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7 Biggest blogging mistakes and how to fix them

When most people think of blogging, they think it’s just something people do as a hobby. But blogging can also  become a lucrative business in itself, if you’re doing it right! Starting a blog can be a great way to promote your business and share your expertise with your audience, while earning money in the process. However, creating a successful blog takes a bit more work than  simply writing blog posts and you might just be making some of the biggest blogging mistakes without even knowing it! 

Read on to learn top 7 biggest blogging mistakes newbies (and even seasoned bloggers) often make and how to fix them!  

You might be interested: 5 Steps to increase your blog traffic through Pinterest

Top 7 biggest blogging mistakes and how to fix them 

1. Failing to collect emails 

When many first-time bloggers start out, they don’t think to collect emails from their readers. You might not have anything to sell at the time and may think “What’s the point?” However if you later end up starting a business through your blog or want to sell or promote a product, having a mailing list of potential customers to market to will be invaluable. 

Collecting emails from readers is also a great way to keep your blog traffic flow consistent. When you make a new post, readers can be notified via email and be pushed toward your content instead of waiting for them to remember to check your blog. 

Setting up a mailing list will also help you track how your readers interact with your content so you can better gauge what resonates with them. 

Solution: One tactic to get people to sign up for your mailing list is  to offer something in return for free, usually some type of digital content relevant to your blog’s area of focus. So for instance if you’re a healthy food blog you may offer a free meal plan schedule in a PDF when readers sign up for your mailing list. 

2. Writing too formally 

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Another one of the biggest blogging mistakes writers make is writing too formally in your posts. Using complicated language and jargon can easily turn off potential readers, especially if the language you use doesn’t match the content of your blog. For instance, you’d probably expect some complicated words if you were reading a science or tech blog, but you probably don’t want to over-complicate things if you’re blogging about lifestyle. 

As someone with a background in academic writing, I so get this one! You may have been taught in school that formal writing is the only “acceptable” way to write, but the online world is much different from academics. You’re allowed to use contractions. You’re allowed to have a sense of humor! 

Solution: Just don’t overthink it. Try to keep your posts fun and casual. Write as if you’re speaking to a good friend. It’ll make your tone feel more authentic and engaging to readers. 

3. Not posting consistently 

Building a successful blog takes time. You need to build up a loyal audience and part of that process requires posting consistently. If you only post a few blog posts and then nothing for months, many readers will tune out and forget about you. The key is to keep them coming back! 

Solution: Set up some type of schedule or calendar where you can keep track of your past and upcoming posts and keep it consistent. There are many programs you can use to help you set up a calendar such as Coschedule, or you can even use a regular old calendar or make a spreadsheet. 

4. Writing with no clear direction

Every blog post needs a focus. Another biggest blogging mistake is bouncing from topic to topic in your posts. Blog posts that ramble on and on with no clear focus are sure to have readers clicking away. Having a focus topic for each post is especially important if you’re trying to rank on search engines through the use of SEO.

Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

Solution: Setting a keyword is one easy way to draw in your focus so you’re not just writing aimlessly about whatever pops into your head. Another tip to keep your blog post on track is to make an outline and use subheadings to keep everything flowing in order.  

5. Relying solely on personal anecdote

Personal anecdotes are incredibly common in the blogging world and many first time bloggers are prone to make their blog posts all about themselves and their personal experiences. This is fine for a personal blog, but if you’re blogging as a business it can be a turn off readers. 

Solution: By all means don’t completely cut out the personal anecdotes, but try to scale them back and back your thoughts and opinions with reliable research and data. 

6.  Using duplicate Google analytics plugins

New bloggers might be tempted to download tons of plugins, thinking they’ll help your blog. However this can actually cause the opposite. Having too many plugins can bog down your site, causing it to slow down. Plus, a lot of plugin functions are redundant, especially blog analytic plugins.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

When you have more than one Google Analytics plugin, you end up with inaccurate analytics. This can be especially harmful when working with networks or brands, who will often ask for your analytics to know your audience reach. 

Solution: Keep it simple when it comes to plugins. Only use what you really need, and make sure to check for duplicates and plugins that share the same function. 

7. Writing short articles 

Lastly, one of the biggest blogging mistakes is writing articles that are too short. Many bloggers think shorter articles will be more successful since a reader will likely read through the entire post. Many SEO plugins also will say that a 300-word blog post is enough to rank in search engines. However research has found that the optimal blog post length is closer to 1,600 words–quite a bit more than 300! 

Solution: When writing blog posts, try to pick topics that you can really delve into. Add subheadings and related keywords to lengthen your posts and dive deeper into the subject. You can also include quotes and excerpts from others, research and data, or anecdotes and testimonials depending on your post’s topic! 

