Starting a blog is an exciting adventure. The drive to get your content out to the world can be strong, but it’s important to go into it strategically so as to not make mistakes that could hold you back from reaching your full potential. Blogging can be challenging, with complicated aspects that a newcomer might not yet be versed in.
Here, you’ll find seven of the most common mistakes even you may be guilty of. These blunders include difficult navigation, unclear communication, readability sins, unrealistic publishing schedules, failure to utilize analytics, lack of purpose, and neglect of audience. Take a look to learn how to recover from these flubs.
1. Your Blog Is Difficult to Navigate
Readers have a short attention span; making them jump through hoops to find what they’re looking for will result in them leaving your blog.
Instead, make sure your interface is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Make sure they can get where they want to go smoothly. Oftentimes, readers are most interested in recent or most popular posts, so making sure they are available at least in a sidebar of your landing page will help get them there quickly.
2. Your Communication Is Unclear
If you are a logophile, it can be a battle to keep word counts down and communication concise. You may be using excessive writing readers don’t want to be bogged down with. You also may be leading them down a dead-end, offering no direction at the end of each post. Both these mistakes can result in miscommunication or lack of understanding.
Be picky when it comes to each word you add and make sure it serves a purpose. In addition, use a call to action at the end of each post to direct a reader to the next step. Incorporate a link into the call to action, and try to make it a smooth transition. Instead of linking on text that says “CLICK HERE,” try using natural language with a link in the phrase.
3. You’re Committing Readability Sins
While the content of your blog is paramount, the design and layout is a close second. If you don’t have enough white space, use enough headlines and subtopics, or add enough images, the sight of your blog could be giving readers a headache.
Remember that a visually pleasing blog is a good blog. Henneke Duistermaat, the brain behind Enchanting Marketing, a renowned digital marketing blog, says that lack of whitespace can be the first mistake. Whitespace creates visual separation and is easy on the eyes. Keep design principles in mind when adding in other aspects.
4. You Have an Unrealistic Publishing Schedule or None at All
An easy mistake to make right off the bat is creating an unrealistic publishing schedule or not creating one at all. When your ideas are fresh, it seems easy to write endless posts. But the energy and inspiration will inevitably slow down. According to CopyBlogger, perfecting a publishing schedule that works for you is the key to avoiding burn-out or inconsistent posting. Aim for two posts a week and adjust until you find the best fit.
5.You’re Not Taking Advantage of Analytics
Without utilizing the analytic tools available to you, you’re essentially flying by the seat of your pants when it comes to improving your blog to serve the target audience.
Google Analytics can show you your most popular posts, access points and referrals, bounce rates, and navigation patterns. This information allows you to fine-tune details of your blog to better suit your visitors. Be sure you look at this information regularly in order to constantly improve your performance. You could even check your site’s up-down status which you could communicate to your hosting service.
6. You Don’t Have a Distinct Purpose
You may not be 100% sure what you’re writing or why you’re writing it. This will only harm you in the long run.
Social Media Examiner offers great suggestions for writing purposefully. For example, when creating your blog, pick a distinct enough niche to stand out. Make sure you aren’t trying to cover too much material at once, or you won’t be able to create a name for yourself in any particular blogging space. Create a plan at the beginning and define what your topics will be. Find a way to distinguish your blog from the others in this niche and stick with it.
7. You’ve Forgotten Your Audience
You are not writing this blog for yourself. It might feel natural to write for your eyes only, but what you want may differ from what your audience wants. If you’ve forgotten about serving them and what their needs are, your content will be very disconnected and difficult to relate to.
Write for the audience. Additionally, steer clear of writing too much about yourself. Be useful, informational, and interesting. Your blog is here for them, after all.
Summing It Up
In the end, your blog is what you want it to be. But as a space where people come to read up on a topic that interests you and your audience, it’s also useful to pay attention to how the blog is presented. By avoiding issues like difficult navigation, unclear communication, and readability problems, you can make sure your audience gets the content they crave. Having a publishing schedule, distinct purpose, and leveraging analytics can also launch your blog and get it the attention it deserves. Last but not least, don’t forget your audience. They’re the ones you write for and the most loyal fans can be the difference between struggling and success.
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Guest: Karen Evans
Karen Evans is a professional blogger and a expert marketer who blogs at Start Blogging Online