Blogging can be one of your greatest branding, marketing, and conversion-optimization strategies, if you do it right. In fact, when you've written at least 52 blog posts on your site, you traffic increases by 77%.
But, the problem is, about 95% of people don't do it right and never get decent business from it.
Chances are, you know what it's like to be part of that 95% and you may not even realize which mistakes you are making.
Because you don't know what you don't know, you could be doing certain blogging strategies that you think would help you, but in reality may be holding you back.
To help you find out what mistakes you might be making, so you can stop shooting yourself in the foot, I'm going to give you the 41 most common blogging mistakes to avoid.
41 Common Blogging Mistakes To Avoid:
1. Writing in gigantic paragraphs.
In today's world, people have the attention span of a nat and will get intimidated if your blog post looks like a novel. Use only 1-2 sentence paragraphs to include more space on your page for easier reading or scanning.
2. Not collecting emails.
The vast majority of your visitors won't ever return to your blog, no matter how good it is. This is why you must collect emails. This way you can send blog post updates via email to all your subscribers and get more traffic and engagement.
Not only does this affect traffic, but also your conversions and your post engagement. People have to see a product or service offer about 7 times on average before making a purchase, which isn't really possibly if you don't collect emails and most of your visitors never return.
Also, your comments will greatly increase over time if you collect emails. Neil Patel of Quicksprout says around 35.7% of his comments come from his email subscribers.
3. Not paying attention to your blog's speed.
Not only is site speed a ranking factor in search engines like Google, for every second you make your visitors wait for loading, your conversions could decrease by 7%.
4. Not using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to track your blog's progress as far as traffic, conversions, where your audience is coming from, etc.
How are you supposed to know if your blog is on the right track if you don't know the analytics?
5. Not using social media sharing.
Social media is the easiest way to get boatloads of traffic online these days. But, you can't just expect everyone to share it themselves without a little help. You need to set up social sharing buttons.
This way visitors can share your posts with just the click of a button. As a rule of thumb, the easier you make it for people to take an action, the more they will take it.
6. Using too many social media buttons.
Of course social media buttons help you get more shares and traffic, but having too many can confuse your visitors and be counterproductive. Stick to the 3 social sites that make the biggest impact.
I recommend Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
7. Having too much clutter on your blog.
Don't confuse your visitors by having too much stuff going on at one time on your blog. It should be clean and well organized, without having too many options or distractions.
Make sure your visitors can focus on what you want them to focus on.
8. Having too many offers.
You don't need to have 500 different affiliate products, ad networks, info products, services, etc. The more choices people have, the more likely they are to not make a choice at all.
Have a very specific offer for your visitor and don't overwhelm them. Make their decision easy.
9. Not backing up your claims with statistics and their sources.
If you use a bunch of numbers, “facts”, etc., but don't back them up or provide sources, there's a good chance no one will believe you or even take you seriously.
Use statistics, facts, etc. that capture attention and then link to the source of the information, so your visitors see you as someone who is credible and does their homework.
10. Not branding yourself with your achievements, background and qualifications.
If you have awards for something in your industry, special honors, impressive achievements, etc., your blog is a great place to show them off.
Don't come across like you're bragging, just include them in your About Page and your social profiles, so people can see that you are credible and have had success in your industry.
Notice how Neil Patel of Quicksprout does it:
11. Writing blog posts that are 500 words or less.
Tiny posts might work if you have just a quick “breaking news” kind of post or you include most of the content in an embedded video, but other than that, write more detailed content.
Most short blog posts don't rank very well unless you already have an authority brand.
12. Not using images in your posts.
Don't make your posts boring. People love images. In fact, images get 94% more total views than posts without them. Have multiple images throughout the post to break up the words.
13. Not having easy navigation.
If people can't get navigate throughout your site, your bounce rate will be through the roof and you won't have very good conversions at all. Make sure you have a clear navigation bar at the top of your blog.
14. Not having a lead magnet.
Gone are the days when you could just ask people to subscribe to your newsletter and actually get quite a few subscribers. People want something in return for their email address. Give them what they want.
Offer a quality, free resource related to the article they are reading and over-deliver, so you not only get their email, but you also make a good first impression. Here's a lead magnet example:
15. Not using internal links.
Use internal links, not only for SEO purposes, but also for user-friendliness. Linking to a few other related posts on your site within your blog posts helps Google learn what your post is about, while being able to crawl your site easier.
On top of that, you can decrease your bounce rate and get more engagement from your visitors by making it easy for them to read other posts you have done that are related or work together with the post they are reading.
16. Not linking to others.
You can't make your blog all about you and that's it. You can't just link to nothing but your site's articles. Well, you can I guess, but it's not a good practice, especially when you are trying to build up your site as an authority.
Google and other search engines look for external links for SEO purposes and to see what you post is specifically about. External links, when used correctly, just make it easier to explain things and expand more upon topics within your post.
For example, if you mention someone in your post that your audience might not recognize, link to their bio, so they can know who you're talking about.
External links help your readers get the background knowledge they need to help them completely understand what your post is talking about.
