Stacy Jackson is a founding partner at Jackson Marketing, Inc., a marketing firm located in Dunedin, Florida. In addition to her work at Jackson Marketing, Stacy is a co-host of The B2B Mix Show podcast. You can follow her on Twitter at @stacy_jax and connect with her on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/stacyjax).

In the Blog Traffic Acceleration Series, we’ve been through several topics to help you improve your blog traffic. This week, we cover ten mistakes to avoid. Let’s get started!

Mistake 1: Not reading other blogs

A great way to make your blog better is by spending time reading successful blogs — both those in your industry/area of expertise and those in non-competing verticals. What makes these blogs successful? Learn from their style, design, and tone.

Mistake 2:  Copying content

Sure, you can curate content — but that’s not the same thing as copying. If you want curate other people’s content on your blog, only share a snippet of the original, always give credit, and always write your own opinion or angle on the the topic. Don’t copy other people’s content. It’s not cool, and you are cool, right? Be unique and make your blog unique so people have a reason to choose your blog over everyone else’s.

Mistake 3: Too much design

Have you ever been to a blog that looks like an IKEA exploded all over it? A swish of color here, a funky print there. While design is important to give your blog visual appeal and make it stand out, it can’t be too all over the place. A good blog has a clean design that makes your content the star of the show. Stay away from colors that clash and elements that clutter up your design. It’s also a good idea to avoid Flash Player or extensive ads that take time to load.

[Tweet “Have you ever been to a blog that looks like an IKEA exploded all over it?”]

Mistake 4: Too much promotion

Promoting your blog takes a certain finesse. You want people to see your blog, but you don’t want to come off as a pushy braggart. When you share your blog posts online, let the people know how the information will benefit them. Make your efforts to share about the reader not about your blog.

Mistake 5: Not sticking to schedule

It’s important to create a publishing schedule and stick to it. Don’t make it unrealistic — if you can’t publish a new post every day, focus on weekly or monthly. It’s true that generating posts more frequently can provide better results — but that’s only true if you are able to produce quality content (useful, informational, entertaining) each time.

Don’t beat yourself up if you do get off track. Even the best of us can miss a blog post deadline or two. The important thing is that you focus your energy on being productive with your blog.

Mistake 6: Text only

Add images and other media to your blog to make it more engaging. This will make your content more visually appealing. Also, any images  you add to your post can appear as the thumbnail or featured image when your post is shared on social media. Video and images drive 13% more traffic than traditional content; therefore, it’s important to consider visual elements with every new blog post. (source: Business2Community)

[Tweet “Video and images drive 13% more traffic than traditional content; add a visual to each new post.”]

Mistake 7: Boring titles

A “not boring” title doesn’t have to be fanciful or redonkulous. A good title just needs to pique the interest of your readers. List posts typically do well — people love an easy, skimmable list. Including a great claim or statistic can make for a great title, too: “Increase Blog Readership by 200%” could be a great title. Just make sure your content delivers on the promise of your title.

Mistake 8: Too many keywords

Optimizing only for keywords is so old school. Remember that keywords are important — after all, you want to talk about your topic using the same terminology your audience would use (and use in search to find your blog). BUT, don’t stuff too many (or even multiple instances of a single keyword) into your post. Be natural in your writing — write for people, not search engines.

Mistake 9: Not mobile-ready

If you are starting a new site or still haven’t updated your current site in spite of the Google Mobilegeddon this year, it’s time to go mobile. You need to ensure your blog looks good on mobile devices. As I reported in July,

Findings in the Adobe Digital Index reveal that those site owners who didn’t update for Mobilegeddon have finally begun to feel the pain of not optimizing for mobile. Google is keeping its promise on prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in organic search, and the result is a 10% drop in organic traffic for sites that aren’t optimized.Did Mobilegeddon Hurt Your Organic Traffic?

Mistake 10: Not checking analytics

Unless you are solely writing for your own pleasure, it’s critical to routinely check your analytics to see how your blog is performing. By setting and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), you will know how effective your blog is and how your blog promotion efforts are paying off. Check your KPIs at least monthly to help you continue to improve your offering to your readers.

What other mistakes do you see bloggers making? Which of these mistakes do you struggle with?

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ten common blogging mistakes

 

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