There's a learning curve when it comes to blogging that can be pretty overwhelming if you don't have efficient tools. Blogging can be both simple and fun, as long as you have a clear idea of how to do it right. In an effort to help you avoid making common blogging mistakes, we'll save you some time by sharing the top ten mistakes beginner bloggers make.
1) Writing Irrelevant Content
Many beginners start off by creating content that doesn't have a clear direction. The content you publish on your blog should be relevant to your niche or industry. When readers land on your blog, they expect its content to be relevant to what they were searching for online. The right type of content will keep your readers interested. It will also encourage them to share your content on social media sites.
2) Having No Introduction
This is very important, especially if your blog posts contain tutorials, videos or infographics. Before writing your blog, take about five minutes to plan out your intro. This helps you have a clear understanding of exactly what you're going to write about. Your introduction will help to ease your readers into the posts. Intros also make your blog posts look much more professional.
3) Not Doing Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a very effective way to get the word out about your blog posts. Sharing your posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, MySpace, etc. helps you build a larger audience as your social media friends and followers also share your content. Remember that it takes time to build a social network. So, start immediately. In time, your networks will begin picking up the pace.
4) Using Poor Grammar
Many beginner bloggers don't understand the importance of using proper grammar when writing content. Simple mistakes like mixing up ‘their’, ‘they're’ and ‘there’ can turn many readers off. This is very unprofessional and makes it seem as if a young child wrote your posts. Just imagine, you're claiming to be an expert in your industry. Be sure to write like one.
5) Mixing Up Content
Each blog post should have a specific purpose. This means coming up with a good topic, and sticking to it. Never begin a blog about one thing and then completely change your topic in the middle of the content. Also, each topic should, as noted above, be relevant to the blog's industry or niche.
6) Not Including Enough Visuals
Photos are pleasing to the eyes. They make reading easier by breaking up the mass amounts of text. Images are also very useful for helping you describe something, such as steps to take to complete a process. Including photos in your blog posts makes them look more interesting, helping to capture the attention of your readers.
7) Not Studying Analytics
Most beginner bloggers don't study their analytics because they don't even know what they are or what they do. But, this is a very important part of understanding the type of content that works best for your blog. Analytics will show you:
- Where your visitors are located around the world
- The webpages (or blog posts) where your visitors are coming from
- How long your visitors are remaining on your blog
- The various webpages (or blog posts) viewed by your visitors
- The amount of views your blog gets each day
Knowing all of this data can help you with promoting other content on your blog or website. For example, if you notice that one of your posts is receiving traffic spike, you can use it to promote one of your other related posts.
8) Not Posting at the Correct Time
The time of day that you choose for posting content can have an effect on the amount of traffic your blog post will receive. The only way to know for sure what the best time will be is to review your analytics. This will show you exactly where the majority of your visitors are located. For example, if your majority is located in the UK, posting at 8AM will help you capture the attention of visitors who are currently checking their blog feeds. However, it will be midnight for West Coast US users and 3AM for East Coast US users. So, if your traffic is mostly generated in the US, you need to adjust your posting time accordingly.
9) Not Linking Content
One of the hardest tasks for beginner bloggers is getting visitors to actually visit your blog. And, once they do, you need to know how to keep them there. One of the most effective tools for keeping visitors on your site is by linking to other relevant content on your site. You can do this by adding the links to keywords within each blog post. You can also include links at the end of each post that directs your visitors to other content on your site that may interest them.
10) Putting All Your Faith in SEO
I'm sure you've read about SEO and how important it is to your blog's search engine rankings. This is very true. However, you still need to keep in mind that your target audience is made up of human beings, not search engines. This means that your content needs to read as if a human wrote it, not an algorithm-satisfying robot. You should never stuff your content with keywords, trying to beat the system. First of all, it takes away from the quality of your content. Secondly, if Google suspects you of practicing spamming strategies, they may penalize your website, decreasing your traffic dramatically and even indefinitely.
Chad Goulde has spent the last 7 years in the ‘blogging industry’, learning a lot along the way. Now he’s helping Courtney Tuttle from TheBlogBuilders.com to help regular people find ways to make their blog successful financially.