Blogging is anything but easy.
It can be tough trying to keep your head above water when you have so much to take into consideration. From design to producing content and keeping a consistent tone of voice, it is very easy to make simple mistakes that can affect your chances of being seen and remembered.
But don’t worry! Mistakes are all a part of the learning curve. Don’t let it take years to establish yourself as a blogger, avoid these mistakes and improve your chances of blogging success.
Mistake 1. Posting irregularly
One of the first mistakes that many bloggers make is thinking that they have to post every day in order to generate a following. Here’s what happens when you do that… You start off on a roll and slowly but surely your ideas begin to run dry and you exhaust yourself.
Then the posts stop… for a couple of weeks.
Here’s why this is a problem for your readers. People are creatures of habit – they like knowing when they should come back to your blog. They want to know what they should expect from you (so don’t leave them hanging!).
There’s no one size fits all approach to posting regularity, what matters is consistency. This is something that all writers struggle with at some stage so don’t feel bad about it – just pick up where you left off and get back into the swing of writing.
How to tackle this: You will go through a stage of not being available; whether it be starting a family, working on another business or simply needing to take a break, you will need time out! Sometimes the best thing to do is keep your readers informed. Give them a heads up so that you can concentrate on the other important aspects of your life and come back feeling refreshed.
Mistake 2. Having a poorly designed site
Good design is a lot like clear thinking… made visual – Edward Tufte
When you start blogging, you may be more concerned about coming up with a stream of good ideas to turn into posts more than design. Which is fine, because you’re just dipping your toes into the water.
But remember that appearance and design does matter. The look and feel of a website can determine whether people just read a single post, navigate around your site and even subscribe to your weekly digest.
How your blog looks will affect whether readers trust you.
Being able to write engaging posts is just half of the work that has to go into making sure that your blog is successful. You may not be a developer, designer or photographer, so why not hire someone who is? You can find plenty of amazing freelancers on Fiverr (who are literally willing to redesign websites from $5! Most WordPress developers charge $30-$50).
How to tackle this: Here are a few things to take into consideration when designing your blog:
Widgets: You should get rid of anything that isn’t making the user experience better. If a widget isn’t really getting any clicks or helping people to navigate around your site, it doesn’t need to be there.
Menus & navigation: This will make or break your blog in terms of traffic. If you don’t give people enough options to help them find your content, chances are they won’t stick around to figure it out!
Mistake 3. Failing to introduce yourself
We’re all trying to get new readers. But doing so means you have to give them an insight into who you are and what you’re trying to achieve.
Readers want to know what your blog is all about, your ‘why’ and where to find you on social media. Make sure that all of that information is easy to find (maybe start with an ‘About Me’ page).
A great way to make new comers feel welcome is to respond to their comments. Show your appreciation by starting a conversation with them!
How to tackle this: Get a friend to go through your blog and give you some honest feedback. Make a list of everything that is/isn’t working well and then get to work.
Mistake 4. Forgetting to include Calls to Action
We all have our unique style and tone when it comes to writing. But, the one thing that all blog posts should have in common is a sense of structure. You’ve spent countless time perfecting your introduction to draw people in and provide them with content that doesn’t disappoint, so don’t ruin it with an anti-climatic ending.
CTA’s are just asking your readers to do something. Whether you encourage them to comment, read another article or subscribe to your newsletter, take this opportunity to convert them into regulars.
How to tackle this: Give them some direction. Think about what readers will want to read after that particular post. Go back to your old posts and make sure that all of them have conclusions that invite readers to take action.
Mistake 5. Not linking back to other posts
You’ve been writing for a while so you have plenty of content to be referred back to in your articles. So make sure that you remember to link back to as many of your own blog posts as possible.
Give readers a chance to make their way around your site and digest some more relevant information. You should be promoting your own content as much as possible; the key is to link back to posts that can add to what you have written. Think of your blog as a central hub for information, all your readers really need is a nudge in the right direction.
How to tackle this: aim to have at least two links back to other articles in each post. But don’t just add links for the sake of it – make sure that they’re relevant to each piece and genuinely add vale to your readers.
Now it’s your turn.
Blogging can be so rewarding. Especially when you finally start to get the results that you’ve been waiting for. Invest your time and energy into making it the a place that makes readers want to come back.
Do you have anything else to add to the list? Feel free to share them in the comments section below!