I am just going to say it BLOGGING IS AWESOME. I think about blogging in the shower. I think about blogging right before I fall asleep at night. Now that I think about it, maybe I have a blogging problem. Regardless of my problem that we may have just discovered, I read and study blogging often. In those studies there has been some amazing advice, some advice that I just can’t relate to and advice that is flat out terrible.
12 pieces of really bad blogging advice.
- If you just write it they will read it.
- Design doesn’t matter.
- Blog on a free domain and move it later.
- Write amazing content.
- Blogging will save your SEO problems.
- Blogging is easy, you just write some stuff.
- Don’t worry about it, those images are free because they are online.
- Don’t write more than 300 words.
- It doesn’t matter how often you blog as long as you blog every once in a while.
- Worry about your keyword density right away
- Exchange links with other bloggers no matter the topics
On the surface a few of these probably do not seem so bad so let’s break them down and talk about it a bit.
#1 is flat out not true. Just because you write blog posts and release it, it does not mean that your readers will find you. There are so many reasons for this. I am just going to list a few right now:
- Google does not know that you exists and therefore readers can’t find you.
- You have not shared with anyone on the planet that you are writing blog posts.
- They found the blog post but all of the words were crammed together so they felt overwhelmed and left.
- Your font is so small that it hurts peoples eyes to read it.
- They found your post on a smart phone and a pop up is blocking the text.
I could go on and on here but it would just be depressing. The good news is that if you said yes to any of the things above about your blog they can all be easily fixed.
How can you fix these things?
Alert Google that you exist.
Create a Google Webmaster tools account. http://www.google.com/webmasters/ Google wants to know about your blog or website and this why they have created these tools for us. Once you have connected your blog to this webmaster tool there are things that you can do right off of the bat.
#1 Submit a sitemap to Google.
#2 Request Google to crawl specific links on your site.
Go join the Blogger Mafia (a.k.a my free membership site) now and check out a video about site maps. http://my.iteachblogging.com/wordpress-plugin-google-xml-sitemap/ In this video I show you how to use the Google XML Sitemap WordPress plugin.
Share you blog with people.
There are so many ways to share you blog but here is a short list of ideas:
- Send an email to everyone that you know and tell them that you started a blog.
- Send out tweets with links to your blog and ask people what they think.
- Link to your blog on Facebook.
- Put a link to your blog on your LinkedIn
- Put your blog url on a business card and hand it out a networking meetings.
Listen to my podcast about creating a basic social media plan for your blog:
In this blog post: A basic social media plan to promote your blog http://iteachblogging.com/blogcast/a-basic-social-media-plan-to-promote-your-blog/ I provide tips and a spreadsheet to keep up with it all.
Create a spreadsheet for your blog posts and content. Or just download this simple one that I made for you. [Download not found]
Bonus tip: Use https://bitly.com/ to track the success of your social media efforts. They provide great daily stats that can help you see what tweets or social media updates are working best.
Is your blog unattractive?
It is important to make your blog pleasing to the eyes. Have lots of whitespace on the page. Make your blog post easy to read and easy to scan. Use bullet points, short paragraphs and images. Consider putting double space between the paragraphs. Use bold font on occasion and do not be afraid of larger font for sub paragraphs. People like to scan before they read to make sure that it is going to be an easy read.
Tip: Start paying attention to the design of your favorite blogs on your topic. How do they look? What type of font are they using? How do they format their text?
Do people have to squint to read your blog post?
Can you read this?
Plenty of people today have trouble with their vision so do not make it difficult for people to read your blog post. You do not need to go crazy with 18 point font but you may want to consider 14 point or 15 point. The key here is to consider your audience. The older the audience the larger your font should be but no matter the target age make it easy on the reader. It is also important to consider your font type. If you have a serif font it may make for a more difficult read.
I hate your pop up!
Pop ups are great and there are plenty of statistics that prove that they are great for websites and bloggers but they are not working well on mobile devices. There was a time when I was a huge fan of these things but I have come to hate them so much that I started a category in one of my other blogs about it. The category is called “I hate your website.” This is because I like most of America have taken to reading blogs on my phone. When I go to a website on my phone and a pop up comes up on the screen I generally can not get rid of it. Therefore my only choice is to navigate away form the site. There is no doubt that I have missed out on some amazing content because of this. If you do choose to have a pop up just be aware and test it on multiple devices.[notification type=”success”]Check back next week for part 2 of this series. In the next blog post we will cover design and why it matters. In the mean time what is your opinion? What is the worst blogging advice that you have ever heard? [/notification]