12. Mistakes to Avoid When Blogging
As content marketing is taking over and blogging has become a strategy used by almost every company nowadays, big or small, the amount of content published online gets larger by the minute. And in that massive pool of blogs, it does take a lot of work to get to the top.
However, there are a few mistakes that might destine your blog to fail even before you get any chance of succeeding. Try to detect those mistakes before it is too late.
Writing without thinking about your target group
Bloggers who do not have some basic knowledge about internet marketing and the digital world in general, often make this oversight. They mistakenly believe that trying to reach everyone online is the best way to maximize the reach of their blog. So instead of having a target group, they write content for everyone.
This will lead to absolute chaos on your blog. One day you might have an article about blogging, the other about fitness gear, and the next one you might end up with giving tips on how to get organized.
The main question you should ask yourself is what kind of a goal you want to achieve with this kind of content? What kind of visitors will you attract with this content? How will you be able to turn your blogging strategy into a profitable blog, when you do not even know who you are addressing it to?
Determining the target group should be one of the first tasks when you start a blog. Ask yourself a question “Who do I want to reach?” Try to be as specific as possible. For example, if you say that your target group is men, that is still too broad. “Men between 30 and 50”, “Men who play recreational tennis”, or “Men who work in marketing” are much better definitions of your target group. Narrowing down the group of people you address gives you more possibility to create a personalized approach and tailor your blog content with this audience in mind.
Neglecting online promotion and content distribution
Being a blogger does not mean that your job is complete once you publish your blog post. Another trap that beginner bloggers can fall into, is writing content without any promotion. A blogger is not only a writer. A successful blogger is also a marketer (at least a rookie marketer, with some understanding of online marketing).
If you publish content without any promotion from your end, you solely depend on organic traffic and accidental visits. You hope for SEO and social media to bring you traffic without any work on your part. This kind of blogging can seriously harm your chances of succeeding as a blogger. Not only will you see low results from this, but it will probably have a negative influence on you. You will feel discouraged, and this might jeopardize your future blogging plans.
To prevent this from happening to you, explore online promotion and content distribution strategies from day one. Once your first article is live, share it on your social media accounts. That is a start. As you grow your audience and traffic, you will use other channels to share your content:
- Search engine advertising (such as Google AdWords)
- Social media advertising
- Social media promotions (competitions, giveaways, etc.)
- Blogger outreach
This kind of approach will help you increase the reach of your content and thus help you with achieving your goals.
Not creating a mailing list
Most bloggers look for ways to monetize their blog. One of the most profitable strategies that can help them with that is email marketing. This is why it is essential to start creating a mailing list from day one.
Some bloggers believe that they first need to have a strong influence and reputation before they can start collecting emails from their audience. This is not true, and this kind of thinking can only cause a massive amount of traffic to go by without any benefits.
The first step is adding a subscribe button to your website. Along with this, try to create a regular schedule for your newsletter and offer exclusive content sent in emails as a way to motivate visitors to subscribe.
The second strategy that is also very effective is having lead magnets on your blog pages. These are usually featured in the blog post, as an offer for the readers. A lead magnet is something the readers will benefit from, something they will see valuable enough to leave their email address.
To make the best out of your mailing list, explore the opportunities of email marketing, create engaging campaigns and newsletters, and segment your subscribers to increase the performance of your emails.
Blogging without any goal or strategy
Blogging without any goals or strategy can doom you to fail from the beginning. Writing is a creative process, and as such, it should deserve a certain freedom for you to develop the topic. Still, you have a specific purpose to fulfill with that content. You have specific readers you are trying to reach.
When you start blogging, creating a strategy with concrete goals is a recommended step. Then, as you start writing each blog post, you have this guideline that will help you define your voice, shape your approach and maintain the attitude that your content is truly relevant to your audience.
It will help you discipline yourself to create each blog post with a purpose, and it will bring you one step closer to fulfilling your blogging goals.
Being afraid of criticism
Most bloggers are nervous anticipating the feedback. They are afraid they will be criticized. This is something that can hold back a lot of bloggers from succeeding. The idea of being criticized publicly can be too overwhelming for some even to start blogging. Or even if they do, they do it under a pseudonym or without revealing too much information about themselves in the about us section.
There will always be people who are quick to judge. You will always come across people who spread negativity online hiding behind their social profiles. As a blogger, there is not much you can do about that.
