When it comes to blogging, some people think it’s as simple as putting your thoughts down with WordPress, Drupal, Tumblr, or whatever your platform of choice is. After all, blogging is supposed to be easy right?
I can admit that I too was a victim of that popular misconception at one point. and the end result was a pretty long list of failed blogs. Over the years, I’ve picked up on some mistakes that myself and a lot of other first time bloggers tend to make. The mistakes are usually made because:
- You’re just starting out blogging
- You think blogging is “easy”
- You flat out overlook the mistakes
- Your blog is working so you look past the flaws
I want to set you up to be successful with your blog so you don’t end up giving up after a month. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 5 Deadly Sins Of Blogging, and what you can do to avoid them!
1: The Wall of text
Huge walls of text aren’t sexy. There is nothing more annoying, or less appealing than trying to read a huge block of text. Your keyboard has an Enter button for a reason. Breaking up your posts into multiple paragraphs, sections, and throwing some lists in there will greatly increase the chance of someone actually reading your entire post and decrease your site’s bounce rate.
Imagine if this entire post was one big paragraph with no breaks in between. You probably would’ve hit the back button before you even really dove into this great article! Some great ways to avoid creating the dreaded “Wall of text” are:
- Create sections with headings (use your h2, h3….. headings!)
- Make some bullet lists like this one 🙂
- Add pictures in between paragraphs
- Use bold and italics to spice up your text
2: Publishing posts and forgetting about them
Usually the most difficult part of blogging or creating a website in general is getting traffic. Part of the problem is that people are creating blog posts but not doing anything to promote them afterwards. You end up treating your blog posts like a one-night stand! Unless your SEO is out of this world and all of your posts magically appear at the top of search engines for high traffic keywords, you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and do some work!
Some things you can do after you actually publish a new post are:
- Share it on social media CONSISTENTLY
- Post it on related internet forums
- Try to get a press release (for your top posts only)
- Link to your top posts on your sidebar
- Repurpose it into a SlideShare presentation, infographic, or other forms of content
When you make a blog post and just forget about it, you’re pretty much just throwing it away for the most part because there’s a high chance that nobody will read it unless you already have traffic to your site. You have to promote your posts.
3: Not mixing up your blog’s content
Writing great articles is awesome. But if the only thing people are able to find on your blog is text, you run the risk of being boring. The great thing about blogging today is that there are so many tools and different types of content that you can create that you can give your readers/fans a nice mixture. Instead of limiting yourself to just posting articles, branch out and add:
- Contests and giveaways
The more that you can offer your readers, the wider range of traffic you will get. It might seem intimidating at first, but mixing up the type of content you give your audience can help you reach new people who might not want to read 1,000 word articles, and would rather listen to a podcast or watch a video instead.
4: Shotgun Social Media Marketing
A while ago I made a post answering the question “is it good to market on every social media site?“. I touched on the dangers of trying to create an account on every social network in existence in hopes of promoting your blog and building your audience. I’ve seen way too many people advise bloggers to make sure they create as many social networking accounts for their blog as possible. I’m urging you not to.
Instead, focus on just the key websites that will drive traffic for your blog and where your readers most likely engage. For instance, Twitter has really helped me build my brand and connect with people in my industry, so it’s the social networking site that I spend the most time on. Two of the first social media sites most bloggers tend to start with are Facebook and Twitter because they’re the largest. But if you have a blog that doesn’t rely on pictures at all like a blog about math, then it probably wouldn’t make much sense to have a Pinterest account. Pick your social networks wisely and focus on quality instead of quantity.
5: Not Blogging Consistently
Ok, so I have to admit that I have been guilty of committing this blogging sin in the past. I’ve had blogs where I would go months without adding a new post. It was pretty bad. And unless you’re very popular and have a dedicated fan base, your blog won’t be able to survive if your publishing schedule is random as hell.
When you start to get really busy and unfocused, it’s easy to stop posting on a regular basis. So how do you stop this? Become organized and create a schedule for yourself. You don’t necessarily have to post every single day (I sure don’t), but try to post on a regular schedule. For instance you might choose to:
- Post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday like me!
- Post every Friday
- Post every other Monday
Basically the key is to create a schedule and try to stick with it. This way your readers know when to check back and it will encourage you to consistently post fresh content so that your blog doesn’t get stagnant. The last thing you want is for people to think your blog is dead.
Wash Away Your Blogging Sins!
Did you read this and cringe because you realized you make a few of these mistakes? Don’t worry, we all have at some point. But the difference between making your blog a success, or having it end up in the blogging graveyard is recognizing your mistakes and fixing them. I knew there was no way this site would ever be a success if I wasn’t putting out new content on a consistent basis. So I broke my habit of posting whenever I wanted to and developed a strategy. You can do the exact same thing for your blog.
Have any suggestions for other “blogging sins” you’ve made? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!