When asked about what blogging is… many people will compare it to a diary – a place where you share your knowledge, thoughts, and adventures. A place where you can ramble about your days and imagine you are talking to a huge audience simply waiting to hear more.
Well… That is very incorrect. In fact, it’s just plain wrong.
If you use your blog as described above, the only reader you will have is your mom. And I’m guessing that’s not your ultimate blogging goal.
Others may say that you must be more professional – only stick to stuff other people actually do want to read. And although they may be right, there is a lot more that goes into blogging if you want to eventually turn it into passive income. There are rules that no one likes to talk about because they feel so technical and uncreative.
But if you want your readers to take your blog seriously, you must avoid making the mistakes that nearly every fresh blogger makes. It’s an unavoidable step that you have to take if you aim for success.
So… without further ado, here’s the most common mistakes in blogging.
#1 Having no content guidelines
A professional blog absolutely must have content guidelines. Lets face it, content is the only reason your readers come to visit your site.
#2 Making your blog into a diary
Although you must show your character when you write (there is nothing worse than simple and plain text), you should avoid talking about yourself. As discussed in the beginning of this article, no one is interested in your daily routine or your life story. People come to your blog for one reason, and one reason only – to learn something new. And if you are not providing what your audience wants, soon you will be hearing crickets when you open your website.
#3 Writing for the sake of writing
This is another pretty common mistake that fresh bloggers make. They feel like they absolutely must publish something all the time, even if they don’t really have anything good to say.
Well, quality is a number one ingredient in making or breaking a blog. No one wants to waste their precious time reading crap content that doesn’t actually provide any information. So, just like my mama used to always say, “If you don’t have anything good to say, keep your mouth shut.”
#4 Skipping the planning of your articles
One of the worst feelings for a reader is trying to understand an article that jumps around between random points, and never really says anything in the end. That is what an unplanned article reads like.
Do your research, list out the bullets points of the topics you want to cover, and then organize them in a most logical order. Do this every single time.
#5 Having huge blocks of text
People have very limited attention span online. Keep this in mind at all points when writing for your blog. If your article of 1000 words only has one header and is split into two paragraphs, people will most likely quit and go look at someone else’s work. They don’t want to read something that looks and feels so academical. Big chunks of text in blogs just simply do not work.
Instead, split your text with images and headers. Keep your paragraphs relatively short (up to 5 sentences) and have around 300 words in between all headers. White space is your friend when you are writing a blog. It gives a sense of ease when looked at. It makes it much easier to concentrate, and more pleasant to read.
#6 “Click here”
When trying to interlink between your articles, or link to someone else’s website, avoid writing “Click here”.
“If you want to read the recipe for baking chocolate chip cookies click here”
“For the list of the best Christmas presents this year follow this link”
Aesthetically it looks awful, it’s unnecessary words, and Google ranking hates it. Instead, imbed the whole sentence or only the keywords. Done.
For example: Have you read our previous blog post about publishing e-books?
#7 Not having any social icons and CTAs
Say one of your readers loved your article. They want to share it with others as they found it very useful, and they think that their friends would as well. How can they do that if you don’t have any social icons strategically placed on you site? Do you think they would take the extra time and effort to copy the link and paste it on their social media? Some would, most won’t.
Have the buttons ready. Give your readers easy access to sharing to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and wherever else you seem fit. And after all of that add a CTA – ask them to subscribe. If they truly enjoyed reading your blog, they will. You in turn you will gain another loyal fan of your work.
#8 Having no blogging structure
For your work to be taken seriously you first have to take it seriously yourself. Simply writing up beautiful and useful content will not be enough to help your blog grow. Here’s what other mistakes you must look out for.
#9 Not editing your articles before posting
This is a huge no – no. Even if you feel like you got your article absolutely perfect and proofread it a few times straight after finishing. I can guarantee you that you missed a spelling mistake or two, or perhaps even wrote a sentence that makes no sense at all.
It is very important to edit and proofread your article before posting it. Best to do it a day or two after writing it so that you can have a fresh view of it. You can also read it out loud – helps to how you can improve the flow of your piece. Only then should you publish it with a calm heart and steady hands.
#10 Having irregular posting schedule
Too many fresh bloggers start their blog with publishing articles every single day until their passion and ideas fizzle out and they abandon their blog for a few months. Not only does this ensure bad quality writing, it breaks the trust and reliability with your readers.
It is best to have a schedule to which you can stick, and this way ensure the liveliness of your blog for the future. Publish one or two articles a week, every week. That is more than enough to build yourself up as a professional blogger.
#11 Not promoting your content
Say you wrote an incredibly useful article that your followers would love. Is it smart to just leave it published and hope that your readers will somehow find their way to reading it? No, it is not. The smart thing to do when blogging is to promote new material.
Share the article on your social media, include it in your newsletter, do what you can to inform your followers of its existence. However, do not spam. Simply share it around, and encourage others to do the same.
#12 Not answering all comments well, or worse… Not at all.
If a person put enough effort into leaving a comment on your blog post, it is your duty to reply with an elaborate and well-thought-out answer. That is how you built respect and trust with your readership.
If you ignore their comments, you will seem distant, arrogant, and aloof. People will stop coming to your website.
But if you answer each and every comment personally, elaborately and informatively, you will seem much more approachable and human. You will build a relationship with your readers and gain a loyal group of followers that love to hear what you have to say.
#13 Not using Google Analytics
If you are not using Google Analytics for your blog, you are not taking your blog seriously – simple as that. Otherwise, why would you not want to know how many people come to your website and what stuff they like to read most?
Google Analytics helps you track pretty much all of the most useful activity of your blog. This includes but is not limited to:
- Which articles your readers like most, and which they never read to the end.
- Where are people finding your content (Social media? Organic search? Advertisement?)
- How high is your bounce rate? (A critical piece of information to building a successful blog.)
All of this information is crucial when blogging You can take it, experiment with it and find what works best.
The hard work is worth it, trust me.
Nothing that is worth having ever comes easy. Same goes for a successful blog that is producing a reasonable amount of passive income.
At first, all of these rules and mistakes to avoid can seem a little intimidating and hard to keep in mind. But with time it will all become like second nature. Just make sure to make a habit out of it!
By the way, if you need to improve your marketing skills… I have just the thing.