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!
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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
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.
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.
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!