Falling into any one of these bad blogging mistakes will ‘put off’ your visitors and they may never return!
1. Not Knowing What Your Blog Is About
When I view your blog, I want to know immediately (that means within seconds) how your blog is going to help ME.
How is it going to help me solve my problems?
The easiest way is to tell me about your blog in your header banner. Add some text in there.
Here are some great examples:
Ana Hoffman, owner of trafficgenerationcafe.com tells you exactly what you are going to get from her site:
“Easy Strategies to Increase Your Website Traffic Today”
It could not be any clearer.
Andy Sernovitz’s site, www.damniwish.com.
Andy says in his header banner…”Unusually Useful Ideas for Smart Marketers”
And it’s true.
Andy’s site is one of my favourite sites. No fluff…he gets straight to the point and 9 times out of ten, the advice is so simple…you wish you’d thought of it!
Yaro Starak’s site, www.entrepreneurs-journey.com.
Short, succinct text…”Down-to-earth tips and advice for internet entrepreneurs”
You know exactly what you are going to get, when you visit Yaro’s site…right?
So over to you…do your visitors know exactly what your website / blog offers?
Action: Check you have some text in your header banner that tells your visitors exactly what they are going to get now they have arrived!
2. Bad Headlines
We all know how important a good enticing headline is or do we?
First let’s clear up the definition of ‘enticing’.
It means… “Attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage.”
So your headline has to tempt me in, by offering pleasure or an advantage.
Now look at these headlines I came across recently:
Love YOU Daily
Sleep or No Sleep?
Seize the day!
Do they entice you to click on them and read more?
No, of course not.
Well they didn’t me!
Your headline is the first thing that a prospective visitor will see and if it doesn’t entice them in…you’ve lost them…perhaps to never to return.
If you want to see some excellent headlines in action, check out the Copyblogger blog.
You could easily ‘steal’ some of theirs and change to accommodate your blog post.
For instance, here’s a headline of one of their most popular posts:
“The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Online Marketing Efforts”
You want to know what that dangerous threat is, don’t you? Hence you click on the title and read more.
Now let’s use that title and change to accommodate your blog post…
If your blog post is about ‘growing plants’ instead of saying ‘Slugs are eating your plants’ you could say:
“The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Plant Growing Efforts”
Prospective visitors would be curious, right?
Action: Start using enticing headlines…grab your visitors!
3. Making Visitors Login To Comment
This is one I hate. Why do blog owners make me have to login before I can add a comment?
If you want me to comment…make it easy for me.
Action: If your visitors have to login to comment… remove that ‘hurdle’ now!
4. No Social Bookmarking
These days, one way to get your blog posts noticed on the web is via social bookmarking and your visitors love to share great content…so let them. Add social icons above/below and to the side of your content.
There are plenty of plugins available including:
Action: Install one of the social bookmkaring plugins mentioned above
5. Using Spun Content
“Spun Content” = content where a few words, paragraphs have been replaced and trying to make the article unique.
Published “Spun” content used to be fine.
Google wants high quality, original content.
Action: If you have published ‘spun’ content on your site, don’t worry. Just stop doing it from now on.
6. Just Text / No Paragraphs / No White Space
If you are like me, you find big blocks of text unreadable. But so many bloggers still just display loads of text in one big paragraph and a small font.
Action: Break up your content into small paragraphs with loads of white space. Plus use sub-headings. Using sub-headings not only makes your post look better…it helps with SEO.
Get my free (no opt-in) SEO Report here: 12 Steps To Boost The SEO Of Your Blog Posts
Great points out there. i think adding annoying pop-ups, background music can also chase away visitors. Likewise, horrible color theme
Oh…I hate pop-ups as well! And music that starts immediately.
What would you say is a horrible color theme?
these are all very common sense suggestions, although many bloggers fail to implement them. I hate the login to comment thing also. I just don’t come back to such blogs because I can’t have a conversation with the owner.
Exactly…perhaps they add the ‘login to comment’ to stop spam comments?
Nice summary. I agree on all points! In particular the log in for comments. Argh! I don’t get it! Disqus specifically makes me insane. But you still see so many posts where bloggers recommend using it. I don’t get it, and I don’t comment on blogs that use it.
I’m going to add another social button plugin to your list. I’ve used several over the years but about six months ago I switched to GetSocial. Unlike the others I’ve used that sometimes get caught up trying to load a button or two (and slow your page load time) GetSocial is fast, and very user friendly in the set up.
Thanks for sharing your views on GetSocial – I shall take a look.
Andrew I go back and forth between letting my blog go,and putting time into it.. this reminds me that if I’m going to keep blogging, I might as well do it right…. going to focus on headlines again.
