In the realm of writing, one could easily confirm that blogging is more of a science than an art. Great content is key to any great blog, but if that’s the only thing you have to offer, then your blog isn’t likely to go anywhere.
There is a world of information about algorithms, lead optimization, SEO and keyword searches, and more, all designed to get your content seen by a massive audience. But beyond those big things, there are some little details, that, when ignored, have the power to ruin a potentially successful blog.
Here is a list of seven blog killers to avoid:
1. Writing text-only posts
Very few people will remain loyal to text-only blogs. You have to give them visual cues. Photos, graphics and videos all help to reinforce and clarify the content. Without them, your readers may become bored or frustrated.
Imagine a recipe blog that never shows a photo of the food. Or instructions on how to dismantle the engine of a Harley Davidson that never displays graphics of the parts and how they work. Or a travel blog that never gives a reader a photo of the incredible secluded beach you discovered.
Text is important, but it’s just a part of the blog post. A blog is not a book. It’s more akin to a website, magazine or newspaper, and all of those mediums use images.
2. Not having a consistent publishing schedule
Creating a loyal readership is hard work. And one of the keys is being consistent. If you publish your blog weekly, not everyone will read it asap. But your readers will expect it to be there when they look for it.
Set a realistic schedule for publishing new posts and stick to it. Daily, weekly or monthly are the most popular choices. Imagine if your favorite magazine just didn’t come out one month.
Imagine if this happened more than a few times. Would you go to the trouble to keep checking up on them to see if they’d finally published or would you give up and choose another magazine that was more consistent? Your readers can let you down, but you can’t do the same to them.
3. Not using social media to promote your blog
Social media makes the world go round. If you don’t use it, you are losing countless readers, clients, and money. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and more are all ways you can promote your blog’s content. If you’re not sharing on your accounts, you should be. If you don’t have buttons that allow readers to easily share your posts on social media, add them.
These features vastly widen your circle of readers. Rather than staying within the small circle of friends, family and people who randomly came across your blog via a web search, social media allows your posts to reach beyond your immediate acquaintances.
4. Failing to focus on headlines
Professional bloggers have got one major point in their favor that goes beyond social media sharing and lead generation. They know how to write a good headline. A Google search on how to write a great headline brings many pages of advice.
It’s a hot topic and one you should be paying attention to. Headlines are like a first impression – they either entice the reader to click and find out more, or make them say “eh” and move onto the next offer.
Headlines are your blog’s pitch. They’re the modern version of the kid standing on the corner yelling out the day’s headlines to get people to buy a newspaper.
You want your your headlines to be catchy, edgy, intriguing, informative, entertaining and any combination of the above. Be brief, be bold, and be committed to writing great headlines.
5. Long paragraphs
Long paragraphs are the worst. Don’t expect readers to scroll infinitely down your rambling paragraphs with their eyes glued to the screen. It ain’t gonna happen.
Instead, what will happen is that they’ll lose interest and abandon your blog, maybe for good (i.e. “Oh, no, not that guy who writes the long paragraphs again.”) Short paragraphs and white space are the key to maintaining your reader’s attention.
The idea isn’t to make them work to find information, but to lay it out for them in bite-sized doses. Use bullet points or numbered lists when you can. Cue them into a new idea with a bold-faced subheading.
In today’s information overloaded world where a quick Google search brings a universe of information to your screen, brevity is king.
6. Trying to promote yourself instead of your ideas
Unless you’re famous and people might actually be interested in reading about you, don’t write about yourself. People are reading your blog because they’re looking for either entertainment or information. And unfortunately, a personal diary that’s masquerading as a blog isn’t going to provide them with either.
Even personal blogs such as a blog about your travels or a blog about your cooking experiments has to include relevant information about the places you visited or the food you made. Otherwise, why are you even sharing it? Think about the purpose of your blog.
What do you want people to get from it? What would you expect when reading a blog on this topic?
7. Not thinking long-term when choosing a name
A lot of bloggers start their blog with short-term vision in mind. They may have a few posts percolating in the back of their head and they choose a title to match their current situation, not their future goals.
If you start out writing a blog about American recipes, and call your blog something like American Cooking for the Modern Woman, but after a while decide to travel and take on recipes from around the world, you’ve got yourself into a pickle.
You do want your blog title to reflect what you’re writing about. But you don’t want it to limit your options or future endeavors. Switching names after you’ve got a steady following is risky business and you run the risk of losing the momentum you worked so hard to gain. Think about the long-term possibilities before choosing your name.
Hopefully, you will avoid those common mistakes and will craft killer blog posts with eye-catching headlines that fascinate your target audience. Make your writing simple and to the point – don’t forget that you write for your readers. Interact with them and be social. Good luck!
Guest Author: Janice Kersh is a passionate blogger and experienced content creator who works at writing service EssayWriter Pro. She always seeks for actionable writing tips and interesting blogging tricks. Janice is ready to help everyone who needs writing help or advice regarding their content, just follow her on Twitter.