How to Make Sure You Avoid the 4 Worst Blogging Mistakes

By: | August 6, 2017 | Tags: , ,

The Worst Blogger Pitfalls And How To Avoid Them

By Patrick Foster

7 Worst Blogging Mistakes

credit: Pexels

The world of online content can be difficult to navigate.

SEO, keyword research, and trolls will undoubtedly keep you on your toes.

You need to know what your target reader wants to read if you want people to engage with your blog posts.

If you’re a blogger looking for a shortcut, hoping to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid making them yourself — then this article is for you.

The post, 4 Amazing Growth Hacking Tactics You Need to Double Your Blog Traffic, an in-depth guide on how to grow your blog traffic, is the opposite side of the same coin. That article explained 4 steps you can take to grow your blog. This post explains 4 steps you shouldn’t take if you want to grow your blog.

This article details the worst blogging mistakes bloggers can make and how to avoid making them.

What are the 4 Worst Blogging Mistakes?

  1. Not Researching Your Target Audience

Market or audience research is the key to success for any blog, whether you are writing for a business or your own personal brand.

 

For bloggers, audience research should be something you constantly return to in order to make important content and blogging decisions. Use social media, surveys, blogger groups, keyword research, competitor research, Quora, and content research tools (to name a few) to collect accurate, in-depth audience data. Make the most of the information you accumulate and employ it in your content marketing mix.

 

Your audience research should tell you:

 

  • What terms or questions are your target audience searching for?

From this information, you could brainstorm potential blog topics and themes that would interest them on your blog. Creating a content calendar of potential blog posts from this information would be a great idea – ensure that your posts will answer their burning questions.

 

  • What products or services does your target audience want to buy?

Blogs give you the chance to write important pieces of content of real value to your potential customers, like buyer’s guides and lookbooks, to assist them throughout the course of their buyer’s journey.

 

As an individual blogger writing to publicize your personal brand or services, it’s important not to forget about the power of market research. You may not be operating under the guise of a business name, but it is still vital for you to publish blog posts that are well researched and relevant to attract readers. Finding out what your readers want you to write about is a great idea – consider asking them via email or engaging with them on your existing blog post comment sections for inspiration.

 

Let’s not forget about metrics. Bounce and dwell rates are useful evidence for personal brands and businesses alike to decide what kind of content has the highest levels of engagement. The lower the bounce rate and the higher your dwell rate, the better. If that is the case, you know that a particular blog post is a good quality one for people visiting your page from a SERP [Search Engine Results Page], and this should provide inspiration for what you should post about next.

2. Ignoring SEO on your blog

7 Worst Blogging Mistakes

credit: Pixabay

Sure, blogging can be about creative writing and publishing your feelings or musings in a digital format. But if your blog is representing your services or a brand, you should be thinking about SEO.

 

Ranking on Google can make or break your online business: if you aren’t appearing on the first page of a SERP, then you’re missing out on a lot of web traffic and new business opportunities. Without solid web traffic, you won’t be able to monetize your blog and earn revenue as easily.

 

Blog posts are a clever way to optimize your site for certain keywords that will get you ranking on SERPs. As discussed in our first point, the first place to start is with keyword research. Tools such as keywordtool.io and Google Adwords are great ways to collect a list of keywords, phrases, and questions that your target audience are searching for. Check out our previous post on ways you can improve your keywords for SEO value if you need extra guidance.

 

Pro tip: Keywords, phrases, and questions are constantly changing, because your target audience is searching for new things all the time. It’s best to do regular keyword research to stay on top of new trends and ensure that your blog content is optimized for the right things.

 

In terms of onsite optimization, the Yoast plugin (for WordPress blogs) is fantastic for page analysis and offers additional functionalities such as changing metadata and link elements. On top of this, Yoast helps you manage technical things such as submitting your sitemap to search engines – this is essentially a table of contents for your website and will help Google crawl your site in the right way.

3. Using stale material in your posts

How to avoid these 7 worst blogging mistakes

credit: Raven Roxanne

Many bloggers fall prey to posting out-of-date or irrelevant content. There’s a multitude or reasons why this happens: perhaps life gets in the way, or the content was written and queued months in advance. A lack of inspiration and a pressure to post can lead to substandard content — but bloggers are often better off posting better content less frequently, rather than keeping up with a punishing publishing schedule.

