5 ways to stuff up your Blog
Everyone seems to be sharing their tips on how to better their blog, but I don’t come across many articles that describe some of the most typical blogging failures. Some of these I have seen directly with my own eyes so wanted to share them with you.
1. Blog owner that stops caring
I have seen so many blogs launch with good intentions, press releases, shouting about it on social networks then before they get to 100 posts the blog owner has already given up and stopped caring. Fact is most bloggers give up before they get to 100 posts. Now this is good for us who stick at it and keep writing, but then again we don’t want to operate in an industry with a whole load of empty ‘ghost blogs’ that looks outdated, stale and abandoned. WordPress.com actually close down old stale blogs if they notice the owner has not logged in for a long time. No doubt Tumblr, Blogger, Posterous etc also do the same.
2. Not understanding blogging
If you write a blog and it only gets 50 hits a day and 75% + are bouncing – there is something seriously wrong with your blog. So much so that users are leaving in a hurry. You need to face reality and understand your blog is failing, try to find out why and fix it. If you are oblivious to this fact your blog won’t grow, you won’t attract links or social sharing and it will be like trying to drive a car with the hand brake on. Fact is many blog owners think their blog is going well when the key metrics say otherwise.
3. Poor Design
To make your blog stand out you need to move away from standard looking WordPress themes, otherwise your blog just looks like a run-of-the mill site. It’s also really important to correct any functionality problems. Every website may have some sort of problem but you don’t want them to be so obvious that users notice and email you issues. For example I come across a few blogs where the social media icons don’t line up neatly. Whilst this may seem like a simple addon it’s important to make sure everything looks neat – especially if these blogs about social networking! Why would I share your posts if your icons are all jumbled over the place?
Another area that is easily forgotten about is your blog sidebar. Make sure the content you are adding in the sidebar matches the rest of your site, colours and fonts. Have some consistency with your sidebar EG at the top of the sidebar have your subscription options, as you move down have some ads, then maybe at the end some links to important internal elements and pages. Don’t mix it all together as it won’t provide any consistency for the users.
Talking about ads, don’t have a large amount of ads on your site as this will look terrible from a user perspective and also search engines don’t like ad heavy pages.
4. Having only 1 Author
The benefit of blogging and WordPress, Blogger etc is the option to have multiple authors on your blog. Having other people write on your site adds a different writing style and 99% of the time will be great for your site. Have a look at our author page for a full list of people writing on the site. Encourage others to guest blog on your site and promote their profile. These people are putting their hard work and time into your site and most of the time for free! Guest blogging helps reinforce that feeling of community and thought leadership.
5. Not updating your blog enough
Depending on your niche, blogs need to be updated frequently. I bet the leading blog in every industry is updated daily (multiple times). If this is too much for you – can you update every couple of days or at least weekly? The key is inviting users back to your site to visit and if you are not posting enough there is no reason to keep visiting your site. Also a low posting frequency won’t invite people to subscribe via email, rss or social.
In my opinion the key to blogging is about being DIFFERENT. Do this, have a unique approach and your quest for readers and page views will come. Can you think of any other serious problems that will stuff up your blog? If so, do share with us.