Blogging can be very lucrative for those who approach it the right way. You need to be able to resonate with your readers providing them information which is NOT easily found online. In other terms, this means to provide visitors information which is better than all the rest, more in-depth and provides a complete solution when they’re searching for one. When I started blogging 7 years ago I was disappointed at the lack of effort that many people would put into their content. They failed to understand that creditability is the most important asset a blogger can have. For example, with credibility comes profit, a following, blog growth and not to mention bigger opportunities. You’ve probably noticed that top bloggers are in constant communication with other big players in the industry. It’s a secret society which opens up greater opportunities for you.
Over the years I’ve seen many mistakes bloggers are making online which pushes readers away and keeps their growth stagnant. If you’ve been blogging for years or are just getting started, it’s important to avoid these blogging mistakes which will make you look like an idiot.
1) Not Knowing Your Audience
The biggest mistake I see with bloggers is they fail to understand their audience which causes problems later in the future. Without understanding your audience, you’ll lose guidance in the type of content you should be writing. Your content should is based around what resonates with your audience and without knowing your readership you’ve lost focus on your content. It’s important to always analyze data so you understand where traffic is coming from, the keywords targeted, gender and popular landing pages. How can you use this data?
First, landing pages is a great indication of the type of pages your readers are engaging with. This information allows you to create more content around the same topics because you know they’ll do very well. Next, understanding “targeted” keywords will help you with SEO and organic traffic when writing content. One of the hardest things is to come up with a solid SEO campaign based around keywords which drive traffic to your blog. Having an idea from analytical data will provide the ground work for the type of keywords you should be using.
Free analytical tools like Alexa.com will provide upstream & downstream statistics which is important to understand the flow of traffic. For example, upstream data provides a list of websites visited by people before arriving at yours. This provides great information on referral traffic and allows you to understand the type of websites your audience finds attractive. Downstream data will provide a list of websites visited after yours which again provides a better breakdown on the audience you have visiting your website.
Use this information to understand the mind frame of your audience and the content they engage with. This way you stay focused on your niche and produce content which increases traffic and social engagement.
2) Not Passionate About the Niche
If you started blogging just to make money your going to have a tough time staying motivated. Success has a lot to do with motivation and the drive to push forward doing something even when there is NO monetary value associated with it. This is not to say you won’t be rewarded for your hard work but you need to love what you do so that you’ll put 150% effort every day. I’ve had the pleasure to work with top bloggers who didn’t make any money when they started out but kept pushing forward because they wanted to make a difference and were passionate about what they do. It’s a huge mistake to get involved in something which you have no passion or knowledge about.
Blogging is very tough especially when your going to have extreme competition throughout the years however you need “passion” to help persevere when times get tough. You need to love your work and this will be the difference between you succeeding or failing. If you haven’t started blogging it’s time you decide what you love to do. This can be a very simple process because all you need to do is brainstorm some ideas and look back at your life over several years. This strategy will help you determine what you’ve enjoyed doing during different parts of your life. Next,
Once your able to brainstorm a few ideas, you need to come up with a game plan which involves researching the marketing, content and growth potential.
3) Not Collecting Emails
Another huge mistake is not collecting email addresses from visitors as they read your content. Email subscribers are a great way to keep engaging with your readers and have them come back to your blog. You’ve probably heard the phrase “the money is in the list” and this statement is true. Imagine having 35,000 email subscribers on your list and blasting out an update on new content you just published. This means you can potentially drive 35,000 people back to your blog any given day. If you review a product or service and have affiliate links within your content, you’ve increased the chance of making a sale through these visitors.
The important thing is to keep providing the best content keeping your readers happy which can translate into profits later down the line. Why is it so important to start building your list from the start?
The web can be very competitive so each time you delay you’ll be losing visitors to your competitors who provide similar content. When people visit your website for the first time there is no guarantee they’ll return unless you find a way to get them back. This is why bloggers try and capture the visitors email address immediately so it opens up the path of communication. You can simply email visitors when you have something to say increasing the chance they’ll click-through to your blog.
4) Holding Back The Good Content
There is so much competition online and holding back your good content isn’t going to have a positive effect on your growth. Google always rewards websites which publish FRESH high quality content on a consist bases. Did you know they have built a freshness update into their algorithm?
It’s important to keep in mind why someone keeps coming back to your website. People are always searching for high quality content and NOT publishing the best can drive regular visitors away. Remember people have arrived on your website because you provided something different compared to other blogs so keep that credibility and frequency going. When you write awesome content it’s important to publish right away so visitors will keep coming back to your website.
I know it can be difficult producing top-notch content 1-2 times a week however the rule of thumb is to produce epic content once a week. This gives you 7 days to get something “hot” ready for your readers. If you spread out your content writing to 400 words daily, you’ll have 2800 words written in 7 days ready to be published. Lengthy content ranging from 2800-3000 words allows you to generate some of the best content online way better than your competitors.
Word of advice,
Do some research before producing content so you can stand out compared to the rest. Visit your competitors and see what they’ve done. You can put a twist on your content before publishing by adding images, videos and infographics. Never hold back good content because visitors have no shortage of websites to go to if they don’t find what they are looking for on your website.
5) Not Interacting With Your Readers
It’s important to keep the visitor in mind and why they’ve come to your blog. A majority of people find your through search engines or referrals and are interested in your content as a resource. This means they’re going to have questions afterwards so make sure you take time to answer every single one of them. There’s a reason why blogs have a comment box and it’s for people to leave feedback and ask questions.
The most successful bloggers have even setup a personal forum online so visitors can ask specific questions and request tutorials. It’s important you built a one-on-one relationship with your visitors which plays an important role in growing your blog.
Here are things you can do to increase interaction on your blog…
First, a comment box has been the foundation for bloggers from the starting. They were able to get feedback about their content and even answer questions. If you don’t have a comment box enabled, it’s important you get one on your blog right away. Set the comments to NOT automatically post but go into the moderation queue.
Next, enable the contact us form to have an option to submit questions. It’s a great way to determine what kind of content your visitors are looking for. Wait a month and see what questions come in and if you get the same question several times, you can create an in-depth tutorial and publish it for your readers.
Many people don’t know surveys have been an awesome tool to build interaction on your blog. How? When people opt-into your email form you can shoot them a message asking them to answer 3-4 questions. Ask questions about the type of content they enjoy or what they expect to find on your blog. Going forward you can focus on creating content which your readers want instead of content which you think will resonate well with your readers.