I have been blogging for 3 1/2 years. I have made some pretty big blogging mistakes. I have come to realize that there is definitely a learning curve to blogging. Some bloggers ‘get it’ pretty quickly and others are still making some of the mistakes I have made. You know the blogs I’m talking about. There are certain blogs that are a joy to visit. They are easy to read, fun to follow and have you as their focus. Then there are the “other blogs”. Maybe you visit them because you are related to the blogger and are trying to be supportive. Maybe you find their articles interesting but you hate the layout. I think there are many ways to Kill your Blog, but am narrowing the list to my top 8.
8 Ways to Kill Your Blog
1. Don’t use pictures in your posts.
I started out as a deal blogger. I loved saving money and I wanted to help everyone I knew find practical ways to save money in real life. I was throwing up 5-7 posts a day. It was insane. I didn’t have time to format a post or find an image. I just typed the deal and pushed publish. This was my first blog – Here’s What I Found. You’ll notice it was big on words with very little pictures.
Readers need to see an image when they get to your site. In the visual world we live, you have to grab them with a picture before you can convince them to spend time reading your words.
Choose your image carefully. You can’t just grab another blogger’s image or copy a picture from google images and put it on your blog. Just do your research before you grab and post.
If you take your own picture, make sure it’s worthy of posting. I recently saw a blogger who was trying to review an item. The pictures that were posted were blurry and small. They told a story – but not the one she wanted to tell. Take lots of pictures and then pick the best ones for your post.
2. Never post new articles
It’s not necessary to post a new article every day, but it is important for your readers to see that you are consistent. My mom told me about a blog she follows. The writer has made a commitment to post one article each week on Friday morning. The readers know that they can count on something new each week.
For me, I schedule a post to go live every morning at 5 AM EST. That way I have something fresh every single day ready for any reader who wants to start their day with a new hobby feature.
Whether you post once a day, twice a week or several times a month – make sure you are consistent.
Just a personal note: If you find that you have been missing from your blog for a lengthy time, don’t bother writing a post that says “sorry I’ve been gone”. Your readers already know you’ve been missing. Just pick up where you want to start fresh and begin again. Don’t waste a readers time by apologizing for how busy your life has been.
3. Make it impossible for people to comment.
Where ‘s the share buttons? Can readers easily find your like button? Do they have to type captcha words? Many readers I know will try to leave a comment one time. If they can’t get the comment to go through because they can’t read the anti-spam words, they may just leave.
I rarely have real spam get through my Akismet filters. Akismet is free and works very well for me and most of the blogging world.
4. Promote Clutter
Most readers go to your blog to read what you have to say, not because they are looking for ads from Google. They also are probably ‘button blind’. So if you think you are going to get rich by posting affilate ads for every company that is available to bloggers, you are probably going to be disappointed. On my deal blog I tried using coupon affiliate banners for a while. After 2 years of blogging, I finally reached my first payout. I have learned that affiliates and button ads are not going to bring in a huge payday for most bloggers.
5. Be a CopyCat
One of the best ways to destroy your blog is to copy other people’s work. If you don’t have something original to say with your own unique voice, then there is no point in blogging. Find your own niche and make it work for you!
6. Go Color Happy
If you’re decorating a kids room or planning a circus themed party, then you may want to pull out all the colors of the Crayola box. But if you’re building a blog, go with standard print color and font on a solid background that gives contrast to the words. If a reader can’t read your words because they blend into the background, you’ll lose them before they ever have a chance to connect with your blog.
7. Put up a Dead End
When a reader finishes your blog post, where will they go next? Do you have a clear direction for them to continue to find other great articles on your blog? Many bloggers use ‘suggestion boxes’ at the bottom of their posts to give you some ideas of other related articles you might find interesting. Savvy writers link inside their article to other posts that deal with the subject.
Give a call to action at the end of your article. You want to provide a prod that will help the reader do something about what they just read – Ask a question, suggest a response, make them think or encourage them to push the like button. Don’t just stop your article with a dead end.
8. Have grammatical errors
It’s easy to misspell a word every once in a while. I often find that I have to go in and fix a random mistake. But regular errors and problems with spelling, grammar and usage will turn many readers away.
So what do you think? Do you agree that these are definite blog-killers? What else should be on this list? Am I breaking my own rules? I’d love to hear your pet peeves about blogs, your constructive critiques or your raving compliments! And yes! This is my prod to get you to take an action! See #7!