Keeping these mistakes in mind when crafting your blog posts will help you on your way to success!

Pinterest

5 Steps to increase your blog traffic through Pinterest

If you’re a business owner with a blog or website, chances are you’re familiar with the struggle of increasing blog traffic to your site. SEO optimization, keywords, and targeted ads can only go so far when you’re competing with tons of bigger sites in the Google search results. However, Pinterest might be the perfect place to market your content to users who share your blog’s niche interests. Worldwide, over 2 billion searches occur on Pinterest each month and Pinterest boasts nearly 90 million active monthly users in the United States alone. That’s a huge potential audience and when utilized correctly, Pinterest can be a massively effective marketing tool. 

Below are 5 easy steps on how to use Pinterest to increase blog traffic to your site and gain thousands of new readers. 

5 Steps to increase blog traffic through Pinterest  

  1. Create a new Pinterest business account for your blog 

First thing’s first, you need to create a new business account for your blog. You may already have a personal account on Pinterest, but creating a separate account specifically for your blog will help you target your account to reach the niche areas your blog covers. 

Setting up your new account is super easy! Simply navigate to Pinterest Business, click “Get Started” and fill out your information. Once you complete your sign up info, Pinterest will walk you through a few questions for your settings and preferences and help you get started.  

Once your account is set, you can edit your profile and bio to attract users whose interests are relevant to your blog. In your bio, add a keyword-rich description of your blog to help users find you in Pinterest’s search engine. 

  1. Set up your own Pinterest boards and join group boards

Now that your account is set up, it’s time to create your “boards” and start pinning! If you’re not familiar with Pinterest’s terminology, a “board” is essentially a collection of pins, or posts. Boards are usually grouped by categories. So for instance you may have a board for “Healthy Recipes” and another for “Journal Prompts” or “Marketing Strategies.” Creating boards centered around topics you cover on your blog or site will help you draw in users who are searching for those topics. 

You can also join relevant group boards to increase blog traffic to your site. Group boards are community boards where people with shared interests contribute their own pins to the group. Joining boards that focus on your blog’s topics is a great way to get your content out to a larger audience. Not only will your pins reach more people who are actually interested in your content in a group board, but those in the group are more likely to save or share the pin on their own boards. This chain of shares is what you’re aiming for, the more shares you get on an original pin, the more potential traffic you drive toward your blog. 

  1.  Create and post shareworthy Pinterest Pins 

Now, the pins are really the most important thing. Your original pins, or posts, are what ultimately will be shared around and draw users toward your blog. Creating eye-catching, shareworthy pins is key to standing out in the search. Your goal with each pin is to hopefully draw people toward your site by having them click the pin and follow the URL to your blog. Though getting them to save and re-share your pin is also great as it creates more exposure for your content. So you may be wondering, how do you create a shareworthy pin? 

Shareworthy pins usually have an eye-catching picture and an intriguing title. Vertical images also do better than smaller square images. Another plus is if your pin has a “call to action” such as “Click on the blog link below for more.” Tell users where to go next and direct them toward your blog. Also pay close attention to keywords and tag all your pins with relevant keywords. Just like with any search, keywords are, well, key! Before you make a pin, do a little bit of keyword research. Search up some of the keywords associated with your content. Pinterest will show you related keywords under the search bar when you search a term, so take a look at those suggestions too to get a better idea of which keywords are popular. 

Pinterest

Canva is a free site that provides easy-to-use templates to make eye-catching pin images

For creating an eye-catching image you can use tools like Canva or PicMonkey which let you create infographics, headers, and visual aids to go along with your content. I personally use Canva, which is completely free to use, with the option to go premium to access bonus content. However the free version gives you plenty of free content to make eye-catching graphics and headers for your social media posts and pins. Canva also provides users with templates specifically designed for a certain social media platform, so you can easily make images for your pins with little hassle

Pinterest

No hassle. Canvas templates are specifically designed to fit Pinterest image dimensions

  1. Develop an active Pinterest following 

An active following in not completely necessary on a search-based platform like Pinterest, since your content will still reach people who are not following you and simply find you in keywords searches. However, an active following can definitely help increase blog traffic since loyal followers will be more likely to re-pin your posts and spread them around. 

One way to increase your following is to follow others who post similar content. Many users are likely to follow back other users in their niche. 

Another strategy is to plug your Pinterest on your other social media sites and blog. Add a button or widget that will link to your Pinterest or display your recent pins and boards. Your current readers are already loyal followers of your content, so by promoting your Pinterest to them, they will in turn be able to help spread your pins and reach new readers. 

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  1. Pin frequently!

