How do I maintain a successful blog

Blogging Successfully: These 20 Mistakes You Should Avoid

Yes - blogging is a great way to present yourself and what you have to offer on the Internet. Unfortunately, you can also make a lot of mistakes that can damage your own visibility and image. So what do you have to do when you blog successfully want? Some of the mistakes I keep seeing have been compiled in this article.

Do you want a successful blog? Then just avoid the following 20 mistakes :-)

1. Ambiguity about one's own goals
If you are already blogging or have the desire to start a blog, you are certainly aware of the many advantages. But why do you want to blog, you personally? What are your goals with your blog? Do you want to win customers with your blog, publish for existing customers (customer loyalty), do you want to be found better, build your brand, position yourself as an expert? There are far more goals to pursue with a blog. Find the three most important and also think about how you can check your successes. If you are not clear about your own personal reasons for blogging, sooner or later your motivation will decline - and that would be a shame!

2. No concrete strategy
Are you overwhelming your readers with too many calls to action? It happens a lot. By this I mean, for example, “Add yourself to my e-mail list!” Or “Book a consultation with me!” Or “Write me an e-mail!” - all at once, of course. If you ask your readers to do a lot of different things, it often leads to them doing nothing and leaving your blog very quickly. So think about what your specific strategy is, of course with regard to your goals (see point 1). Successful blogging includes exactly that: Having a strategy and implementing it.

3. No direct calls to action
Conversely, too few or too subtle calls to action can prevent your blog from being successful. It helps if you clearly communicate to your readers what they should do - of course in a nice way :-) But people must be clearly asked to take action, otherwise they will not take action. You can use that for yourself. Ideally, a single call to action is in the foreground on your blog - one that naturally serves your goals and your strategy (see points 1 and 2).

4. No fixed publication rhythm
Sure, as a hobby blogger, longer breaks or irregular articles are less of a difference. But if you want to use your blog as a marketing channel and support your business with it, get used to a fixed publishing rhythm. You can work wonderfully with an editorial plan for this. A fixed day of the week, maybe even a fixed time, is ideal. Here on my blog I always notice higher access numbers on the morning of the publication days because some regular readers are already waiting for the new article - and that's a great feeling :-) You also expect the newspaper to appear at 5 a.m. in the morning Mailbox, right? Every day.

5. No editorial schedule
An editorial plan protects you from running out of article ideas and sitting in front of the PC on Sunday evenings bathed in sweat, but you can't think of a topic for the Monday article. Nevertheless, a good editorial plan should allow you to remain flexible so that you can spontaneously write about topics that you feel like reading. For example, you can react to the latest industry news or take up recently asked customer questions.

6. Impatience
You should actually avoid impatience if you want to blog successfully - because building a successful blog or blog business simply takes time. Very few blogs are completely successful from the start - be aware of this. Don't give up after a few weeks because your blog hardly gets any visitors. And because those who get lost on your blog don't comment. You will be all the more happy about your hard-earned success later on. The impatience is often related to excessive expectations, which is why it is so important that you set yourself realistic goals (see point 1).

7. Excessive promotion of your own articles
Of course, not promoting your own articles is not exactly helpful either - but you won't do yourself any harm, you just lose time (and maybe some money). However, if you advertise your own articles excessively on social media, via email or elsewhere, many people find it intrusive and annoying. This can damage your image and your brand building, in the worst case even completely verprevent. Stick to the 80-20 rule: 20% of your output can be your own content, 80% should be good, relevant content from others. The whole thing is then called content curation.

8. Carelessness in spelling and grammar
No master has fallen from the sky yet and here on my blog too, not every article is perfect, free of grammar and typing errors. However, that does not mean that the German language can be raped on a blog as the mood takes it! Always remember that your blog will be read by (potential) customers and business partners. If there is a mistake in every second word, that doesn't exactly indicate competence, but appears dubious. If you want to blog successfully and have major problems with spelling and grammar, look for a lecturer.

Here are two lecturers from my network:
Edda Klepp
Huberta Weigl

9. Insufficient visual support
Yes, blog articles are usually texts. But the eye eats with you, even when reading. Beautiful, inspiring pictures loosen up your texts and invite the eyes of your readers to linger. If it fits, you can also use infographics or explanatory diagrams. Use tools like Canva or picmonkey.com to create graphics for your blog and social media channels. In my tool box I have put together other online business tools for you.

