A blog is a very powerful marketing tool, so if you don’t already have one, I suggest that you get on it right away. However, blogging isn’t just about churning out whatever comes to mind. It’s about delivering relevant information at the right time and knowing how to promote it. It’s really a combination of things, and more likely than not, you’ll probably get a few things wrong.
Some of these bad habits aren’t anything major, but they’re sure to be hampering your blog from reaching its full potential. So if you want to get the most from your blog, here are a few blogging habits you need to avoid.
If there’s anything that says you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s writing one long paragraph from start to end. Jeff Havens of Entrepreneur.com explains:
Given how much information we’re all constantly bombarded with, it often happens that people make decisions based on first impressions rather than a thorough reading of whatever you’re sending them. And from a visual standpoint, a single long paragraph suggests that you don’t even know enough about English to break your thoughts into discrete pieces, much less organize them more intricately into a compelling argument others would be eager to read.
If the blog post is less than 70 words long, it probably belongs on your Facebook page. If it’s a hundred words or more, it needs to be broken down into more paragraphs. A super long paragraph is like a visual assault. Breaking your thoughts down into short paragraphs helps organize your blog post visually and makes it easier for your readers to comprehend what you are trying to communicate.
Not Having a Strategy When Publishing and Promoting Your Posts
One mistake a lot of bloggers make is not knowing when to publish a post to get maximum readership. According to SocialMediaToday.com, you need to:
Publish a new post at least once a week, be consistent and always publish on the same day, and focus on creating high-quality content.
Keep in mind though that publishing one post a week is considered the bare minimum. Depending on your niche, you might want to publish more frequently. Fashion blogs can get away with one blog post a week, but news blogs would ideally have to publish several posts in a day.
Timing is important as well. According to SocialTimes.com:
The average blog gets the most traffic around 11AM. The average blog gets the most comments around 9AM, as well as on Saturdays. The average blog usually gets the most inbound links around 7AM, and especially on Mondays and Thursdays.
This is true for most blogs, but you’ll still want to check out your own analytics to figure out when your blog posts get the most traffic. You should also apply this to your social media strategy. Posting a status update at these times will likely get the most engagement as well, and if you include a link to your blog post, it’s a great way of driving traffic to your blog.
Sounding Too Salesy
When promoting a product or service, it’s easy to fall into the trap of sounding too salesy. Whether you’re being to promote it or are just genuinely enthusiastic about it, you can actually alienate your readers if you try to push something on them too much. Entrepreneur.com has this to say:
…there’s a difference between “making others aware of a product or service you could provide” and “sounding like a market barker at a Moroccan bazaar.” Several bloggers I know recommend that the sales part of your blog should occupy less than 20 percent of your time, and some of them recommend as little as 10 percent. Which is why you do everything you can to sell something in every sentence. The more your readers realize that you think of them only as a potential source of money, the more they’ll realize that your posts probably aren’t worth reading. Which will save them a lot of time–which means you’ve helped them.
Focusing Too Much on SEO
If you’ve been at blogging for a while, you’ve likely invested some time and even money into SEO. While it does have its benefits, there is such a thing as over-optimization. Unbounce.com says:
Too much emphasis on SEO slaughters your creativity. It makes your blog posts boring as hell. But ignoring SEO is a wasted opportunity. You might miss out on relevant traffic and precious leads.
Over-optimization is a point where the quality of the content is compromised for the sake of SEO. Readers ARE able to tell the difference between a quality post and one that has been overly optimized. So don’t make the mistake of over stuffing your posts with keywords. Not only does it impact their quality, but Google might even penalize your posts in the search rankings.
Ignoring Opportunities for Engagement
Yes, we know enough to try to engage our readers through various channels. It’s easy to set up your blog to automatically post or tweet about your posts to Facebook and Twitter as soon as they are published, and there are even some plugins that allow you to continuously promote your posts through the different social networks. However as promoting your posts becomes increasingly automated, the easier it is to slip into the trap of not responding when your readers are the ones reaching out to you. SmartInsights.com puts it perfectly:
Imagine this: You have a friend you see every day, and every time you talk to him, all he wants to talk about is his latest project. He doesn’t listen to anything you have to say, and if you try to interact with him, you either get silence, or another comment relating back to his project. That’s a pretty one-sided and superficial friendship.
The way that many brands interact with their fans on social sites isn’t much different. They do a lot of self-promotion and not a whole lot of engagement. They might have the best content in the world, but if all they do is talk about themselves, they’re going to lose a lot of people fairly quickly.SE