Lastly, pin frequently and consistently! Pinterest values consistency and is more likely to promote content from frequent pinners. Try to get into a routine of pinning at least once a day, and slowly increase from there. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers by dumping a ton of pins on them at once. It’s better to spread out your pins to a few each day and frequently post instead of just posting a ton at once and being inactive afterward. 

Also be sure to have a good mix of your own pins and pins from others. Sharing pins from other users is a good way of including content from experts in areas that are relevant to your blog or site but in which you are not an expert. Re-pinning from others is also a way to promote your account to others in your niche. When people see someone has shared their pin, they are more likely to check out that person’s account. So by sharing other people’s pins, you’re driving traffic to your account too. 

The main thing though is to stay active and consistent, so take some time to develop a schedule so followers will know what to expect from you. Once you’ve established a routine, you can queue up pins to post on schedule or post manually each week. Whatever works best for you! 

And remember to have fun with it too. Pinterest is a great online resource with many communities centered around just about every niche and topic you can think of. Find your people, have fun sharing information on the topics you love, all while you increase blog traffic to your site and promote your content! 

8 Ways to Promote Your Blog Through Social Media

Promoting your blog is one of those subtle arts that it can be hard to get to grips with. You have plenty of amazing content ideas, the words flow effortlessly onto the page, but you haven’t got a clue how to get more people to read them. Sound familiar?

Well, not to worry, because we have 8 proven ways by which you can use the power of social media to direct more and more people to your posts. Not only are they great ways to turn all eyes in your direction, but they’re also 100% free! What could be better than that?

Don’t forget about the power of cross-posting 

Cross-posting is the first thing that we need to talk about, and with good reason. It’s no use being on half a dozen different channels if you only update them sporadically. The beauty of cross-posting is that it allows you to post the same content to multiple channels at the same time. 

Of course, you’re going to want to tweak the format to suit the individual platforms, but that’ll only take a few minutes a week on your part. This strategy is ideal if you want to be able to create a constant stream of hype that gets people excited about what you’re going to post next. 

Post your blog with an attractive image so that it catches the eye 

You can have as many powerful social media marketing tools as you like, but if you’re not posting eye-catching visual content then you’re doing your blog a disservice. The important thing to note here is that whilst it needs to catch the eye, your content also needs to relate directly to what’s written in your blog. 

You might get more traffic from amazing natural photos, but if you’re writing about recruitment or something else unrelated, people are just going to be confused and go elsewhere. 

Share your blog to relevant Facebook groups 

Facebook is still the king of social media, but the mistake so many people make is creating a page for their blog, and then only posting to it. The problem with this is, if no one is reading your blog, no one will be looking for you on Facebook. 

What you need to do instead, is to link to your blog in posts you leave in relevant groups. Plenty of people will be doing 

similar things, so you’re going to have to be creative, imaginative, and persistent if you want to stand out from the crowd. Over time you’ll start getting people to hop over to your blog, and before you know it there’ll be an avalanche of new traffic. 

Share your blog to relevant Facebook groups.

If your blog is business orientated, it needs to be posted to LinkedIn 

Ask the best online paper writing service, the best accountancy firm, or the best management consultancy where they post their blogs, and they’ll tell you they focus on LinkedIn. This is because it’s the perfect forum for blogs that are aimed at professionals and executives. The other channels may well be enticing, and you’ll still get a few hits through them, but LinkedIn is where you need to be for this kind of content. 

Tweet a question on Twitter, and link to your blog as the answer

One of the easiest ways to attract an audience is to tweet a thought-provoking question, and then immediately link to your blog as the source of the answers. This is great because it creates a real impetus to click the link, and it’s also a proven way to stand out from the thousands of other tweets people will see on any given day. 

Find 3 trending hashtags that you can jump on 

If there was one piece of advice that every blog promoter should be given before they start posting, it’s to go easy on the

 hashtags. You might think that adding a dozen of them to the bottom of every post maximizes your chances of being seen. Unfortunately, all it’s really

 doing is making your posts look like spam. Something you certainly need to avoid if you want to position yourself as a distributor of high-quality readable content. 

The secret is to find 3 trending hashtags that you can jump on that are relevant to what you have to say. This will allow you to strike the perfect balance between search, and relevance. 

You might be interested: 5 Steps to build an employee branding strategy

Tweet excerpts of upcoming blogs to build interest and anticipation 

Use Twitter to engage audiences and link back to your blog.

Building anticipation is a major part of holding a captive audience. The great thing about tweeting a teaser from an upcoming blog is that it allows you to get some hype behind your next post. That way you’re not just trying to get people to read what’s already out there. You’re also getting them excited about what you have in the pipeline. 