Love Damn, Wish I
d thought of it~ nice link.
I think we all do that…”letting my blog go,and putting time into it”.
I’m glad you liked Andy’s site. I can also recommend his book…Word of Mouth.
“Warning, Your Latest Blog Comment Could Kill Your SEO Efforts!”
….or maybe not.
Anyway, great list.
It made me remember that I actualy had my “Login to Comment” enabled due to a WP plugin configuration issue. Ana at TGC had brought it to my attention a few weeks ago, and I was unable to resolve the issue. I got iot fixed, so thanks for the reminder.
While not necessary, getting a professional header graphic shows that youre serious about your blog, wnich can help with first impressions.
Anyone who has done copywriting knows the value o whitespace. Unfortunately, the “3 sentence or less paragraph rule” seems to have espcaed many bloggers.
My .02c, thanks.
I agree – more white space and often…a bigger font!
Great tips for bloggers. Andrew. I am with you when it comes to making a comment, if I have to login in, I am out of there. The eadier it is to make a comment the better I like it.
Headliners are the most important. Have to make them sound exciting and not dull.
Have a great day (evening) and thanks for the great reminders for our blogs.
Headings are the hardest thing…for me.
Very often I’ve written the post way before coming up with the headline.
In fact, the headline can take longer to write!
Oooh, I got 5 out of 6 right! Yay. I agree especially on the login to comment one. It’s so hard to remember what my login credentials are and I don’t want to spend time figuring it out. LiveFyre is another one that often stops me from commenting.
Off to look at GetSocial.
Which one did you get ‘wrong’?
I didn’t have GetSocial, just an old twitter plugin. I’m changing it now. 🙂
Just like Amy, I got 5 out of 6 correct and for the same reason, the hurdles are to protect the blog from comment spammer. I received more than a hundred spam comments even with login hurdles on.
Perhaps you need to use another anti-spam comment plugin like Growmap Anti Spambot.
Dear Andrew –
Any blogger who insists that you register in order to leave a comment is doing themselves a disservice.
It is annoying. And one more password to keep track of.
I don’t comment unless it happens to be someone I really value.
And even those people make the additional step insulting.
A comment is a compliment.
When it is deserved it should be appreciated.
Not be a chore.
Oh…I love that word…Chore!
Yes, anything that is a chore is not liked.
Excellent point, Corinne.
I completely agree with the logging in part just to comment. That is right up beside those blogs that require me to go through so many steps (clicking on a link to post a comment, clicking on another link to go to the comment form, and then having to go through all those captchas and other stuff). Making your readers go through that, especially if it’s their first time on your blog can easily discourage them; so while they may like your content, you turn them off with this. Commenting should be encouraged, not made into a chore.
Along with all the other comments..it looks like this ‘sign up to comment’ is a major concern for many!
There’s certainly agreement on how unfriendly log-in needed comment boxes are. They annoy me, too. Yet the most annoying blogs are the ones with boring content. It makes sense to put the blog’s banner, the first thing a visitor visits, on top of your list of things to pay attention to. The best headers SPEAK rather than just please or impress. I hope to end up with a “best one” myself as I’m rolling out my new strategy :-]
Looking forward to your new strategy!
Great post Andrew. I also hate having to give my email to get a report or something like that. I know it’s a must for creating a list but it’s boring.
Using Livefyre I have no problem with spam, but I get few comments too; before I had tens a day so it’s a good bargain. Anyway given that it just requires name and email to comment I guess it’s not such a chore. 😉
I don;t think we will ever get away from having to supply your email for a free download.
Many blog / web owners want to build their list for email marketing…which makes sense.
There are few more mistakes lots of bloggers do like:
– They add few many ads on their blogs
– They don’t link to other websites
– They are not bothered about improving their blog speed and social media presence for their blogs
Good points – especially about the ads – Google are down raking sites with too many ads.
Andrew, three things I can’t tolerate in a blog: 1) Black background, 2) music, 3) a pop-up that asks if you really want to leave. Yes, now I really, really want to leave!
I’ve seen pop-ups on blogs and I don’t like those but I have never seen one that says…”don’t leave”.
I don’t really understand the complaints about signing up to comment. It’s one less field than typing in your name, email and website each time, which you have to do on the default commenting like here and usually the systems allow easier sharing via social media, so logging in actually saves me time. Rather than an annoyance I find it much better! Each to their own I guess, I use a password service too so it takes one click to enter everything too, much easier!
As usual an awesome usual post that provides much value. I had a client yesterday ask me to add some auto-playing music to their site. Er….
I think people believe that by logging in – it is an extra step…before they start to comment.
Plus I suspect many think why should I log in!
#1 and 6 are definitely my personal pet peeves, Andrew – the fastest way to get me out from any blog.