17. Not taking the time to make a great title.
Think about this for a second… How are people going to convert into subscribers or customers on your blog, if they don't read your content in the first place? This is where a great headline comes in.
You have to make people actually want to read your articles or your blog will be completely useless. Use curiosity triggers like: “How To”, “Case Study”, or a number to capture people's attention and make them have to click on your post to read it.
Here are some of my best performing titles:
- 75 Twitter Marketing Tips And Tricks
- 50 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read
- 10 Ways To Turn Yourself Into A Productive Machine
- How To Think Like A Billionaire And Make History
18. Not doing your keyword research.
If you don't rank for a keyword or topic in search engines, each blog post you do will get an increase in traffic to your site for a day or two and then drop off, never to be relevant again.
This is definitely not what you want. Look at each blog post like an investment. Figure out where you have a good chance of making the post do well long term and then do everything you can in that post to get to the top.
When it ranks on page 1 for the keywords you targeted, it's like a little long term investment that will keep bringing in traffic, subscribers and sales for years to come. You can use Google's Keyword Planner to find good keywords.
19. Not deciding what the goal for your blog post is before writing it.
Every blog post needs to have a goal. You don't just write posts to write. You write them for a specific purpose.
Whether you want the post to get you more leads, social engagement, comments, branding, etc., decide its purpose before you even think about writing it.
20. Not keeping your topic related to your niche.
If you write a bunch of random posts about dogs, marketing, politics and food, people are going to be completely confused about what your blog's purpose is and they will never come back.
Make sure you know your target niche and stick to it with every post. This will also benefit your SEO.
21. Not being consistent.
This could be one of your biggest challenges yet. Consistently producing fresh, quality content is essential to keep increasing your traffic, engagement and sales.
You can't just write a post one week, skip a few weeks, write a few more, skip a month and expect to have a decent audience or any sort of traffic increase.
Figure out a weekly blogging schedule for yourself and stick to it.
FREE BLOG RESOURCE:
“320 Blog Post Ideas (With Examples)
Never Worry About Writer's Block Again And Start Getting Bigger Blog Conversions, Traffic, Rankings And Engagement.
22. Not responding to your blog post comments.
Comments are more important than you may think. They tell Google that people like your post and therefore it should be ranked higher. They help you rank for more keywords as they add content to the post you already published.
Comments also get more of a conversation going and make your blog more engaging, as well as trustworthy.
If people take the time out of their busy day to thank you for a helpful blog post or ask you a thoughtful question in the comments, don't you think they would appreciate it if you responded, as opposed to ignoring them?
23. Refusing to pay attention to SEO.
SEO (search engine optimization) is what helps you get your blog articles in the top of search results, so more people find them and go to your site. This is referred to as traffic, as you probably know.
Without paying attention to the factors that help you rank posts, your posts may get you a little boost in initial traffic for a day or two, but will then be forgotten about and fade away.
If you pay attention to things like your title tag, meta description, keyword density, keyword variations, links, backlinks, bounce rate, etc., you can get a lot more posts to rank and give you traffic for years.
24. Not writing quality, in-depth content.
Most of the top results in search engines tend to have more content. More content usually means more quality information that goes more in-depth than a short 500 word post would.\
This is another thing Google and your viewers look for. They don't want low-quality, generalized information that they could find anywhere else. They want more details, tips, insights, research, etc. that will really answer their questions or solve their problems.
Do this in every blog post and you will create a more loyal following that really looks forward to each new post.
25. Having grammar errors and not making sense throughout the post.
If you're going to write articles, at least make sure they are legible. If people can't make out what you are saying or see that you have spelling issues, they may not take you too seriously.
I mostly see this with bloggers who are bilingual. People sometimes try to blog in their secondary language and it can hurt them because they don't fully understand its grammar yet.
Most of the time, these blogs don't become too successful until they do something about that. Just use use spellcheck and proofread your posts a few times before publishing. Maybe even get an editor.
26. Not knowing your audience.
If you don't know who you are specifically writing to, you're in big trouble. You not only need to know what the purpose of the blog post is, but you have to figure out what type of person would want to read the post and help you fulfill that purpose.
Think of your perfect potential customer and try to write to them and you should be fine.
27. You don't show your personality.
Have you ever read an article by someone who was just completely boring? (If so, please don't tell me it was me) It's hard to keep reading when there is absolutely no personality in there.
On the other hand, you've probably read articles from experienced writers that you absolutely love because it almost seems like they're just having a casual conversation with you.
Maybe they'll use a few funny remarks in the post, some emoticons, some little stories that you might relate to, etc. It just makes you want to keep reading, doesn't it?
You should do the same in your writing. Show a little personality and write like you're an emotionless robot.
28. Not promoting your posts.
Spending a bunch of time writing the perfect post and then not sharing it with anyone is about as useful as a sandbox in the desert. If no one is going to be able to read it, what good is it?
In fact, you should be spending more time promoting your post than writing it, unless you just have a massive following of millions of people already and can just share it with them on social media.
