7 Blogging Mistakes Guaranteed to Hurt Your Results
Here are seven blogging mistakes guaranteed to hurt your blog’s results. To improve your blog’s effectiveness, a set of tactics are included with each mistake to help your blog succeed. (There are twenty-nine tactics in all!)
1. You don’t pay attention to the technical aspect of your blog. While creating content is at the heart of blogging, technical support is necessary to improve your blog’s performance and ensure everything works right.
- Set your blog up properly on your own URL. You need your blog configured correctly to ensure it has a strong foundation. Ideally your blog should be integrated with your website.
- Keep your software up-to-date and secure. This means using the latest version of your software (i.e. WordPress) and taking other security measures. For example, not using “admin” for your administrator’s username.
- Maximize your blog speed. This refers to how quickly your site loads and has an impact on search rankings. It also includes cleaning out and optimizing your blog’s database for self-hosted blogs.
- Ensure your blog works properly. This includes a variety of different factors such as how you link to appropriate content and embed video.
- Configure your blog for third party services. This includes an array of other functionality such as analytics, social media sharing and comments. This also includes choosing the best plugins for these services.
2. You don’t focus your blog content. Just recycling other corporate content without considering your blog’s goals or readership contributes to making your blog ineffective.
- Understand your target audience. Create actionable marketing personas to better provide the useful information your visitors seek.
- Offer content across a variety of focused categories. Concentrate your content around topics related to your offering and your readers’ needs.
- Skip self-serving marketing promotion. Don’t think of your blog as an extension of your promotional distribution. Instead, create your content from your readers’ perspective. Think in terms of how-tos, styling and answering questions.
- Make content long enough to be interesting. While you shouldn’t pack everything into one post, you should offer sufficient content to make reading your posts worthwhile.
- Use attention-getting headlines. Don’t assume that your content by itself is enough to lure readers in. Spend time on crafting strong titles.
3. You don’t format your content for easy consumption. Once you’ve written your content, you rush to publish it and move on instead of taking the time to improve each post’s arrangement to facilitate readership.
- Integrate your branding into your blog. To make your blog stand out, it requires branding, either its own or an extension of your business’s. Think broadly across every aspect of your content. (Here’s a checklist for branding your blog.)
- Make content scannable. Understand most readers won’t read every word. Use bolding and outlining to guide them through your information quickly.
- Use photographs and other visual content to support comprehension. Incorporate images to speed up reader consumption and understanding.
- Copyedit and streamline each post. The goal is to eliminate extraneous and flabby wording. Also, ensure your grammar is correct so that it doesn’t cause you to lose readers.
4. You overlook the need to optimize your blog for search. By their nature blogs are search-friendly.
- Focus each post on a different keyword phrase. Instead of over packing each post with lots of keywords, concentrate each post on a specific keyword term. (Here are some keyword tools explained.)
- Add keyword-rich text to non-text formats. Associate text with non-text content such as images and videos. If a photograph has a filename like Image_123.jpg, rename it to describe what the content contains.
- Link to both internal and external resources. Connect the links to appropriate terms that clarify what the linked information is about. Don’t link to phrases like “Click here.”
- Maximize URL effectiveness. Don’t use automatically generated URLs. Instead incorporate relevant, popular keywords and minimize the number of slashes.
- Don’t use a free hosting platform (such as Blogger.) Pay to host your blog on your own URL to support your search efforts.
5. You don’t encourage readers to take action. Just posting content on a regular basis is insufficient to drive measurable activity. You must use a targeted call-to-action related to your business goals.
- Determine what you want readers to do after reading your blog posts. Then incorporate a contextually relevant call-to-action in each article.
- Promote your email list on your blog. Don’t assume readers will seek your email registration. Highlight it on your blog to attract attention.
- Use a focused landing page to convert readers. Remove other distractions that hinder reader action.
- Associate a trackable promotion code to measure results. Ensure that your analytics can track activity.
6. You don’t promote each blog post. Just publishing new content isn’t enough to ensure that maximum potential audience for each post.
- Distribute your blog posts via email and RSS. Don’t assume that readers will return regularly, let alone everyday. Help them by encouraging them to sign up to get your content delivered to them. (BTW, we’d be thrilled if you would sign up for our email newsletter!)
- Share your content on social media. Either hand craft each social media share of your content or automate their delivery to the appropriate social media platforms. Include social media shares with each article.
- Add your blog content to your other digital media. Use all of your owned content such as your website and email newsletters.
7. You don’t give your blog appropriate attention. Blogging requires on-going care and feeding. (Here are 33 tips to get help for your blog without breaking the bank.)
- Provide sufficient resources to create on-going quality content. At a minimum, this translates to making the time to write, embellish and post your articles. If you’ve got a business blog, this means headcount and budget to build your blog.
- Update your About page, design and related compliance and legal content. Readers want to know who’s behind your blog. To this end, ensure your About page contains the latest information. Where appropriate, keep your blog in step with the times such as holiday decorations.
- Post on a regular basis. Like any media site, it’s important to keep your content fresh. Whether you date your content or not, readers can tell that it’s out-of-date based on the topic and/or comment dates.
Blogging requires on-going care and attention to your content and beyond to yield optimal results.
What else would you add to this list of blogging mistakes and why?
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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/goincase/4190862444/