However, there are some common blog mistakes that are worth avoiding when you are just starting out.
And in no particular order…
1. Light Text on a Dark Background
Oh, this is a novice mistake usually made by creatives who believe the artistic freedom is more important than the reader. Wrong!
Blogging is predominately about the communication through words, and you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to read what you have to say. Black on White is much better than White on Black when you are considering your blogs readability. What! you don’t believe me, then just open up any novel and note the colour of the paper and text. Unless, it’s a collection of short stories by Marilyn Manson, you’ll no doubt notice it’s black text on off-white paper.
Oh!, and while we are discussing readability, the font does matter too. Use websafe fonts like Helvetica, Veranda, Arial as these create less stress on tired eyes.
2. Uninspiring Blog Post Titles
Let’s face it, people just skim headlines and if your’s isn’t up to scratch, then they are likely to skip your blog in favour of the one with a catchy headline. Time is limited after all. This is where good copy writing comes into play, and a website like the Advanced Marketing Institute gives your headline an Emotional Marketing Value. I try to aim for 40% or greater. I did have a headline that ranked at around 75% but it just didn’t any make sense, well not to me anyway.
Your goal is to make a persuasive headline, without resorting to click bait type tactics, which ultimately, makes the reader feel deceived. This is not a great result if you’re trying to build trust.
3. Too Many Widgets and Embellishments
Again I fully understand your need to be creative, but ease back on the gizmo’s and gadgets, would you. A rule of thumb for plugins is around 10 for a fast performing blog, and it also stops you from installing too much bloat wear. Remember, each widget or plugin takes time to load and this might just prevent your new prospects from hanging around until your page loads.
Also, consider your mobile phone users and how too many distractions may impact their end user experience, given they have such limited screen real-estate.
4. Links Not Saying Where they Go
It wasn’t that long ago where you could get away with a ‘Click Here’ link anchor text, and people would follow. More recently, people are becoming Internet savvy and want to avoid being sent to a foreign website. Be honest and descriptive if you can, so there is no doubt on the final destination. Plus, Google now prefers to get natural English anchor text for links, so don’t be to rigid with your descriptions.
5. Too Much Information
Let’s just say you don’t want to air your dirty laundry on your blog. When the information you share is too personal, people can often cringe and never return. There is just some information you’ll, want to hold back, like posting words in the heat of an argument or the fact you might have slept with your fifth soul mate this week. FYI, we don’t believe this one is a keeper either.
Need a reference point, then look no further than the Kardashians.
Remember, people come to your blog looking to solve their problems, and not necessarily to fix yours.
6. Not Enough Information
Of, course then there is such a thing as too little information. You know those experts that claim to be all that and more, but have the walls up so high, you can never relate to them anyway. Incognito, doesn’t work as well as revealing yourself does, through pictures and personal stories. It’s the connection that builds trust and repeat business, so let them connect to a real person and not a shadow.
7. Not Staying Within Your Niche
Again, people found you because they believed you could solve their problem. When you go off topic too often, you risk the chance of someone just switching off and never returning. Define your niche and stick to it. If you have more to say then start a new blog and create a new market segment that way.
I understand a blog can be a diary, but people who write on-line diaries, can sometimes lack the reach they’d expect. It’s not about you, but your lack of consistent information on a particular topic.
8. Auto-playing Video or Music
There is nothing worse than visiting a website, opening a tab and being distracted by another website, only then to start hearing a video playing in the background. You then have to stop what you’re doing to find the culprit, usually it’s at the bottom of a page, and then stop it from playing. There is nothing more annoying, and you’re most likely to see this sort of behaviour by news media outlets, who get revenue based on the video impressions they’ve made and not by the user engagement.
SImilarly, music can be used to create an ambiance, but again, it can be annoying if you are caught unexpectedly on a train with your volume turned up.
The rule of thumb here is just don’t Auto-Play anything with sound.
9. Spelling Grammatical Errors
This one is a personal hate of mine, because no matter how often I review my posts, I seem to find just one more typo, or grammatical error. It’s easy to miss the obvious mistakes, so either get someone to proof read before you publish, or wait until the hate comments come rolling in. In my case I wait a few days, before re-reading with a fresh mind, and I am certainly considering outsourcing the editing to someone on Fiverr.
10. Not Posting Frequently Enough
I have left the most common mistake, until last because it’s all very subjective. What constitutes enough? Let’s face it, you aren’t writing a novel, so your readers are at least expecting something weekly. Anything less than weekly and you’ll have trouble keeping your readers hanging on your every word.
Some bloggers post daily, other a few times a week, but most at least once a week.
If you are starting a revolution, then maybe you’ll need to keep your punters in the loop, so consider their desire for more content. Once you’ve worked out how much you need, then turn your focus towards when you’ll publish. A neat little trick to determine when your readers are about, is to publish a daily series over a week and see which days you get the most traffic. You can then focus on publishing your remarkable stuff when they are about, to engage your audience and possibly squeeze out a few more shares and ‘likes’
So there you have it, 10 Common Blog Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid, and although there are potentially many more, it’s a bit of hit to one’s self-esteem so let’s call it a day, shall we.
Please share this post, if you know someone whose continually making these novice mistakes, but please remember we are all only human.