Just as with any other job, there are a lot of bad habits people can fall into when it comes to blogging. For example, if you only write or publish content when you feel like it, you’ll never be able to cultivate an audience, and your blog won’t gain any traction.
That’s just one of many potential mistakes you can make when it comes to running your blog. The good news is, if you know what the most common blogging pitfalls are, you’ll be able to avoid them. That way, you can maximize your chances of growing a successful blog.
In this article, I’m going to talk to you about four bad blogging habits you need to avoid (or break out of). We’ll dig into why they can hurt your blog and how to prevent them, so let’s get right to it!
1. Posting New Content Inconsistently
If you look closely, most popular blogs tend to stick to a set schedule for publishing new content. That’s not a coincidence, either – being consistent with your posting habits means that visitors know when to expect new articles. It also shows visitors that you’re not just some fly-by-night blogger and that you’re committed to the website.
Let’s be honest, though. The idea of a blogging schedule sounds boring. A lot of us get into blogging because we want to break away from scheduled work and do things at our own pace. The thing is, if you want to earn an income from blogging, you have to treat it as a job and put a ton of work into it.
In real life, getting a blog off the ground isn’t as glamorous as you might imagine, but it can pay off in the long term. That means if you’re starting a new blog, you need to set a schedule for posting new content and stick to it. Here are some formats that tend to work well:
- One post per week. This slow and steady pace gives you plenty of time to write and research long-form articles.
- Two posts per week. In my experience, this is the ideal pace for new blogs since it’s not backbreaking and it lets you grow your library quickly.
- One article per day. I don’t recommend this approach unless you have a full team of writers and a blog that’s already popular.
A lot of people recommend you publish new content as quickly as possible when you’re starting a blog. That makes sense, but that kind of pace tends to burn out a lot of folks after a month or two. Plus, as great as your blog is, you won’t get much traffic those first few months, so I think it’s better to focus on quality while you get the hang of things.
2. Filling Your Posts With Keywords
When you look something up using a search engine, you use queries or keywords to find what you need. Successful bloggers understand that to get traffic for search engines, they need to ‘optimize’ their content around those keywords.
However, optimization and keyword stuffing are two very different things. The latter will get you penalized by search engines, which are very good at recognizing these things. Regular optimization involves using keywords in a natural approach and including them in strategic locations. Here’s the basic method I recommend to keyword usage for blogging:
- Try to add your primary keyword within the first paragraph of your posts.
- When possible, use that keyword within one of your subheadings.
- Try to include the keyword as part of your post title.
- Disregard all the advice above if the keyword doesn’t sound natural within your content.
Keyword stuffing is very easy to recognize if you pay attention to what you’re reading. That poses a challenge because you need to use keywords. However, what I can say is that, as you gain experience, it becomes easier to work these queries into your content. Plus, your first concern should always be to write excellent posts. Traffic will usually follow.
3. Ignoring Your Comment Sections
There are few things sadder than a blog with no space for comments. They might not always lead to the best discussions, but comments are one of the only ways you get to interact with the people that read your posts.
Sure, there’s always social media and email, but if someone takes the time to comment on one of your articles, it’s only good manners to answer them. In fact, if you take a look around some of your favorite blogs, I’ll bet you they all share one thing in common – very active comment sections where the authors engage with readers.
That’s not to say, of course, that an active comments section makes for a successful blog. Even if your blog has a large audience, not everyone will comment on all your posts. When you do land an article with lots of interaction, though, then you know you have a winner in your hands.
If you’re starting a new blog and you begin to see real people leaving comments on your posts, then you know you’re starting to get some traction, so say hi back!
4. Pushing Too Hard for Conversions
If you want to get into blogging, chances are you love to write. That passion is important because blogging requires you to put in a lot of time and hard work. However, there’s nothing wrong with also wanting to earn money from that passion.
In most cases, bloggers look for ways to monetize their content in one way or another. There’s affiliate blogging, promoting your services, and plenty other routes. All of them are viable, but it’s essential you don’t fall into the trap of viewing your readers as an ATM.
To put it another way, your primary goal should always be to provide value for your audience in some way. For me, that means writing about topics I know people can benefit from.
What doesn’t work, in my experience, is if you push too hard for people to buy what you’re selling. If you do that, then you’re not a blogger, but a door-to-door salesman. As long as you pick a niche in which there’s interest and you come up with articles people want to read, you’ll get plenty of chances to monetize your content!
As you surely know by now, starting a blog involves a lot of work. That means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make mistakes, some of them worse than others. The good news is, if you keep making an effort to publish great content, there’s no reason why you can’t turn the ship around at any point.
To do that, you’ll need to keep out an eye out for these bad blogging habits, so that you can avoid them:
- Posting new content inconsistently.
- Filling your posts with keywords.
- Ignoring your comment sections.
- Pushing too hard for conversions.
If you have any other doubts about how to run a WordPress blog, check out our Start a Blog guide, which covers all the basics, and let me know if you have any questions!
Image credit: Pixabay.