I truly appreciate the mention!
yes…number 6 – turns me off as well! I lke white space and big fonts!
especially number 3
in most cases i leave a website if i was asked to login in order to comment
As you can see from the other comments here…you are not alone in your thinking.
Great tips Andrew, you are right on with all these items. I hate pop up ads, and websites that are too busy. These are guidelines I’ll use regularly! Thanks.
Content or article spinning have now lost their value completely. The web is simply over-flowing with run-of-the-mill or low quality content. Google has now take a very harsh stand against all types of poor quality content. If you want to win the game, you need to be original and unique.
Exactly…but I still get requests from prospective clients to ‘spin’ their content!
Guilty as charged officer. I have made everyone of these mistakes. Where were you when I was just starting. Everything he says is quite important and I bet you Andrew could tell us all a bit more too.
I’m glad you said ‘have made’ and not ‘making’!
Andrew, I can’t agree with you more about these pitfalls. I always wonder about those blogs that require me to login. And I am constantly improving my habit to create small chuck of related and fun read paragraphs. Thanks for these valuable tips.
Did you read Joel’s comment? He asks people to login to comment and feels it is no extra steps. I feel it could be a perception thing.
Number 6 is a big no no. Blog readers tend to skim the post. If they can’t easily pick out main points they may not even bother to look at it. Break up posts with headings, h tags, etc. so that people can find information that pertains to them. It’s also a lot nicer to look at!
Totally agree, Nick.
I really hate big chucks of text.
I already did work with Ana before and I can say that her site really did grew into something already. Her blogging tips and everything that is in her blog is really helpful.
It is, Dom. I am a regular reader of Ana’s blog.
I agree. Your blog must have a clear vision or idea that it is putting out for the people. If you don’t have this within your mind you won’t be able to translate it to other people.
True…I see so many sits that simply do not portray what they have to offer to me, the visitor.
I like this tips I learn a lot of useful things to avoid this kind of virus..I must share this to my friends to avoid this also..
Sometimes I ride up to a new blog and I’m often left wondering where I am and what does it offer me. If your domain does not spell out what your about the logo better. We’re all busy and anything to make it simple is appreciated.
And if your domain name doesn’t tell you (many don’t) what your blog is about…ensure you have something in the header banner…right? Or even have both!
I hate having to login just to comment on a post. I get this several times and I think it is a huge pain in the neck, to be honest. I don’t understand why I have to login when I have no desire to be a member or subscribe to anything. I just want to share my 2 cents.
Yep…you are one of many who mention this.
What we need is more people who use this facility to tell us whay they do!
The most irritating from all those 6 mistakes that you listed that I find irritating is the login to comment one.
I could top that up with a using third party for comments also. I really hate blogs which use third party commenting system because it is quite hard logging in and some of those commenting system do not even have an option to drop your web site links.
As you can see from the rest of the commetns here…you are not alone.
I would say the vast majority of comments here say the same thing.
You have truly pointed out the 6 worst mistakes that could kill blogging. I would like to add my view to this. Mediocre content combined with grammatical errors can prove fatal too for a blog. I personally would not like reading any post which does not adhere to minimum things like this.Your post is really helpful for many.
Yes…I hate bad grammar as well.
All the blogging mistakes you have mentioned above are completely true and often committed by many of us. The one which is more fatal to your blog is not being aware of what your blog is about. This is a costly mistake and needs to watched at.This post is really meant to help us.
Thanks and Regards,
Well I hope the blog post did help you!
I read through this article with interest. For me the most difficult part is the headline. Since I’m not a professional copy writer, I struggle with how to how to take an existing headline and turn it into a GREAT headline. Uggg. Still learning… Suzanne
We are always learning.
What’s your best headline ever?
Adding images can also add to the popularity or reach of the post. When you share the link on Facebook or Google+ there is an option to choose an image from the post for the visibility. So adding images can be beneficial as well.
So a mistake would NOT to add an image.
I always add images but many successful blogs don’t.
I would definitely reiterate the login to comment issue. It’s one of my pet hates.
I actually don’t mind pop ups if they only appear once on landing on a website. In fact, I use a pop up on my blog and it has been the most effective way to build my list so far.
Headlines can also be a bit of a struggle for me sometimes. I think it takes time to get into the swing of things when you first start a blog and to become experienced in what actually works. I know I need to spend more time of these though.
Thank you for sharing.
Headlines are becoming more and more difficult – I agree. I often spend more time on the headline than the content!
Do you write the headline first or after having written the content?
Tim, thanks for sharing your insight about expanding your list through a pop-up. Initially I though that pop-ups are frustrating for some visitors, but now I changed my mind.
yup i truly agree with you , these are the very common mistakes made by us , thanks for sharing
Should we share the content we write or just leave it to our Readers?
