Five Critical Blogging Mistakes you Must Avoid

Starting a blog can be an overwhelming experience. Some much to learn. So many things to do. So many things to get right. It’s a wonder any of us survive past the first post, especially if we have the added pressure of seeking a return on investment.
To help you on your way to blogging success here are five critical blogging mistakes you must avoid and fixes to get you on the right path.

Mistake 1 – Writing For Search Engines Only

Are you a robot? Am I?
While ranking well in search results can help get people to your blog, they won’t stay unless you offer value. We don’t respond well to pointless repetition.
Keyword stuffing ≠ Value.
Value = Entertaining.
Value = Educational.
Value = Informative.
Repeating the same words or phrases more than the next person does not equal value.
Nor loyalty.
Nor engagement of readers.
Keywords stuffing means you can kiss your readers goodbye.

Mistake 2 – Poor Formatting 

Your readers aren’t machines.

You put an unbroken slab of writing in front of them and they’ll bounce off your page faster than an elephant on a trampoline. You are busy. So are your readers.  Make your blog hard to read and you’ve lost them. No one likes ugly. No one likes hard.Break up your text. Highlight key messages. Use subheadings. Add at least one image.

Mistake 3 – No Call To Action

In the fleeting moment you have your reader’s attention you want to enthral them then tell them exactly what you want them to do next.
Keep it simple.
Want them to tweet your post? Tell them.
Want them to sign up for your newsletter? Tell them.
Want them to buy now? Put a gosh darn big button there and tell them.
You’re a bright spark. I’m sure you get the picture. Or at least the call to action.
Get it? My call to action for you…
Tell your readers what you want them to do. Now.

 

Mistake 4 – No Social Sharing Buttons

Don’t make me spell it out. P.l.e.a.s.e.
Ok, you asked for it.
If you want people to share your amazing, super dooper, cherries on top content make it easy.
Not exactly rocket science is it?
Have a look at your favourite blogs. Where do they put their social buttons? Which style do you like the best?
Not sure what plugin they are using? Don’t be shy. Just ask.
What’s the worst thing that can happen? They don’t answer.
The best? You get the answer you seek and to connect with someone whose work you admire.

Mistake 5 – Killing Comments

Nobody wants their blog to be a ghost town. I’m sure you don’t like the sound of crickets.
Or your mum using a fake name to tell you how much she loves you and how your writing has improved since Miss Jones said it stank in fifth grade.
Sure it’s nice to be loved. No kidding…but it’s probably not your reason for blogging.
You want to stimulate discussion. Demonstrate your expertise. Help people.
So give your readers the opportunity to share their thoughts. Ask questions. Show their appreciation. Everyone’s a winner.
Make it easy to comment.
Don’t use captcha codes (really, I’m warning you!)
Don’t make your readers log in to leave a comment.
If you’re worried about spam do something about it but don’t punish your readers.
Install GASP, Akismet or some other anti-spam plugin. Just don’t make it harder for your readers to comment.
Your Turn
Tell me, are you making any of these mistakes?
I want you to take action.
Go fix one mistake right now.
You readers will thank you for it.

Written by Caylie Price, owner of  Better Business Better Life , is currently working her way around the interwebs with her 21 day Blogging For Growth tour. She is also co-author of How  To Host A Swingin’ Blog Challenge. Download the first chapter FREE to learn more.

Caylie Price

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Written by Miriam

Miriam

Miriam Slozberg is an author, social media consultant and depression advocate. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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10 Responses to Five Critical Blogging Mistakes you Must Avoid

  1. Kim July 15, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    Number 3 – I’m glad you reminded me of this one. Just went back and added a call to action to my most recent post. Thanks for the reminder 🙂 I’m so glad you mentioned it.

  2. Meghan July 15, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    Great advice~for me readers are the reason I write! Must remember them 🙂

  3. Bonnie Gean July 15, 2013 at 4:22 am #

    I never write for the search engines. Don’t even care what they think! I write for human consumption! I rely on peeps to spread the word.

    This way I don’t need to worry about Penguin or any other changes Google makes that affect websites!

  4. Bonnie McSpadden July 15, 2013 at 4:23 am #

    Thank you for such timely reminders! I needed to read this post today! Thanks!

  5. Carlee July 15, 2013 at 4:25 am #

    Thanks Caylie, I loved all of them. I Especially love the NO Captcha codes – they are very annoying 🙂

  6. Sweety July 15, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    Really nice. All the points mentioned are apt!!

  7. Nathalie July 15, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    I know used to make some of these mistakes and I’m so glad to see that I’m not making them anymore. Great post, thank you! 🙂

  8. Leanne Chesser July 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Excellent tips that I agree with and follow. I especially think it’s important to talk more about your last point. It’s extremely difficult to comment on many blog posts!

  9. april July 16, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    great reminders, caylie! i especially appreciate the last tip – many websites are very difficult to leave a comment on. it becomes such a frustrating task that it is not worth the hassle.

  10. Kemya Scott September 26, 2013 at 1:53 am #

    Great tips here Caylie! Reading number 3 just reminded me, I need to do a better job of telling my readers what I want them to do. Thank you!

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