Blogging is a fun and creative way to express your interest in a particular subject. Of course, if you plan accordingly, learn everything you can about SEO, and put in a lot of time and effort, you can also monetize your blog in order to turn your passion to profession. Unfortunately, you’re bound to hit a few bumps along the road. Even if you claim to be a writer, blogging is a whole different ball game. Imagine writing a book that’s infinitely long and you only add a page a day; that’s a difficult proposition, but it’s blogging in a nutshell. So if you’re interested in ramping up your blog, here are a few common pitfalls to avoid.
1. Burnout. Writing posts on the same subject, day in and day out, can prove harrying for the blogger without a strong constitution. Not only will you run out of topic ideas, you may also find yourself losing enthusiasm for a subject that you were once passionate about. Plus, if you are trying to monetize your blog, you are likely working another job in the meantime and devoting every spare moment to your blog, turning what started as a fun and exciting project into an increasingly hefty monkey on your back. If you find that you are facing one or all of these difficulties, don’t let it go so far that you scrap the blog completely. Instead, find ways to relieve some of the pressure. Solicit for guest posts so that you don’t have to come up with every topic and spend the time writing it. And consider allocating cash to hire an SEO service provider (if they do a good job, you could start to see a return on investment within a few months). In short, take a step back and seek help. Doing it all on your own is commendable, but it simply may not be feasible.
2. Poor quality (or duplicate) content. The main reason anyone reads a blog is to absorb information. But if you’re not offering content that is fresh, fun, and engaging, you may as well provide a link to your competition, because chances are good that they’re doing exactly what you’re not. Furthermore, savvy blog-readers are often quick to note when they’ve seen your content somewhere else first. Using duplicate content (in other words, plagiarizing) will not only lead to a loss of readers, it could also get you banned from search engines and even result in a total shut-down by your server. Copying, spinning, or otherwise stealing content is not the way to further the long-term goals of your enterprise.
3. Unrelated posts. It can be tempting to throw in items of interest that aren’t directly related to your blog (it is, after all, your site and you can use it however you please). Unfortunately, most people are seeking a niche site, and if you have a bunch of disparate elements, visitors are likely to see you as an amateur rather than an expert.
4. Losing data. It is not unheard of for servers and databases to crash or get hacked by malicious cyber-terrorists. In short, there is always the potential that your hard work could be lost in the blink of an eye. In order to safeguard against such catastrophic occurrences, you should create backups of your database (that are updated frequently, say on a daily basis) as well as firewalls to deter hackers and protect any information you store on your personal computer.
5. Choosing form over function. Having a website that is aesthetically pleasing isn’t a bad idea. But when it gets in the way of navigation, you have a problem. If you want people to read your blog, you need to make content accessible and navigation user friendly. Creating an atmosphere with graphics, font, and so on is all well and good once you have established a layout that works, but if unnecessary pages, buttons, and text are hampering the process, you’re not likely to get repeat visits, no matter how pretty the design is.
Carol Montrose writes for ProspectMX, an Internet Marketing Agency offering customized online solutions in the areas of SEO, PPC, Social Media, web design, and much more.