So, you’ve got your blog up and running. Easy on the eye, it works well and the navigation is just perfect. You’ve even managed to build up a band of loyal followers, regular readers who tune in every week and peruse your ramblings.
But you’ve stagnated.
You can’t seem to unlock the secret to really boosting your readership, getting a veritable army of readers on-board. Or maybe your bounce rate is ricocheting out of control.
Don’t despair. All is not lost. Perhaps you just need to be more careful, more selective. After all, we all have so much information available at our fingertips these days. Literally millions of websites, blog posts and online data portals are a mere keystroke away. Unfortunately, no one has the time (or indeed the energy) to wade through irrelevant, uninteresting or even just slightly-off-the-mark blogs anymore.
So, take a look through our list of the seven most common mistakes of bloggers. Maybe there are a few simple, easy-to-implement tips and trick in there that will have you readership soaring.
Blogging Mistake #1: You’re Overly Self-Indulgent
Your readers aren’t interested in you, your personal life, or your amusing little tête-à-tête (particularly if you have a business-oriented blog). There is absolutely nothing to be gained by making your blog one, big, long in-joke. Include personal experiences only if they are super-closely aligned with the content of your blog post, if they enrich or illustrate the meaning of the post. Always, always, always ask yourself, what’s in this for my readers? What will they get out of it? Why will they want to read this?
Blogging Mistake #2: You Think You’re a University Professor
You should be making things easier for your audience. You should be providing handy hints and tips, sharing your knowledge in an easy-to-digest format. You should not be bamboozling them with technical jargon or terms that they have to Google, just to get to the end of the first sentence. There is no need to turn every blog post into a university research paper: there is certainly no benefit in doing so. Instead, use simple language to explain complex theories. That’s what your readers are looking for.
Blog Mistake #3: You’re Writing for Google’s Spiders
While it is perfectly fine to write a blog post with a particular keyword in mind, don’t write just for the search engines. Write with your readers in mind. Don’t be tempted to overstuff keywords, just to flag down the attention of Google’s spiders. This tactic might work in the short-term, but long-term, it’s a big no-no. If you pen high-quality, relevant content that pulls in an audience, then your search engine rankings will rise naturally through organic SEO. Make human beings happy, not the machines. It’s more fun writing this way anyhow!
Blogging Mistake #4: Editing is Not in Your Repertoire
Unless you are some sort of super-writer, chances are that you simply cannot sit down and bang out a post in under an hour. Writing takes time. Editing takes even longer. But the more time you put into editing, the more polished your post will become. There are a few aspects to focus on during the editing process. Check the flow of the post as a whole. If you can remove whole paragraphs (without impacting your story or argument), maybe you should hit delete. Are all your little jokes actually funny? Keep an eye on long sentences; break them into two shorter sentences if you can. Delete redundant words. Make sure your spelling and grammar is spot on.
Blogging Mistake #5: You Fail to Inject Your Own Personality
Okay. So I know this kind of contradicts mistake number one. But hear me out. While you shouldn’t be too self-indulgent, you should still inject your own personality into your blog. There are literally millions, quite possibly billions, of blogs out there. So, chances are pretty high that there are hundreds of other people and companies blogging about exactly the same topic as you. The trick is to make your blog stand out from the rest. The best way to do this is to be unique, be an individual. Approach the same topic from a different angle. Put your spin on things.
Blogging Mistake #6: You’re Just Going Through the Motions
So, you’ve got a blog. You post a new article every week. You have done forever (or it certainly seems that way). And now you’re bored. You’re wondering why you ever embarked upon this whole fruitless voyage in the first place. You struggle to come up with a different topic every week and constantly have your eye on the word count at the bottom of the screen as you write. Why are you even bothering? If you’re not passionate about your blog, then how can you possibly expect others to be? You need to knuckle down and get the enthusiasm levels up, or forfeit the blog altogether. Drive enthusiasm by reading widely. See what other industry experts are writing about. Perhaps interview one of these experts for a blog post. Attend a couple of events with like-minded, passionate people. Bottom line: if you’re bored, then so is your audience.
Blogging Mistake #7: You’re Over Blogging
People are busy. Your audience are busy. They simply don’t have the time to read one of your blog posts every single day. Blogging too regularly is just a waste of everyone’s time: your time in the writing, and your audience’s time in the reading. So, dial it back a bit. Maybe write once a week, or just when you feel like you have something important to say. Readers are much more likely to remember one key, compelling, inspiring article than half a dozen run-of-the-mill posts.
Did that help at all? Are you guilty (or not guilty, as the case may be) of any of these blogging faux pas? Try turning some of these tricks into habits and watch your audience get on board your blogging adventure. You never know where you might just end up.
P.S. I have a favour to ask. I’ve entered my blog ‘Wordly’ in the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition. The People’s Choice Award category is now open for voting and I need your support! You can vote here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/BAB2014. You will have to scroll to the very last page (they’re in alphabetical order). Thanks in advance!
P.P. S. If you’re wondering what a dandelion has to do with common mistakes of bloggers, let me enlighten you…not a thing! Rather than relying on boring stock imagery, we’ve decided to go with beautiful photos. Photos that inspire. Photos that make us smile. Fingers crossed; they make you smile too!