This blogging lark is great, but you’re going to make mistakes along the way. If you want to do it properly, help people, or make some money out of it, then there are a few simple mistakes that you need to avoid doing. The success of your blog will be greatly improved if you follow these simple rules and don’t do these common blog mistakes new bloggers make!
Blog Mistakes New Bloggers Make!
1. Not Setting Permalinks Up Correctly
It really pains me when I see this because it is such an easy and quick fix! Your permalink settings will by default be set to….. well, default. This means your pages will look something like this ‘www.yoursite.com/?P=123’.
This is not very useful for your visitors and more importantly not very useful for Google! You see, if you wanted to search for an ‘About Me’ page you would not expect to find it under ‘?P-432’ or something. The solution is simple, change your settings in the permalinks section on your WordPress dashboard to ‘Post Name’. This will improve things for you, and you will now have sensible looking page names.
2. Doing Zero SEO
How would you expect your page to rank without performing any SEO? Well, not very well. With correct and efficient SEO you can get bundles of traffic for free. I am not saying go out and blow your entire monthly budget on some company to do it (they are very overpriced in my opinion). You can do a little yourself, and something is better than nothing. After you have written your post, or ideally before, take a look at your target keyword or keyphrase. As a minimum you should at least do the following:
- Include your keyword in your permalink
- Include your keyword in your title
- Include your keyword in your description
- Provide ‘Alt-tags’ for any images you use
Just doing these four simple steps will improve the SEO of your post a great deal. A free Plugin to help you deal with all this and more is Yoast. Get it if you haven’t already.
Check out our helpful guide for on-page SEO to help you optimize your own posts and pages.
3. Not Responding To Comments Or Emails
This blog mistake really annoys me! We are all in this business together and bit of common courtesy now and again shouldn’t go a miss. If people make the effort to comment on your blog post, then at the very least thank them! Do you know this person, probably not – they could be willing to help you out. Respond to emails too – I have a rule, I respond to all my emails within 24 hours, I expect the same. It’s not difficult, you either want my business or not. If you can’t be bothered to write a simple line saying “Hi, received your email. Really busy at the moment, I will deal with your request very soon” then I can’t be bothered with you, and I will take my business elsewhere.
And I have done this, just the other day in fact. I know it can sometimes be a bit of a burden following up emails and blog comments. Here is a tip – do not respond immediately; dedicate a little slot once per day to do this.
4. Not Building An Email List
The chances are there are a whole host of people who visit your blog and then never return. Quite sad isn’t it!
A very effective way of promoting your blog is through email marketing. Offer capture boxes, opt-in forms and RSS feeds on your blog. This way, there is a chance that they may sign up and subscribe to one of your offers and then almost certainly you can encourage them to return. We all know the term ‘The money is in the list’ but even if you are writing a blog not for money purposes, building a list is critical to any blog.
Learn how email marketing can increase traffic with return visitors.
5. Doing No Promotion At All
If you do no SEO, and no promotion how do you think people will find your site? Answer – they won’t!
Again, like the SEO blog mistake, doing a little is better than doing nothing. Get involved in some social media platforms. The big players like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are great arenas to promote your blog. With millions upon millions of people connected and using these social media sites, can you really afford to not be promoting through them?
- Are you using Google Plus for your site yet?
- Why bloggers should be using Pinterest
- How to use social media marketing successfully for your business
You can get a Twitter feed setup in no time at all, in fact step 6 on my internet marketing course talks specifically about this technique. You should use as many as you feel comfortable with. Just recently I have been finding some success with some other, less well-known social media platforms such as Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram.
So there is a little list of common blog mistakes new bloggers make. I do not claim to be an expert and I have made some of my own blog mistakes along the way, but if you wipe out these five you will be in a much better position…… that much I do know.
Do you know of any other quick-fix mistakes? What blog mistakes have you made in the past? Let us know by leaving a comment below!