Blogging is not an easy run but more of a long hike. It’s fun and exciting, but you need to step with care and dose your effort. Inspiration helps, but ultimately, it’s your blogging habits that will keep your blog on the right track.
Now, there are some lousy blogging habits can really get in the way of creating an engaging blog.
I am or was guilty of some of them myself.
Here they are, in no particular order.
Making your blog sound like a monologue instead of a conversation. The fix: write as if you are talking to a friend or a nice person you’ve just met. Don’t write for a “general audience” or just for “readers.”
Not making the headline and the intro nice. The way the content feed displays posts means that many people will judge your post based on your headline and intro.
If these are weak, it usually won’t matter how awesome the rest of your post is – people just won’t bother to read it.
Not asking yourself whether your readers actually need your post. Even if you’re running the most self-indulgent and nakedly personal blog, it’s still good to have a content filter in place.
Looking back on my years of blogging so far, I would definitely ditch some of my posts.
Not drafting posts in a word processor. Nothing wrong with the built-in editor (or the new block editor).
But writing your posts in Word, Pages, or LibreOffice gives you the chance to polish them more. You can then see them with fresh eyes in the editor and spot mistakes more easily.
Using large paragraphs. Big paragraphs look cumbersome on both desktop and mobile. White space is a good content digestive.
Not editing and proofreading your articles, especially if English is not your mother tongue. Of course, nobody will mind some typoes and errors here and there.
Choosing run-of-the-mill images. Everyone’s using stock photos, you know. If you’re going to use free images, take the time to find nice ones. You may want to avoid very popular images as everyone’s using those.
Not posting enough. Is there a rule for this? Not quite, but you can trust your blogger’s conscience. When you don’t post enough, you will start feeling that you are slacking.
Posting too much. How much is too much depends on the type of your blog and your goals. But usually, posting several times a day can make you sound tiresome.
Forcing yourself to post every day if it doesn’t come naturally isn’t a good idea either. Having gap days between your posts can create a sense of expectancy.
Not making your About page authentic. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s always a big letdown to find a generic About page on an otherwise interesting blog.
Not reading other blogs. Blogging is a social experience. If you don’t care about others, others won’t care about you either.
Not responding to comments.
Not linking to your older posts. The fix: add at least a link or two to old posts. In this way, you can prevent older content from gathering dust and keep readers on your blog for longer.
Not using keywords. Personally, I don’t use keywords all that much because my blog is personal. But keywords are powerful if you want to get more traffic via Google. Not just that, but keywords can help you come up with interesting topics.
Not inviting people to guest-post on your blog.
Not scheduling posts for publishing while you’re traveling or having a busy week.
Not writing at least a post or two in advance when you get some free time.
Not asking questions at the end of your posts to invite people to share their views.
Not getting rid of widgets and plugins you don’t really need and which can slow down your site.
Not keeping an eye on what other bloggers in your “niche” are doing so you can do things a bit differently.
Not checking your stats now and then to see which posts get the most traffic and engagement. The built-in WordPress.com analytics also show you where your traffic and referrals come from.
Not letting your personality show. Even if you blog about finance, you can do it in your own voice, whether it’s calm and quiet, bubbly, or sarcastic.
Listening too much to other bloggers and trying to be like them. The world doesn’t need another [insert any popular blogger that you like here].
But it will never say no to a new, authentic voice.
Your own true voice, which distills your thoughts and experiences in a way that people can emphatize with.
What other “bad” blogging habit would you add to this list?