 

Raven Roxanne is an abstract painter from South Carolina, and her online store (powered by Shopify) is a perfect example of how to use a blog the right way. Roxanne frequently updates her blog with posts featuring information, context and a backstory on the pieces of art she sells online. She also posts relevant pieces of news and information about the art world, particularly on the subject of impressionist or abstract art. This creates a connection with her viewers, promotes her work, and encourages continued readership thanks to expert-level content.

 

So, how can you ensure that your content doesn’t go stale? You should:

 

  • Stay up to date with current affairs in your industry. For example, as a writer on topics such as ecommerce and marketing, I like to frequent sites such as The Drum. The information I acquire from news sources inspires and informs my writing

 

  • But, if you’re too busy to keep posting yourself, there are other avenues to explore. You could make like Brian Dean and adopt the Skyscraping technique. This involves finding successful content written by your competitors (BuzzSumo is great for this) and using those ideas but making them better. Make sure that your post develops upon the target post and offers updated information of even greater value to the reader. It’s important to give your own unique twist on it.

 

  • Opening your blog up to sponsored or guest posters can be a great way to receive high-quality content without writing it yourself. If your blog has a relatively high authority, chances are you will already have received emails of people offering their content to you. If it’s good, don’t be afraid to accept it – it can keep your blog ticking over, even when you’re snowed under.

 

  • Creating some evergreen blog posts is a sure-fire way to ensure that your content remains of value for years to come. This guide offers an impressive list of ideas for evergreen content. How-to-guides with statistics (that are easy to update) and resource lists are two great ways to go.

 

Your blog needs a lot of TLC to stay relevant, which can be extremely time-consuming, particularly if you are running an online business too. These tips should provide you with some shortcuts and have you well on the way to hosting a successful blog.

4. Getting caught up with trolls

Avoid these worst blogging mistakes

credit: Memesuper

With any online discussion or community, there’s always the chance that someone will have nothing but negative things to say about you or your content. Constructive criticism can be useful, and you should always take it on board to better your online offering and constantly improve your user experience.

 

However, you may encounter ‘trolls’ who seek to start an online flame war in the comments section of your blog posts. While it may seem tempting to defend yourself and argue back, it is worth cutting all ties with this person instead. You have the power to moderate your blog comments section – so use it to your advantage. Remove any comments posted by trolls and spend your time on more productive things, like writing fantastic content.

 

Are you stuck in a rut with online trolls? This article provides actionable solutions to save you valuable time and effort.

 

So, there you have it: the worst blogger pitfalls and how to avoid them. We hope that these tips will point you in the right direction with your blog, whether you are writing for your personal brand, or representing a larger business.

 

Author Bio: Patrick Foster, ecommerce entrepreneur & writer

I am a freelance writer and I love sharing my knowledge on a variety of topics from blogging to ecommerce. Sharing my knowledge with others is my favorite pastime.

Host blogger’s comments:

There you have it. Have you been able to avoid making these worst blogging mistakes or are you still working on some of these tips?

Are there any errors you feel Patrick left out? If so, what do you believe are the worst blogging mistakes?

I look forward to your views in the comments section.

Readers, please share so other bloggers know how to avoid making the worst blogging mistakes and can have better success with their blogs.

Related

87 Blogging Mistakes You Should Absolutely Never Make

  1. Kathryn Maclean

    Hi Janice and Patrick Foster,
    We do learn from our mistakes but … if you can learn from others mistakes and that’s even better!
    What an informative post. I agree with all 4 but I haven’t been troubled by trolls as yet. I particularly enjoyed the links to other information Janice’s article on 4 things to double your blog traffic was eye opening as was the info on the Sky scraper technique with Brian Dean. Took notes for my research. Great article!!

