There are many reasons, or rather mistakes, responsible for a blog that is not performing. If you have been working on your blog for months, and yet not seeing any visible results in terms of traffic or revenue, then it may be a good time for you to do an internal review on your blog and practices. More often than not, common and careless blogging mistakes are what brought down your blog’s performance. Personally, I have been guilty on a couple of mistakes myself, and writing these 17 blogging mistakes, and I hope to use this as a reference and reminder to myself moving forward.
1. Not Understanding your Audience
Beginners usually made the mistake of not understanding their audience. You need to understand what your audience wants, so that you can relevant. There are many places you can learn more about your readers. A good and fair source of information is your blog statistics:
- find out what are the content that get frequently shared,
- find out what are your most popular pages,
- find out which pages have the most comments, etc
All these are key signals helps you to understand your audience, and gives you a direction to work on.
2. Not Setting and Having Proper Goals for your Blog
A common mistake is overlooking on the need to establish goals. If you want more control and success, you should take charge and decide on the goals of your blog, and have a written strategy on how you want to achieve those goals. There are bloggers who thought that writing and publishing content will automatically bring you success and money. Unfortunately, most of the time, that’s not really the case. To start a blog without having a purpose or goal is like standing on stairs made of sand – it looks good enough, but it can’t withstand the pressure.
3. Not Focusing
It is common mistake for bloggers to try and cover everything under the sun. Fact is we are not able to do that effectively and it is not going to deliver results. We need to focus on what we are good in, or what we want to do well in.
Building your blog around a strong niche or several topics can be very rewarding. Your blog will attracts a certain group of visitors who loves and wants your content. It gives you a targeted audience who enjoys and can relate to your content. For example, if you write on niche topics such as home decor, your readers will be interior designers and home owners. This will be your website strength and something that your audience can identify with.
Other than that, marketing your website is now easier since you know exactly who is your typical reader, and what products your visitors are more interested in.
Being inconsistent is one of the biggest contributing reason why some bloggers fail. Mainly, consistency refers to publishing content regularly, and maintaining the same level of quality for your content. You dont have to be posting daily if you cannot keep up with the pace. It can be 5 pieces of content every week, or 10 pieces of content every month. You just need to maintain consistency so that your readers can set the correct expectations on what to be expecting.
Consistency also gives search engine hints on how often their spiders should crawl your website and index your content. So if you want to do better in search results, it is time to pull up your socks and keep up the consistency.
5. Not Posting Enough
This is a very common blogging mistakes that bloggers fall trap into. Maintaining a blog is not easy. It takes efforts and time. Keeping readers entertained and engaged isn’t easy. We need to have regular content to entertain, to educate, to guide our audience. If we don’t keep them entertained, or do not satisfy their needs, someone else will take over and do it.
6. Not having Unique Content
The Web is full of anything and everything. We can be writing on a topic that had been shared on many other blogs. But we must standout when we write our articles. We need to provide different perspectives, different writing styles, and write content that is refreshing. There are bloggers who made the fatal mistake of copying content and get penalized by search engines. When writing articles, we should brainstorm and think of new ideas to make a deep impression on our audiences.
7. Quantity vs Quality
Never write for the sake of fulfilling your target. If you are not able to produce a quality content on daily basis, try writing 3 or 4 quality articles per week instead. Readers are not stupid, and we shouldn’t waste their time with walls of text. Therefore, take all the time you need to come out with a decent article.
It’s not just about the number of articles. This rule apply to the number of words as well. A 1000 words article that provides no value to the reader is useless. If you can write a meaningful and valuable article in 400 words, so be it.
Having many articles is good to have, but not the most important. Providing value to your reader is.
8. Not using Images in your Content
How many times have you ever seen articles without a single image being used? Pretty common? Yes it’s true that content is king. But an image speaks a thousand words too. Not exactly a big mistake, but nevertheless missing an image can lose you those extra pageviews. Having an attractive image can grab your visitors attention. This is especially evident on social media networks where a picture is often the first thing that catches the eye of your audience. With so many content providers fighting for readership, don’t lose out even before you start. Therefore whenever possible, use images to illustrate your point. Use graphics or tables to present your findings or comparisons.
9. Not Building your Mailing List
“Wait, it’s too early. I do not even have 10 visitors daily”. Heard before this excuse from your fellow blogger? Nothing can be further from the truth. It’s a common mistake that is costing website owners and bloggers loss of revenue unnecessarily. Even if you are getting 10 visitors, that’s 300 every month. What’s more, if you are publishing content regularly, that traffic is going to increase and be much more. Anyway with 300 visitors per month, that’s 3600 visitors to your website per year. And even with 1% conversion of those visitors, you get 36 subscribers in your mailing list! It’s not alot, but every bit counts. Having a mailing list gives you a pipeline of ready prospects waiting to be converted to buyers. That’s why many successful online business and bloggers are using auto responders to build and grow their mailing list.
