If you have ever written a blog post, you need to read on. Do you consider yourself a newbie, intermediate, or possibly even an expert level blogger? You may have found yourself in the following situation and wondered how you got there.
Imagine you have done it. You actually managed to think of an idea for a blog post, you wrote it, you edited it, and you are about to press "Publish." You gear yourself up, shake off your anxieties and you publish it for the world to see. And then this happens... nothing.
You wait for a few hours, you repost your blog on social media, and you get more nothing. A few days go by and it is the same thing. All that hard work just pulled a Titanic and totally tanked. All levels of bloggers have been there, and it can be depressing.
So why do some blogs and bloggers succeed while the majority fail into oblivion? Why do most bloggers' posts not see the action their authors' desire?
The information available on the subjects of website resources, blog and web theme optimization are not just scarce but can also be extremely technical. Here is a list of the most common and most detrimental mistakes that bloggers make, and some solutions:
1. Bloggers' websites are too slow - people like blogs the way they like fast food; with fast service in a pleasing environment. If your site takes more than a few seconds to load, people are not going to stick around. Also, if the website is not designed to be responsive on desktop and mobile devices, the visitors are going to move on to websites that are easy to read no matter where they access them from. One solution for increasing website speed is to update the website theme. According to the team at MyThemeShop.com, the "most important factor for a website to go viral is how quickly it loads". As all serious bloggers know, the theme itself is largely responsible for that.
2. Bloggers' headlines are bland - in order to catch the fish, you need the right type of bait. Crafting headlines that grab attention, evoke emotion, and make people curious are going to generate the most clicks to your website. Here is a source I often use for creating my own headlines. Learning the craft of good headline structure is not an option if you want to be a successful blogger.
3. Bloggers' content is not useful - even if you have an amazing headline, none of that will matter if the rest of your content does not back it up. Many new bloggers approach writing with a "me first" attitude. What do "I" want to write about, and what topics interest "me." This usually leads to content that people find useless. Hubspot's blog provides some great advice about creating useful content. It is not always easy to create content that people will find helpful, but defining your blog and your audience first will lead you down a path to creating content that will regularly interest your readers and create a following.
4. Bloggers' content is not unique - too many blogs just recycle information from other blogs. Depending on your niche, it can be difficult to come up with a way to be unique. The least a blogger must do is make sure that even if they are revisiting a common topic, to at least make sure to add something to the information that makes it uniquely their own. Using comedy, breaking down complicated topics into simpler formats, or elaborating on topics using expert knowledge are all ways to add your own fingerprint to a common topic and make it unique.
5. Bloggers expect traffic to just magically appear - jumping into blogging often starts with high hopes that come crashing down when people realize that it is much harder to get traffic than they expected. Many bloggers are under the misinformed impression that all they have to do is create content, publish it to social media, and the rest will happen overnight. It is never that simple. The reality is, even with great content, most blogs take several years to gain any significant traffic. In order to make it as a blogger, you need to master your content, and also learn about building traffic and becoming an authority online. Mastering SEO strategies, inbound marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing are all traffic sources that the biggest bloggers use to bring in new readers.
6. Bloggers need to use Calls To Action - adding a Call To Action to blog posts is one of the most underutilized and easiest to master strategies to improve a blog. Tell the readers exactly what you want them to do; whether it is download your eBook, subscribe to your newsletter, or connect with you on social media. The experts at Wordstream offer some great advice on using calls to action properly here. Make it clear, simple and bold.
7. Bloggers need to engage their audience - encourage readers to post comments and respond to all of them. Write a newsletter and ask your subscribers what they want to see more of on your blog. Listen to what they say and respond by giving them what they ask for. Even a small audience is built of real people who have some interest in the blog's topic. Don't ignore them. If you treat your audience like real people, then your chances of your post seeing more social shares and generating more traffic becomes much greater.
These are great tips for anybody who is ready to take their blog, and the art of blogging to the next level. It takes more work than most bloggers want to put in, but nothing worth having comes easy. If you can stay persistent, learn from your mistakes, and be willing to adapt, then you can be a successful blogger and blog owner.