Top 10 Blog Mistakes And How To Avoid Them
Posted: Oct 13, 2013
From someone who’s made them all.
You’ve heard it all before - blogging builds links, sets you up as an author-expert and may just earn you some money.
But it’ll do none of those things if you don’t do it right.
I’ve been blogging for myself and others for a number of years; reading them for even more. I know I’ve made mistakes that I suspect are common among us bloggers. So I scanned the blogosphere to see what fellow writers have to say about the pitfalls they’ve tumbled into to find some commonalities. Some were common, some were uniquely mine.
If you are new to blogging, I invite you to look over the following points and take advantage of wisdom gained from experience as you embark on or continue your journey into the blogosphere.
I present to you my personal Top 10 Pearls of Hard-Won Wisdom:
1. Make sure you have the time to devote to your blog.
I’m as guilty as anyone on this one. I have several blogs sitting in Wordpress that have simply faded like Faye Dunaway.
Blogs are like children. They require your time and attention. If you aren’t willing or able to devote at least two to four hours a week to researching and writing at least one engaging post (two are more effective), you may want to hire a professional writer or nix the idea of a blog altogether.
2. If you try to target everyone, you’ll end up with no one.
If you’ve decided to start a blog, you’re stoked about your subject. Now you need to find others who are or can be just as stoked. Careful thought about the reader you want to reach will make the writing—and the eventual selling—much easier. Describe your composite reader on paper and you may just find your niche.
3. Bad grammar makes you look dumber than a fifth grader.
This one goes without saying. If grammar isn’t your strong point, hire a professional writer or familiarize yourself with the rules of grammar. Some good resources include:
Grammar Girl Grammar Book Yahoo Stylebook
4. Content isn’t king. Quality is.
Used to be you could write any old thing, throw it up on the Web and see results. Google has tightened its rules with Panda and Penguin. Make sure you have something of value to share and give credit where credit is due (i.e. cite your sources).
You also may want to consider conducting interviews with other experts in your field or asking them to guest blog. Either of these activities boosts your credibility and allows you to increase your links, thus boosting your SEO.
5. You’re only as good as your last post, which probably became obsolete about 12 seconds ago.
This is just the nature of the content-hungry beast. And quality content takes time. There’s simply no way around it. But tenacity pays off. Keep writing. Keep pushing the envelope. The readers will come.
6. Keywords aren’t enough to get you SERPed. These help, too:
a. Social Media - Social Media Marketing Services : Make sure you have accounts with both Twitter and Facebook so you can announce your new posts as they come out. This helps you build your audience and gives your SEO more juice.
b. Multimedia: Video and images speak volumes and are considered quality content. It doesn’t hurt to have your YouTube video pointing back to your site, either.
c. Favicons: This one was new to me. A favicon is that little icon that appears next to your URL. It won’t necessarily boost your On Page SEO and Off Page SEO, but will help your branding by differentiating your blog from the other tabs on a reader’s screen.
d. Permalinks: The permalink is a link to your actual post. If you don’t use it, readers will be directed to the home page of your blog and will have to slough through a bunch of tags and titles to find the one they want to read.
e. A fresh domain: Search engines look at your URL first. A keyword relevant to your niche will go a long way in increasing your blog’s chances of acquiring prime real estate on the SERP.
f. Bylines: Authorship is a tool that not only gets your name out there, but provides gains to your SEO. Create a byline for yourself that lists not only your name, but your experience, interests and expertise. (Think of all the new keywords you may discover in the process.)
7. Make sure your blog platform allows for meta description tags.
These are the little sentences that appear under your URL on the SERP in black type. They are critical tools that amp SEO.
8. Ignoring your readers is rude.
If a reader has taken the time to read your post and is thoughtful enough to comment on it, consider it a sign of respect for your work. Return the favor by responding to—or at least acknowledging—what they had to say. Even negative comments invite spirited debate. And spirited debate is interesting to potential readers.
9. It’s who you know...
Networking is still alive and well—even online. Do some research and get to know and then connect with others in your field. This will help with No. 5.
10. People aren’t stupid.
They can and will see right through any tactic that disrespects them. (Trust me on this. I’ve done it.) And make sure your tone isn’t condescending. Oh, and please, please never mask a post as a blatant sales pitch. There will be plenty of time to make a sale or hundred once you’ve developed a relationship with your audience.
Case in point: In researching blogs for this article, I came across just such a post. When I clicked on it, hoping to glean some wisdom, I was greeted by the salesman’s face (that took up a full third of the page) along with slick copy describing what he could do to boost my blog’s SEO and to build an online reputation. It felt so swarmy I had to take a shower to wash off its affects. (Don’t make your readers feel the same.)
If you carefully research your reader, provide them with thoughtfully researched, quality content and show them and everyone you come in contact with due respect, you’re off to a great start.
Machus Corp., A technology solutions company based in Coppell, Texas, provides SEO services , Search Engine Optimization , Internet Marketing Services, Pay Per Click, Web Design and Development Services.