When you are setting up your blog or even if you have a blog that has been around for a while and is not doing too good you could be making some mistakes. I see some common mistakes that a lot of bloggers make, even those that have had some experience in the field. Here are ten mistakes that you should try to avoid making in your blog:
1. No topic
One big warning sign to me when I visit a blog is if I can’t tell immediately what the main topic is about. If your do not have a main topic or your posts do not give an overall reflection of that topic then you are making a big mistake. Branding is very important when you are marketing anything and with any brand your first impression is key. A brand or blog that is not immediately obvious to readers is one that will not get the attention it deserves. It doesn’t matter how great your content is or how cool your layout if you do not have a topic and stick to it. Having a topic does not mean that you can just pick one willy nilly. You should try to find one that is not so broad that your message is lost or others can outdo you, not so narrow that you run out of things to blog about. A good example would be the topic of cats. If your blog was about cats people would be lost. Cats are such a broad topic. You want to narrow it down to funny cats, or cats in hats, or cat illnesses, or a specific breed of cats. That way your readers will instantly have an idea of what your content and overall tone should be. Likewise you should not be too narrow with your topic. If you pick something like Himalayan cats in pink tutus you will quickly run out of things to blog about.
2. No idea who the audience is
Another big warning sign is if the blogger is trying to appeal to everyone. You just can’t do that successfully. Your best bet is to do your research and find out who your target audience is. Are they intellectual? Are they rich or poor? Are they old or young? Single or married? Male or female? All these people groups have different tastes and interests. If you try to appeal to all of them you will just end up appealing to none of them. Instead pick your target market and write your blog posts for them. With a cat illness blog you would be writing to cat owners who are insightful enough to see when their cat is ill and try to do something about it. Through that you can write things like health maintenance, common signs of illness and other blog posts. That is just one example but I think you get the point.
3. No sense of fun
Readers are perceptive. They know when you are just writing for the sake of writing. That lack of passion and fun translates into a boring and soulless blog. No one wants to read that. I know how hard it is to stay passionate about blogging day in and day out but you need to stick with it. Find things that make you passionate again. Approach your blog from a different angle. Talk about things that upset you or excite you. Show your readers why you started this blog in the first place.
4. No color
Now let’s get into the look of your blog. A danger sign for me is a blog with no color. No images, no headers, no nothing. Just plain white pages with black text that goes on and on and on. Snore fest. A blog layout needs to match your blog content. It needs to be interesting to your readers. If you have a lot of photos than a bland background is fine. However if you are more text based then liven it up with some kind of color or dynamic design. Even if modern is your theme you can add bold splashes of color to lead readers towards important areas of your blog.
5. Not readable
Once you have the look of the blog itself down then you need to focus on the readability. Is your text yellow on a white background? No no no! Do not have light text on light background or dark text on dark backgrounds. Don’t have tiny text or text in fonts that are hard to read. Make it easy for your readers to read your blog! Another thing to look out for is ads that cover up text, break it up, or distract from text. Yes I know ads are a part of blogging life, but they do not need to be intrusive or distracting.
6. Not useable
Now you should move on to the functioning of your blog. Does it load quickly? Do all the images appear? Do the links work? All the pages? Is it easy for readers to move from one blog post to another? If your blog is attached to a site is it easy for readers to get to that site? Nothing will scare me off faster than a blog that won’t load or has a bunch of broken links. No thank you! Make sure you test your blog out on a computer other than your own too. Sometimes your computer will have cookies saved or other hidden away things that make your blog look great on your end when actually it is broken for everyone else.
7. No SEO
All the content and great looks in the world won’t guarantee you traffic. Why? Because search engines rule and, in most cases, without them you are up a creek without a paddle. That is why proper SEO is so important. All SEO is easily visible for those that are looking for it, but good SEO should be invisible for your average readers. Some tips for good SEO include the proper use of keywords and accurate titling. You can do some research and find out what your target audience is looking for. Then craft your blog posts around those words and topics. Not only does that boost your search engine rankings but it also helps to answer real questions from your readers.
8. No real content
Speaking of content it better be real. I see a lot of bloated blogs out there with the same posts written over and over again or ripped off from somewhere else. I would much rather read a blog with few posts but the posts were well written, thoughtful, insightful and accurate! Quality triumphs over quality every time. However you should try to update your blog regularly so that you maximize the number of readers exposed to your blog. It is a balancing act but one that bloggers can overcome.
9. No connections
Connecting to the real world is vital for bloggers. From reader comment responses to real life conventions and participation there are many ways you can connect. If I see a blog that has the search box or comment boxes disable then I know they are just in it for the money. A real blogger wants interaction and for readers to dig deeper. They want the back and forth of real communication. A good reputation means a lot in the blogging world and the best way to get a good reputation is to communicate effectively and with care.
10. No growth
Last but not least is growth. If I can look back at the first few posts and then look at the most recent posts and there has been no change in writing style or content than I know the blogger is juts dialing it in. A real blogger makes an effort to always be improving his blog, his content, his skills, and so on. He wants to be better than the completion and that means keeping up with the times. Change is a part of life and a good blogger grows along with his readers.
As you can see there are many mistakes a blogger can make. However all of these mistakes are repairable and a good blogger can overcome the past to make a brighter future. Take a look at your blog and see if you are making any of these common mistakes.