Writing a blog is both a joy and frustration as you try and work out the ways to let readers on the world wide web discover you and let them know you exist.
So the challenge is that the writing is just the beginning and promoting your posts is the next step in driving readership and building a loyal following in your industry or niche.
So what are some of the common mistakes that a lot of “newbie” and other bloggers slip into?
1. Poor Headline
You have only a few seconds to help the reader decide whether they want to read your post or not so a headline that compels and teases the visitor to your blog or who sees your headline on a Tweet is a must in driving readership. List posts such as “10 Ways To..” or The 5 Top …” are always effective. These might seem redundant and overused but the fact remains they work.
2. No Other Media
In a media rich web that we have all become accustomed t0, maintaining attention and capturing interest requires a blog that mixes good images with other media such as video. Mix up your text posts with images, screen shots, graphs and online videos but remember to not make it too cluttered or overdo it.
3. No Bullet Points
The snack that you serve up to readers to consume needs to be easy to quickly scan, don’t make it hard to get your point across by making the post too text heavy and the important information you are trying to convey buried in a sea of words. Academics quite often slip into this mistake in a blog post as this goes against their essay writing paradigm and rules that have been ingrained over many years of study. You are writing for a web audience not for a professor.
4. No Sub Titles
This is important because these provide teasers to keep the reader willing to investigate the next part of your post. They are like mini headlines that continue to provide enticing morsels to keep them reading
5. Writing About The Wrong Topics
A lot of bloggers can go off topic by forgetting to write about the topics that readers want to hear about, this will continue to change and sometimes you will not notice. Reading other top blogs in your industry will keep you in tune with the heart beat of your industry. Also keep an eye on what resonates with your readers by measuring the popularity of each post you write by the number of retweets and pageviews.
6. No Additional Reading Resources
Keep your readers on your blog by offering other post relevant to the topic either at the end or littered throughout the post as hyperlinks.
7. Not Promoting the Post on Twitter
So you have written the post and hit publish and expect readers to rush in from all over the world wide web to read it. The challenge is that your blog is only a solitary planet in a universe of galaxies. Promote and hustle your blog.. let everyone know you have arrived and continue you remind them
8. No Share Buttons
This is vital and making your readers cut and paste to an email, Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin to share your post with their friends and colleagues will limit your content being spread significantly. Make it easy with a prominent two click share button at the top of the post for the major platforms where your audience is hanging out.
9. Too Long
Two thousand word essays on a post can work but it is better to keep it around the 500-800 words to make sure you don’t make them click to some where else after getting half way through. If it is going to be long then bullet points and sub-titles become absolutely mandatory.
10. Too Short
I have turned up to blog posts that are a couple of paragraphs and wonder why I bothered. Seth Godin is maybe the only blogger that can pull this off. Chris Brogan tries to do this but quite often fails. Provide some substance.
11. Too Fluffy
“If you want fluff go and pat a bunny“. You need to offer real solutions and answers to problems and a good blog needs to have substance…offer useful tips readers can take away and apply.
12. No “About” or “Bio” Tab
Blogs still are personal unless you are Huffington Post or Mashable. Readers want to know who you are and what you have done.. they want to identify with you and start to connect.
13. Missing Credibility Evidence
Readers are still impressed by numbers and evidence that you are intelligent and that what you write will be worthwhile. As your subscribers build start publishing the numbers so that people will realize that you have an audience so you are credible. Awards that you have won or books yo have written all add to the “expert” mix that positions you as a thought leader.
14. No Integration to Other Social Media On-line Properties
Provide links to your other “online properties” such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn or other social networking sites that you are a member of. If you are a photgrapher blogger make it easy for people to subscribe to your Flickr account and encourage to have them subscribe and follow you there as well.
15. The Subscription by Email is Missing
Subscribing by email is till vital in a social web. Delivering your daily post into their email inbox is still one of the best ways to build a loyal readership base.
16. Subscribing by RSS has been Forgotten
Bloggers and readers will go and check their RSS readers such as Google Reader most days and often first thing in the morning to get the latest updates and news from other bloggers they have subscribed to. Make sure you are pushing your latest content out to those readers by having a “Subsrcibe by RSS” button.
17. You Don’t Update your Latest Post to your Blog’s Facebook “Page”
Facebook is important for bloggers not only in the “B2C” sectors but also for “B2B” industries. Posting your blog headline description and link to your news feed is vital. Facebook is where most of the planet is plugged into and making it easy for your ideas to spread on Facebook is now essential not optional.
18. Your Comment System only allows Login via Email
Implementing a comment system that also provides the feature to post a comment by using Twitter or Facebook is increasingly important in a social web.
19. Categories Are Missing
Make it easy for people to read in the categories they want to read about about by using the feature that is available to most blogging platforms and is included as standard in the WordPress.
20. Popular Posts Feature is Not Visible
Popular post provide a guide for readers that turn up to your blog about what your blog is about and why readers are turning up. It can also provide additional page views as they click through.
I promise you if you just some of these you will be surprised by the increase in the traffic and the the interaction and engagement that results. Happy blogging