07 Jan 18 Unforgiveable Mistakes New Bloggers Make
Unforgivable Mistakes Bloggers Make
So you’re writing lots of posts but still have little traffic and are wondering why? Possibly you’ve made one or more mistakes that are “unforgivable” with bloggers. Take a look at this list and see if any of them describe you. If you are new to the game, it is likely you’ve committed several of these cardinal sins. And even experienced bloggers tend to still make some of these grave errors.
Choosing the Wrong Topic
Bloggers tend to choose topics that interest them. Although this is good, you also have to consider your audience. When selecting an overall theme for your blog, be sure to take advantage of site traffic programs such as Google Analytics. Find out what keywords are most often searched to gauge what topics people want to read about. Also, when deciding what to post daily, avoid the following mistakes.
Posting non-fresh or out-of-date topics. If it is old news, your readers don’t want to hear about it.
Writing posts that are too generic or lack real substance. Stick to topic and make sure the information you present is clear and concise.
Publishing articles that are boring. Stay away from topics that cause your readers to yawn. Simply put, if you are falling to sleep writing it, it will likely not interest your readers.
Although the reader is most interested in the knowledge, you bring to the blog about your industry or area of expertise, remember, you are also a writer. Posts that have lots of errors and mistakes will be a turn off to your reader. Therefore, it is crucial that you take the time to proofread thoroughly your blog before you post it. You may even wish to have someone else regularly read your posts. It is always a good idea to have a fresh set of eyes to review your work. When you are editing, be sure to look for:
Misspelled words. Always use spell check when writing posts for your blog. Also, be careful about other grammar rules such as using “affect” when it should be “effect” or “their”, when it should be “there”.
Mistakes in punctuation. Be sure to use commas, periods and semi-colons when needed. Don’t have run on sentences that make it hard for your reader to follow your thoughts.
Blog too long. Don’t stuff everything into one blog posting. Consider saving some information for another post. Too much information can be overload.
Be sure all of your information is accurate and correct. A sure way to lose the trust of your readership is to post inaccurate data. Double check your facts and provide references when it is appropriate.
Publishing Too Often/Not Publishing Enough
It is important to keep your readership engaged by posting material on a daily basis. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t rush to post just to have something new on your blog. Your blog will standout more with quality, substantive material as opposed to having lots of posts. And, if you send too many announcements about new posts, your readers will begin to ignore them or immediately send them to the trash bin.
The opposite of posting too much is the blogger that does not publish enough. Sure, you want to always have something valuable to say when you post, but posting too little can be just as bad as posting too much. When you post too little, your readers will think you are not committed and may lose interest. Therefore, you should post at least 2-3 times per week to keep your audience engaged.
Poorly Written Titles/Headlines
Poorly written titles will not get you lots of traffic. Instead, your individual blog post headlines should be alluring and enticing. They should also include keywords to gain the attention of the main search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Some common mistakes bloggers make when writing titles or headlines include:
- Writing the title after the post – A sure way to get good title is to write the headline before you write the post. Working headlines will help you to have direction and focus in your writing. You can always tweak it into a dynamic title or headline later.
- Inaccurate titles – Misleading titles and headlines are a sure way to anger your readership. Although you want your titles to catch their eye, don’t lie about what is included in the article. Remember, trust is one of the most important elements of building a solid following.
- Not thinking about SEO – Search engine optimization is an important step to attracting new readers. Consequently, when writing your title, you’ll want to optimize it to get a good ranking on popular search engines.
- Titles that are too long – Keep it short and sweet. Titles that are too long can be overwhelming and even a distraction. Shorter titles or headlines are also preferred by search engines. So, make your title very descriptive and eye-catching, but also, remember to make it brief.
Plagiarism (or Close To It)
Unfortunately, there is so much repeat information on blogs today that it is shameful. Sure, most bloggers know not to “plagiarize”, so they don’t copy the information verbatim, but instead, they say the same thing just using different words. Therefore, there may be thousands or, even more, blogs out there providing the same information. Although it can be a challenge to write something different, you can do it. Simply give your topic a little edge or a different spin. For example, if your topic relates to cyberbullying, don’t just sensationalize the stories as most do, but talk about real solutions to the problem utilizing experts in child psychology.
Not Engaging Your Audience
Most top bloggers are successful because they make their readers feel important. Being a blogger involves more than just writing posts. It also includes interacting with your readers. Consequently, readers will stop visiting your site if they feel ignored. Some mistakes made in this area include:
- Failing to respond to comments or not responding promptly. Often, if you wait too long, your reader has forgotten all about making a comment. Have you ever heard the saying “strike while the iron is hot?” Well, this could never be truer than when it relates to responding to blog comments.
- Failing to answer e-mail responses. Your readers will feel valued when you respond personally to their e-mails. Be sure not to send out generic responses. Instead, take the time to answer each e-mail as if it were the only one.
- Trying to be someone else. As a blogger, you should always reveal who you are in your posts. Don’t be sterile or too formal, the audience is following you (the blogger). Therefore, they want to read posts that reflect both your style and personality.
Poor Page Layout
A sure way to turn off readers is to have a messy or unorganized blog. When choosing a layout or format for your blog, make sure it is clear and easy to read. Avoid some of these common mistakes:
Too many ads – Don’t clutter your blog with lots of ads. No one wants to read a blog that is all about ads. This is a sure way to lose readers. Ads are fine, but be strategic in their placement and limit the number to avoid overload.
Be careful with margins – Don’t make your post so wide that it is hard to read. Instead, choose a width that leaves equal room on the left and right margins.
Long blog posts – Lengthy posts with no sub-headings are an immediate turnoff. Readers look at them and run away. Therefore, it is important to break up long posts with sub-headings. And, whenever possible use bullets or lists as they are extremely reader friendly.
Small font – Another common layout error is to choose the wrong font for your blog posts. Make sure the size you select is one that is large enough to be viewed comfortably on any screen. You’ll also want to be careful with font style. Blogs are not the place for fancy font types, instead, go with a font that provides for easy reading.
Making it All About “You.”
Some writers tend to use their blog as a personal journal. This may be of interest to some, but most don’t want to always read about you. Sure, they want your personal expertise or perspective on a topic, but it should be written in a way that benefits them. For example, you are having trouble potty training your two year old. Don’t just share stories about Johnny’s reluctance to use the potty, instead use this as an opportunity to review products that are geared to helping parents with the potty training process.
This same theory is tried and true for industry or corporate blogs. Always use your blog as a helpful resource instead of a shameful plug for your business. In this way, you will engage your audience as well as create followers that trust your knowledge and expertise.
Not Promoting Your Blog
Some bloggers tend to think readers will magically be drawn to their blog. So they write and just sit back waiting on folks to come. Unfortunately, if you want to have a successful blog, you’ll need to pay as much attention to promoting your blog as you do in writing it. Along with sharing your blog on social media, you should also make other efforts to get it seen by a larger audience.
Avoiding these common mistakes will help you build a strong following and a solid reputation in the blogging community. If you’d made any of these mistakes, you may want to go back to some of your individual posts and make changes. You may even wish to change the direction of your blog such as its main topic or theme. In the end however, it will take the time to master the skills of an efficient blogger. Thus, you will need to be patient, flexible and open to change. But with persistence and dedication, you will have success as long as you avoid these “unforgivable” blogging mistakes.