This one’s for you, blog friends. I’m no “expert,” but these are some mistakes I’ve noticed in my own blogging that I’m sure you can learn from.
1. Ignoring social media.
Social media is the single biggest avenue of traffic for my blog, Twitter especially.
I’ll admit, it was hard for me to get into using social media for my blog. The thought of creating more social media accounts and opening my once “personal” social media to my blog readers scared me. Yes, it is a commitment, but it’s one worth making.
It’s simply foolish for bloggers to throw away completely free advertising for their work. Do you want people to find your blog, read your posts, and connect with you? Then you have to put it out there – and social media is the best way to do it. Social media engages you as a blogger with other people who want to read your content. So why not put it out there for them to see?!
It was hard for me to understand this at first because it’s definitely not an overnight process. Once I started making meaningful connections with other bloggers and followers over social media, a following for my blog started. People started re-tweeting me and sharing links. It really does work to get your blog known, read, and get your name out there.
Simply put, just get social!
2. Not commenting on every blog you visit.
Firstly, as a blogger, you should be reading other blogs and seeking to interact with bloggers in your niche. I come across blogs through my own reader and new blogs all the time. And you know what? I comment on every blog I visit.
Why? Because it’s a free connection that could lead elsewhere. And it’s a free link back to your own blog. Who doesn’t want that?
Not commenting on every blog you visit is like throwing away an opportunity. Obviously, comments that have no meaning or reason are worthless, so make sure you have something worth commenting about. But other than that – give the comment love! That’s what you as a blogger want most – people engaging with your content – so give it to others as well.
Over-posting your content, whether on your actual blog or via social media, can actually hurt you in the end.
When first starting out, posting frequently is a good idea as it creates more content for your blog to be discovered. But after you have a following, it no longer makes sense. Over-posting pushes all your posts further back. Once they are off the homepage, it’s much less likely that someone will read it. Why not try letting it linger for a while to see what happens?
Over-posting on social media is also a big mistake. You want to have a presence on social media; you don’t want to be glued to it, though. Posting a link to your new post is appropriate about a maximum of 3 times in one day in my book. Any more than that, and you’re just being annoying.
Another error in over-posting that I see all the time: The same syndicated posts from different feeds, usually on Twitter. Some people either don’t realize or just don’t care that WordPress, Facebook, and Networked Blogs syndicated their new post to Twitter at the same time.
This wouldn’t be a problem, except that all the tweets are right after one another. Avoid doing this by choosing only one syndication method to prevent “spamming” your followers.
Try to find a rhythm to your posting, whether it is every day or three times a week. Whatever you do, pay attention to cues that it’s working. Are people responding? Are you getting traffic from it? If not, it’s probably not working and needs a change.
4. Publishing at the same time every time.
I used to believe that posting as early in the morning as possible was the perfect time to publish something. Generally, most the blogs I read are posted in the morning, so I just followed this trend for a while. One day, I didn’t get a post out until the late afternoon.
You know what happened?
It was my most viewed post, ever. And it was about really bad oatmeal – nothing “special” or different from my other posts.
Varying the time you publish posts on the blog and on social media can be the difference of a few visitors to an overwhelming amount. Try to switch up the times you publish things and see if a certain time drives more traffic than another.
5. Writing in blocks.
Remember back in college when you had to read 50 pages for your 8 am class the next day? What did you do? Read all 50 pages at 11 pm, or scan through the whole thing, reading maybe 5 pages of actual material?
Just like college students, bloggers are busy people. Truthfully, there is probably not a soul out there reading every lingering word of your posts. Instead, readers scan content quickly to see if they get something out of it or if they need to move on.
If your content isn’t scannable, the reader will likely move on. Big chunks of text turn off readers because it forces them to, well, actually read the whole thing.
Write your content with headings, sub-headings, and in short, spaced out sentences. Use block quotes. Use bullets. Do anything that makes your content easier to read.
This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but it’s some of the most common mistakes that I’ve been making lately. With just a few tweaks to some of these “mistakes,” your blog can become the cleaner, more polished version that we’re all looking for.
Questions for you:
- What “mistakes” would you add to this list?
- Are you guilty of any of these?