October 2, 2012

Are you getting the results you want from your blog?  Blogging is a great way to showcase your expertise, connect with your readers, and generate interest in your products or services. Unfortunately, far too many bloggers are making some common mistakes that can prove to be fatal in the ultimate success of their blog.

Taking the necessary steps to avoid (or correct) these common mistakes can make the difference between a blog that blends in with the others or one that stands out and captures attention.

If you want to make sure you’re doing things right, take note of these 5 fatal mistakes bloggers can make:

#1 – Inconsistent Posting

Life happens.  Sometimes you get pulled in many different directions or knocked off course.  But if you’re blogging with a purpose, whether to gain traffic or to market your wares, you have to be consistent.

If you break for months and then start vigorously posting several times a week, then burn out and stop again for weeks, you may soon lose your readers.  While the number of times you should post a week varies based on your blog’s purpose and your goals, you should still remain consistent.

Decide what timing is realistic for you, create a content schedule, and commit to sticking to it.  Outsmart unexpected events by creating extra posts when able and schedule them ahead of time.  This will free you up when life events happen and will keep your readers happy.

#2 – No Visual Appeal

Blog posts with only continuous lines of text, all the same font, no breaks, and no variation, can lull readers into a trance or simply push them away.

Improve your appeal by using short sentences or paragraphs.  Add headers to different thoughts or use bullet points to outline steps.  Images and video can also add great appeal if used correctly.

By using good formatting, even long posts can keep your readers’ attention.

#3 – Not Including Calls To Action

If you blog for a business purpose, you may be missing sales if you don’t tell your readers what you want them to do.  A Call To Action (CTA) does just that – it directors your reader to what you want her  to do next.

CTAs can include:

  • Asking your readers to leave a comment
  • Sharing your post
  • Subscribing to your newsletter
  • Filling out a form

A call to action needs to be compelling in order to gain the response you want.  Offering a free eBook, sample product, or other free offers will often produce better results if you include an image of the offer they will be receiving.

#4 – Failing to Include Social Sharing Buttons

Social sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ can be big drivers of traffic for many blogs.  To take advantage of this, be sure to include the most popular social platforms as sharing options with each blog post, and make them easy to find.

#5 – Not Submitting Your Blog to the Search Engines

Blogs are very search-engine-friendly.  However, since you are adding fresh content often, it’s a good idea to let the search engines know you exist.  You can speed up the timing of search engines finding your blog by submitting it yourself.

One tool for Google makes this process very easy: Submit Your Blog.

By avoiding these blogging mistakes, you can make your blogging time not only fun, but also rewarding.