This is a guest contribution from Chad Goulde.
Do you have a blog? Is it getting the amount of attention you want it to? Is it bringing in any money? Is it reaching the goals that you set out to achieve when you started it?
Many bloggers find themselves asking these questions when they get discouraged.
The truth is, there are multiple ways you could be reaching your blogging potential if you only knew how. By reading the tell-tale signs of bloggers going down the drain, you can stop yourself before you do too. We put together a list of the most common mistakes other bloggers are making so that you can you learn from them.
Take into account our “what not to do” advice the next time you post on your blog to see if you are making any of these common mistakes.
Making it All About You
- The truth of the matter is this: People aren’t going to log onto your blog to read all about you.
Recently there has been a trend of creating blogs for the purpose of staying connected with family and friends or updating them on your life lately. This is perfectly acceptable if that is the specific purpose that your blog was created for.
The problem starts to happen when bloggers start to forget or abandon their original intent. For example, if you start a blog that is supposed to revolve around the automotive world, it wouldn’t really be fitting to explain your opinion on the latest movie in theaters. You could, however, post pictures and tips on your recent automotive project. As long as it pertains to your overall blog topic you can post about your life.
Remember that the readers aren’t going to care as much about your personal life as they do about the information they want to learn from it. Although there are exceptions to this rule, most people read blogs to help them solve problems, learn new information, or focus on challenges they face in daily life.
If your blog isn’t doing that for them anymore, they have no real reason to read it.
Selling Too Much
- We all hate the feeling of being bombarded by car salesmen or suckered into buying those Girl Scout cookies you didn’t want.
Even though they know that, many bloggers fall into the trap of accumulating too many advertisements and products. A natural repellant for readers is ads. Remember this fact within reason.
They will always be a necessary part of running a blog, so don’t rule them out completely. To help yourself know where this fine line is, notice at what point you become annoyed with advertisements on tv, radio, or other internet sites. It is easy to tell when all someone wants from you is money- and you don’t want to appear desperate or shady.
It’s also the worst strategy for actually getting any money. If you want your readers to stick around, make sure that you always have more content than ads.
Neglecting Outside Contributors
- Ever considered the idea of reporting on what an expert has said instead of writing your own content?
Using professionals to supplement your already amazing advice gives you ten times the amount of credibility. Find the authorities or big players in the industry right now and work together on a post.
This can widen your base for what to write about, or get you out of a writers’ block. There are tons of people in your community with useful information who would jump at any opportunity to share it.
Book authors, shop owners, even your own readers might want to share their experiences that pertain to your blog. Open your eyes and ideas will come rushing! You will notice that with doing this you are automatically networking as the people you work with first refer you to others, and so on. With outside contributors helping you to post you can also get a bigger audience.
The doctor, author, professor, or auto mechanic will probably do some promoting of their own to get some attention for their 15 minutes of fame from your blog. So, never overlook this powerful option for gaining more relevancies in your community.
- Like I mentioned before, your readers come to you for solutions to their problems. If they find that your answers are too vague or you sound like you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’ve just lost one more reader.
This can be as simple as modifying the topics you are posting about. For example, if you create a post called “Beauty Tips & Tricks,” you are probably spending a half of a paragraph on ten different aspects of beauty.
A brief introduction doesn’t allow for any real answers for people with questions on any particular aspect of beauty. A better topic would be on a something more specific that you will be able to dive into further like hair care, skin care, nail art, or makeup tricks.
Remembering your purpose for starting a blog will help you to keep producing articles people will actually want to read.
Go through your past posts and rate them fluff or non-fluff. If you find that you are producing more fluff than non-fluff, it could help you to have someone edit your material before you post it. You could also put more effort and thought into each topic instead of just sitting down and letting the words come.
Do not make the mistake of writing for the sake of writing, because it will not be read.
Forgetting to Make it Sharable
- When you make it difficult for readers to share the new knowledge that they’ve gained from your blog, you slow your own growth.
Most bloggers don’t do this on purpose and they have simply forgotten. Some type of a sharing option needs to be effortless and extremely visible for your readers. Most people aren’t going to be thinking about sharing with their friends, unless you make it an easy and obvious choice for them.
With every post, always remember to include relevant sharing buttons. By doing this, you are expanding your audience, reader by reader.
Not Engaging Readers
- If readers comment on your blog and you do not give them the time of day to respond, they are not going to feel validated or engaged by your blog.
People need to feel valued, especially by things and people that they put their time, energy and money into. If you want any of the above from your readers, talk to them!
Take their constructive criticism, reply to their comments, and post based off of what they tell you they want to read. This will make your readers more loyal to you and make them want to spread the word.
Not Giving First Time Readers A Reason To Come Back
- Regardless of how popular your blog gets, the majority of the readers will always be first-timers.
Because of this simple fact, you need to provide them with a reason to come back. If they are visiting your blog for the first time, and become wowed by all the useful information, they will definitely log back on in the future. Always keep this aspect in mind when you are posting content.
Ask yourself, “Am I creating a necessity for readers to come back to my blog?” If not, change the article or give readers a sneak peak of what’s coming next week.
Don’t be too hard on yourself; even the top bloggers still make these mistakes. Make sure that it doesn’t become an often occurrence, always keep these suggestions in mind, and you’ll be fine.
When all else fails, remember your original intent for the blog.
If you always keep your content and your readers’ needs at the top of your list of priorities, your blog will survive. Go to theblogbuilders.com for more information on improving your blog today!
Chad Goulde has been in the writing and blogging industry for 15 years and loves sharing his knowledge with beginning bloggers.