If you want to succeed as a blogger, you must avoid these 10 blogging mistakes. They are too costly and have the potential to make your blogging experiment fail. Without further ado, let me launch into the top 10 blogging mistakes to avoid.
• Not Having a Goal and Strategy for Your Blog
This one is a no-brainer but it happens all the time. You set up a blog without knowing what you want to achieve with it. So, you end up running an aimless and direction-less blog; but I believe having a goal for your blog would keep you focused. Ditto for having a strategy; what strategy do you have for your blog? Do you want to use it to build an email list and sell to the people on the email list or you want to use your blog to make money from Adsense? It’s all left to you. Have a goal and a strategy before you set up your blog; it helps to keep you focused.
• Content Isn’t Updated Regularly
This happens with the best of bloggers. You set up a blog and readers get a flurry of posts but the passion dies after a while. You no longer update and your blog carries stale content. If you must succeed with your blog, the content has to be updated regularly. You can choose a schedule based on the time available to you; you can update weekly, daily or monthly. Most news blogs are updated several times a day (they update as news breaks) and this is good for search engine rankings as well as retaining readers.
• Writing About a Topic You Don’t Care About
This really sucks as I see a lot of bloggers create blogs on topics they don’t care about. One thing that would happen if you do this is, you’d lose steam before you even get past the one-month mark. But, if you choose a topic you’re passionate about, you can write about it for a long time and it won’t even feel like work.
• Not Infusing Your Personality Into Your Blog
Blogging differs a bit from article writing because you can infuse your personality, family and business issues into a blog post. And when people come to your blog, it may surprise you to note that they come not only because of the free information you’re sharing, but the personal touch you put into your blog posts, so, when you shy away from that, you lose readers.
I did that with a blog I still have and I wasn’t happy with the results. When I started the blog, I decided to stay anonymous. Initially, people were visiting because of the great content on the site but they weren’t coming back for more. When I investigated, I realised it was because the site lacked a personal touch. They wanted to know who was behind the site; they wanted to relate with me on a personal basis. But, I’ve learnt my lesson the hard way and I’m saying infusing your personality into your blog is key to your success with it.
With hindsight now, I realise I read some blogs not because they have fantastic content but just because I love the owners of the blog.
• Not Building an Email List
Whether you’re running a weight loss blog or a business blog, build your list. It’s the only way to remain relevent in the scheme of things for a long time to come. The other day, Spencer Haws (of nichepursuits.com) was talking about a niche site he had that was getting a huge number of visitors daily from the search engines. He was wise enough to build a list while this was going on. He got his list size to 2000 or thereabout and then Google struck with an algorithm update and he lost all his traffic. His only source of making money from that site now is that email list as well as his involvement in social media sites.
• Writing Just for the Search Engines
When you have a blog, try and write for the search engines as well as the human beings who visit your blog. Keyword stuffing will get you into trouble with the same search engines you’re trying to court, so, be ware! Write human-readable content. Period!
• Not Marketing Your Blog
Refusal to market your blog would lead to just one thing – no readers. When I first started blogging, I thought quality content was all I needed to get readers but I was dead wrong! Much later, I got to know about attracting readers, networking with other bloggers and generally marketing my blog. If you’re still posting great content without marketing it, consider a re-think as a blog that does not have visitors would die a natural death.
• Giving Up Too Easily and Too Quickly
Like I earlier said, blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme, so, when you get into it, determine to stay in it for the long haul. I never cease to be amazed when people set up blogs and six months down the line, they want to pack things up because they are not earning enough! In a post on his blog, Rand Fishkin talks about being consistent, while pointing out that the SEOmoz blog, his personal blog and his wife’s popular Everywhereist blog didn’t really take off until two years after. Sadly, many bloggers quit after six or nine months! My advice at this point is, hang in there, don’t quit on the eve of your blogging breakthrough! Imagine toiling for months and quitting just when your success is knocking!
• Not Engaging Commentators
One of the habits of successful bloggers is replying to comments and even though it can be time-consuming, it’s essential to engage commentators and keep them interested in your blog. This would keep them coming back for more. Don’t forget that people love interaction, leverage on this human weakness to grow your blog!
• Blogging Only for Money
If you’re blogging just for the money you stand to make, I have a shocker for you! Quit blogging because you’d get frustrated. Blogging, like I earlier said, is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it works for people who’re passionate about helping others with the information at their disposal. But, if you’re not passionate about helping others and you just want to make money with a blog, quit it and look for other ways to make quick cash.
• Not Networking with Other Bloggers and plagiarizing Other Bloggers
This is a bonus tip but it’s vital to network with bloggers in the same niche if you want to succeed with blogging. Saying hi to them through blog comments, linking to them through your posts or ‘digging’ their content won’t take much of your time but the benefits would be there for many years.
Also, don’t plagiarise other bloggers. Try and write original posts and when you borrow ideas from other bloggers, reference them in your post.
But, if all I’ve posted above sounds like geek to you, you qualify to be called a make money online beginner and you would definitely benefit from reading how to start your own blog and some blogging lessons from Steve Jobs.
Summary and Action TakeAway
One thing I like about blogging is that it gives a level-playing ground. Anyone can succeed with it as long as he (or she) keeps up with the basics. Work more at your blog (by avoiding these top 10 blogging mistakes) and see your blog succeed with little effort!
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