In life there is a wrong way for everything.
But it’s how you respond and recover when you’ve done the wrong thing that counts. We can all learn and improve from our mistakes and it’s no different with blogging.
So, if you’re enthusiastic and new to blogging, or if you have been blogging for some time, here are seven classic blogging mistakes to avoid and some tips for a better way.
1. Posting a blog daily
What’s wrong: Trying to post a blog every day can burn you out. Just think of the research, writing, editing and proofing involved. It can also easily lead to taking shortcuts by not doing enough research, rushing the writing and not proofreading carefully, which ultimately produces a poorly written blog.
What’s better: Posting regularly is the key. This could be two to three times a week or only once a week; it depends on your audience and situation. Creating good quality content can take several hours, so set aside enough time to research, write, edit and proofread.
2. Not sharing your blog
What’s wrong: People won’t hear about your great blog unless you share it, which ultimately means it won’t be successful.
What’s better: Spend the same amount of time sharing blog posts as writing them. Some sources recommend spending 80 percent of your time sharing, while others recommend 50 percent. Use a variety of social media platforms to publish your blog. Try different times of the day and days of the week. It is best to experiment to see what works best and attracts the most views.
3. Writing blogs the same length
What’s wrong: Readers prefer variety and if blogs are consistently the same length it can become boring. Regular short blogs can work in some circumstances, but most subjects need at least 300 words to do them justice. Due to the amount of reading time required, exceptionally long blogs can put readers off unless it is very high quality and a possible future reference item.
What’s better: Provide an assortment of article lengths. Format long posts so they are simple to read, using the formatting tips in the next point.
4. Only including text
What’s wrong: People won’t read a post if it is a large block of text and difficult to read, even if it is well-written, quality content. How it looks is just as important as the content.
What’s better: Take the time to format your blog, including:
- headlines and subheadings
- a variety of paragraph lengths
- effective use of white space
- pull quotes
- images with captions.
Images attract a reader’s attention and articles with relevant images have 94 percent more views than comparable articles without images, according to a study by Skyword.
5. Overdoing Search Engine Optimisation
What’s wrong: Blog posts need a number of keywords and links for search engines to pick them up, but writing to a formula or spamming keywords won’t necessarily improve a post’s SEO ranking.
What’s better: Write for the reader, not a search engine. Be human – thought-provoking, informative, funny. Show your personality to engage with your readers. It is fine to consider SEO, but don’t overdo it. Use a tool, such as Yoast, to check how many times keywords have been used, if the SEO title is too long and other SEO elements.
6. Not using analytics
What’s wrong: If you don’t use analytics you are second-guessing what your readers like and how they find your content.
What’s better: Use Google Analytics to find out information about your readers, including:
- how they find your blog
- which blog posts are most popular
- how long they stay on your site
- how many people visit only one page and leave (bounce rate).
7. Not answering comments
What’s wrong: Someone has made the effort to communicate and then you ignore them. This gives a bad impression and is simply poor public relations.
What’s better: Always stay in contact with people who comment, no matter what. Reply to all comments, positive and negative, as well as any questions. Seeing this communication might also encourage more people to comment. This is a great way to establish your expertise on a subject and build your credibility.
Of course, these aren’t the only blogging mistakes you need to avoid – there are plenty more. Some others to keep in mind include:
- not taking the time to edit your blog
- trying to make every blog perfect
- not using a calendar to ensure you blog consistently.