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11 Fatal Beginner Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Blog

More and more companies are taking the step to content marketing. The growth is so great that in 2015 77% of all companies were able to increase their content production.

The increasing competition means that we are overwhelmed with content marketing offers. Most entrepreneur blogs only get a small fraction of the annual blog traffic.

After all, success starts with a strong foundation, doesn't it? But most companies can't do it. It's hard to recover from that once it gets to you.

If you want quick success and want to be successful in content marketing, then avoid the following rookie mistakes.

1. You write without first defining your target audience or blogging strategy

Who are you writing for: Are they business marketers with $ 1 million in annual sales? Or private individuals with an annual income of $ 100,000?

Are they mostly men or women? What are your problems? How do you want to spend your free time?

You shouldimportant and specific details Know your audience. With these details, you can then develop a blogging strategy that appeals to your target audience.

Make no mistake and think that your target group will find you by itself. As an artist, it should be your job to share your work with as many people as possible.

By writing content that speaks to your target audience, you increase your chance of achieving your business goals.

You need to speak the language of your audience and use the platforms your target audience is using.

Boundless shows you how to keep an eye on your visitors while you write.

I will now show you an effective strategy that you can use to document the details of your audience and which will help you reach high quality potential customers with your content.

Create a Marketing Persona: Everyone who writes content for your blog should know which visitors you want to reach. Creating a persona means assigning a name and background to each customer. You make educated guesses about who your readers are.

If you know the goals, challenges and demographics of your visitors:

Can you identify with them and write more humanly?

Let's take a look at this example created by Tom from Visual Creatives.

You can find important details about Tom, such as his personal goals and weaknesses, and get an insight into his everyday life.

You can create your first marketing persona using this free template from HubSpot.

Remember that the purpose of the persona is to make your content more interesting and attractive to your customers.

If you dig into what your visitors want, that's great, but don't bother with irrelevant details. It is important that the persona remains actionable. This is what you should focus on.

Once the persona is ready, imagine you were talking to them directly. This will help you find the right words for you chatty and appropriate Tone of voice to find.

A tool to spy on your competition's visitors: You might want to spy on the demographics of your competition's visitors before creating your persona.

Paste your competitor's website URL into Quantcast and click on ‘Demographics’ in the left sidebar. You can see Lifehacker's visitor demographics here.

Note: You cannot reach everyone individually, but you can target group-specific texts formore than one visitorwrite on a single page. Just create a Venn diagram and define overlapping pain points.

2. You are not creating an email list

Do you know John Chow and Gregory Ciotti?

You are among the best bloggers in the online make money and online marketing niches.

Do you know the biggest blogging mistake they both admit?

You missed creating an email newsletter from day one.

Email is arguably the most effective marketing channel for your company - it's 40 times more effective than social media.

It keeps bringing traffic to your website. Best of all, email newsletters are super easy to create.

Check out my traffic count on NeilPatel.com (my list only had 3,612 entries before).

According to Quick Sprout, 16.25% of my blog visitors in July 2014 came from email.

Your email subscribers are the most loyal and dedicated users ... you are the first to respond to and comment on your posts. They also take care of social media distribution of your content by sharing your articles.

35.7% of all blog comments posted on Quick Sprout in June 2014 were generated through email.

In the same period, 34.3% of the clicks on social media buttons were also made by email.

Email sales are higher than social media platforms - understand that building your email list is not a luxury, nor is it a waste.

Every dollar you spend on email marketing has a return of $ 44.25. The conversion rate is 3 times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value for each conversion.

What's the best way to get your website visitors to your email list?

By offering them something that has added value, such as an e-book or a free course.

In an older post you will find 15 actionable tips.

Here you can find a list of 67 email collection tools. You can get started with these two tools - Thrive Leads and Hello Bar.

3. You don't have an editorial calendar or you don't stick to a plan

As soon as you take your foot off the gas, the traffic drops dramatically.

And remember, it's inherently exponential, not linear.

It took me almost 3 months to recover from the loss of traffic from not posting for a month.

Buffer has also reported a 4% drop after a month of no entry.

Should the bigßIf some of your traffic comes from social networks, you have to be even more careful. Buffer saw a huge 11.43% drop in traffic on social media after their month-long experiment with no new posts.

Writing is your bread and butter. You need to make it a habit and write regularly.

Ryan at Blogging from Paradise publishes at least one 7,000 word blog post a week. He suggests writing 1,000 to 2,000 words a day (to be precise, he recommends doing this 362 days a year).

I don't want to advocate publishing 4,000 word blog posts every week here.

You need to develop a custom posting strategy that is tailored to your niche and target audience.

Create an editorial calendar and stick to a plan.