10. Bad Writing
What happens when you encounter bad writing? Chances are that you will give the article a miss. If you want your article to be read and be taken seriously, you got to avoid bad writing habits. Bad writing means:
- not using proper capitalization,
- not using proper sentences,
- using excessive abbreviations,
- bad grammar,
- spelling mistakes,
- and not writing clearing.
There are much more, but the basic requirement in writing is to be able to communicate messages/ideas clearly to our readers. This usually happens when a blog is doing well, and the blogger gets complacent and starts to put little attention or effort when creating content. To ensure that bad writing doesn’t happen to you, always proof read your article before publishing it.
11. Not Maximizing the Use of your Headlines or Title
Bloggers who put little attention when composing headlines for their content are making costly mistakes that harm their blog development. A good piece of content can go to waste when the article subject title is not compelling. Titles are the first thing that your visitor reads, so you got to make grab their attention and the subject title got to provide the reader an indication that it can provide answers to what he is looking for. When a reader searches on Google or Bing, it’s going to return many results, and whether he visits your website is highly dependent on your headline. Therefore spend effort to make your title good – it’s worth it.
12. Failing to put Yourself in your Readers’ Shoes
This is one of the blogging mistakes that happens to bloggers who are lazy, and did not bother to do any content management for their blog. Responding to the needs of your readers is necessary if you want them to visit your website regularly. In order to capture and maintain our readership, we need to understand them first. Find out:
- what makes your readers tick,
- what topics generate interest,
- what pages are they leaving your website for
- where are your traffic sources
- what are the keywords that brought them to your website
- what kind of browsers to they use, to ensure your pages render correctly
- what kind of devices or operating do they often use? ipad, iPhone, android?
- is your website optimized for mobile devices
- demographics, and more
In short, we need to provide relevant and engaging content to them. If most of them are looking for DIY and how-to guides, then you should write more of such articles. If most of them are looking for motivation, adopt a positive writing style. Write what they want to read about, and not what you want them to read about. Put their interests ahead of yours, and everything else will fall nicely into place.
13. Not Providing Social Media Convenience
If you are not leveraging on your visitors, you are not maximizing the full potential of your current traffic. So how do we leverage on our current visitors? One of the easiest and most impactful action that a visitor can do for us is to share our content to their social media networks. However if you have not place any share buttons on your posts, sharing of your content is not going to convenient and your visitors aren’t going through hassles just to share them.
This is a common mistake commuter by beginners and I usually recommend them to have at least Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ as their share buttons. For WordPress users, check out this year’s 50 most popular WordPress plugins.
14. Not Doing Proper SEO
Bloggers who are not placing efforts to optimizing their blogs are committing a serious mistake that is big enough to ruin their blogging career. Why bother with SEO? Because no matter how good your website or content is, you need to let the world know that it exists. When no one or little knows about it’s existence, you are not going to have much visitors. A clever blogger or online business owner will realize that in order to succeed online, they need to shine in search engine results. However, high rankings in the search results is not something that can be achieved overnight. You need to strategize, plan medium to long term, spend time, effort and probably money along the way before you can see results.
If you want organic traffic regularly, you got to incorporate good SEO practices (e.g backlinks and using keyword research). During content writing, you can make improve SEO by using highly relevant keywords within titles, maintaining an optimal keyword density and having proper descriptions, etc. SEO is a huge topic that is not easy to master, but taking small steps on day to day basis, can make your blog more visible in the blogosphere.
15. Not Replying to Comments Professionally
Commenting is one of the ways that your audience uses to engage with you. Always take the effort to craft a professional reply to your commenter. When you reply, everyone including the commenter sees it, that’s why you need to answer it well and give everyone a positive image. If you ignore comments, it’s going to look very bad to you, as people may just talk bad behind your back. So be open-minded and reply to every comment that you receive. Every comment is an opportunity for you to generate more interest and good-will.
16. Not Showing your Most Recent or Popular Posts
Sometimes omitting a feature out of our blog is a mistake too. Here’s a good example: Usually a huge percentage of visitors who visit our website are first time visitors. Most of them found our content/web-page from search engines or social media sites. Now, unless your website is very popular and famous, it is very likely that the reader will just exit your website after finish reading your article. But that is not a scenario that we really want right?
To overcome this problem and increase the time visitors spent on our websites, we can take the opportunity and show them our latest articles, our best popular pages, as well as pages that are related to the content the reader was reading. This effortless act provides suggestions to encourage the reader to stay on, improves engagement and possibly offering another content that may solve his query.
17. Not Promoting your Content
Last but not least, remember to promote your content and website. There are many ways to promote your blog. Some methods gives you instant results, while other methods gives you long lasting results. Here are a list of methods to give you ideas:
- bookmarking sites,
- social media sites,
- guest blogging,
- email signatures,
- forum signature,
- commenting on blogs within your industry,
- search directories,
- offline media, etc
Blogging mistakes can happen to everyone. Mistakes are inevitable, and are part and parcel of life. Fortunately, mistakes can be corrected and good habits can be cultivated to avoid them. As the saying goes: “It’s not how we make mistakes, but how we correct them that defines us.” The most important thing is that we keep learning, correcting and improving. What’s your most common blogging mistake?
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