29. Writing about something you really don't care about.
If you start a blog on training a parrot to talk (Yes, there are people that do this. Frank Kern actually started his marketing empire in this weird niche), and you don't like animals at all, you probably won't stick with it.
If your sole purpose is to make money with your blog and you don't care anything about the subject you would be writing about all the time, don't even bother. You'll get bored and quit.
Find something you are passionate about and can't get enough of before starting a blog for it.
30. Not guest posting.
Guest posting can make a HUGE difference for your brand. When you're starting out, you have to build a brand from scratch and it is not easy, as I'm sure you already know.
One of the greatest things you can do for your brand is to spread your blog posts around different sites more (especially the big authority sites).
If you pitch a post to the editor and it gets accepted at a big site in your niche, people WILL see it and if they like it, they WILL want to learn more about you.
This way you're growing your brand by leveraging someone else's that has already made it big. It's genius isn't it? Look for a “Contribute” tab when looking to guest post on a site.
31. Not writing original content.
If you copy someone else's work and just publish it on your site, you can get in A LOT of trouble. Please don't do that.
And even if you aren't copying people's articles word for word, don't just rewrite the exact same topics as others. Be unique and original.
32. Not repurposing content.
You can turn one piece of content into 5 by just reformatting it. You can have blog posts, audios (like podcasts), videos, presentations (like on Slideshare), and images (like infographics) with the same topic and content.
You can then post them on different sites that support those formats and now you could get 5x the traffic!
33. Not having a clean, professional blog design.
If your blog looks like it was put together by a 5th grader with zero web design experience, you're in trouble. You need to make your site look as professional and legitimate as possible.
All you need to do is look at the top websites in your niche, see how the design their sites and try to create something similar with your brand's custom spin on it.
If you have a WordPress blog, the difference in your site looking amateur vs professional could just be spending the extra $50 on a premium theme, instead of a bland free one.
34. Not having a picture of yourself anywhere.
People associate with faces. They make a big impact on our first impression of each other and they help you remember people by how they look.
Don't make people guess what you look like or give them the impression that you are shady by not showing your face.
Show people that you are human and tell a little about your story in your About Page and just that alone could go a long way.
35. Not including an about page that tells more about you and the company.
This goes off the last point, but you need to have something that helps people relate to you. A picture on your social profiles, isn't enough.
You need to tell people about who you are as the owner of the blog, who the blog is built for, what your goal is for your brand, how it got started, etc.
You About Page will be one of the most visited pages on your site. Create a good first impression, be genuine and make it count.
36. Not having a contact page.
If you don't even have any way of being contacted, whether it is to you directly, to customer support, etc., it looks kinda shady. Take a look around the internet and see what the authority brands do on their sites.
They all have ways of being contacted, don't they? You need to make yourself or someone on your team available to answer questions or help people that are visitors of your blog.
It's common courtesy and makes you look like a legitimate brand.
37. Only trying to make money.
If you are only trying to make money with your blog, good luck getting anywhere. It is the value you give to the world that makes you the money in the first place.
People won't just give you money for nothing. If they feel like you don't care about helping them, they will leave and never come back. Keep that in mind when trying to build a business.
38. Not testing.
If you're not testing different parts of your blog, you're just taking shots in the dark, hoping to hit something every once in awhile.
If you've ever tried shooting things in the dark, you know your odds of hitting something are pretty bad. Always know your numbers and be testing things to find what works best.
Try different post titles, post formats, advertisements, lead magnets, product offers, etc. Even a 1% increase in engagement or sales could make a huge difference in your income.
39. Not doing different kinds of posts.
If you do the same type of post over and over and over and over and over and over…. You get the idea… People will get bored of your blog.
Mix it up with some cool infographics here and there, some videos, maybe some behind the scenes posts, some contests, etc.
Keep people begging for more and on their toes by using different kinds of posts.
40. Not modeling after what works.
I know, I know, I say this a lot, but don't reinvent the wheel. I say it so much, because I used to be really bad about over-complicating everything.
People have already found what works in pretty much every aspect of life. You can just learn from that and improve it. You don't need to rewrite the book on how to do something.
Keep it simple and learn from the best. You can learn a lot just by getting some ideas from other brands that are successful in your niche.
You may even just take the best of each one and try to combine them all in your own unique way to ensure that you are different, but still get big results.
41. Not having your blog mobile-optimized.
These days, smartphones are taking over the world and you're almost in the minority if you don't have one. 40-50% of mobile traffic is now coming from mobile devices and you cannot afford to ignore it.
Make sure your website is mobile-optimized because not only is it important for helping your visitors read your posts on their phones, but it is also a ranking factor now in Google's algorithm.
Don't shoot yourself in the foot by making common blogging mistakes. If you avoid these 41 mistakes, you will be well on your way to creating a lasting, successful blog that thousands, even millions will enjoy.
FREE BLOG RESOURCE:
“320 Blog Post Ideas (With Examples)
Never Worry About Writer's Block Again And Start Getting Bigger Blog Conversions, Traffic, Rankings And Engagement.