Increase Blog Traffic – Mistakes to Avoid

So you’ve created a blog and written entries religiously for weeks, OK, months – so why aren’t your posts being flooded by comments from readers and fans? If writing for your blog feels more like talking to yourself in a large empty room than engaging with an absorbed audience, you’re doing it wrong. Increasing blog traffic is a lot like nurturing an infant. You wouldn’t bring your new baby home from the hospital only to leave it in the crib and feed it every once in a while. Likewise, your blog needs more attention than just posts in order to flourish and grow. Here are some of the most common mistakes bloggers make and how to avoid them:

1.) Mistake: Neglecting Good Writing

No matter how interesting your content may be, poor spelling and grammar, confusing sentence structure and overall sloppy writing can be fatal not only to a blog but to the bloggers credibility. A strong solid writing foundation will keep your readers from clicking the back button; your unique style will keep them coming back for more.

How to avoid it: Always proofread your posts multiple times before you publish them. Better yet, recruit a friend or two to read over it for you.

2.) Mistake: Failing to Provide a Benefit

Unless you’re the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World, don’t expect people to be interested in reading blog posts about your life. However, if you manage to make your experiences relatable and interesting to your reader, then you have a blog worth reading. Rather than writing about how much fun you’re having on your Disney World vacation, include reviews on new attractions or tips on how to save on tickets. Make it for the reader, not for the writer.

How to avoid it: Before you even start writing, ask yourself not “What do I want to write about?” but “What will my reader want to read about?”

3.) Mistake: Building a Wall of Text

With ADD diagnoses on the rise, long paragraphs are likely to send readers running. Rather than inundating readers with long blocks of information, format your posts in a pleasing way that allows your reader to skim through the information quickly and efficiently.

How to avoid it: Remember that lists, numbers, and bullet points are your friends. Also don’t underestimate the power of H1 and H2 tags and bolded words. Draw attention to the most important points and keep descriptions under them shot and concise (and these can help you look better to search engines too!).

4.) Mistake: Being an Islandkeep calm and blog on

Your potential readers are everywhere, so you should be too. Take advantage of opportunities such as:

  • Social networking sites: Facebook, twitter, tumblr, pintrest, instagram, linkedin and google plus+ are all great resources for getting the word out to an audience likely to re-post and share. 
  • Email: Sure, it’s old school, but email is still a tried and true method of spreading news.
  • Q&A sites and forums: If you’re able to provide genuinely helpful responses and intriguing commentary, you’ll not only build your reputation and credibility online, but also increase the chances that people will be interested in what you have to say.
  • Social news sites: Sites like digg, reddit and stumbleupon can also increase the chances that your posts will be shared.
  • Other blogs: Rather than seeing other bloggers as competition, think of them as a community you’d like to be part of. Don’t be afraid to network with them, comment or link back to their posts. Invite them to write a guest-post on your blog and ask them if you can do the same. Building good relationships with high-ranking bloggers can also help build your credibility and increase your blog traffic.

How to avoid it: Find out where your target audience is and where they hang out online. Build your reputation on the sites and blogs they already frequent and you’re likely to get them interested in yours. Don’t fall into the trap of marketing your blog with spam-tactics. Rather than posting links to your blog, be genuine and provide the information they’re looking for in order to build your reputation, network and credibility.

5.) Mistake: Failing to take advantage of SEO techniques and Web Tools.

The best way to increase blog traffic is to make it easy for readers to find your blog. This is where SEO comes in. Allow me to introduce you to the blogger’s tool belt:

  • Adwords: By learning more about what your readers are searching, you’ll be able to include those keywords, thus increasing your post’s google rankings. 
  • Google Analytics: This tool can help you monitor views to your posts, helping you determine which posts get the most traffic and where that traffic is coming from.
  • Titles and meta-descriptions: By providing accurate titles and meta-descriptions using your keywords, you can help your readers quickly find your post based on what they’re searching.
  • Images: As well as being visually pleasing, images also help your site rank higher on search engines.

How to avoid it: Take some time to learn about SEO and free Google tools that can help improve your ranking on search engines.

In a nutshell write well, provide a benefit in a reader-friendly format, network and catch up on your SEO strategies and tactics to start implementing them right away.

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