Starting a blog can be a fun, creative and profitable endeavor. There are practically endless topics that you can blog about, whether you want to focus on your business, hobby, the latest celebrity news, sports or anything else. There are, however, certain guidelines you must follow if you want your blog to be popular and successful. Let’s look at some of the typical problems with blogs and how to avoid or correct them.
Choosing a Topic That’s Too Broad or Narrow
You should choose the topic for your blog very carefully. Is there a large enough audience to support a blog on this topic? For most topics, you will find that there’s a large enough audience. You can test this by searching on Google and seeing how many websites already exist on this topic. You can also see how many books are available on Amazon. If you have an extremely specialized or obscure interest, however, you may want to broaden it.
For example, if you have a fascination with maps of ancient Phoenica. If you find that there’s insufficient demand for this topic, you might broaden it to include ancient maps or even maps in general. This would still give you a chance to talk about your specialty, but also include more readers.
At the opposite extreme, your blog may be too broad. For example, you may be a dog lover and want to start a blog about dogs. You might consider honing in on a certain breed of dog or a certain aspect of dog ownership, such as training. The topic of your blog should be a balance between your own interests and expertise and demand. Having a certain focus for your blog helps you target your audience and attract the right readers.
Not Making Your Blog Distinctive
You want your blog to make a statement that brands you and calls attention to your unique point of view. You can’t do this if it’s hard to distinguish your blog from thousands of others. One of the most important pieces of advice for creating a blog is to make sure your blog is unique.
For starters, don’t use a default theme of template. Many new blog owners start a blog using the website builder provided by their web host. Or they create a WordPress blog and keep the default theme. This means that your theme will be shared by millions of other users. At the very least, you should search for a free WordPress theme that suits your tastes and the topic of your blog. You might also purchase a premium theme at a reasonable cost or even have one created on a site such as Fiverr.
Whatever theme you end up using, take the time to customize it. Add your own header and images. Choose the font and layout that’s most suitable for your blog. One way to personalize your blog is to post photos or videos of yourself or your blog’s topic.
Not Posting Consistently
Not posting enough is one of the biggest and most common blogging mistakes. Many bloggers start off posting regularly then gradually reduce their activity as their initial enthusiasm wears off. If you want to have a popular blog, it’s absolutely essential to post consistently. This means one new post per week at the every least. Two or three times weekly is better.
Set a regular blogging time at least twice per week. It doesn’t have to take long. You may want to create all of your blog posts for the week in one session. You can vary the length of your posts. Try to post at least one medium-to-long post once per week. This means at least 500 words.
You can also add to your blog’s content by posting shorter items. This can be curated content, such as articles and videos. Take a few minutes to add your own commentary when you do this. Always be sure to properly attribute any links or quotes you use.
Keep up with the latest news on your topic. You can set Google Alerts for keywords related to your topic. Check the latest Amazon books on the subject. This way you stay current on the topics that interest your readers. No matter what you choose to post, however, it’s essential to be consistent.
Not Enough Interaction With Readers
A blog should be an interactive experience for readers. As the blog creator, you should do everything you can to encourage your readers to leave feedback. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Ask questions in your posts. You might end your posts with “What do you think about this?” or “Please leave feedback and let me know your opinion.”
- Conduct polls or surveys. This is especially useful if you have a business blog. You want to know what kind of problems your customers have and what types of products and services they need.
- Always answer comments. With the exception of spam or trolling, always respond to any type of feedback. This shows that you monitor your comments and that you care enough to respond.
Blog Isn’t Search Engine Optimized
SEO is very important if you want the search engines to rank your blog. This helps you find new readers or customers. Keep the following SEO tips in mind.
- Use keywords wisely. One simple way to find popular keywords is to start typing in words in Google and see what terms pre-fill. You should use keywords for the name of your blog, as blog post titles and sprinkled throughout your posts.
- Submit your blog to all of the major search engines.
- Use responsive design. This means that your blog can be accessed by people on all devices, such as smartphones. When choosing a theme or template for your blog, make sure it’s responsive. This helps you get more visitors and it’s also something Google considers when ranking sites.
- Optimize your images. Images can be helpful for SEO and also make your blog more compelling. Optimize and reduce the sizes of images to speed up page loading time. Additionally, use keywords to label your images.
- Connect your blog to social media. Use Twitter, Facebook and other buttons to make it easy for people to share your content.
These are some of the major mistakes to avoid when starting a blog. Always be willing to make changes as you learn more. Whether you’re brand new to blogging or have years of experience, it’s never too late to absorb new advice for creating a blog. If you learn from your mistakes and are consistent in your approach to blogging, you can build your audience and make steady improvements over time.