  • This creates expectations in your audience and helps them.
  • Writer's block is hereby for the most part abolished.
  • It is good for the search engine optimization of your website.

Check out blogger James Clear. During his 939 day blogging journey, he wrote a new post every Monday and Thursday.

How has consistently posting helped his blog?

200,727 - that's the number of his email subscribers. You decide.

Your editorial calendar should align with your inbound marketing strategy. Here are some questions to keep in mind while creating your calendar.

On WordPress you can start with the Editorial Calendar plugin to organize your schedule. It's free and has a simple drag-and-drop interface.

As an alternative, you can also use Trello. It is used by major blogs like Mashable and ReadWrite.

4. You tell unrestrained stories

Do you blog to achieve your business goals?

Then you have to put your readers first.

Your content marketing goal is likely to educate your target audience, address their issues, and inspire them to act.

So don't keep stuffing your articles with details about you, your problems and your unimportant life story.

Instead, learn to direct each word to your target audience. If a story doesn't appeal to your audience, it can be damaging to your blog and your business goals.

Now I'm sure you're right to ask, what is all the fuss about storytelling about?

By including a story, GrooveHQ saw a 296% increase in the number of readers of their entire website and a 520% ​​increase in the average session duration.

Everything revolves around contextual relevance.

You can share your own experiences and even incorporate fictional stories into your content, as long as it adds value to your readers. It gives your posts more color and personality, and makes them clearer.

Before you share a story, ask yourself:

Is there at least one important moral for the reader?

If your answer is yes, it makes sense to include the story.

Here are some tips from HubSpot for creating a story that resonates with your audience.

Remember, some stories need to be conveyed visually. Images and videos can build better connection with your audience and enhance your brand personality.

Check out these eye-opening website building ads from Squarespace:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjYmyGTr6Eg]

How to get started with digital storytelling can be explored with these 9 free tools.

5. You rely on SEO or social networks as the magic bullet for traffic

Are you thinking about building backlinks before gaining your audience's trust?

Do you think of Google first and your users come second?

Then you are in great danger.

Keywords overcrowding. Submit spam articles to directories. Superficial content without added value.

All these blackhat strategies to cheat the Google algorithm will kill your website - maybe slowly, but she will die.

Instead, write for your target audience / marketing persona.

Do keyword research, but from a market analysis perspective. Not to find out your traffic potential.

What to really look for instead are popular keywords that your readers are looking for. Understand the language they speak.

Don't expect a huge surge in traffic from search engines right away.

It takes at least 4-5 months to generate significant search engine traffic for a new website, and you might get stuck on page 25 for popular industry keywords.

You first need to build your audience, prove your brand authority, and create cornerstone content.

As you deliver more and more added value, you will be pleased that it is definitely worth writing for the user for your rankings in the search engines.

Similar arguments apply to social networks.

Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are good sources of traffic.

But in your first year:

Don't waste too much time and money getting lots of followers on major social networks.

Instead, invest your efforts in getting at least 5,000 (or at least 1,000) email subscribers.

Jon Morrow found that social networks bring in the second lowest number of visitors per hour out of all traffic-driving techniques.

Note: Visitors per hour are one-time visitors acquired over a 30-day period divided by the hours spent.

So what should you, as an aspiring blogger, spend your time on?

Modern keyword research: I've already detailed how you can use Quora, niche forums, Twitter chats, Udemy, and other tools to do effective keyword research.

Yoast SEO: Once you've found the right keywords, of course, include them in your texts and ensure good SEO on your site by using Yoast.

BufferYou can rely on this tool to program your updates on social networks in bursts and at the same time to stay productive with social media marketing.

It can connect to all your important social networks and you can plan updates in advance so that they are published on all or some platforms at the same time.

6. You believe that quality content adds value to the people Open the traffic gates on your side

Less than 1% of the content created receives more than 1,000 social media shares.

So you have toluck to get thousands of shares on social networks and drive a significant amount of traffic to your blog?

I think differently.

The following two hurdles limit your range:

  1. Your definition of high quality content with added value.
  2. As an advertising strategy, you rely solely on sharing your posts on social networks via your personal profile.

But it's more about publishing the right content ...

and create a strategic plan by building relationships with influencers in your industry.

Let me explain better.

I recently shared 14 great content samples on Quick Sprout. Without a doubt, everyone was high quality and perhaps added tremendous value to a million people.

But did the writers just hit the publish button and then sit back and watch the traffic come by itself?

Naturally Not.

Most (maybe all?) Popular blog posts get their results from a documented advertising strategy.

Let me show you a few examples.

1. Nomad List 1.0 wasn't very attractive.

Based on the feedback, founder Pieter Levels created a new version and promoted it.

