New to blogging? Been at it awhile? Trying to figure out why you’re not getting any new readers, likes or comments?
Maybe you’re making some blogging mistakes. We all do it. What separates “the wheat from the chaff,” so to speak, is who identifies and learns from those mistakes and who doesn’t.
So let’s start with 7 common blogging mistakes. Then we’ll discuss how to fix them.
Are you doing any of these?
Mistake #1: Rushing to Make Up for Inconsistent Posting
A blogger hasn’t posted for months. She suddenly remembers she has a blog! So she posts them all at once. Ten posts. On the same day. A few minutes apart.
That kind of irregularity and “tsunami dump” not only overwhelms subscribers, it’s also a good way to lose subscribers.
Why? Because readers feel like after months in the blogging Atacama desert, they just got swept up in a blogging tsunami. It also makes that blogger look disorganized. Flighty. Unprofessional. And frankly, who has time for that?
How to Fix:
- Sit down with a calendar.
- Plan blogging topics and posts out for about three months or so.
- Sit down and write. Edit. Edit again. Edit some more.
- When your series of posts are finally polished and pristine, schedule them to launch on specific dates and times over several weeks/months. You’ll also save wear and tear on the tsunami post thing.
Mistake #2: Assume Expertise You Don’t Have
This should be self-evident. But it’s amazing the number of bloggers who try to fake it.
For example, if your idea of “exercise” is hoisting 12-ounce curls of Bud while channel surfing, blogging about health and fitness may not be your jam. If you’re deathly allergic to math and numbers, you’re probably not the ideal candidate to be writing a finance blog.
And so forth. Savvy?
Mistake #3: It’s All About Me
Lemme make this real simple: No. It’s Not.
If you want people to follow your blog, make it bigger than yourself. Cuz unless you’re a celebrity, no one cares what you ate for breakfast. Or what today’s OOTD is.
How to Fix
Provide readers with some value-added in your posts related to your particular niche. Suggestions:
- Heart-healthy recipes
- Fashion tips for the 50+ crowd
- Off-season vacation spots at a fraction of peak season prices
- Movie hits and misses
- Quick and easy weeknight dinners for moms on the go
- Best Instagram-worthy sites in your area
- Kid-friendly outdoor destinations
- How to lose weight sensibly
Your blog can and should reflect your personality and perspective. Just make sure that you’re providing your readers with valuable information they can use.
Mistake #4: War and Peace Paragraphing
Your readers are busy. Nobody has time to plow through 700-word paragraphs. Or dense, twisting sentences that make Amazonian jungles look like a cake walk.
How to Fix:
Revise, revise, revise. Then revise some more.
Avoid long-winded Faulkneresque sentences that rival The Sound and the Fury and take too long to read and don’t have any pauses or breaks for the reader to catch their breath as they try to follow your loquacious genius through serpentine coils of thought like the Snake River when it flows through Jackson Hole in the spring or a like a duck trying to make headway in a hurricane.
You’re not Ayn Rand.
So keep sentences short. They’re easier to read online. Okay?
Mistake #5 (related to #4): Too Many Words!
Nothing turns off readers like clicking on a blog post and being greeted by a giant wall of solid text. Ugh.
How to Fix
Keep paragraphs concise and to the point. Break up your post with plenty of white space between paragraphs. Add some high-quality photos.
Resist the temptation to go all Energizer Bunny on your readers… going and going and going… If you have a lot to say on a certain topic, consider breaking it into a series of shorter posts. It’ll be easier on your readers and they’ll probably be more likely to return for the next installment.
Mistake #6: Lousy Headlines
I recently unsubscribed from a blog for one main reason: every new post arrived in my in box headed, “New Message.”
Thud. That’s not only un-appealing and un-engaging, it also doesn’t tell you diddly about what the new post is about. Great way to lose readers!
How to Fix:
Writing appealing, engaging headlines is an art form. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve failed at this.
But for clickable, appealing headlines that will draw readers in, try:
- Writing multiple headlines. Brainstorm. Try different words and approaches until your headline cleverly and accurately crystallizes your post’s content.
- Incorporating numbers into your headline: 5 Ways to Write Better Blog Headlines. 10 Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Vacation. How to Become the Next American Kennel Club Champ in 5 Easy Steps.
- Using hyphens and colons: Blogging Like a Pro: 10 Ways to Boost Your Blog’s Readership.
- Asking a question. Questions pique curiosity. Readers who want to know the answer will click your headline and read the article: Are You Making These 7 Common Blogging Mistakes?
See how this works?
Mistake #7: Giving Up
If you’re a beginning blogger, it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s even easy to get discouraged if you’re not a beginner. Especially when you feel like you’re pouring heart and soul into every post and nobody reads them.
How to Fix
You’re not alone. We’ve all felt this way about our blogs. Sometimes we still do. Here are a few things I’ve learned in this regard:
- Define your worldview. This will help you stay focused as you blog.
- Ask: If I had a chance to share my message with the world, what would I say? What would happen if people listened?
- Select your blogging niche carefully. It needs to be something near and dear to your heart or you’ll run out of steam.
- Be patient. Building a blog audience takes time.
- Be consistent. Cranking out a zillion posts in an initial burst of exuberance isn’t unusual. But to be successful and get read, you need to stay the course. Persevere.
- Reach out to other bloggers. Join some blogging communities.
- Don’t hit “Publish” until you’ve edited your post. And then edited some more.
- Brush up on your formatting skills. Hint: Short paragraphs and bullet points.
- Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” when you don’t.
Need more help?
Check out these blogging resources:
Goins, Writer – Jeff Goins
In what blogging area do you need the most help?