All bloggers have been guilty of committing blogging mistakes, creating obstacles toward success. Read these 7 mistakes you need to stop doing now and how to fix them.
I am so very excited to share my very first article for a new series that is aimed at helping bloggers blog better. For the last months, I have been working hard on improving my blog and I am starting to see all my efforts pay off. Today I want to cover one of the first realizations I made on this journey: I (and maybe you) have been guilty of making so many blogging mistakes, sometimes for years! This is the shortlist of my biggest blogging faux-pas.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. All opinions are my own.
I have been blogging at CulturEatz for just over 14 years now but I always kept my efforts at a hobby level. Well, I finally decided to take the big plunge and start treating my blog more professionally. I signed for an ongoing course over a Digital Nomad Wannabe which teaches you just how to do that.
Through this course and my own online research, I noticed the actions I had been doing to stop myself from reaching success. It does not matter if you are a blogging pro or are about to create a blog for the first time, everyone makes mistakes at some point. Are you guilty of these blogging mistakes too?
7 Blogging Mistakes You Should Avoid
Now let’s get into these 7 blogging mistakes I did for years. Once you start seeing your blog as a business and educate yourself on how to blog effectively, it can be shocking to realize how many bad habits you may have picked up all along.
1. Writing thin content
We have been told that a blog is good if it contains at least 300 words. That is the standard minimum for a blog post. Some of my very first posts probably have less. Many of my older recipes posts go over the 300-word mark, but not by much.
The problem with thin content is that you cannot give enough valuable information with such a short post. Google knows that and penalizes your blog post ranking. About one year ago I started writing longer blog posts with valuable quality content. It did not take long to see a big improvement in my blog statistics.
I am not going to write a 2,000-word recipe post, but depending on the niche, the best blog websites that write about solving a problem have lengthy articles. And make sure to check your writing with a good online grammar checker like this free one before posting.
2. Not removing contest info, contest posts, or Rafflecopter codes
So many reasons why here. A blog post that is solely a contest is only valuable while it is running. After the contest has ended, the post can hurt your rankings because it is not related to your niche. If you have a contest within a usual post or contest reminders, you should also remove them after the end of the contest. Why? Because there are mentions of dates so this could hurt your post from becoming evergreen content.
What about Rafflecopter codes or the like? Such extra codes put a big load on the time it takes your page to load. Site speed is king so remove anything that could slow down your loading time once the contest is done. Other codes like the once upon a time popular linkys will also slow down your site.
3. Relying on Yoast for your SEO
For the longest time, I was sure I was covering all my SEO ground by making sure I had those 2 green lights on after my final blog post revision. I was convinced I knew how to do SEO…I was so wrong. Now I spend a lot of time researching a long tail main keyword (and where to put it which is called on-page SEO) and several more related ones to add to a post with one of the best SEO tools for keywords called KeySearch (get 20% off code: KSDISC).
In just a few months I have seen a huge boost in traffic, as in doubling it. It’s a good idea to find your top-performing posts and reworking them as well. SEO best practices are a long-term game but it is so worth it. It’s a good idea to also start tracking your main keywords.
4. Placing my recipe cards or pinnable images to high in the blog post
In the beginning, I often placed my recipes in the middle of a blog post and kept writing below. Well, usually people don’t care what you have to say below a recipe. This meant wasted effort and the reader might have left my site faster. Same with putting the pinnable image somewhere at the top or middle. Readers have not seen the recipe yet and don’t know if they want to save it. If they do, odds are they will not scroll back up to pin it.
Besides losing your readers to early on, here are two more ways you are hurting your blog. First, the longer someone stays on your post, the better your analytics will be. Putting the info they want at the bottom makes them spend more time on your post. Second, if you have ads on your blog, getting your reader to scroll all the way down ensures your ads will be seen, hence more $$$.
5. Not creating pinnable images
It took me a while to get into the importance of creating great Pinterest images. Even when I was not making the effort, most for my traffic came from Pinterest. Why not maximize it to get even more traffic? The ideal Pinterest image size has a 2:3 ratio. I try now to take a nice vertical shot related to my topic and work in some nice text graphics.
Did you know it is also recommended to do up to 3 pinnable images for each post? They do not need to be in the blog post but you can still pin them with your blog post link. Like I mentioned before, find your top-performing posts and make sure they have at least one good pinnable Pinterest photo and don’t forget to repin the post again. I am now starting to work on a Pinterest strategy and I signed up for the Tailwind, a Pinterest scheduler tool.
To design your graphics, having awesome digital art is a must. The best online resource for graphics is Creative MarketCreative Market, hands down! They even give 6 freebies a week, how awesome is that.
6. Not building an email subscriber list
Oh, the years I have wasted! I relied on a small newsletter subscription box and never put much of an effort into sending newsletters. I am just starting to develop an email marketing strategy by getting back into sending newsletters and learning how to write an effective one at that. There is a learning curve but I am seeing some improvement. So how am I getting new subscribers now for my email address list? I started email-list building again by offering lead magnets.
What is a lead magnet? It’s creating a valuable piece of content and giving it for free in exchange for an email address. That is they as to how to get an email. You can see an example here with an ingredient Substitution list. One of the most important email marketing tips to remember here is you need to create valuable niche related freebies so you can attract the right reader that will want to come back to your site again and again. Also, make sure to give your subscriber list a spring cleaning by removing cold subscribers.
7. Not jumping into affiliate marketing sooner
For the longest time I was convinced I would a) suck at affiliate marketing, b) bother my readers with offers, and c) lose credibility. All wrong. I have only been getting into affiliate marketing more seriously in the last 2 months and I am beginning to see results. Affiliate marketing is a long-term game but becoming an affiliate marketer is one of the best ways to get paid to blog.
I am in the process of learning how to use affiliate links effectively. I no longer think I am bothering my readers or afraid of not being taken seriously because I add affiliate links that are there to add value to what I am writing about. It is meant to blend in, not stick out like a sore thumb. An example would be a blog post about a new cooking technique for which you need specific tools by talking about the tools. Or sharing deals of hotels in a travel guide.
I think this is a crucial difference in how to see it. You are not blogging for money, rather you are blogging to give valuable content and sharing services or products that add value to your subject at hand in which you can make a small profit. The reader gets something they want, it’s a win-win.
So if you want to make money blogging, learn about it, join affiliate marketing programs and become an affiliate with a service that is in your niche.
Are you guilty of these blogging mistakes? If so, let me know which ones below in the comment box.
I hope to address each one of these more in-depth with dedicated articles, give you blog ideas, and cover a lot more blog writing tips in this series on how to become a better blogger.
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