I have another fantastic guest post for you today! Mecyll from Bitchy Chicken is sharing 10 blogging mistakes that are holding you back from reaching your true traffic potential. If you’re wondering why your page views are low month after month, this post is for you.
After fixing the 10 mistakes outlined below, Mecyll saw the page views on her website go from 1K per month, all the way up to 4K per month – and in less than 2 months. She literally quadrupled her blog traffic in 60 days. Crazy, right!?
Without further ado, here are the 10 blogging mistakes that are holding you back from gaining the blog traffic you deserve (and how to fix ’em!)
Mistake #10. Bad images
Are you neglecting the importance of good photos in your blog posts? I’m not saying you need to go out and hire a pro photographer in order to boost your traffic. But what I am saying is that if you’re using stock photos, you need to choose images that depict the message of your blog post.
You can get license-free photos for your blog posts from the following sites:
+ Flickr (Creative Commons)
If your blog theme supports Featured Images or shows them as thumbnails to your related content, you obviously want to have the best photos possible. And when I say “best”, I mean that the image depicts and supports the message of your post, not just that it’s “pretty”!
Mistake #9. Robot Syndrome
You suffer from Robot Syndrome if you fail to humanize your site.
You’re passive. You’re an absentee blogger. You don’t respond to your readers’ comments or emails. They’re trying to ask you something about a blog post, your recent newsletter, your new service, freebie, or product. But they never hear back.
How can they trust you if you don’t care enough to respond to their problems, concerns, or struggles?
Business owners who actively reply to their customers’ concerns have a way higher chance of building trust with their customers. Thus, they also earn more income from their target market compared to business owners who fail to interact with their audience and customers.
If you plan to transform your blog into a business, you need to take the time to respond to your audience’s comments, no matter how busy you are. Schedule times when you can and can’t reply, and let people know about those times.
For example, you could include office hours on your website or in your email signature. As long as people see you making an effort to respond, even if you can’t answer all of their questions right away, they’ll appreciate and remember it.
Mistake #8. Lack of search optimization
Search engine optimization is like putting up a big sign for Google saying, “Hey! We’re informing people about so-and-so. Include us in your search list!”
Search optimization involves choosing relevant keywords that your audience would use to search for something they need on the web, and placing that keyword phrase within your content and headline.
Within your content, Google will crawl and detect keywords in the following areas — which means you need to place your keywords in as many of these areas as possible, without “stuffing” them in your blog post (which would result in you being penalized by Google):
+ The first paragraph of your blog post
+ Throughout your content
+ The end paragraph of your blog post
+ Alt text on images in your post
+ Headline / Title
+ URL / Permalink
+ Featured image (title, alt text)
+ Pin image (title, alt text)
+ Meta description
To save time when it comes to SEO, install the “SEO by Yoast” WordPress plugin. This plugin improves your SEO by suggesting places to include your keywords, and by letting you know when you’d done a sufficient job to rank in Google.
Mistake #7. A crowded website
If you want Google to love you, go ahead and fill your site with ads. But if you fill your site with ads, your target market is gonna hate you. So which do you prioritize?
Your target market, of course!
When your site is overcrowded with ads of different sizes, it results in super slow site speed. If your site load time is more than 5 seconds, chances are your readers are going to “bounce”. And they’re probably never gonna come back.
The more effective your ads are, the higher bounce rate you’ll have. This is a simple but unfortunate logic. If you want to hook people to your site, delete some irrelevant ads or those that aren’t helping you make money. If possible, delete them all.
Instead of filling your site with Google ads, fill your sidebars with your own ads promoting your services, freebies, and products. You’ll do way better in the long run that way!
Mistake #6. Lousy CTA’s
CTA stands for “call to action”. CTAs include things like “Click the image to download your free workbook / ebook / checklist / etc.” or, “Sign up here to access our free library of resources.”
To make your CTAs effective, you need to make the offer convincing and appealing, and customize your opt-in forms and buttons. How can you do that? Like so:
Step 1. Install an opt-in plugin to your WordPress site that will allow you to place opt-in forms at the end of each blog post.
Step 2. Design your forms and buttons to match the colors of your brand.
