Wouldn’t it be nice if you had someone to troubleshoot for you?
Someone who could experience the challenges of blogging and solve them, so you don’t have to?
You know, you could reap the benefit of their experiences and not have to go through the rollercoaster ride that is blogging.
You do have someone like that– me!
My two-year blogging anniversary occurs next month.
This post will give you the benefit of my experience, so you can avoid making these 87 blogging mistakes, and just go straight to the successes.
- About page is disorganized, about you, not how you solve your readers’ problems, or missing. For instructions how to write an effective About page, read How to Write a Killer About Page That Will Attract New Followers.
- Anchor text is Click here or Read. The Collective Mill blog advises making your anchor text your keyword. The blog explains this is one of the ways to grow your blog since your SEO will improve.
- Asking readers to read your blog post It sounds needy. Give them a reason to read your post instead of a plea.
- Avatar is missing. People trust people they can see.
- Avoiding risk-taking Controversy breeds page views.
- Backlinks are missing that could get you new traffic to old posts— a wasted opportunity.
- Being impatient for success Disillusionment may set in when that success doesn’t come as quickly as you expect it. Don’t be discouraged. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Being narcissistic You can write about yourself. It just shouldn’t be the only topic you write about.
- Believing blogging is fast.There are many facets of blogging. Bloggers’ biggest complaint, according to surveys, is how time-consuming blogging tasks are.
- Believing blogging myths There are so many blogging tips articles on the internet, you should believe methods that are based on data and research.
- Blog isn’t backed up. Backing up your blog is advisable, so you don’t lose your articles.
- Bloggers write but don’t say anything. For example, I recently read on a blog, “You need a sales funnel.” I immediately wondered, “What’s a sales funnel?” The writer never told me. I also wondered, “How do I get a sales funnel?” She didn’t say. I guess I could Google these questions, but then why do I need to read her blog?
- Blogging in isolation Associations are everything in blogging. You don’t blog in a bubble.
- Blogging without help You don’t have to work alone on your blogging tasks. Many website creators are willing to help you.
- Broken links Replace your broken links, or you’re losing an important opportunity to get traffic to old posts, and you are frustrating your readers. If you self-host, I recommend the plugin Broken Link Checker.
- Burnout Risk Accept that you can’t do it all. I spread myself pretty thin, so I can share the effects of my efforts with my readers, but I accept that I just don’t have the time, energy, or desire to do it all. I outsource and limit my social media promotion.
- Call to Action is missing. Your readers are interested in your content, or they wouldn’t be reading your blog post. Don’t lose an opportunity to ask them to support you by sharing, subscribing, or purchasing your product or service.
- Call to Action is in the wrong places. You don’t want to make this blogging mistake. Readers may not stay on your page long enough to get to your Call to Action.
- Comments you make on other blogs are cursory. You will get the attention of other readers and increase your traffic by writing in-depth comments. Also, writing a thoughtful comment is a way of showing the admin blogger you read the post.
- Complaining John Jantsch advises, “Present and focus on the positive points so you don’t sound like a whiner.”
- Data is missing. Case study posts are convincing because you can present data in screenshots. My post This is How to See 621 People At Your Blog in 1 Day offered four case studies. Each one presented data in screenshots. I predict it will be one of my most viewed posts this year.
- Deleting all your comments Here’s what happened (mostly so no one else has to go through it!) I mistakenly hit the trash icon under my post on the WordPress Dashboard. (I thought I was checking to see what was in my trash folder.). Well, a box opened that said ‘Delete Post’ or ‘Undo’. And when I clicked ‘Undo’, the post republished itself. So it was like it was brand new — with no comments. And they were pretty clever comments, too. Darn it. From LutheranLiar
- Don’t use Uncategorized. Tag your posts keywords you think readers will search for in search engines.
- Editorial calendar is ignored. You need a plan, according to Karissa Ancell.
- Email list is missing. You can capture Emails with an Email list. MailChimp and Aweber are popular Email services.
- Email subject lines are weak. You could have great articles, but readers need to open your emails to learn about them.
- Everything looks the same. People are in a rush, so they skim blog posts. If you want them to stay on your page, so they get to the bottom where they can comment and share, you need to format your post. Use bullets, bold, and numbering.
