You want more readers. More comment love.
You want to know that your content is helpful and interesting.
But maybe you are making mistakes that send your readers packing their bags and heading out of town.
If you just knew what they were.
Here they are. Ten blogging mistakes you might be making:
1. You aren’t focused enough.
Now your blog needn’t be as laser focused as a blog about the aye-aye (although it might), but it does have to be specific enough to attract a niche audience—readers who are looking for specific information on your topic.
If you blog about gardening one day and graphic design the next, you won’t build a loyal base of readers. Because they won’t know what to expect on any one day when they land on your blog. Stay true to your mission and your blog’s purpose.
2. You don’t write posts that teach us stuff.
People are going online because they have problems. They need solutions. Why not be the blogger who has the answers?
Every time you sit down to write a post, ask yourself, “What am I helping my readers with today?”
3. Your blog’s design is cluttered.
Annoying graphics, too many choices in the sidebar and widgets that have nothing to do with your blog’s purpose will make your readers click away. If you are going to use those floating and blinking pop-ups (and I don’t), be sure your visitor has enough time to engage with your content first.
And speaking of too many choices, think of the one action you want your readers to take and put that in the most visible, accessible spot on your sidebar.
4. Your blog is all about you.
If you are blogging to develop an audience—for your books, for your products or for your services—forget about making your blog an online diary. Your readers don’t want to hear your ramblings. They are looking for what’s in it for them.
Always blog with your reader’s hat on.
5. You don’t tell visitors who you are and what your blog is about—right away.
This is a common—and deadly—mistake. Pull up your blog’s home page and ask yourself this: If I were a first-time visitor, would I know exactly who this blogger is and what her blog is about?
Within 2-3 seconds? Because that is typically how long you have to capture your attention-disordered reader.
6. You don’t give us an easy (and visible) way to subscribe.
I see blogs all the time that hide their subscription sign-up box, or it is so tiny that I don’t notice it at all. Make it big and in your reader’s face.
When I made that one small change, I got a significant increase in my subscribe numbers.
7. Your blog has no personality or voice.
Mr. Rogers, the TV friend of millions of kids, said it best:
There is no one in the whole world just like you.
Find that one thing that makes you unique. It may be the way you talk (we call that “voice”). It may be something in your past. It may be a special skill or the fact that you love to make people laugh.
Build your blog’s brand—its personality—around that and readers will come back for more posts from this interesting blogger (that would be you).
8. The readers you wish you had don’t know you exist.
There are many, many ways to attract readers. But they won’t know about your amazing blog unless you tell them. Promote your blog everywhere, from simple clickable links in your email signature line to Twitter and Facebook to writing guest posts for other bloggers—and more.
And don’t be shy. If you have high-quality, useful stuff on your blog, people will want to know about it.
9. You make your visitors feel like they are walking into a WalMart.
When they first land on your blog, your visitors don’t know you yet. Don’t scare them away with big old ads and buttons that say, “Buy! Buy!”.
Gently guide readers into your sales funnel—after you have developed trust and credibility.
10. You don’t make every reader and every commenter feel special.
Your readers want to feel like they belong. Make every visitor feel welcome. Build a community—not a club. Encourage comments and respond to every one of them.
Because they are your gold mine. And the best way to build your community.
How long have you been blogging?
If you haven’t started yet, what’s your biggest roadblock?
If you are new to blogging, or haven’t started yet, learn exactly how to avoid the most common mistakes at my 30 Secrets blogging webinar. My fellow winner of a Top 10 Blogs for Writers award, Carol Tice, and I will show you what we did to make our blogs attract more readers, subscribers and comments. Watch as we review attendees’ blogs and share our tips. That’s next Tuesday, March 15. We still have a few slots open.