What you can do is to stop being afraid. Yes, a certain part of those providing feedback will be criticizing you and your content. However, try to listen to this criticism. Not all of the negative comments are those spread by haters. Consider that the person criticizing you might have a point. It might help you redefine your approach or pay attention to some specific aspects of your content.
As for the haters (or so-called trolls), just ignore these comments, and don’t take them personally, as they are not constructive nor are they based on any real ground.
Finally, remember that most comments and interaction, which bloggers receive is usually positive. Those who do not like your content do not bother visiting or leaving a comment. Knowing this increases the level of motivation and helps with staying focused on your blogging goals.
Choosing a free blog to avoid technical issues
As you have seen, there are many opportunities to start a blog. Those who are only starting blogging often choose free versions and hosted blogging platforms. It is true that blogging this way is much easier, and it is stress-free. You can have your blog up and running literally within minutes. You will not need anyone’s help because everything is so straight-forward.
Still, you have to be aware that free blogging platforms come with lots of limitations. Despite all of their benefits, the major issue, that blogging platforms have, are limited opportunities for blog monetization. And if you are serious about blogging, you have to think about this from the start. You should not choose a platform that will limit your success or prevent from growing your blog, just because it was an easy way out at first.
Think about your long-term strategy and in which way you want to develop your blogging. Although it is impossible to set up long-term goals with precision, nor will you be able to predict exactly if you will make it or break it, you can still think about the future and have a long-term plan for your blog.
You should not let a technical issue be an obstacle that will make you choose a solution you know is not an ideal one for you. Instead, look for help. Hire someone who can help you with setting up your blog.
Alternatively, explore the internet and find tutorials and guides that can help you set up your own blog using the blogging platform of your choice. Besides the multitude of free content about these topics, you will also find premium content, usually in the form of an ebook or an online course, that can be of assistance when setting up a blogging platform and publishing your first blog post.
Not investing in your blog
Another mistake bloggers make is not spending anything on blogging (apart from their time to create content). The thinking behind this is the following. Until they see any profit from their blog, bloggers are reluctant to invest. They are afraid that the money they spend will be sent down the drain.
Most bloggers choose to limit their budget and spend only on what is the necessary. This is usually a blog hosting. Then, they only use free tools, without even considering the paid alternatives. This approach can severely limit your possibilities to succeed.
Think about investing in your blog from the beginning. If you are serious about blogging and you want to grow your business through blogging, paid tools can help you a lot with this. There is no need to go overboard and hire a team of developers, but an expert that could optimize your server or install some add-ons might be worth considering. You should also think about blogging tools that could be useful and consider paid versions as they often include more advanced features than the free ones.
Forgetting about the importance of interlinking
Interlinking is the process of making links within your blog. Interlinks connect two pages of the same blog. Unlike inbound links, also referred to as backlinks, which come from external resources, these links originate on your blog and take the visitors to other pieces of content on your blog.
There are two principal reasons to include interlinking in your blogging activity. Firstly, there is that SEO aspect. Search engines discover new pages through links. Once they crawl a page to index it, they will follow the links featured on that page. Unless there is a link to a specific blog page, it would be impossible for the search engines to find it.
Additionally, when you feature a link, you can optimize the anchor text. Avoid using phrases like “click here” or “this article”. Instead, use the anchor text that describes the content of the pages you are linking to. Ideally, it should also include a keyword relevant to the linking page.
The second aspect that benefits from interlinking is the user experience. With relevant interlinks you advertise more of your content to the blog visitors, encouraging them to spend more time on your blog, browsing through the existing content.
This might be difficult to do when starting out and when you literally have a handful of blog posts. But as you increase the amount of content, go back to the old articles and include an interlink with a new article, and vice versa. Each new blog post should link to one (or several) older ones.
An alternative could be a sidebar menu that features the latest or the most popular articles. You could also use the feature “related posts” which would show the related articles at the end of each article, inviting the visitors to explore more content on your blog which is related to the topic they are reading about.
Being aware of these common mistakes bloggers make, especially when starting out, is helpful because then you will make an effort to avoid them. Since all of them can harm your blog performance and prevent you from succeeding as a blogger, it is also helpful to know how to deal with them and how to face the problems that might occur along the way.
Ultimately, blogging takes time and patience, so arm yourself with those and do not expect anything to happen overnight. Have in mind both the opportunities and the problems that might pop up to always be ready to make the most out of blogging.