- Facebook groups are left out of your social media plan. After search engines, Facebook is overwhelmingly my leading referrer of traffic. Many of the bloggers I meet say so too. This is caused by our ability to self-promote in Facebook groups.
- Font is illegible. For example, the font color is white, and the background is black.
- Font colors vary. Don’t use different colored fonts. They look like links. Also, blogger Melyssa Griffin cautions you against using fun fonts since you might not be taken seriously as a blogger.
- Format of your blog post is always the same. People don’t like “one-trick ponies”, according to Mashable.
- Google Analytics is ignored. It tells you where your traffic comes from so you can continue to direct your efforts there and play to your strengths.
- Graphics are missing. Whether you feel you have time for Pinterest is irrelevant. In the visual society in which we live, you can’t ignore the power of a graphic to pull in your reader.
- Hashtags are missing when you promote at Twitter, Google+, or Instagram.
- Having a thin skin You need to fluff off negativity. Blogging is not for the faint-hearted.
- Headline is generic and not clickable. It should follow a formula in which it makes the reader a promise. 13 Foolproof Ways to Stop Writing Ineffective Blog Headlines explains the formula and how to offer the fulfillment of a promise in the headline.
- Headline wasn’t analyzed with the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. It gives you a clickable headline without the guesswork.
- Ignoring the analytics in your dashboard. Check them daily.
- Ignoring commenters. Without readers, your blog is a diary. Ignoring them is rude to people who tried to support you with their comments. They might forgive rudeness once or twice, but ultimately, they can still get your information without commenting. Don’t shoot yourself in the proverbial foot by giving people reason not to comment on your blog.
- Images are slowing down your blog’s loading time. People could leave your site if they are frustrated waiting for your post to load. Do you really need all those photos? If yes, consider using a free tool like SlideShare.
- Inconsistent blogging schedule If needed, have a shelf post for when you get extra busy.
- Incentives aren’t used. They will help you get new subscribers.
- Read More tag is missing. You get more page views if the readers click twice.
- Introduction is boring. There are many interesting ways to hook your readers.
- Landing page is missing. If you give people your blog URL, what will they find when they get there? Why chance you won’t make a good first impression? Here is my landing page if you’d like to see an example.
- Leaving out related posts Why miss an opportunity to get traffic to older blog posts? My readers tell me they’re grateful for links to related content I published before they met me. I have a “Related Posts” section at the bottom of my blog posts, but I’ve seen “Related Posts” under the paragraphs they relate to.
- Making mechanical errors in your writing Use Grammarly to help avoid them.
- Making your first paragraph too long According to the Sticky Blogging Formula, the introduction should contain a problem.
- Making your Pinterest pins horizontal An admin of a community board wrote me to tell me to knock off pinning horizontal pins to her board. Why risk angering people? Research explains vertical pins have the most success on Pinterest.
- Manually posting your blog posts to your social media accounts. Automation with schedulers like Buffer and Hootsuite are effective since they are set to the optimal times to post and quicker than manual posting.
- Mechanics are weak. Use Grammarly. Content may be king, but mechanics matter.
- Money is not invested in your blog. I understand many of you might be hobby bloggers, but people invest money in their hobbies.
- Money-making is your immediate goal. I’m sure most of us would like to make money eventually from doing something we love. However, when you are new and first finding your audience, your goal should be building a readership and honing your niche. There are many ways to make money from blogging, but you can pursue that down the road.
- Networking is not a priority. Bloggers who don’t network don’t expand their circle of readers.
- Niche is missing. Bloggers who just write about their musings can “muse” to themselves in the mirror or a diary. According to Olivia Derby.com, having a niche will help improve your SEO.
- Not following a blog you love According to blogger Cathy Lawdanski, subscribing to a blog you love makes sense since it’s good for both you and the admin blogger.
- Not including image tags You need to tag your images just like you tag your posts. Use your keyword.
- Not guest blogging Writing for someone else will expose you to their readers and help you grow your blog. Also, sometimes meeting someone else’s expectations makes you a better blogger.
- Not optimizing your posts SEO matters!
- Not using a pin scheduler People might be awake and on social media when you are sleeping. Use a pin scheduler like Viralwoot and ViralTag and set it for a 24-hour clock.
