Blogging can seem challenging, and there are many different routes to build a successful blog. However, there are a few no-brainers to avoid – that is, unless you want to lose your blog following ASAP. Keep these 10 things on your “do not do” list if you want to your blog to grow, but you can use them in a pinch if for some reason, you need your blog to quickly self destruct.
1. Publishing Articles With Bad Grammar And Spelling Mistakes
Don’t think, “Oh, they won’t notice that one spelling mistake.” You are wrong. They will. They all will. And instead of providing thoughtful commentary on your post in the comments section, they’ll ream you for your bad grammar or spelling mistakes. Then, they won’t read your blog anymore. They’ll assume you’re a monkey who bangs their face on the keyboard and puts it in WordPress. Actually, the monkey that bangs his face on a keyboard will likely have a larger blog following than you if you publish your articles with bad grammar and spelling mistakes. For the love of God, edit!
2. Publishing Articles With Bad Headlines
Headlines are where it’s at. They are what draw people in to read your articles. They are the icing on the cake. Heck, they’re pretty much the cake. If you don’t have good headlines, no one is going to want to read your articles. Think about it. Would you click on an article titled, “Lessons that I learned while traveling Abroad” or would you click on “5 Things Never To Do On An Airplane (And Other Places While Traveling Abroad)?” Your headlines can make or break your blog.
3. Having Expectations That Are Too High
You’re not going to get thousands of visitors a couple of days after you start your blog. It’s pretty much not possible. Growing your blog is going to take time, and you’re going to go through a few blog designs and some crappy articles before you really make it to where you want to be – and even then, you’re still going to find better ways of doing things and new things you want to implement. If you expect your blog to be perfect from the get go, you’re going to fall flat on your face.
4. Not Putting Images On Your Blog Or In Your Posts
People like eye candy. They want to see what they’re reading about. Images are like jewelry for your blog. There are quite a few great places on the web for free stock photos, and when you start earning an income with your blog (if that’s what you want to do), you can buy a few really snazzy stock photos to put on your home page, in your posts or wherever.
5. Not Having An Email List
If you ever want to make money with your blog, you need an email list. First of all, people want to connect with you as a blogger. Really, they do. They are also people you want to market stuff to so you can eventually make some money off of email list sales. Email lists can also increase your blog’s traffic when you email them a newsletter with the latest articles, etc. People will click on the email, go to your site, read your awesomeness and want to come back. They’ll bookmark your blog. They’ll read it while they drink their morning coffee. They’ll read it on their phone during their lunch break. Or at the bar after six Jack-and-cokes. An email list is a beautiful thing.
6. Having Too Many Widgets
Sure, widgets are cool and all, but if you have a bunch of them, it’s like holding a neon sign five inches from your followers’ faces, saying “Look at me! I’m blogging! This is a cool blog! Read it, read it, read it, read it, like it, read it, read it!!!” If you have a ton of widgets that overwhelm your blog’s actual content, people will go away. Far, far away. Pare down your widgets to just a few really awesome ones, and keep the rest of your blog simple. Which brings us to the next point.
7. Having A Bad Web Design
If you have a bad web design, you will have a terrible bounce rate. People will click on your article headline with interest and curiosity and then immediately run away screaming in horror at your web design. Too many colors, neon text on a black background, or widgets and text everywhere are things you don’t want to have on your blog – that is, unless you want to kill your blog. If you do, go ahead and put that neon green text on a black background. Add some alternating neon rainbow colors too. And some gifs, and flashing text.
8. Failure To Post Consistently
For Google to even know that your blog is alive, you’ve got to post consistently. If you post twice in one week, again two months later and three times a day for a week after that, you’re going to drop off of Google’s radar. It won’t know what to do with you, except put you in the deep, dark cavern of page 52 of the Google search results. You know who goes to page 52 of the Google search results? No one. No one, ever. Make a point to post consistently, even if it’s only once a week. Do it every week. If it’s once a day, do it every day. Just be consistent.
9. Not Getting Involved With Social Media
If your blog doesn’t have a Facebook or a Twitter, you’re lame. Ok, just kidding. You’re super lame. Social media may be a pain sometimes, but if you don’t get involved with it, you’re going to have way less blog followers than you could have. Social media is a great way to get your blog out there, and to get people to visit it. So unless you want your blog to be a 32 year old man who never shaves, lives in his mother’s basement and has no friends, sign up for social media.
10. Having Too Many Ads
There’s no better way to tell your blog followers that you’re solely blogging to make money online than to have a bunch of ads on your pages. This will actually have the opposite effect, because the ads will drive people away from your blog, and no one will click on them. Your blog will become a homeless man with a penny jar, with a sign that says, “Will write for clicks.” Instead, put a few strategically placed ads on your blog and let your awesome content do the rest.
Test new ads against old ads to see which ones do the best, and test different places on your blog to see which place gets the most hits. Then, when you’ve found the magical ad formula, you’ll be making tons of mo–ok, not really. There is no magical ad formula. You’ll forever be messing with your ads to see if you can’t find a better ad, a better placement, a better placement with an even better ad, and so on. And that’s the way it should be. As long as you don’t have too many. Then your blog will explode.