In blogging, there are many factors we cannot control. Try as we may to manipulate the “viral gods,” they keep us guessing and remind us often of their illusiveness. However, like anything else there are defined strategies and best practices that can greatly improve the effectiveness of a blog. Additionally, there are behaviors and activities that you will want to avoid. If you are making any of the subsequent blunders, you could be self-sabotaging your blog.
Let’s take a look at some common reasons blogs die out before reaching their target audience:
Failure to grow your social networks substantial enough to get enough organic traffic. For your post to have any chance of reaching a broad audience, there must first be organic traffic from your immediate network.
Low engagement with commenters can be costly and something I see every day as I read blogs. When you are lucky enough to get a comment, always engage with that person. The minimum effort is to like their comment. For maximum engagement consider replying to their comment, sending them a connection request or a quick thank you via email.
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You only post once in a while when you have the time or get hit by a spontaneous moment of heightened creativity. To maximize the effectiveness of your blog, it is necessary to post regularly so that you attract a consistent following. If your postings are inconsistent and irregular, you can expect the same for your following.
To be able to post more regularly, learn to write fast. It used to take me forever to finish even a short blog. With practice, my skills have improved and the time it takes me to produce a post has become significantly less. Writing faster will enable you to be more efficient with your time and become a regular contributor.
You view other bloggers as the competition rather than allies. Your competitors are the individuals and companies within your direct industry. Instead, take a collaborative approach towards other bloggers. By engaging other writers and sharing their posts, you will find many of them to be highly reciprocal.
Your posts fail to reach the right readers because you have not strategically shared them on the social media platforms where your target audience hangs out. Many bloggers just hit the publish button and sit back and wait for magical things to happen. Then, they are disappointed when their engagement numbers are low. A proactive approach that delivers your story to the audience works better. To find your audience think about where they hang out online. Then, share your post in those communities. Think about relevant LinkedIn groups, Google+ communities, groups on Facebook, and with your followers on Twitter. You can even pin your blogs on Pinterest. To see what that looks like click here.
While sharing your blog is crucial to your success, too much self-promotion will turn readers off. A proper balance between self-promotion and sharing other’s content must be achieved.
Effective imagery is essential to blogging success. I see many bloggers that use poor visuals. Thus compromising the effectiveness of their posts. Use images that are properly sized that appear crisp and sharp. The images you chose should be relevant to the content and enhance the readability of your post.
You don’t take the time to proofread for grammar and spelling mistakes. Not only can bad grammar and spelling errors cause readers to click off your post the minute they see them, but they can also be very embarrassing and even brand damaging. Grammar mistakes can undermine an otherwise well-written post.
Are there any blogger blunders I have missed? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Please do engage in a discussion below about blogging do’s and dont’s and anything else that came to mind as you read my post.
About the Author: John White is the Chief Marketing Officer at Social Marketing Solutions, the LinkedIn group owner of Publishers and Bloggers, contributor to Dice Tech News, The Goodmen Project, and more. In June of 2015, John completed his MBA with a specialization in Marketing.