He explains the changes he has made for version 2.0 (with the help of the feedback) in this launch at Product Hunt.

2. Jon Morrow managed to drive a million visitors to his inspiring post on ProBlogger. Sure, his writing style resonated with people.

But his strategic promotion played a huge role in the success of his guest article.

In his short course - “How to become a highly sought after writer” - John gives an insight into his advertising strategy.

Don't just rely on your gut feeling.

Instead:

Create the type of content that is already shared and relevant to the industry. You can do this reverse engineering with a tool like BuzzSumo.

Spend a significant amount of your time (similar to writing) promoting your content and building relationships with influencers in your industry.

BuzzStream is a fantastic tool for organizing your public relations.

Brian Dean turned Backlinko into a highly profitable company through a planned advertising strategy.

7. You don't have compelling copywriting techniques for your writing style

Expert bloggers write their posts with a certain sophistication.

They catch you with their headline and introduction. They have compassion for your problems. They have special offers that lead to your instant gratification.

No wonder your writing convinced.

Despite steadily decreasing attention spans, you have to manage to effectively incorporate psychological triggers into your copywriting.

This will inspire your website visitors to deal with your content and to take action.

Brian Dean writes the introductions of his articles with the APP method “Agree, Promise and Preview”.

Agree stands for: compassion for the problems of your audience.

Promise: Brian gets his readers to grapple with the topic by giving them proof that he can solve their problems.

And at the end he gives his readers one Preview (Preview): How his blog post offers a solution to the reader's problem.

The APP method catches browsing visitors immediately.

Besides APP, there are other tools that professionals use to publish irresistible content.

Here are 3 effective copywriting strategies that can have a huge impact on your customer loyalty and conversion rate.

1. Structure your blog posts and updates on social media with AIDA

AIDA is an advertising formula that helps you write compelling posts, landing page texts, marketing texts and social media updates.

Let's see what each letter means.

Attention (Attention): Get your readers' attention (with an enticing headline).

Kevan, of Buffer, regularly uses attention-grabbing headlines on his social media updates.

Interest (Interest): Offer your readers new and insightful information. You can use Brian Dean's APP method to interesting introductions for your posts.

Desire (Desire): Inspire your readers.Convince them to believe in your idea by mentioning advantages.

Action (Plot): Once the reader has looked at your text, don't just assume they'll take the next step.

End your post with an irresistible call-to-action (CTA) and make it easy for the reader to take the next step.

Here is an ad from the Los Angeles Times that appeared in 1988 and follows the AIDA model. You can read how exactly the display follows the formula on Crazy Egg.

2. Sell the added value of your product / idea, not its functions

What is the difference between value and functionality?

Here is the explanation from my copywriting guide.

It's a simple yet very effective copywriting formula.

It is important to users how your product can have a positive impact on their lives. Align your text with the added value. The functions are only a minor matter. You could also call them the icing on the cake.

Which variant of the iPod advertisement do you like better?

One customer doesn't care about the technical details - 1GB of storage. But he loves to be able to carry his 1,000 favorite songs around with him.

Brian Clark sets out a 4-step process to separate added value from functions.

Also, don't forget to follow the basics of writing.

3. “You” have to get personal

Expert bloggers know that readers care about meeting their own needs.

Hence, they deliberately shift the focus of every post to their reader.

But how do you do it?

By using more “you” and less “mine” or “I” in their texts.

There are few things that excite us more than hearing our own name.

Talk to your reader directly by including "you" and "your" more often.

Take a look at how the words were used in this Sprint ad.

Again, don't underestimate the effectiveness of this strategy because of its simplicity. Brian Clark calls “you” one of the two most important words in blogging.

8. You publish 10 short blog posts every day

You will most likely start your blog as the only author.

When you hear about blogs like Huffington Post, which publish 2,000+ articles every day, you might be amazed.

If you want to emulate even a hundredth of their success, you need to become a typing machine and publish at least ten 300-word posts a day.

Maybe you actually think so.

But you forget about the huge in-house team and volunteers who write for these big blogs.

The quality of your published posts is of paramount importance. You can't just write for the sake of writing and waste your audience's precious time.

So if you don't have the same resources as the "big guys" (e.g. the Huffington Post), don't even think about following their example.

Instead, check out the success of blogs by individuals like Wait But Why and Mark Manson.

Wait But Why has over a million visitors and publishes less than one post a week.

Mark Manson publishes even less. He has only published 12 posts so far in 2015. And his blog has nearly a million visitors too.

How did you manage to get the word out about your blog despite your low blog frequency?

You write original content (not over warmed up ideas from other blogs).

