Warning: These 6 Blogging Mistakes Can Kill Your Blog

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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:

Socialize

Digg Digg

Sharebar

Sociable

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.

No more.

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.

(I have ‘blurred’ this image)

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

So there are my 6 action takeaways for you to improve the experience of visiting your blog.

What’s your view?

What entices you to return again and again to a blog?

Please share your views in the comments below.

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98 Responses to Warning: These 6 Blogging Mistakes Can Kill Your Blog

  1. Jide Ogunsanya August 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    Great points out there. i think adding annoying pop-ups, background music can also chase away visitors. Likewise, horrible color theme

  2. Mariella Lombardi August 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    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.
    Mariella Lombardi recently posted..Amazing Exercises for Senior Health & Fitness – You’re NEVER “Too Old” to Experience the Benefits of ExerciseMy Profile

  3. Kathy
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    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.

    Kathy
    Kathy recently posted..3 Resume Trends Stinking Up Your Job SearchMy Profile

  4. Michelle Vandepas
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    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.
    Michelle Vandepas recently posted..Finding Your Clients with Michelle MahoneyMy Profile

  5. Steve Faber
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    Andrew,

    “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.
    Steve Faber recently posted..CommentLuv Enabled Blogs – A List of Lists for You to Comment OnMy Profile

  6. Debbie
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    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.
    debbie

  7. Amy LeForge August 8, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    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.
    Amy LeForge recently posted..It’s Cool To Brush Your Teeth!My Profile

  8. Raymond Chua
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    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.

  9. Corinne Edwards
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    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.
    Corinne Edwards recently posted..PEACEFULNESS – Are We Spiritual Yet? – on AmazonMy Profile

  10. Adeline August 8, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    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.

  11. Beat Schindler
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    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 :-]
    ~Beat
    Beat Schindler recently posted..The Paradox Of ComplimentsMy Profile

  12. Andrea Hypno
    Twitter:
    August 8, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    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. 😉
    Andrea Hypno recently posted..The 3 S of StressMy Profile

  13. Anil Agarwal August 9, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    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

  14. Astro Gremlin
    Twitter:
    August 9, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    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!
    Astro Gremlin recently posted..Bargain DragonMy Profile

  15. Joel
    Twitter:
    August 9, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    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….
    Joel recently posted..Showcase Your ReputationMy Profile

  16. Ana Hoffman
    Twitter:
    August 9, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    #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!

  17. Meka August 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    so true
    especially number 3
    in most cases i leave a website if i was asked to login in order to comment
    Meka recently posted..Why you lose a lot of money when you sell using Paypal AloneMy Profile

  18. Anne Vaillancourt August 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    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.
    Anne Vaillancourt recently posted..TRICKS TO KNOW FOR HEALTHY EATING AND WEIGHT LOSSMy Profile

  19. Faissal Alhaithami August 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    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.

    Thanks.
    Faissal Alhaithami recently posted..Top 6 Twitter Tools to Schedule Your TweetsMy Profile

  20. Bruce
    Twitter:
    August 10, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    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.
    Bruce recently posted..Are You a Strong Candidate for PA schoolMy Profile

  21. Shilpan August 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    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.
    Shilpan recently posted..Keeping Up with The Joneses: A Fast Lane to Financial FatalityMy Profile

  22. Nick Stamoulis
    Twitter:
    August 14, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    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!

  23. Dom Casas August 15, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    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.

  24. Elena Anne
    Twitter:
    August 15, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    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.
    Elena Anne recently posted..Exercise with Rheumatoid ArthritisMy Profile

  25. Natalie August 15, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    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..

  26. Simmeon August 15, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    Hey Andrew,

    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.
    Simmeon recently posted..Warning: Blogging Like This Will Make You CryMy Profile

  27. Reese August 15, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    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.

  28. Shiva
    Twitter:
    August 15, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    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.
    Shiva recently posted..Best Ecommerce Plugins For WordPressMy Profile

  29. Amit Shaw
    Twitter:
    August 16, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Hello Andrew,

    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.

    Regards,
    Amit
    Amit Shaw recently posted..7 Effective Tips to Reduce the Bounce Rate of Your BlogMy Profile

  30. Rajkumar Jonnala August 17, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    Hello Andrew,

    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,
    Raj Kumar

  31. Suzanne
    Twitter:
    August 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    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
    Suzanne recently posted..Advisors, 4 Surprising Things Prospects Want to Learn When They Visit your WebsiteMy Profile

  32. Chetan Vengurlekar August 18, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    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.

  33. Tim Bonner
    Twitter:
    August 19, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Hi Andrew

    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.

    Tim
    Tim Bonner recently posted..Cookie Law Info WordPress PluginMy Profile

  34. Jenni August 19, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    yup i truly agree with you , these are the very common mistakes made by us , thanks for sharing

  35. sampath kumar August 19, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Should we share the content we write or just leave it to our Readers?

  36. Steve August 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    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 !
    Steve recently posted..How to edit room settings (for admins)My Profile

  37. Steven Papas
    Twitter:
    August 24, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    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.
    Steven Papas recently posted..Top 9 Tips for Marketing Your BlogMy Profile

  38. Sherri
    Twitter:
    September 2, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Andrew,

    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.

  39. Ankit September 5, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    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.

  40. Md Firdosh
    Twitter:
    September 6, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    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
    Md Firdosh recently posted..Wallpapers of Hot Parineeti Chopra – New Bollywood SensationMy Profile

  41. Sean September 6, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    Andrew

    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.

    Sean

  42. Lee September 8, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    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
    Lee recently posted..Sweat Suits for WomenMy Profile

  43. Felicia September 10, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    Hi Jide,
    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.
    Felicia recently posted..RummyRoyal: Exclusive weekly freeroll offer!My Profile

  44. George September 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    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.

  45. Ozell Feldermanu September 14, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    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.

  46. Hemant September 27, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    Bad grammar is neither liked by people nor by search engine. We must check our posts before publish for any grammar mistakes we have.

  47. best seo agency October 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    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.

  48. CBhushna October 3, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    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.

  49. Santosh November 6, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    Hey Andrew
    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.
    Santosh recently posted..Cruises around the world- why sounds bestMy Profile

  50. Renee April 23, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    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!

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