    • Janice Wald

      HI Kathryn,
      1. I HAVE been a victim of trolls. While I envy you, it’s probably just a matter of time until we all experience them.
      2. Thanks for the feedback that you found value in the post I backlinked to about the 4 ways to grow your blog.
      3. Yes, the Skyscraper Technique says we need to build links to our sites. When I blog about Lumen 5, you will have built a link to yours. I am having SO much fun. I made another video today. Thanks again and for your comments on this article.
      Janice

  2. John Doe

    Thank you for the very informative post. Sometimes people lose sight of the mistakes they make and when they read them It reinforces it back in your mind not to do them. Again thank you for the help.

    • Janice Wald

      Glad you found the post helpful, John. Thanks for writing to tell us.
      Janice

  3. Kimsea Sok

    Hello Janice!…

    I know you’re an wildly active blogger who quickly respond to every comment.

    Since I didn’t your responded comment here, I believe your holiday is on going.

    Happy vacation.

    By the way, Hello Patrick.

    this is such a nice and helpful article.

    To be honestly, the most kind of articles I love to read is about when people hash off their mistakes.

    That’s terrible, huh?

    You know? Mistake sometime is the most amazing thing in life. I learn this from “Transformers series”

    Whatever the business you’re current doing, weather it’s offline or online, you have to clearly identify your target or prospective.

    If you don’t, you’ll do a blind marketing.

    Of course. SEO is the most crucial and terrible tip to discuss as you will lost a really big chance when you ignore Google and it’s friends.

    Although SEO is significantly important, you’re not always focus on the Robot. You’re first tip is much more important. I think.

    You know? When saw the word “criticism” in your post, I immediately want to quit reading this article. I used to received a hurt, a really hurt which scare me every time being to write.

    That’s not all bad. Sometime, the criticism can hurt, but in contrast, it helps with improving your productive.

    I could improve my writing because of those critics.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Kimsea,
      Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed comments.
      1. I’m home. The vacation was fun and relaxing.
      2. Regarding your comments about the importance of SEO: you seem mixed. On the one hand, you say to ignore Google is wrong but then you say we shouldn’t only be focused on the giant. I agree. I try to produce quality posts and at the same time optimize for search engines.
      3. Regarding Patrick’s use of the term “criticism,” I am sorry if that originally was off-putting for you. I reread his sentence and I was not offended. I actually blogged about how to deal with constructive criticism in the post I linked to about the 87 blogging mistakes since I have been a victim of trolls.
      I appreciate your honesty as you shared your knee-jerk reaction to that word.
      Janice

  4. John Mulindi

    Always learn something new whenever I read a post from MB. Thanks for sharing.

  5. simsstory13

    I am new to blogging, and still learning “the ropes” of what to do. And I think this post came at a good timing for me, as I can learn to avoid those mistakes- before doing them- still get a great lesson off them and I really appreciate it.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi SimStory,
      Thanks for dropping by. That’s what is great about being new– you can learn “the ropes” from more seasoned bloggers.
      Under the article were links to more “blogging mistakes to avoid” posts. One of them had 87 blogging mistakes to avoid! I don’t want to overwhelm you, but there are plenty more “mistakes” posts here if you ever need.
      Janice

  6. Matt

    Great post on what NOT to do. I have been at it for over a year now, and still I’m trying to process the whole SEO and keywords concepts. I did try to ignore them at first, but you can’t! There are plenty of tools out there to help you along, you just have to put in the time and effort to make them work for you.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Matt,
      Thanks for writing me. Great to see you here. Thanks, as always, for your support on Twitter.
      I agree. SEO won’t go away. It’s worth trying to boost our visibility there when you think of the potential.
      Search engines are my biggest referrers of traffic by far. Are they yours?
      Janice

  7. Lisa Sicard

    Hi Janice,
    You have reminded me here I have to work on some Evergreen content. I’ve always tried writing about the latest things on social media and Twitter but having some some with Evergreen content would be best.
    You are really right on about keyword research especially now with many using the voice to search as I do often.
    It can really make a difference and getting organic traffic is key.
    I’ve been pretty lucky with the trolls as I use word fence for protection. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if someone is a scammer or not if in doubt I usually delete it.
    Thanks for all these great tips Janice.
    Have a great rest of the day and week ahead!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for the advice. Like you, I often have trouble telling if someone is a scammer. If I’m in doubt, I keep it rather than have someone get in trouble. Perhaps it is better to err on the side of caution.
      Janice

  8. Ahmad Imran

    Patrick, great to see your blog post article on Janice’s blog, another well-written article. You are right about the trolls, you always get one on and off. The best thing is to not get bogged down into too much confrontation and arguments. Their sole purpose is to distract you and your readers by gaining attention.