10. Poorly structured or poorly formatted articles
Your blog articles are only useful to your readers if they are well structured and formatted. Use subheadings, bold and italics, as well as text boxes or other elements that loosen up longer text blocks. It is just a shame when articles are good in terms of content, but “shine” due to a poor or non-existent structure and rather put the reader off than encourage them to read. Successful blogging means not only writing, but also structuring, formatting and visualizing :-)

11. Selling too much
It's ok to want to win customers with your blog - that's exactly what my blog is about, among other things. BUT: It's not ok to advertise your products and services on every corner of your blog. Always keep in mind that your excellent blog articles should speak for you and your offer. Your readers should be so enthusiastic about your content that they voluntarily (!) Look after your performance.

I wrote here on the subject of “Selling with a blog”.

12. Too little selling
There are also: blogs from entrepreneurs who publish great articles - but where the range of services has to be looked for with a magnifying glass. I recommend a page called “Offer” (optionally also “Products”, “Services”, “Work with me” etc.), which is clearly linked in the main menu. It sounds banal, I know ;-) But I see blogs so often where this important information is missing. Blogging successfully also means making your own offer easily accessible to blog readers.

13. Too little personality
When I visit a blog I want to know who I am dealing with. Is a man or a woman writing here? How old (roughly)? Is there a sympathetic picture? Where does he or she live? What drives him, what is his (or her) why? I've seen blogs where at first glance it wasn't even clear whether a company or an individual was writing. But people prefer to communicate with people - so please show your personality :-) Not least, you yourself are an integral part of your brand and one of your unique selling points.

14. No clear message
This point is related to point 2 (no clear strategy), but starts further ahead. Because in order to formulate goals and strategy, I first have to know the message that I want to get across to the reader. If you want to blog successfully, keep asking yourself: What do I stand for? What can the reader expect from me and my blog? What topics can he find out about here? What specific benefits do I offer him? Ideally, these questions should be answered with clear statements on the home page.

15. Boring headlines
Even the best blog article on earth is of no use if it has a boring headline. Because then nobody will click on it, let alone read it. A good headline serves the function of making a promise to your reader from the very beginning. For the reader, it fulfills the function of arousing an expectation in him, which your article then hopefully fulfills.

16. Over-optimized texts
For some reason, many bloggers are very concerned with SEO (search engine optimization). A really good text hardly needs optimization, since the most important search words appear naturally in the text anyway. Of course, it can't hurt to use plugins like SEO by Yoast and experiment a little with them. A good text is written for the reader and not for Google. As soon as the reader notices your text that you have actively optimized it, it is actually already too much.

17. Poor article quality
In the meantime, hundreds of new websites are started every minute - this accumulates amounts of data that we can no longer even imagine. Anyone who starts a blog these days and wants to establish a position as an expert in a certain subject area should not underestimate the fact that Internet users can now find a lot of extremely high-quality texts online. Simply add a few sentences and incorporate a few search words, that's not enough to be successful for a long time. (Lucky!) If you want to blog properly, please make sure that the article quality is always high.

18. Too many offtopic articles
When I follow a blog about social media, I want to read posts about social media. Point. Of course, one or the other offtopic article (i.e. articles unrelated to the topic) is no big deal - but I think it shouldn't be more than 10% of the articles under any circumstances.

19. No email list
Many entrepreneurs start their blogs without an email list - or even blog for months or years without collecting the email addresses of their readers. A big mistake! In any case, I only know entrepreneurs who at some point got annoyed that they didn't do email marketing right from the start - but no one who says "It was good that I didn't collect any email addresses." ;-) Sooner or later there comes a point where you will need them. By the way, email marketing is far more effective than social media marketing, especially when it comes to selling ...

Here I have a free tutorial for Mailchimp for you. With this tool you can create a newsletter.

20. Hubris
Just because someone has a Facebook profile doesn't mean they're “Facebook experts” and shouldn't call themselves that. In general, I always find it strange when entrepreneurs call themselves “experts”. Personally, I don't think that's any Bedrawing, but one Outis a drawing that others give you because you do something brilliantly. Hubris, that is, overconfidence, is one of the worst, but fortunately, a very seldom mistake made by blogging entrepreneurs. Most entrepreneurs tend to have the problem of being reluctant, almost fearful, to appear on the Internet. That, too, is of course counterproductive, but not nearly as bad as a fat portion of "I'm the best!" ;-)

Now I'm interested in your opinion: Which of the errors mentioned here bothers you the most on other blogs? And what other mistakes should you avoid if you want to blog successfully?

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This article first appeared in May 2014 and was completely revised in February 2015.