There are a whopping 152 million blogs out there, and a new one gets created every half second. Despite blogging’s prevalence in the Internet world, very rarely can you find a blog done right.

Now, I’m not at all saying that you must run your personal or travel blog a certain way or trying to push my rules down your throat (in fact, a few of these I could adopt more religiously myself); it all depends on the goals you are trying to accomplish. However, blogging commercially has a few best practices to keep in mind. Nonetheless, a few of these rules could even help the strategy of strictly casual or social bloggers.

Here are the 14 mistakes that could be holding back your blog.

1. Poor Intentions or Strategy

Some people treat their blogs as a journal or soapbox, and that’s fine if it’s intended to fill that purpose, but it may not be working for your audience. Think about what they may be searching for, solve a problem, and delight your readers. Do not post ad after ad.

Related: It’s Not About You: The Dangers of Self-Centered Internet Marketing

2. Not Including Photos

People tend to identify with visual content, and blog posts that have them typically get shared on social media more often than those that don’t. In addition, if you’re doing your alt tags correctly, images can be a powerful SEO tool. However, the most important reason to include supporting photos is that they help to break up the text and increase readability.

3. Lack of Heading Breaks

Speaking of breaking up the text and increasing readability, use subheaders. This helps to highlight sections for those who like to skim, has SEO benefits, and generally makes the page more appealing.

4. Not Spending Enough Time on the Headline

This is my Achilles heel right here.

The headline is what readers first see and will determine if they will click on it and read the post. People tend to respond to sensational material, so appeal to their emotions. A blog titled “The 20 Destinations You Must See Before You Die” will likely perform better than the same content with the title “This Year’s Travel Guide.”

5. Failing to Watch and Learn from Other Bloggers

They say that in order to be a good writer, you must first be a good reader. I’d like to take that idea a step further and say that in order to be a good blogger, you must first read good blogs!

spying through binoculars to learn from other bloggers
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6. Poor Grammar

You had to expect this one coming from me. But, in all seriousness, if your readers are expected to digest your great ideas, make them palatable.

7. No Promotion or Amplification

Shouting in an echo chamber will not help to grow your audience. You work hard on your posts, so put them in front of the right readers through social media. And use hashtags to make them discoverable.

8. Forgetting Calls to Action

Commercial blogs should prompt readers to do something, ending either with a content offer to turn visitors to leads or a request to sign up for a newsletter. However, even personal blogs should have a call to action of some kind to increase engagement.

“Comment below to tell us how you feel about…”

Getting people involved with your blog will increase readership and gain you fans.

9. Hard-to-Remember URLs

Scenario: A reader comes to your site, loves your content, forgets to bookmark it, and forgets to follow you. How do they find you again? An easy URL would help.

“Effervescent-titillations.yourplatform.com” the recipe blog would not be easy to find, but “twocupsofsugar.yourplatform.com” might be. Stay at the tips of their tongues.

Related: How to Pick a Domain Name for Your Site

10. No Linking

Outbound linking shows you do your research and care about your audience enough to provide them with additional resources. You may also earn points from other sites and bloggers for the link.

Internal linking to your other blog posts will drive traffic to other areas of your site and result in a rich site structure for SEO.

11. Neglecting to Reach Out for Guest Posting

You absolutely should ask other bloggers in your niche to write posts for their sites. You can link to your blog and gain more recognition and visitors; they get a great article for their site.

You should also ask others to guest post for you. They get promoted to your audience and theirs at the same time.

reading a blog on a mobile device

12. Not Making It Personal

The Internet is huge; you may or may not have a unique perspective or information. But you know what you do have? A unique voice. Put your personality into your posts.

13. Failing to Respond to Comments

So someone loved your content enough to leave you feedback? Congrats! Now don’t leave ’em hanging. By engaging, you only increase the chances of them watching for your future posts.

14. Not Taking the Time to Refresh Old Posts

Your posts go on, portraying your brand long after you’ve published them. Go back and spruce them up occasionally and update your internal linking so they continue to perform for you.

So… what are the worst mistakes you’ve seen bloggers make?

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Learn more about the author by visiting amandaedens.com

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