blog posts
Do it.  Doitdoitdoit.  If you write long, personal essays or you’re an incredibly successful, well-established blogger, you probably don’t need photos.  For the rest of us plebeians, photos make our posts about a million times more engaging, clickable, and pin-worthy.  I get all of my photos from Flickr: Creative Commons.


6. When you link to people on your blog, you’re not @metioning them on social media
When someone writes a guest post for you.  When you include someone in a link roundup. When you feature a company’s products in a post.  Get on those @mentions!  Did you know that if you have a Facebook page for your blog/company, you can follow other blogs/companies with your page?  It’s true.  And then you can @mention them in your Facebook updates, too!

See?  Oddly obvious.  I’m sure I’m missing some or making mistakes, myself.  Do you see bloggers doing anything obviously wrong that’s easy to correct? 

photo by Stephen Harlan // cc




Thanks for the advice. I still feel super intimidated by Twitter but I know I should be using it much more so thanks for the much needed kick in the bum! -)


Hey Sarah, I really love most of your advice, and I know that you’re the expert and all, but I strongly disagree about promoting on twitter three times a day. When people do that, I often unfollow (not you, but I’ve noticed your multiple promotion tweets and thought about it….). I’m on twitter a lot, and I find it annoying to see the same thing promoted more than once. There are a lot of people who feel the same way in general, but they probably don’t want to tell you so. Because it feels rude, of course. But every time you give this advice I’ve wanted to leave this comment.

That said, I struggle with self-promotion, so you’ve at least motivated me to up my blog post promotion from zero times daily to maybe once ;-)


Hi Rachel!

Thanks for the input! I hear what you’re saying and I know that some people feel that way. I write a different tweet each time I promote my posts and each time they get re-tweeted by different people. This might be one of the tips that falls into the ‘agree to disagree’ column ;)


Hey Sarah, I do appreciate that you write a different tweet about it each time, and it’s not just a generic “[blog post title] link” tweet. (Sometimes you even trick me into clicking on the link to the same post twice, but that kind of turns into a “fool me once” kind of situation, honestly. Not that I actually think you’re trying to trick people!) Obviously it works for you, but for most people it veers into the spammy territory. It has to be done carefully, I guess. Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful response!

Amanda Farquharson

Ahhh, I’m late to reading this, but I feel the same way as Rachel! You are the only person I follow who tweets multiple times about the same thing, and I’ve mostly stopped clicking on them because of that same “fool me once” feeling. I have also thought about unfollowing, but haven’t yet. Anyways, I think it’s good to keep in mind that many people use twitter differently. I’m not sure if advising other people to tweet multiple times is a great idea.

That said, the rest of your points are spot on!


These are really great suggestions! The only ones I’m seriously guilty of is not creating interesting tweets for my blog posts and not promoting them throughout the day, but I will start working on that!


Thanks for ALL of these points . I have been guilty of them at one time or another.

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