Your blog posts are also often accompanied by original graphics.

Wait But Why supports its blog posts with stick figures.

And Mark Manson occasionally presents his arguments with diagrams.

You only publish current (evergreen) and long content (1,500 - 2,000 words per article).

They are interested in their readers, do their own research for their ideas and have strict quality guidelines.

Another great example of a blog that blooms at a low frequency is backlinko.

Brian Dean only publishes well-researched, high-quality content while also making sure that his older posts are always updated.

His case study of the skyscraper technique was first published on February 3rd and broadcast to its subscribers.

But he last updated the post on June 18th.

These extra efforts make everyone happy - both browsing visitors and Google.

So as you can see: quality beats quantity.

If you don't have anything important to say, you better be quiet.

Write one long evergreen article rather than 10 short blog posts with a limited lifespan. Your readers will be thrilled to receive your email newsletter telling them about a new post.

9. You're caught out of the blue with a lawsuit over the inaccurate mapping of copyrighted images

How would you like paying $ 3,000 for a photo of Nebraska?

Or $ 4,000 for an $ 8 photo?

No, I am not crazy. Believe me, litigation is no fun.

Please always be careful when using images that you find in third-party sources.

It makes no difference whether you found the image using Google's “non-commercial” filter. There are many incorrectly classified images.

It doesn't matter whether you did this by mistake or if you used a disclaimer on your website.

Man, it doesn't matter whether you named the photographer and the source.

Let me put it on a list of the things you don't care about liability liberate, summarize.

Now you might be wondering - how likely is it that I will get caught?

The copyrighted image is likely buried under hundreds of other images that you use on your blog.

I'm sorry to have to deliver this message to you.

But sooner or later you will be packed.

Instead of beating yourself in, make sure you understand the intricacies of copyright infringement.

Even images with Creative Common Licenses and Public Domain Repositories have consequences that go further than naming the owner and linking to the website. You don't know what fair use is.

If in doubt, don't risk copyright infringement. Only use an image if you've got the owner's express permission.

What is the safest option?

  1. Buy photos from sites like Photo Dune. Or buy an annual subscription.
  2. Hire a photographer or graphic designer.
  3. Learn to take photos and buy a DSLR camera.

You can learn more about the fair use of online images on Social Media Examiner.

If you don't have a lot of money, you can also search for free images. You can find a lot at nuSchool and Canva.

Again, you should exercise caution here, even if you are using photos from the above sites. You need to choose images carefully and name the owner (if necessary).

When writing content, you must also cite sources and correctly quote other bloggers - this is internet etiquette.

It is best to include the name of the blogger you are quoting and include a link to their page.

And if you rely on statistics, it's best to provide a link to the report.

You can learn more about other quote sources on the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest in this post from HubSpot.

10. You start a free blog to work around technical problems

Do you take blogging seriously?

Starting a free blog on WordPress is as easy as ABC.

In less than 2 minutes you can have your own website with an address like the following:

YourName.wordpress.com.

But on a free blog like this, your opportunities to grow and make money are limited.

Even if you just want to try it out first, you need a more professional setup and more control.

With a free blog, you always run the risk of your blog being closed.

How so?

Because you may have unknowingly violated the terms and conditions.

And all your efforts have been in vain.

Save yourself the pain of losing your audience and your content.

Better to start directly with your own host. Many hosting companies even offer a free domain hosting plan for the first year. Sometimes they even install WordPress for you.

But even if they don't, you will find tons of instructions on how to set up your website yourself.

I recommend installing WordPress though. It's powerful and pretty easy to use. You can find many WordPress tutorial blogs online, such as WPBeginner, that will help you customize your website accordingly.

Ramsay from Blog Tyrant started out with a free website on Blogger. But later he regretted it.

11. You don't design your own sales funnel and are satisfied with the AdSense income

Think about that for a moment.

An advertisement sends the visitors to your site to the website of a rival and they then sell their products for much more than you earn from the advertisement.

So it is better if you offer your own products and services in order to make money from your traffic.

Even Zac Johnson admits this huge blogging mistake of not creating his own products.

So start creating your own sales funnel. It will cost you some tests and surveys of your users. But after all that effort, it's possible to make $ 1 on every unique visitor.

Conclusion

It's easy to get started with a blog. But the tons of "expert advice" on blogging can confuse you.

The blogging mistakes above are some of the most common ones I've seen. You can change your direction by taking the necessary steps if you made any of these mistakes, or you can avoid these mistakes from the start.

You need to blog strategically by keeping your business goals in mind. Ramsay, of Blog Tyrant, has devised a simple blogging strategy that you can stick to.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on the subject.

Did you make any of the above mistakes on your blogging journey?

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