Assuming your reason for blogging is to increase traffic for your brand, business, etc. be sure to avoid these mistakes. These pitfalls can cost you loss of traffic, loss of followers – and you may never be able to recover from the bad exposure.
- Mistake #1: You don’t post enough. Often bloggers have the grandiose idea of posting once a day, a week, a month but then may go weeks between posts. Consistency and frequency are what separates the professional blogger from the amateur. You cannot build a steady traffic flow without regular and frequent posts. Don’t take our word for it. Check it out on Google Analytics. There is a direct correlation between frequency and traffic. The more bloggers post—within reason—the greater the traffic.
- Mistake #2: You post too much.Yes, this too is the kiss of death. Most people don’t want to hear from you more than once a day—unless it is a group blog or a news site. You are better off focusing on one excellent post a day, or week, rather than several mediocre ones. The real trick is to find your frequency sweet spot. Depending upon the topic and type of posts, it might be once a week. Or once a month.
- Mistake #3: Your post is too long.Become the master of the short, concise post. The sweet-spot is 200–400 words. If possible shoot for less than 500 words. However, that doesn’t mean if you have a compelling subject matter you can’t hit the 750-word mark, or even more. The real key is to make your posts “scannable”. In other words, keep your paragraphs very short. Reduce the length of your sentences and eliminate compound sentences. It’s almost bullet points without the bullets. These make for the most widely read blogs.
- Mistake #4: You don’t invite engagement. Engagement is the number one goal. Engagement refers to a combination of page views, reader comments, and social media mentions. Your posts that generate the most engagement tend to be controversial, have transparency, and are open-ended. Expert bloggers end every post with a question.
- Mistake #5: You don’t participate in the conversation.When bloggers don’t participate in the conversation by commenting on their posts and responding to their readers, you are missing out on the best part. Engage with your readers. Don’t make the mistake of posting and running out and not checking for comments. People want to have a conversation.
- Mistake #6: You don’t make your content accessible or have headlines that make people want to read it. It’s funny; most people think there are fewer people reading today. The truth is, there are more, but they do more skimming than reading. If you use a great headline and break up your post into easy-to-skim, bite-sized chunks, they are far more likely to read it – and remember it. So draw them in with the headline and keep the paragraphs short.
- Mistake #8: Your post is about YOU.Unless you are a mega-celebrity, readers don’t typically care about you. They all want to know what’s in it for THEM. Your personal stories can be a doorway to that, but in the end, the best posts are about your readers’ needs, fears, problems or concerns. Always ask yourself, “What’s the take-away for my reader?” Just remember your reader’s favorite radio station is WIIFM – What’s In It For Me?