Twitter, FB, G+ etc? – yes.
Email list – yes.
we appriciate your warning for blooging can kill a blog but do not mind & let me tell you ! There is no one stupdi who will do this kind of mistake while creating blog every one know basic step to create & maintain their blog !
I totally disagree – not everyone knows these basic steps.
For instance, I looked at your site – I don’t know what your blog can do for me and there were no social bookmarking icons!
A well structured article must not only use frequent sub-headers but eye-catching ones. Readers get overwhelmed before a long block of text, as you pointed out. Also, it’s becoming more and more common in the blogosphere to make it difficult for readers to comment. Why do bloggers discourage visitors to comment on their posts, by creating various registration procedures? I know there are many spammers around but there are other ways to avoid them.
What ways do you ‘avoid’ the spammers?
Spot-on as usual! I’ve made all but one of the above mistakes, I never made anyone log in to comment. But I cringe as I reread old posts on my blogs.
For now, I’m working on greatly improving new posts, especially in the white-space and conciseness areas. I’m also becoming religions about a suitable photo for each post so it stands out on social media, like facebook and g+1.
I think we learn every day and that’s good…isn’t it?
I’m not saying you are…but we shouldn’t beat ourselves up over the mistakes we’ve made in the past.
I totally agree with all the points but especially the first one that says that the biggest mistake is not knowing what your blog is about. I committed the same mistake at the start when i was new to blogging and made a blog just for fun sake.
Later i realized that till the time you dont have interest and passion about something, you should not start a blog for the same.
also, Using spun content is just cheating others and yourself because at the end it is you who is at loss.
Thanks for sharing this post with us.
At one stage ‘spun’ content was all the rage. Some still do it but it’s the wrong approach. As Google applies more changes to their alogorithms, ‘spinners’ will be found out!
I am completely agree with you author that all the above mistakes can kill our blogs and these are general mistake which every bloggers do not intentionally but it automatically happens . So if we want to become a successful blogger then we have to avoid these mistakes. Anyways thanks to the author for such a great article
I hire out ice cream vans and that’s exactly what my url and site header says.
I’d be surprizeed if visitors didn’t know what my site was about…immediately.
I agree with you…if I want to hire an ice cream van…I know where to go!
Hi Andrew your bit on spun content. Do people still do this or am I Nieve. I thought googles new algyrythums was supposed to stop this. It always reads like rubbish anyway. So surely it justs puts people off.
Enjoyed your post thanks lee
You would be surprized what people still do and ‘spinning’ is one thing many people still do.
These are certainly things you wouldn’t want to see either in your blog or other people’s blog. You’re right about #3, I hate it when they require you to login or ask you to sign up before you could comment. I also hate #2 when their headlines are like tabloids where they lure you with their headlines when in truth their content is really crap.
Yes…headlines and then the content is not as expected. That’s like a broken promise!
Thank you for sharing, very good post. I think that the worst mistake in the login requirement in case of write and post comments. There are better ways to protect your blog from spam.
How do you protect your blog from spam?
Thank you for sharing this post, it is brilliant. I agree with all the tips included, especially the first one. You want your readers to know what the post is about straight away, so they know how it is going to help them. Also I dislike it when you have to login to comment on a blog, that is unnecessary and you will get a lot less comments.
The first point is about the whole blog not the blog post.
Bad grammar is neither liked by people nor by search engine. We must check our posts before publish for any grammar mistakes we have.
I agree! Who checks yours before publishing?
Blogging a rehashed content is a big NO! You will be marked as a spammer. You must write blog posts that will surely caught the attention of the audience and once they read your blog that will keep coming back for more.
I agree with you on the spun content.
Writing great content is easy said than done.
How do you define great content?
Thanks for this excellent post on blogging’ ‘mistakes. I’m releived to see that I’m on track with a number of your suggestions, but there are several more I need to get to work on. Blogging isn’t easy; it takes a lot of work to get it right and be successful. These tips will put any blogger on track.
Which ones do you have to take action on?
Thank for Impotant tips.I didn’t make any of these mistakes which you shared in this post, but my biggest blogging mistake which I made is not choosing a good domain name and not starting building email list from start.
Ah – yes, 2 big mistakes. Have you resolved?
I am picturing a blog doing all of these things the wrong way and I am seeing a BLAH-G! The two things that annoy me the most is having to create an account and login to post my thoughts and blogs that have huge paragraphs without enough breaks in the text. No matter how engaging the content or interested I am, I just can not read an article that is not broken up enough. It seems to hypnotize me or something no matter how good it is!
I feel the same as you. Lots of text is not good!