If you’re passionate and knowledgeable about a particular subject or field, you might choose to start a blog. Many people pursue blogging for fun, while others are able to cultivate a lucrative career from it. Whatever ambitions you have for your blog, there are numerous pitfalls you’ll need to avoid when starting up. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common mistakes made by people who are new to blogging.
One of the main ways in which people are likely to find your blog is via a search engine. That means it’s your job to make sure you appear as high as possible up the search results – otherwise you simply won’t be found by the right audience members. Many bloggers don’t consider adding keywords to their copy. Keywords are the terms and phrases most commonly used by users when they search online. By doing a little research using specialist online keyword tools (many of which are free), you can find the words most regularly used by individuals searching for the type of content you’re providing. You should then try to use plenty of these keywords and phrases naturally throughout the text you upload. You should also make sure that you update your blog regularly, as new content will influence search engines to rank you higher.
Neglecting the Visuals
A blog needs to be easy on the eyes. Large blocks of small, poorly formatted text in a heavily stylized font can be tough to trawl through. Use a simple, clear font, keep sentences and paragraphs short (the general rule is three lines to a paragraph maximum) and break each post up with relevant images. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you have the legal right to share all images before you add them to your post. You should also make sure that pictures and other features load quickly, as a slow site will put many users off. If you really want to stand out, why not invest in professional web design for your blog? There are many ways to find the funds for this, including refinancing student loans to save money for investment in your blog or why not look to your local enterprise center for a grant? Be creative with your finances and you’ll find the money you need for a professional re-design.
Failing to Retain an Audience
You need subscribers to keep your blog going. Using SEO to attract new users is great, but once they’re with you, you need to retain them. An easy way to start is to include calls to action at regular intervals throughout your copy (e.g. “subscribe to see my next review as soon as it’s up” and give clear directions on how to follow you). Smart bloggers collaborate with others to build and retain a solid audience base. Perhaps you could contact professionals in your chosen field and ask to conduct exclusive interviews with them. Otherwise, you can create posts reviewing their products and share them on social media using relevant handles. This exciting and exclusive content will encourage users to keep coming back for more – plus, the professionals you reference will appreciate the promotion and may direct their followers to you in return. You can then encourage your new followers to become subscribers.