In the beginning, blogging was nothing more than a fun activity for those who loved to write and a way of getting in touch with like-minded people for the purpose of exchanging ideas, or simply, socializing.
However, over the years, and thanks in part to social networks, it has become one of the most effective ways to spread word about your business, service, or a product you manufacture, or to establish yourself as an expert and thought leader within a particular niche. It can still be fun, but more often than not, it is looked upon as a means of generating traffic, and hopefully, income, whether it’s through sales or ads.
Since there is no magic formula or a step-by-step instruction you can follow to become a rockstar blogger, the solution would be to shift our focus on doing the opposite, and avoid some of the most common mistakes made by our predecessors. Fortunately, things are a lot less vague in that department, which is why we have composed a list of 7 blogging mistakes every aspiring blogger should avoid on their road to success.
Check it out below.
1. You Don’t Promote Your Content Enough
One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is to focus on producing content and nothing else. While people do read blogs primarily because of the content and the information they can take away and do something useful with it, nobody is going to read it, if they’re not even aware of its existence.
This means you should work on promoting your blog, and the best way to do it is to develop a strong social media presence on all major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Tumblr, if you are aiming for a younger audience, as well as YouTube.
For some, a 50/50 split between writing and promoting their blog will work just fine, or 30/70, or even 10/90. The exact ratio of is up to you to determine, because every blogger is different, as is their target audience.
2. You’re Not Consistent Enough at Posting Content
Now, the definition of consistency can be pretty wide as far as blogging is concerned. You will find that many blogging gurus and authority figures in the industry will advise you to blog on a daily basis, which is great in theory, but it puts you in danger of burning out, or watering down the quality of your content just so you can match that daily quota. But, if you can pull it off, more power to you.
Regardless of how often you blog, always make sure that you are consistent. Posting 2-3 times a week would be an optimal solution which would allow you to maintain both the quality and quantity of your writing. There is plenty of room for experimentation when it comes to figuring out on which days you will post, as well as which period of the day rakes in the most views.
3. Your Writing Skills Could Be Better
If you are doing everything right when it comes to promoting your blog, SEO, and consistency, but you’re still not getting enough readers, then perhaps the answer lies within your writing skills, which could probably use some work. Whether it’s poor readability, or too many grammar and spelling mistakes, it doesn’t matter, because there is something you can do about it.
There are plenty of high-quality writing services, such as Australian Writings, which gather professional writers and editors that can help you improve your writing chops through workshops, tips, or by producing content whenever you are behind schedule or running into writer’s block. Also, you can rely on their editors to proofread and edit your existing work and really make it shine.
4. Your Blog Is Not on Your Website
While it sort of makes sense to separate your blog and your website and to establish a connection between the two by inserting links, you should be doing the exact opposite. You need to make your blog a part of your website, because readers are a lot more likely to check out the posts which are on the same website, instead of going somewhere else for more.
Apart from that, there is one other, more subtle benefit in terms of SEO. There are only so many pages on your website you can create before it gets too cluttered, which means you are pretty much stuck when it comes to search engine visibility. However, every new post is yet another page indexed by search engines, which makes your website a lot more noticeable.
5. Your Posts Are Always the Same Length
While sticking to a certain norm is great if you’re trying to post on a regular basis, it can have the opposite effect when it comes to your content. For instance, some bloggers only stick with writing short posts which don’t require the readersto scroll down, because everything is there in front of them. Others write only comprehensive, detailed posts which are several pages long.
Although it is true that concise, more focused posts are more easily digestible, and that long posts are needed because some topics require a more in-depth explanation, you should avoid sticking with just one approach. Instead, try mixing it up and writing both short and long posts to keep things from growing stale and monotonous, and losing readers in the process. Audience likes variety, and it’s up to you to provide it for them.
6. Your Blog Posts Read Like Ads
Whatever you do as a blogger, don’t turn your blog into an infomercial and try to force your service or product upon your readers. Nobody likes that, especially not in the beginning, when they could care less about some supposedly awesome deal you have to offer them. Sure, the goal of blogging is to promote your business and earn money, but there are more discreet ways of going about it.
Do you know why people read blogs? First and foremost, they are looking for useful ideas, information and tips on a particular subject, which is why you should aim to provide them with just that. Once they are hooked, they will want to learn more, and that’s when they turn from a reader into a customer. For instance, websites which sell power tools would provide buying guides on their blog, as well as some as some tips and tricks on home repairs.
7. You Focus Too Much on SEO
We have already mentioned that one of the best way to get your website noticed by search engines is to blog, which requires you to infuse your blog posts with strategically placed keywords that get picked up by search engines. Nonetheless, such practice is at its most effective when used sparingly.
You will find some bloggers writing specifically for SEO, instead of their human audience, aggressively littering their articles with awkward keywords that disrupt the reading flow and diminish the quality of the post. Sometimes, they don’t even make sense, which is especially off-putting.
These days, search engine crawlers and algorithms are a lot cleverer, and will index good content regardless of the keyword percentage, which doesn’t mean you should avoid sprinkling a few key phrases here and there. Focus on writing for the people, not robots.
While there are plenty more do’s and don’ts of blogging, these 7 crucial don’ts should be more than enough to help you get started if you’re a beginner, or get you to correct some of the errors you’ve made as an experienced blogger.