7 Deadly Blogging Mistakes

Nov 25, 2008   //   by Eric Brantner   //   SEO Blog  //  16 Comments

So, you’re starting a company blog, and you want to know how to get the most out of it. If you’re new to the blogosphere, the first thing you need to understand are the mistakes many others often make. By learning from others’ mistakes, you can avoid them and have a more successful blog.
Here are 7 deadly blogging mistakes to learn from.

1. Ignoring SEO- While you don’t want to turn your blog into a bunch of keyword-stuffed filler content, you also don’t want to completely ignore SEO. Remember, the search engines crave fresh content because they want their search results to be as relevant as possible. By optimizing your posts for relevant keywords, you increase your chances of grabbing high search engine placement.

2. No Personality- The internet is brimming with blogs. There are over 100 million of them. How can you separate yourself from the pack? The best way is to use your personality. Blog posts aren’t like typical articles. What makes blogging so popular is the interactivity of it. That’s why you need to showcase your personality—to connect with readers. If you can connect with your audience, they’ll be likelier to continue coming back and to comment regularly on your posts.

3. Disregarding Your Comments- Of course, once people start commenting on your posts, it’s your job to respond. Don’t make the mistake of either not responding or replying with a thoughtless remark like “Thanks for the comment.” If you want to get the most out of your comments, you need to respond with a well-thought out point. Engage your audience like you would in a one on one conversation. This will spark new conversations, and it also gives your readers a sense of ownership in your blog.

4. Too Much “Me Too” Content- With so many blogs out there, it’s inevitable that you’ll write about something that’s already been covered. That’s fine, but make sure you don’t rely on just being another “me too” blogger. We have enough of those. Avoid falling into this trap by giving your honest opinion. It might cause some controversy, but your readers will respect your opinion and they’ll appreciate a fresh perspective on an exhausted topic.

5. Self-Promotional Writing- When you start your company blog, it’s easy to get stuck on the idea that it’s another marketing tool for your brand. Sure, your blog is great for increasing your visibility and establishing your brand, but that doesn’t mean you need to write posts that are thinly veiled advertisements. It’s called a blog, not an advertisement. Focus on creating insightful, useful content, and you’ll have much more success than if you write self-promotional pieces.

6. No Outbound Links- One reason people blog is to generate inbound links to their website. It’s a great benefit of blogging. However, in the pursuit of backlinks, don’t forget to link out to others. Forget about this notion of withholding your link juice. That’s silly. You have to be willing to link out to others. It shows your readers that you are providing them with well-rounded information, and it captures the attention of the bloggers you link out to. By making them aware of your blog, they’ll be more willing to return the favor by linking to you or even letting you guest post on their blog.

7. Boring Headlines- Earlier in this post, I mentioned there are over 100 million blogs crowding the internet. All of these blogs are pulling at reader’s attention begging them to read their content. Another way you can separate yourself from the sea of competitors is to create compelling headlines that make people click. Don’t get so caught up in the idea of SEO that your titles are overstuffed with keywords. You can use keywords, but make sure your headlines are enticing. Copyblogger has a great post about 10 headline formulas that work.

What mistakes would you add to this list? Share them with us in the replies. You just might help another blogger avoid a critical error!

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Eric Brantner

Eric Brantner is a copywriter who is obsessed with getting conversions. His services are used by small and mid-sized businesses from a range of industries.

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  • Eric says:

    Yan–

    That’s a great point to add to this list. If you aren’t passionate about a subject, there’s no way you can effectively write about it day in and day out in a way that connects with your readers.

  • Abdul says:

    Outbound links are not very useful, but keeping them limited for marketing purposes can be very useful!

    <abbr>Abdul’s last blog post..Try the new StumbleUpon</abbr>

  • Tracy says:

    One mistake that I make a lot is not being consistent with updating my blog. I know when I go to a company and it looks like their blog is seldom, if ever updated, it makes it look like there isn't much going on. It might not be a deal breaker, but it won't push me over to "yes" if I'm undecided on something.

    <abbr>Tracy’s last blog post..The Paranoid Mom Reviews New Products: Stove Top Quick Cups</abbr>

  • I would agree that not updating regularly is a problem…everyone starts out with a bang, with a great deal of enthusiasm…but if you start slacking off, then readership will gradually drop off.

    <abbr>Dana Willhoit’s last blog post..5 Ways That Press Releases Help Your Business</abbr>

  • Jason says:

    Great post…definitely agree that with the “me too” content…sometimes stirring up an argument or two is a good thing

  • Chrs Johnson says:

    People often forget to use their manners when posting online. I’m stunned when strangers start hating on each other for having SLIGHTLY different opinions, then write messages on blogs, horrible things they would never say to someone’s face! LoL

  • Eric says:

    @Chris–

    I like to refer to them as “keyboard gangstas.” For some reason, people think that they can say whatever they want online without any consequences. Is it so hard to be nice online?

  • Chrs Johnson says:

    @Eric . . . “keyboard gangsta’s” LoL I like that . . .

  • Hey, Gerald:

    I recently hired a blogger for my vegetarian blog, and his posts were not including outbound links. I had to set some guidelines and let him know the importance of linking out.

    I await his next post, as i explained this to him recently. Let's see if i explained it well enough. VIP.

    Thanxs for coming by my blog earlier, and hope to see you again.

    Cheers,

    Missy.

    <abbr>Missy (from G34 Media)’s last blog post..5 Twitter Tools You Should Be Using If You’re A Blogger</abbr>

  • I think another important tip is to have patience. This is something I need to work on myself. I started my blog two and half weeks ago, have an average of 30 readers a day, and it's hard to accept that it could take a year or more to get a decent amount of readers.

    And @The Smiling Blogger, I definitely agree that you need to have passion for what you're writing about. Otherwise, your lack of enthusiasm will show in your posts, and you'll burn out more quickly.

    <abbr>Diana Freedman’s last blog post..Facebook Connect: Spreading Your Identity Throughout the Web</abbr>

  • Eric says:

    Diana–

    You’re 100% right. Blogging takes patience and commitment. so many bloggers give up before they ever have a chance to succeed. Those wheels take a while to get rolling, but once the do, you’ll be gaining a lot of ground quickly.

  • kelly says:

    Never thought of #1 and #4! (I just wrote 25 top blogging mistakes less than 24 hours ago.)

    And your headline with the word DEADLY definitely grabs attention! Yep, you walk the talk!

  • P says:

    Though I feel its important to write self promote articles in between they help you to give insight to your readers about you and its a true fact people run behind success.

  • Frank says:

    Thanks for this list, I will have to keep them in mind.

    Another one to point out would be “specify tags better”; otherwise you could end up with a few thousand posts under the tag of ‘funny’.

  • The great headline one is a no brainer. In any presentation, an attention getting statement is essential for the audience to “give a shit” about what the speaking is talking about. Especially if the speaker isn’t a well recognized expert.

  • Gerald Weber
    Twitter:
    says:

    You make a great point. Optimizing content while still clearly delivering your message is something that takes practice. It’s more of an art than it is a science.