Top 10 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
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Whether you are blogging for fun or profit, you want and need readers to survive. The more people that read and share your blog posts, the more frequently search engines index your site, and more people discover your site. This leads to more followers, and a wonderful cycle of search engine love and consistent traffic rewards you.
But in many cases, bloggers shoot themselves in the feet by making correctable errors when publishing blog posts and marketing their sites. You will never achieve blogging success, both financial and personal, if you don’t avoid these Top 10 Blogging mistakes at all costs.
1 – Not capitalizing on the an in-depth “About Me” page
Study after study continues to show that the “About Me” or “About Us” page is one of the pages on a site or blog that gets the most consistent traffic. If you are doing your job correctly and delivering quality content on a consistent schedule, people want to know who you are and what you are about. So no matter what page they first arrived on when they hit your blog, there is a good chance they will check out your About Me page.
But the key here is to spend very little time talking about yourself or your literary achievements. Mention why you started blogging and why you care about your readers. And make sure there are multiple monetization methods on this page. When a reader checks out your About Me page, 9 times out of 10 it is because they enjoyed your blog posts. These followers are at that exact moment in time positively inclined to make a purchase of a service or product that you recommend.
2 – Not blogging on a set schedule
This is a biggie. And believe it or not, when you blog on a set schedule, you do not have to make daily or even weekly updates to attract serious traffic. It is more important to avoid the next top 10 blogging mistake than it is to simply churn out content regularly. But when you blog on a set schedule, several important things happen.
Repetition on a set schedule of a particular process 17 to 21 times turns a voluntary act into an involuntary action in most human beings. So when you force yourself to stick to a blogging schedule, you are eventually “blogging in your sleep”. Your brain knows the date and time you will be blogging, thoughts come more freely, and your consistent blogging efforts to get noticed and rewarded by both your readers and the search engines.
3 – Not providing quality content
With blogs being created and abandoned every day, it is hard to pinpoint the exact number of blogs on the World Wide Web. But most Internet analysts estimate that there are more than 1 billion blogs and websites in cyberspace. That means if you are not providing quality content, you are making a deadly mistake.
With so much competition, you simply must stand out. Speak in your own “voice”, provide original ideas, spend just as much time researching as you do writing, and force yourself to publish only content that is excellent in quality. Quality content gets shared, goes viral, and the search engines notice. Your rankings improve, your e-mail list gets bigger, and you make more money while actually helping people by answering the questions that they have in a thorough manner.
4 – Not writing in the second person, and in a conversational tone
Check out these two sentences.
You want to make the most money possible from your blog, don’t you? Then you need to ask yourself immediately if you are making these 10 deadly blogging mistakes.
Don’t they resonate with you and seem more relevant to your situation than the following two sentences?
Blog owners want to make the most money possible from their blogs. That is why they should never make the following 10 deadly blogging mistakes.
Subconsciously, when you write as if you are speaking directly to a friend or family member, you are engaging in a two-way conversation with your readers and followers. Use “you”, “your”, “yours” and “yourself” to create engagement. This also makes each and every single one of your readers feel like you are addressing them personally.
5 – Showing off the grammar skills you learned in college
This is a mistake which can get an otherwise excellent blog unread, un-liked and unsubscribed in a hurry. Did you know that the average web reader reads and communicates on about a 6th to 8th grade level? Trust me, no one is going to yell at you because your blog is too easy to understand.
Steer clear of big words and using too many clichés. They make you look self-important and sometimes intimidate your readers. And keep your grammar simple, your punctuation even simpler. Start sentences with “but” or “and” because this is how people really talk. Author Kurt Vonnegut once said that all semicolons do is “show you’ve been to college.” Write content that is easy to understand, and if you want to impress someone with your writing ability, go back to college.
6 – Not building an e-mail list
The money is in the list. I am sure you have seen or heard that repeated close to a million times. Then why aren’t you building a list?! When you compile a list of e-mail subscribers, they want to hear from you. Sure, they probably joined because you offered a free download or report. And building an e-mail list is a great way to monetize your blog.
But offering your blog subscribers products and services in return for money is not the only reason you should be building your e-mail list. If you are blogging for the right reasons then you really do want to help people. The best way to help web surfers answer problems, stop pain and create pleasure (the three biggest reasons people surf the web) is to constantly and consistently communicate with them through their e-mail inbox. And you cannot do that without an e-mail list.
7 – Selling too often
Ask yourself this simple question. Would you subscribe or go back to a blog that was constantly trying to sell you something? Probably not. Odds are, you created your blog as a profit stream. There are bloggers that have multiple websites set up to deliver steady monthly profits on autopilot. And there is certainly nothing wrong with that. After all, you have to pay the bills, and you should be rewarded for all of your hard work.
However, when you provide quality content through each and every post or page you publish, sales will usually take care of themselves. And instead of directly selling, place a clickable tab at the top of your blog titled “Resources I Recommend” or “Valuable Tools”. Then list all of the resources, programs, tools and services that you profit from through sales or referrals.
8 – Not selling often enough
Cliff Ravenscraft and Pat Flynn are two well-known professional bloggers. They also host successful podcasts. Aside from those similarities, both of these men have another thing in common. When they first started out blogging, there was nowhere on their own website where a devoted follower could purchase anything. Both of those polished and professional Internet marketers, podcasters and bloggers actually had followers asking them how they could buy something from them!
The lesson here? Make sure you monetize your site, whether it be through contextual links to affiliate products, by selling your own e-books and services, or selling monthly advertising space. You don’t want to be known as the blogger who is always pushing an offer, but your devoted followers will always consider purchasing a product or service that you recommend.
9 – Ignoring the comments section of your posts
You should always set your blog preferences to allow comments on your posts. Also, make sure you have to approve a comment before it is posted. Then check your comments frequently. If someone takes the time to actually tell you what they think about your post, you have done your job and engaged the reader.
There is no better time to connect with this person than when you receive a notification that a comment is waiting to be approved. Answer any questions they may have, refer them to valuable resources or tools which may help them, and you create a follower for life.
10 – Writing for search engines and not real people
We get it. You have to make your content search engine friendly. After all, won’t Google, Yahoo, Bing and all the other search engines on the web ignore you if your blog is not search engine optimized? The answer is, of course they won’t. The number one job of any search engine is to deliver the freshest, most relative content related to whatever question or search term a web surfer is looking for. How do search engines know which web pages out of the billions out there are most relevant to a particular search term?
They judge by how long people stay on a particular webpage after typing in their search term. They also look for related words and phrases that apply to the search topic as well. But this does not mean you can simply add a couple of dozen dog training-related words and phrases and instantly rank on the first page in Google for the term “dog training”. To get more traffic, which Google and the other search engines will recognize and reward with higher ranking, write blog posts and pages for people, not search engine robots.