- Not using Publicize I assumed since I self-host, Publicize wouldn’t work on my site. After all, my other social media followers aren’t included in my sidebar count, just my WordPress and Email blog subscribers. I manually put my new posts on my social media. Then, I connected Publicize. Although the total of subscribers in the sidebar isn’t affected, now when I publish, my posts go to my social media accounts. I don’t have to do anything.
- Not promoting to StumbleUpon A reader wrote that she wants to get 100 page views a day from StumbleUpon. People are getting 150 just from StumbleUpon and up (Note: If you’d like to join my StumbleUpon group, let me know in the comments section.)
- Old posts are ignored. Change your tags, add an infographic. Update the information. Add on to them and republish as new posts.
- Omitting external links Readers will welcome a way to access content besides your own, a new voice on the topic. My readers have written to thank me, so I know. Also, external links to related articles improve your SEO.
- Only having the “Subscribe” box in your sidebar You need to also capture Emails with an Email account like MailChimp are Aweber. They are free services. You have nothing to lose. If you don’t have an added way of getting Emails, you could lose the Emails you have if your blogging service shuts down or shuts you down. You are also depriving yourself of getting additional Emails. You do not have to self-host to have an Email account.
- Paragraphs are too long. It should only be a 1-3 sentence hook.
- Pain Points are missing. The Sticky Blogging Formula advises you to write primarily about problems you can solve for your reader.
- Perfection is your goal. You don’t have time for perfect posts. Your readers are waiting for your content.
- Picking a niche you find boring If you aren’t interested, the odds are you won’t be able to get anyone else to care about your information either.
- Posting potentially offensive or off-color material too often Consider the remarks of famous blogger Ryan Biddulph upon seeing I’d published a guest author’s “off color” article. “Sometimes I write a colorful post and promote along colorful channels. Only sometimes, though ?.”
- Procrastinating Pushing off writing your article will ensure your post is inferior since you will be rushed. Additionally, readers could get tired of waiting for you to get around to publishing and find another, more consistent, blog to read.
- Promotion is too narrow. New readers won’t find you.
- Rambling Readers need to know what the post is about. If you focus on your topic, they will.
- Refusing to host guest authors You can publish and give yourself a break from writing. You will also feature a different voice who has expertise other than or in addition to your own. Your readers win, you win, and your guest author, who gets new exposure, wins.
- Sitting for too long Blogger Kathleen Aherne recommends standing while your pictures are downloading to counteract this.
- Social Media is ignored. People aren’t psychic. If you want readers, you have to promote your post. There are many free ways to get the word out about your articles. According to Building a Brand Online, unsuccessful blogs are fizzing out because they are not connected to social media.
- Spamming Don’t try it. It’s rude, and you will lose the respect of the blogging community.
- Static pages are left off your blog. In addition to providing information for your visitors, pages get ranked at search engines. Therefore, having pages improves your SEO.
- Stats depress you when they are low. Use them as an opportunity to improve.
- Taking your spouse or significant other for granted Bill at The Money Professor blog explains blogging almost ruined his marriage.
- Target reader is ignored, or you don’t consider your target reader at all. Having a target reader will help you focus your writing.
- Telling nonbloggers about your blog. They all don’t care or understand. Other bloggers and blogging groups are available who will understand your blogging joys and disappointments.
- Testimonials are missing. According to the Bandwagon Effect, please want to get out with the virtual crowd and follow what’s popular. Testimonials give you credibility.
- Thinking for other people. For example, in recent months, I stopped pinning my screenshots to Pinterest. I felt people wouldn’t be interested in sharing my screenshots. Then, I read we should have multiple pins for each post on Pinterest, so I returned to pinning them. Immediately, people started sharing my screenshots on Pinterest. I learned not to try to think for other people.
- Time-wasters. You should outsource blogging tasks.
- Too many tags. Don’t be too specific. You will box yourself in.
- Visuals are missing According to Blog Marketing Sea, all your statistics will rise with a long post. However, readers will be put off looking at all that text without visuals such as screenshots to break it up.
Readers, in the two years I’ve been blogging, these are the mistakes I consistently see around the Internet. Please share, so other bloggers don’t make these mistakes.
Have you ever made a blogging mistake? Which mistakes do you make? Do you have suggestions for how to fix them? I look forward to your views in the comment section.
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