When you look at the successful blogs, in any industry, it’s obvious that their owners are giving a lot of thought to how they will present the content, design the blog and promote each post; they haven’t become successful by chance – but most of them didn’t get it right from the start either. Many bloggers who are big industry names today, didn’t know much about SEO, traffic generation, engaging audience, using images, but what made them what they are (as opposed to many others who have quit blogging, or are still struggling with building audience) is that they have learnt from their mistakes, or from carefully studying the mistakes and successes of others, and haven’t given up.
You, as a blogger, have a choice: to adopt their best practices which have been proven to work many times before you, or to continue on your own and hope for the best. But either way, at least be smart and pay attention to what not to do if you’re planning to do this for the long haul.
1. You forget to fill out your SEO details
You’re probably using some sort of SEO plugin (All in One SEO pack, Yoast SEO or similar). When in a hurry, bloggers often forget to fill out the page title and description fields, and never remember to come back and fix it later. You want your post to rank well? Don’t forget the basics!
2. You’re not publishing often enough
No one is saying that you should write one post daily, but it’s been over a month since you’ve last hit “Publish”?! If you’re serious about this blogging business, that’s no way to go. The less you publish, the less traction your new posts are going to gain, people won’t have the chance to remember who you are and Google bots will start making longer pauses between visiting your website.
3. You never link to your older posts
Each post is an asset you can use, and you shouldn’t forget about them once you publish them. Keep a list of your old posts and the keywords that you want them to rank for, along with a short description of what they’re about; when you have the chance in a new post to link to them, don’t miss it. This will help your blog in many ways: lower bounce rate, higher engagement, giving new life to old posts and giving them additional link juice, and they can often help you prove your point and show that you’re consistent in your thoughts.
4. You’re copying other bloggers
If a visitor can read the same thing on another blog, then you’re not doing your job well. Don’t plagiarize, be unique.
5. You aren’t present on any social platform
Promotion of your posts is another thing that you and only you are responsible for. Having a lot of subscribers who will do that for you is great, but you’re not quite there yet, are you? And even if you are, social media allow you to stand out and to connect with your readers in a more personal way. And, if nothing else, the big argument in favor of social media sites is the fact that everyone else is using them, and you’re simply expected to be there as well.
6. You write big chunks of text
Big blocks of text are boring and the reader will probably just skip them. Use short paragraphs instead, and include images or videos to add to the dynamics of your post. Subheadings, bullets, numbering – they’re all there to help you break the monotony of the text, so use them, use them plenty.
7. You never link out to other bloggers
Whether you’re agreeing, disagreeing or just mentioning another blogger – link to them. That will help you draw them into the conversation, and it will also send good signals to Google: if you often link out to the authority websites, it’s a strong trust signal that the big G just loves to see.
8. You have closed the comments, or you aren’t inviting your readers to leave them
You want the comments; they give you the social proof that others want to see on a blog, even if it means more work for you. You want them to ask you to further explain a strategy that you’ve described; you also want to hear another opinion. Blogging isn’t about you, it’s about your readers. Include them, and encourage them to join the conversation.
These are the basics, so don’t ignore them. Even if you do everything else wrong, do these things right, and you’ll have the chance of becoming great. Have a wonderful blogging day now! Andrew writes for an automobile repair company.