Blogging is a great way to share your ideas and interests. It is also a great medium to promote your products and services. Many companies and businesses have invested huge resources to make sure that they have fresh content on their blogs as a way to generate leads and ultimately sales. Unfortunately, whether you are new to blogging or have been blogging for years, there may be some things you are doing on your blog preventing you from achieving your desired results. Blogging is hard work. My purpose here is to make you aware of some of the possible mistakes you may be making and offer you some ways to make it right.
1 – It’s All About You
You may argue that you can write whatever you want on your blog; but if your goal is gain traffic and loyal readers to support your blog, you will want to write content your audience will want to read. Before you even write the first word on your blog you may want to do the following:
- Answer these questions: Are you a celebrity? Are you that interesting? If your answer is no, rethink your content strategy.
- Go ahead and inject your experience into the topic you are writing about, but make sure it offers value to your audience. Make it informative and useful and entertaining or preferably all three.
- Take time to really get to know your audience so you can share your experience with them in a way that they can relate.
- Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Will reading your content be worth their time they spend on your site?
2 – You’re Not Engaging With Your Readers
Blogging is a great way to build relationships with your readers. Don’t think of a blog post as one dimensional form of communication. Think of it as a powerful tool to generate conversation with people who you will not normally get the chance to interact with otherwise. You will also gain more loyal followers as they will appreciate you taking the time to reply to their comments. In order to gain from replying to your readers, you want to:
- Make it easy for your readers to comment on your blog
- Reply with a well thought out comment
- If your readers want more information, give it to them. Frequently comments offer additional valuable insight to a topic you are writing about.
3 – You Don’t Read Enough
Great writes are voracious readers, not only will reading allow you to be exposed to different types of literatures, reading allows you to learn and be exposed to different writing styles.If you want to get more out of reading, you might want to do the following:
- Create a reading habit. Some people would start reading a book today then stop altogether. Try setting goals like reading a chapter a day or at least an hour in your day.
- Read a variety of books. This will train you to become a good story teller
- Pay attention to how other authors use words, this will help you grow your vocabulary and help you express yourself with fluidity
4 – Focusing On Quantity Not Quality
When you started blogging your were motivated and excited to get going and produce content, I get that. There is definitely nothing wrong with wanting to write as much fresh content as you can. The problem is when you write for the sake of just pushing out new content on your blog. This will not help your credibility. Unless you are a large company with a big pool of writers to publish articles on a daily basis, you may want to take another look at your strategy. You can still post everyday, but you may also want to do the following:
- A good, well thought out article takes time to write and edit. You will also need time to research facts and citations you plan to include. Before you publish your first article, have several posts already written and prepared in the queue before your launch date so you give yourself a head start.
- Don’t stress when you are not able to post an article when you planned to. Instead continue writing. Stressing yourself will only cause you to lose focus. It is far better to only publish content that has been fully baked and is your best work.
5 – You Hit The Publish Button Too Fast
You finished your article and you get excited about sharing your masterpiece to the world and your hit that publish button without editing your article properly. This is a big mistake. Publishing content half baked content can significantly hurt the share-ability of your article. It will also make a bad impression on your readers and communicate to them you don’t care about the quality of your content. Instead of publishing right away, you may want to do the following:
- Check your grammar and spelling – no one wants to share poorly written articles.
- Read your article out loud to make sure you are conveying the meaning you had in mind.
- Ask someone you trust to read your article. It’s always better to have a second pair of eyes to read your content so that mistakes can be corrected and to make sure your writing is clear and concise prior to publishing.
6 – You Don’t Promote Your Articles
One mistake many people make is they never promote their articles enough. As I always advise new bloggers, no one will share your articles unless you do. Still unsure as to how you will accomplish this? You may want to do the following.
- Let’s say you tweeted out your post one time. You may want to share it again at different times. Tweets have a short life span. Just make sure you do not spam your stream and our followers.
- When you share your post on Facebook and Google Plus, it more effective if you share different images you used in your post as a highlighted image along with the link to your article. This will tend to make your updates standout more and more likely people with notice and engage with your and your content.
7 – You Make It Hard For Your Readers To Share Your Content
If you want to generate traffic to your site or make your content more SEO friendly, you need people not only to read your content, you also want them to share it. When content is well written and resonates with your audience, there is a much better chance your readers will share it with their friends and communities. Here are some steps you can take:
- Share your articles on social networks that you are active on.
- Add share buttons on your website. if you are using WordPress, you may want to try this Floating Social Bar. Not only is it free plug-in, it is also lightweight and does not slow down your website.
- Make the share buttons prominent and easy for your visitors to find on your website
- Make sure you configure the tweet button settings so when someone shares your link it will include your @name and not @syedbalkhi to give your brand more exposure.
8 – You Compete With Other Bloggers
One mistake I often see other bloggers make is they think other bloggers are their competition. You may think writers in the same niche as you are competing with you for traffic. There is always room for great articles so instead of being to concerned with competition, you may want to:
- Take the opportunity to build relationships with other bloggers
- Visit other sites and leave comments. Make sure you actually add value and contribute to the conversation and not commenting just to place a link back to your site.
- Share other blogger’s articles with your community. Most bloggers will appreciate the gesture will tend to reciprocate.
- Collaborate with other bloggers in your niche. Find ways to help each other and create “win-win” outcomes.
9 – You Are Afraid To Leave Your Comfort Zone
It is important for content creators to make it a point to bring their blogging prowess to the next level. Create content that is interesting and entertaining so your readers will want more from you. Your goal should always be to create a site where people will want to go for relevant information regarding your topic or industry.
- Mix it up. Write both short form and longer, in-depth articles.
- Add video to your repertoire.
- Add interesting infographics if relevant to your niche.
- Consider creating a podcast as a way to offer more information about your product or service to your audience.
10 – You Think Success Happens Overnight
Just like in anything that you do, success does not come overnight, especially when to comes to blogging. You are not likely to get a lot of traffic when you first launch. You have to be diligent and consistent about writing and publishing great content in order to grow your audience.
- Remember, creating successful blog takes a lot of hard work and a lot of patience.
- Checking your google analytics frequently to know what type of articles resonate with your audience.
- Listen to the feedback from your audience through blog comments and comments they make on your social platforms to help you better know what types on content your audience wants from you.
- Celebrate milestones and enjoy the journey.
- Above all, have fun.
Blogging is a lot of fun and is a tried and tested way to build your community and online presence, but it can be complicated as well. We are, after all, just human and will make mistakes along the way. By being aware of some the more common mistakes and finding ways to correct them, it will make it much easier for you to reach your goals. Are you a blogger? What are some common mistakes you have made in the past? What steps did you take to correct them? Share your experience with us. We would love to hear your thoughts.
About the Author: Syed Balkhi is an entpreneur and a public speaker. His passion revolves around helping businesses succeed. He is known for his creative marketing skills and web development experience. He is the founder of WPBeginner and List25 sites that have been featured on NYTimes, Mashable, Huffington Post, Business Insider and TechCrunch.