    I am sure many of us bloggers have experience them before. The key is to know about the issue in advance and deal with them effectively.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Ahmad,
      I find it intriguing (amusing?) that of Patrick’s 4 tips, the tip getting the most reaction is the one about the trolls. Perhaps it touches a nerve for us. Thanks for the visit and the comments.
      Janice

  9. Thelma Alberts

    This is a very informative post. I have learned from my mistakes and I am still learning now. Thanks for sharing.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Thelma,
      I’m happy to hear Patrick’s 4-part checklist is helpful for you.
      I appreciate your comments and you spending time on my blog today.
      Janice

  10. GiGi Eats

    You know what’s kind of cool? I don’t have any trolls – ie: I don’t have any haters. Probably because people know that I really just DONT GAF – hahahah! Nothing affects me. Make fun of me – that’s totally cool, cause I am laughing right along with you! lol

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Gigi,
      Thanks for coming by. Lucky! I’ve been trolled. I didn’t know how to handle it and was criticized for handing it badly, but the person was right. I didn’t know what to do so I did nothing and ended up embarrassed. I guess I give people the benefit of the doubt. Great to see you.
      Janice

      • GiGi Eats

        You must stand up for yourself and try to not let those trolls GET TO YOU – because that’s their goal…. TO BE MEAN and you don’t want them to achieve such a crummy goal, right?!

  11. Chery Schmidt

    Hello Janice! it was nice to meet Patrick here on your blog tonight! I really enjoyed all his Blogging mistakes as well as is Pro tip!

    Thank you two for sharing
    Chery :))

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Chery,
      How are you? Great to see you here! Thank you so much for following my blog! I am flattered!
      I am glad you enjoyed Patrick’s post on what not to do! Thanks for writing to tell us.
      Janice

      • Chery Schmidt

        Good Morning Janice! I am doing Crazy Good! Going to pick up my new Jeep this morning!! YEHA Enjoy Your Day My Friend!!
        Chery :))

  12. Moss

    Hi Patrick & Janice,

    Your article is super interesting. The 4 points mentioned are remarkable. We need to understand that mistakes are meant to help us straighten our paths and stay on the right track. And when we come across the mistakes of others, it puts us in a better position to avoid them as well.

    Not studying or researching your target audience is like navigating without a compass – you get lost. You need to figure out what your audience really want to read or the issues they want to solve and then tailor your content to their needs.

    SEO is here to stay no-matter what. Even with the rise of voice search. SEO will continue to be an Important part of content marketing. So ignoring SEO is more like heading toward a dead zone.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Moss,
      My year-end post announces the top 5 – 10 posts of the year so everyone can see what everyone is interested in. They’re usually, posts that will help them generate traffic and/or money. Definitely, we have to keep our eye on what our readers want.
      Janice

  13. Elise Cohen Ho

    OMG, that troll picture totally captured me. Your points are spot on, as always.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Elise,
      I’m glad to hear you found the picture engaging. Thanks for writing to tell us you enjoyed the article.
      Janice

  14. Anyaogu Ikechukwu

    Writing low-quality content can also be the biggest blogging mistake.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Anyaogu,
      I agree with you. I heard Google likes posts 2,000 words and higher. Ever since I’ve tried to make my posts that long. I don’t always make it. I often get stuck around 1700, but I try. Thanks for writing.
      Janice

  15. Eloisa

    My thoughts apply more on the small business blogger who’s trying to get more traffic. It’s important to remember that your content should appeal to algorithms too. Of course, there are lots of factors that go into how your content is found, and as Rand Fishkin would say, the criteria should be for the user. Wouldn’t hurt though if you also make it search engine friendly. Thank you, Janice.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Eloisa,
      Thanks for commenting on my article. I try to make my posts user-friendly and search engine friendly.
      Janice

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