Keep the teasers short, thought-provoking, and intriguing. If you can create something that people will retweet so they can see what their friends have to say, then you’ll truly be onto something. 

Be creative, don’t just say ‘read my blog’

No list of clever ways to promote blogs would be complete without a few words on the importance of creativity. There are so many people on social media these days that you need to be able to do things differently if you want your voice to be heard. 

It’s not about being provocative or posting clickbait, but rather about framing your message in new and original ways. Once you can do that, your posts will stand out a mile when browsers are scrolling down their feeds. Over time you’ll home in on a unique style that represents you and what you have to say, and you’ll find that your readership grows exponentially as a result. 

blogging, blog social media submission guidelines

Blogging 101: I’m ready… Now, how do I start a blog?

Oh man! I wish I would’ve done some research (or had more info.) baaack in the day before deciding I’d start blogging. I could’ve saved some time, avoided certain mistakes, focused from the beginning, and probably made money from the get go.

 

As a blogger who’s been doing, learning, messing up since 2010… I see it as my duty to help those who are ready to start blogging but might now know how or where to start.

Note: if you still have questions after this, feel free to shoot me a message. Here to help!

Time to focus

blogging, blog social media

You decided you want to blog… question is, why? This is super important to clear out from the beginning. If you’re serious, start thinking – do you want to provide a service by blogging?  What is it? Fashion advice? Fitness training? Maybe you want to sell a product. Start thinking, ask yourself these questions and answer them.

Niche

Ok, so you have an idea of what you want to do… or so you think! Niche is super important because it will make or break your blog. Find something you can specialize in, and don’t lie to yourself (others can tell). If you’re really good at finding coupons, that’s your thing and you can kick ass in educating others how to do the same. Tip: find something others aren’t doing (or maybe not doing right). The internet is a competitive space and you want to make sure your idea is unique.

Let’s pick a name

What are you thinking? This is something that you should take your time with, you’ll be investing in it (yes, with $$$) by buying a domain (www.blah.com), and it’s not something you should ever think of changing. This is your brand and it should be the same across all social media platforms, including your website of course.

Back to the domain

Ok, you decided that your blog is going to be called ‘Blah’ – it sounds fabulous, amazing, and unique. “Hip hip, hooray!” Don’t get too excited just yet, first you need to make sure the domain is even available. What social is available? Namechk let’s you know. Buy the domain, and take over the social media accounts you’ll be using (you might want to consider taking all available, just in case).

Where do I start blogging?

Are you blogging for money or as a hobby? Let us know how we can help!

Are you blogging for money or as a hobby? Let us know how we can help!

You bought the domain… now, where the hell do you do this? Where will you write? You have options, many! Ever heard of Wordpress, Tumblr, Squarespace, Blogger, Medium (to name a few)? I personally like to recommend WordPress. It’s easy but not too easy. You’re able to customize, and many large publications actually use it (it’s that good).

“I need a theme”

Yes, you do! Time to look into a design that suits your taste and voice. Things to consider however, flashy and cool themes are not always the best. The number of mobile users is only growing; simple themes that are mobile optimized and load up fast and easy help and are very important!

Time to explore

Look, you’re not going to learn everything about blogging overnight. Begin by working on your first post, explore your platform; what do you want to do that you may not know how to? Thank goodness for YouTube! Tutorials are a great way to learn quickly.

“Hey guys, I have a blog!”

You got the basics down, you published your first post. Start promoting! Let your family and friends know what you’re doing and why (don’t be shy!). Always think about “them”; why will they benefit from being a part of your new community? Think about it and incorporate it to your announcement and early promotion.

Consistency is the key

DJ Khaled would probably say, “consistency is the key to success” because it really is. If you can’t commit to posting every day (very realistic), try to commit to once a week. Maybe Mondays will work or Wednesdays. Check and see what days are best to post and try to stick to a schedule.

Social is everything

Joanna Renteria, Social Media Specialist, Brand Strategist and Influencer, Follow Joanna at http://www.joannarenteria.com/

Joanna Renteria, Social Media Specialist, Brand Strategist and Influencer, Follow Joanna at http://www.joannarenteria.com/

The beauty of social media is that it’s free and it allows you to connect to brands on a global level. A simple hashtag on Instagram will connect you to other #vegetarians, a search on Twitter will let you know who’s “eating” what (these are examples, guys). Take full advantage of social media; it’s how you’re going to build your audience, how you’re going to connect with other bloggers, and how your latest post could potentially go viral (#goals).

That’s it for the starting process… some words of advice from someone that’s been blogging for a minute, be unique and be you. Once you find your voice, your blog will flourish and the sponsorship opportunities will come knocking!

Originally published at www.JoannaRenteria.com