Whether you’re new to blogging or a seasoned blogger, there are a few mistakes that many of us have made, but can luckily learn from. If you’re reading this site, you are most likely looking to grow your blog and attract new visitors. Knowing these classic blogging errors can save you lots of time and frustration. Here are a few of the top mistakes I’ve compiled so that we can all work on creating great blogs while increasing visitors at the same time.
They don’t create great content
What makes a great blog? Great content. One of the top mistakes that bloggers make is not creating great content. It is the content of your blog that attracts visitors and encourages them to stick around, so why do so many of us wonder why we aren’t getting enough visitors when we post uninteresting content?
Content is key, especially when you are just starting out. While it’s totally fine to create a diary style blog sharing highlights of your day, that is not the kind of content that is going to attract visitors. Sure, you may get some hits from your family and friends in the beginning, but it’s going to take you much longer to build up your reputation. Why? Because, in all honesty, the majority new visitors don’t care about your day at school or your dog. They want content with some substance. Something that they can relate to… and even something that’s not all about you. There has to be some sort of take away for them, and unless you’ve got celebrity status and people are dying to know what you eat for breakfast, it’s easy for a blog with no substance to fail.
Focus on creating great content and think about what your post can offer somebody else. Writing a new post every day or every other day in the beginning is a great way to boost your presence online. The more amazing content you can pump out, the more your posts will be shared and indexed on search engines.
They don’t create shareable content
Creating great content is one thing, but creating shareable content is another. Whenever you create a post, think about its share value. Will people link to your article or share it on social networking sites? Why or why not? Is your post title one that would attract new readers if somebody happened to share your article? Do you have an image inside of your post that would catch someone’s eye on Pinterest? Don’t just expect a visitor to copy your link and paste it into their favourite social networking site. Give them options to share that content right there in the post. Installing social sharing buttons inside of your posts is a surefire way to increase sharing. What’s the use in creating awesome content if you don’t offer your readers a way to easily share what you’ve written? You could be missing out on huge traffic opportunities.
They don’t take advantage of SEO
SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) plays a huge part in the success of a blog. So why do so many bloggers fail to follow some basic SEO tips? When you’re creating your posts, strongly consider the title of your post as something that somebody on Google might search for. Make your permalinks SEO friendly by changing the way they are displayed to include the post title in the URL. (If you are a WordPress user, you should take a look at some SEO plugins to help you out.) Search engines can account for a very large majority of a blogger’s visits if done right.
They don’t visit other blogs
How are you supposed to draw attention to yourself if you’re stuck in your own little blogging bubble? Blogging is a community, and getting to know that community can prove to be a huge benefit. Bloggers who don’t network with other bloggers are missing out on a great opportunity to expand their circle. Not only to grow your own blog’s traffic, but to meet and interact with great people who share the same interests. Visiting other blogs, leaving comments, and connecting with fellow bloggers as a routine task will get you noticed and even draw other bloggers over to your site.
They try implementing advertising too soon
Implementing ad programs or accepting “sponsor” ads too soon can be the worst kind of distraction. In the beginning, a blog should be all about the content and you should work up to being able to place ads on your site if that is the path you want to take. Setting up ads too early not only gives new visitors the impression that a blogger is only in it for the money, but wastes so much time that could have been spent making great content instead. Bloggers suddenly become concerned with why they’re only making 2 cents a week, thinking that maybe they don’t have enough ads on their site and that maybe adding more will help. They sign up for affiliate networks in hopes of earning commissions that way too. It’s backwards thinking and it will not get anyone anywhere. Advertising should come after you’ve built up your content and a following.
They don’t create trust with their audience
Anybody can create a blog about any topic, but it’s up to the blogger to convince the reader that they are qualified to know enough about that topic they write about. Readers need to be able to trust what a blogger says, especially if that blogger is a self proclaimed expert at their chosen niche. Building trust takes time and it may even take numerous posts about a certain topic for others to really believe that you know what you’re talking about. Offering helpful articles about a subject is a great way to build trust, because a reader can actually attempt to take your advice and see what happens.
They don’t own a domain name
I know I sound like a broken record, but it seriously is so important for bloggers to have their own domain name. If you use a freebie blog service, like Blogger, at least get your own domain name. Think about it… When was the last time you saw a popular newspaper or magazine mention a blogger with a “blogspot.com” address? Having a domain name instantly makes any blogger look more serious because it shows that they’ve actually taken the time to purchase an identity… their own identity! An identity that can now be used on promotional material, business cards, email signatures and more and be easy for others to remember.
Did I miss anything? What’s your take?