If you try to think for a moment, how many blogs are out there, you probably won’t be able to ever count them all. There are countless millions, and new ones are popping out every day. Existing static sites switch to WordPress platform, and turn wordpress to a powerful CMS, but… if we count out all the ultra popular magazines and the designers portfolios, we will have an enormous amount of blogs that are “just” blogs. People write about what they like, what they are passionate about and what is in the news, how come we never get to hear about these blogs and beside the 20-50 most popular ones we never got to hear about the rest?
The answer is simple, vast majority of bloggers – FAIL. They fail as a blogger, as an online marketer, as a not branded person and as a writer. You don’t need to have a degree to be a good blogger, nor you need not to be an experienced blogger to get started. Just make sure you avoid the basic mistakes.
1. Not Writing for Audience
One of the biggest problems with writing is that people are bad writers (nothing to blog about, poor grammar or spelling, etc). Always remember that you are not writing a diary, you are making a speech for readers. You teach, you enlighten, you post your opinion, you point out at important points, you recommend, you encourage / discourage… You don’t just ramble about everything you see only because you have no one else to share it with, so you share all your frustration with your blog.
Always ask yourself, if your readers had to pay to read your blog, would it be worth their while? You are familiar with the situation when people go to a movie theater, and leave disappointed, because the movie was so well advertised and turned out to be a total crap, so leaving frustrated everybody are cursing the film and regret wasting $10 and 2 hours. You definitely don’t want this to be your case!
2. Writing for Search Engines / Google Adsense
Another mistake unfortunately most bloggers do. While once again, you should first and foremost write for audience and avoid being boring, you should also avoid entertaining the Search engines by flooding your post with the “right” keywords. Worst of all, we often see bloggers filling in their categories with free articles,. It could be nice for a start — you copy and paste a few free articles, place a few Google Adsense slots — there you go, we have a money making blog. You will be making some pennies from clicks, but you will never gain readers. Free articles, are often intentionally written for SE (that’s the point!), and are often very boring to read. They are never enlightening, they never really give a reader a reason to come back. Write from the heart, write yourself or outsource authors, maximum you can avail of the articles creation software, but don’t be afraid that the main keyword is not repeated enough times in the context!
3. Poor Visual Appeal
When talking about visual appeal, I mean the overall experience of the reader, which is:
- Design of the blog – wordpress theme you use, colors, structure.
- Illustrations in the post.
- Icons, easy navigation, thumbnails.
- Format of the post, readability of the font, minimal use of interactive features.
If your wordpress theme is hard to use, (especially if it’s a free one with bugs and poor coding / graphics), if the colors are offending the eye and structure is not convenient, readers won’t stay to read, regardless how interesting your content may be. Same apples to using unreadable fonts, lack of any graphics of illustrations, and excess of interactive features, from overly excited use of Ajax and Flash, to excess of blinking advertisements. make sure that READING experience is overall pleasant and entertaining. If you can’t find a good free wp theme, go with a premium wordpress themes, you can find designs at pretty low prices and they give a very good value in the long run.
4. No Promotion, No Traffic.
Cliche, but true. A lot of blogs with all of the above features still fail to gain readers only because they don’t promote, or don’t know HOW to promote. I guess today — in the era of social bookmarking websites, promotion is made easy. Digg your own posts (not a front page), Stumble them, Tweet them, submit to delicious, and even all the small ones, they may eventually generate a few readers for you. Also, add FeedBurner to your site, encourage subscription, offer the facility to “email this post to a friend” and join social sites like facebook and FriendsFinder to maximize exposure among friends and family. Don’t be afraid to enroll your friends and family and ask them to digg, stumble and promote your popular posts, just make sure you don’t spam too much and get banned. If your host allows it, use multi lingual support — quite a few plugins convert your content automatically to many languages, maximizing exposure in Google, to readers who speak any other language, other than English. Shared hosts tend to get overheated by the load, so either use cache plugin as well or (if your funds allow it), upgrade to VPS like we did.
5. No Interaction with Readers
Another reason for a failure could be lack of interaction with already existing readers. Especially if your readers ask questions, and expect some sort of support, answer, or help. If they see that author updates his blog but never finds time to reply to comments, they will stop commenting and most likely stop visiting. That means you can also lose a subscribed reader and that would be a shame! Replying to comments doesn’t take all that much, since you will anyway need to read the comment before approving. Readers hate to be ignored and always take it very personally.
Were these tips helpful? I hope they were, if you just started your blog and wonder why no one drops by for a short visit. Good Luck!