Friday, April 3, 2009

Avoid 6 Common Blogger Mistakes

If you want your Blogger blog to sizzle and really take off there are some pretty important blogging pitfalls that you need to avoid. In today's article I will be talking about 6 of the most common mistakes new bloggers make on their Blogger Blogspot blog and how to avoid them.

1. Avoid Poor Content
I can't emphasize enough that the standard of your content will make or break your blog. Poor content = few return visitors. Good content on the other hand will attract visitors and keep them coming back to check out what's new.

Successful bloggers write clearly, know their subject and develop their own unique voice. A conversational style is often recommended but I suggest just write naturally and that naturalness will shine through.

Post quality well researched content that is interesting and topical. To do this you need to know your audience. Who are your readers? Do you know? If you don't know your target audience it will be hard to put yourself in their shoes which is exactly what you need to be able to do when you sit down to write a post. Ask yourself what are my readers looking for that would make them visit my site and read my post. Are they looking to be entertained, informed or a bit of both? Sign up for visitor tracking such as Google Analytics if you aren't already so you can get an idea of your visitor base. For help with implementing Google Analytics please read my post on adding Google Analytics to your Blogger blog.

2. Avoid Hopeless Headlines
I've seen some pretty hopeless headlines that don't give me enough of a clue about what a post is about to entice me into reading the article. If you want to attract readers to your site you need to grab them. That means putting some thought into crafting headlines that have punch. Remember your headline needs to reel your visitors in so make sure it is well thought out and punchy. Your headlines have to stand out to be noticed as so many people read headlines in RSS feeds.

Another important consideration when deciding on a headline is SEO. Consider what your readers might search under to find your post. "Blogging pitfalls" and "common blogging mistakes" are more likely keyword search phrases than "bad blogging practices." So knowing your keywords will help you craft headlines that are keyword rich.

3. Avoid Posting Too Infrequently
Once a visitor has found your site you want them to keep coming back. One way to ensure repeat traffic is to post frquently. Many new bloggers start a blog but find it hard to maintain a posting routine that is frequent enough to retain traffic.

Just the other day I had someone comment that one of the reasons why they liked my blog was the frequency at which I post. I try to post a new article every second or third day if possible. I usually am working on lots of other articles in the background so that I might have two nearly finished and half a dozen or so at various stages of completion. Using this system I have some flexibility and a cushion if anything comes up to interrupt my posting schedule.

Whatever you do don't make the mistake of posting just for the sake of posting otherwise your readers will see through this and you will lose readership.

4. Lack of Overall Focus - Trying to Paint the Whole Wall
So many new bloggers start their site without a clear focus. What kind of focus you may ask? Well making money is not enough of a focus. I am talking about identifying your niche and sticking to it. If you try and paint the whole wall your visitors will be confused about what your blog is about and you will very likely lose traffic rather than gain it.

Having a focus is important. On Blog Know How for instance, I concentrate on helping webmasters of Blogger blogs get the most out of their blog. I particularly aim my site at the new blogger and provide detailed step by step walkthroughs with them in mind. At the same time, however, I cater for all Blogger webmasters who access my blog. What I don't do though is go outside the theme of Blogger by writing about blogging in general. Instead I write articles that may be general in nature but are tailored to Blogger webmasters.

Yes I could get more traffic perhaps if I widened the scope of my articles to include Wordpress or blogging in general put what would then make my blog stand out from a whole heap of other blogs giving advice on blogging? Having a niche earns me traffic that is focused. Site visitors come with the goal of becoming more informed about using Blogger. If they go away having learnt more than when they arrived my site will have done its job and I may have just found myself a repeat visitor.

5. Avoid Too Much Advertising on Your Blog
New blogs need to build traffic and too much advertising can be a big deterrent in
achieving this goal. When your site is very new it doesn't pay to have too much advertising at all. Err on the side of less advertising rather than more. Bear in mind of course that Rome wasn't built in a day and your site won't be either. Have faith that your traffic will build and you can gradually introduce more advertising like Google Adsense as visitor numbers increase.

6. Avoid Too Many Social Bookmarking Buttons
Too many social bookmarking buttons can clutter up your blog and slow it down. Many people still don't know too much about social bookmarking so avoid the temptation to overuse these icons. Rather than use a whole bunch of popular icons like Digg and Technorati which can lead to a cluttered look and feel I use a single consolidated button like Add This. Share This is another popular button for sharing your posts.

To install a social bookmarking button on your Blogger blog follow the step by step instructions contained in my article on Add This

This article has discussed 6 common mistakes new bloggers make when developing a new Blogger Blogspot blog and given suggestions on how to avoid them.as visitor numbers increase.



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11 comments:

MarbleHost.com said...

Great article. Wished you had written this one earlier. I have recently read about a lot of people complaining about losing their blogger and wordpress blogs without warning. I can understand that some blogs have violated their TOS but I do know of several good blogs that had good and orignal content lose their blogs. You can avoid these kind of heartaches by running your blogs on your own domain and hosting.

reusable shopping bags said...

I completely agree with all that you have said about content. I spent some time on creating content to get a proper boost in ranking but then I asked myself why I need it if people do not come back to to my site. I have changed my point of view and found a nice topic that attracts people's attention and I have about 50 returning visitors. I would say that contentis what you should caren first while creating a blog.

The Wizz said...

Reusable shopping bags I agree that content is even more important when you first start your blog. For blogging in particular repeat traffic comes because there is an expectation that new content will be posted. If you aren't going to write lots of new content I kind of think that a static website is preferrable and to be honest far less labour intensive. From my perspective if your content is lousy you might get first time visitors but I doubt anyone will want to come back. However if your prime motivation is to make money from Google Adsense then you may be quite happy to only get one time visitors as they are more likely than repeat visitors to click on ads anyway.

Katrine said...

Thank you for the excellent article!
I am not really understanding though point 4 (Lack of Overall Focus - Trying to Paint the Whole Wall). What about personal blogs then? I just started blogging and don't have a unified theme yet, but I think I might be able to subdivide my posts into different topics in a while. Is that a good enough strategy?

The Wizz said...

Hi Katrine. I guess what I am saying is that the blogs that are most successful have a fairly narrow focus and zero in a specific niche. With personal blogs there is a lot more leeway because usually the focus is not about making money. Yes definitely divide your blog into topics. Make your labels really specific. For more on choosing a good blog topic try this article 7 Tips to Choose a Great Blogger Blog Topic at Blogspot Blogger Guide

nizam khan said...

Hello

Fantastic explanation.

I will try to follow these things on my Blog

http://liveingreenworld.blogspot.com/

Thank you.

Web Ducats said...

Nice info for the noobs... as well as those who have a working knowledge of what they are doing... it's always good to refer back to the basics now and again- which is exactly what I'm making sure to do with my new blog

http://affiliatemarketingducats.blogspot.com

Thanks for the succinct reminders!

Anupam said...

Thanks.

outsourcing web development said...

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seo specialist said...

Thank you for this reminders. Yes, I am totally agree with you. If you don't want to ignore your blog, you should have unique and quality content. It should be clear and attracted to your audience. And most of all avoid this kind of mistakes.

seo mumbai said...

I really appreciate that you are providing such a valuable information for free

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