Blogging is easy, right? Yes, for the most part, blogging is easy. However, on the way to achieving your blogging goals, there are mistakes many new and even experienced bloggers make. Here are the most common mistakes to avoid for successful blogging.
#1 – Not publishing often enough or not publishing regularly
If you want to build a community around your blog, the key is to create content on a regular basis. People like to subscribe to their favorite blogs and make reading them part of their daily or weekly habit. If you’re not providing enough content to satisfy their habit, meaning at least one new post a week, then you’re likely going to lose readers. Additionally, more posts boosts search engine results.
Whether you post frequently or rarely is not as important as whether you publish regularly. You need to set your readers’ expectations, so find a rhythm that suits you and maintain it. If you are going to be away, write posts in advance and set them up to be posted automatically at your usual time. You need to maintain momentum.
#2 – Not connecting with your readers
One of the biggest differences between a blog and a website are the visitor expectations. People expect a blog post to be more personal than an article. Your readers will want to know something about you. You can accomplish this by posting in first person, “I”. You can also share personal stories in your posts and always be sure to include an author biography, and preferably a photo to help you create a relationship with your customers.
#3 – Not having an option to subscribe
There’s nothing worse than finding a blog with great content and not being able to subscribe to it. Make sure you offer your readers an RSS option. In fact, the more subscribe options they have, the better. Some people like to read posts in a reader, some like them emailed to them and some use iGoogle type pages and want a list of all new posts for easy reading and access. And not having subscribe options does your blog a disservice because you’re losing potential readers. No one wants to have to remember to go read your blog. Make it easy for them and let them subscribe!
#4 – Not tagging or using some sort of SEO plug-in to optimize your blog for the search engines
With all the technology available today it’s a shame to miss out on search engine traffic when all you have to do is install a search engine plug-in to your blog. These plug-ins make it easy to optimize each post for keywords and to drive traffic to your site.
#5 – Not collecting data
Do you know what types of posts your audience enjoys the most? Do you know what posts they don’t finish reading? Do you know how long people stay on your site? If you use an analytics program or plug-in like Google Analytics, then you know the answers to these questions and can customize your information accordingly. If you don’t know what your visitors are doing on your site, then you’re blogging in the dark.
#6 – Not using your data
It isn’t enough to simply install an analytics program; you have to analyze the data and put it to use. For example, many bloggers have found that list-type posts are the most popular posts on their blog and have thus altered their content strategy to include at least one list post weekly. This helps you meet your readers’ needs and helps you retain readers and drive traffic.
#7 – Promoting too much
Some blogs resemble a series of sales messages. People don’t want to read sales letter after sales letter; they want to read content. It’s okay to promote on your blog. However, it’s important to remember the 80/20 rule: 80% valuable and informative content and 20% promotion.
Blogging mistakes happen. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and make corrections. The best way to blog is to create a strategy, test and track your tactics and readjust your strategy as needed. Blogging, like many other website endeavors, is a learning process and a business.