A blog is a fantastic career move in 2018. With the right platform, you can set one up from home, optimize it to maximize traffic, and lure in sponsors off the back of the initial success. Once advertisers start pumping in money, you are one-step closer to the Holy Grail: being a fully-fledged entrepreneur. On paper, it all sounds too easy, as if it is a guaranteed win. In reality, lots of blogs start off at the blocks but don’t make it to the finish line.
It’s easy to say competition and market saturation have an impact. Once upon a time, a blog was a novelty and getting in on the ground floor meant traffic was inevitable. The demand was high because of the popularity and the supply was low. Now, it’s hard to move without coming across a rival even in a niche sector. Type “injection molding” into Google and count the results. Who knew something as abstract was loved by so many people?
However, to say the blogger isn’t at fault is a lie. Usually, the showrunners are the ones that make errors which stop sites dead in their tracks. And, you may not realize it until it’s too late. Below are six things which are proven killers.
The world of stock photos is a big industry. Every day, bloggers write content and need to source pictures. So, they head to the likes of Pixabay and PX Here and choose the ones which seem relevant. On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with sourcing free images and exploiting them on a blog. Written content needs to grab the eye of the reader initially, and a photo can lure them in along with a catchy headline. Also, they break up the text and make long posts seem less daunting.
The issue is not with using pics but with the ones bloggers choose. Far too many are corny or generic and don’t fit the bill. Yes, it is still easy to optimize them for SEO yet that’s missing the point. Truly great content engages the reader and adds value. Staring at an image they have seen a million times before doesn’t do either.
Sites which mix things up and use their own photos get a better response. Think of a travel piece that shows the attractions mentioned in the text. Readers can relate by creating a mental picture in their heads, which means the post adds to the experience.
Churning out content isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Sure, one or two a week is a piece of cake. A ten-year-old can hit this deadline on a weekly basis. The problems begin when a blogger needs to up the pace. After a while, blogs require one or two posts a day to stay relevant. Some platforms limit the number of articles to increase demand, but they do it by developing a strong base first. How do they do this? By writing quality content.
It’s not difficult to see why plagiarizing is a thing in the industry. Part-time bloggers don’t have the time or energy to create their own so they steal. Or, there isn’t enough money in the budget to hire ghostwriters who will supply the necessary amount. Lifting copy fixes all of the problems in one, foul swoop.
Before temptation strikes, it’s worth remembering a few things. Firstly, followers lose respect for cheaters. Should they find content which is the same as a post they have already read, they may lose trust and bounce. Secondly, Google’s algorithm polices plagiarism pretty effectively. Once it catches the culprit, it docks it points and sends it to the bottom of the rankings page.
Actually, remotely backing up a blog is the clever thing to do. The killer is not backing up the server on a regular basis. Although it seems unlikely now, a range of issues can pop up out of nowhere. What happens when a hacker uploads a virus because he/she has nothing better to do that day? The answer is the whole platform shuts down and there is no way to get back the data. It gets lost in the online ether.
Sometimes, it isn’t only digital problems which can be destructive. Physical disasters such as tornados and flooding can rip through a data center in a matter of minutes. And, fires damage everything they touch and more thanks to the smoke. Unless there is an offline backup plan, ATB Technologies reckons the blog is toast, and so are your dreams of reaching the big time. At the least, it’s a massive step in the wrong direction as you try to salvage the charred remains.
Regularly backing up data is essential, but so is doing it in the right manner. For example, the offline site may develop the same problems. The chances are low but it has happened in the past. Therefore, a cloud-based recovery plan is a savvy move. These programs automatically replicate the content across a range of centers, decreasing the odds of losing everything.
Lots of bloggers don’t have time for the comment sections. Aren’t they for trolls to post nasty things and make you feel insecure? Let’s face facts and admit that this goes on more than we would all like. But, it’s important to note that comment sections are excellent places to interact with true and loyal followers. After all, they have gone to the lengths to leave a note saying what they like and dislike about the blog.
The least anyone can do in this scenario is write back and start a conversation. It might not feel like a productive one in the beginning. Indeed, it might not change by the end. Still, trying to show your point of view is the best way to alter their mindset. Plus, going the extra mile will gain their respect. You never know when a passer-by will continue to show up because of the impact of a single online conversation.
What you want to do is leave questions as that is the easiest way to start a thread. When someone posts their opinion, other users are bound to get involved and have their say. It’s human nature to want to discuss and debate the hot topics of the day. Be sure to leave enough space for more than a couple of sentences if you want it to go viral.
Don’t view search engine optimization as a tool for big and medium businesses use to enhance their online presence. They do use it, for sure, yet it isn’t an exclusive club. If anything, SEO has given blogs the chance to level the playing field and fight back because it’s cheap, accessible and powerful. However, bloggers that have no idea of the basics still exist. You won’t know of them because they don’t rank highly on search engine results’ pages, which is the entire point.
Your blog doesn’t want to go the same way, so an understanding of SEO is crucial. Keyword research should give you an insight into the terms which need including in the blog. Try not to make the mistake of being too liberal and using these words in every other sentence. Google calls it keyword stuffing and will dock the site points. Yola has examples if you need inspiration. Instead, swap them with strategic terms that are similar but not the same.
Also, be sure to focus on the little things which often go under the radar. Metadata is the perfect illustration as tags are very effective. The same goes for descriptions in videos, as well as image links. Just be careful not to mess up the quality of any multimedia or else it won’t rank as well. Finally, use analytics to keep up to date with changing SEO trends for the blog.
No Attention To Social Media
It isn’t as if bloggers aren’t aware of social media. Quite a few people have used these platforms to become successful and famous personalities. Take a look at PewDiePie and his reported net worth on Forbes. Thanks to YouTube, he took his passion for gaming and turned it into a viable career. Twitter has similar Cinderella stories and Twitch is also getting in on the act. There is no doubt that people are aware of the power of going viral.
Where bloggers lack attention to detail is dovetailing their accounts. Usually, there is one core platform and then the rest are subsections. Sure, they are there and easy to access yet they don’t get the same attention. This is a huge waste of potential because each platform has millions, if not billions of subscribers.
So, a Facebook page should include links to Twitter and Instagram, as well as a shout out to LinkedIn. And, YouTube needs including too, so you can present your blog on as many channels as possible. But, be sure to tweak and adapt them because each account isn’t the same.
Do you know what all of the above requires? It’s commitment. So the question is, do you have enough of it to save your blog?