Step 3. Connect the form with your email service provider. See your email service provider for specific instructions.
You can also create opt-in images, where people click on the image and are taken straight to your sign up form. Here’s how to do that:
Step 1. Log in to your photo editing software and create an image for your specific opt-in offer.
Step 2. Save it in .jpg or .png format.
Step 3. Upload it to your site’s media library, if necessary.
Step 4. Create a list in your email service provider for this specific opt-in offer.
Step 5. Copy the link for that list.
Step 6. Insert the image in your blog post (or sidebar), and link that image to the URL for your mailing list sign-up.
Step 7. Embed the image within your blog post three times (near the beginning of the post, the middle, and at the end).
Mistake #5. Writing weak content
It might be an over-shared piece of advice, but it’s also the most important. It doesn’t matter what your niche is, having killer content is absolutely crucial, especially in terms of generating traffic.
If you keep writing poor posts, it’s like saying to your readers “It’s your problem if you don’t understand or like my post. If you don’t agree with what I’m saying, too bad for you.”
And that’s just going to turn people away, right? Instead, you need to create strong blog content to gain more traffic, traction, and in the long run, sales and customers.
If you’re not 100% happy with a blog post you’re planning to upload – scrap it. Or at the very least, wait a few days, re-read it, and make changes until you’re happy with it. Don’t upload something just to upload something. Make each post count.
Mistake #4. Not writing for your ideal audience
Your goal as a blogger is to be as helpful as possible for your audience. This means that your blog content, and basically every single aspect of your blog and online presence, needs to be devoted to helping your readers.
When writing a new post, always make sure it’s something your readers will find intriguing, and that it focuses on something they’ve said they need help with. If you’re not sure what they would like to learn about next, ask them.
If your blog content is all over the place, and you jump from one topic to the next, your “ideal audience” is going to be all over the place as well. You need to form a concrete idea in your mind of what kind of person you’re writing for, and stick to that. Make sure every piece of content you create is targeted at that person.
Mistake #3. Not being on Pinterest
Pinterest has quickly become the trend setter in terms of content marketing. With 70 million views every day around the world, if you’re not using Pinterest for your blog, you’re definitely missing out.
If you’re not convinced yet, check out these Pinterest facts from some of the biggest social media influencers around:
Social Media Examiner views Pinterest as a new way to increase authority to your brand, to expand your reach and audience, and of course, to drive more traffic to your site.
HubSpot advises new bloggers and small business owners to utilize the power of Pinterest to drive more conversions from their audience, and to turn them into buyers and loyal fans.
Pinterest has more active engagement from users, audience, and potential clients or customers than any other social media site.
If you’re not sure how to make the most out of Pinterest for your blog, be sure to check out the Pinterest posts on Blog Beautifully.
Mistake #2. Not commenting on other blogs
Aside from guest blogging, one of the top referrers to our own site is Disqus, the commenting platform. We are actually driving traffic to our blog by commenting on other blogs that use the the same commenting system we do.
We usually comment the most on big sites like Melyssa Griffin, ConvertKit, CoSchedule, Michael Hyatt, etc. By leaving valuable comments on sites like these, you can attract the audience on those websites to come back and check out yours.
Just be sure to include a strategic signature at the end of each comment if you want to drive traffic back to your site.
What kind of signature you ask?
Besides just signing with your name, you also want to include the link to your site. Place this signature at the end of every comment you leave, on every site you visit, and anyone who comes across your comment can easily head back to check out your own website.
Mistake #1. Not being active on social media
This is often the most challenging for busy bloggers, and especially for people who are running a businesses on top of blogging.
However, having an active social media presence is going to build trust and familiarity between you and your audience, and it should definitely not be put on the back burner.
If you’re consistent with your social media activity, your target audience will get to know you, and later on, visit your site and possibly contribute to your market. If they’re engaged with what you’re sharing, it’s only going to boost your conversion rates.
There are two viable options for managing your social media presence as a blogger:
Option 1. Handle it yourself by utilizing scheduling tools like HootSuite and BoardBooster.
Option 2. Hire a well-deserving and strategic VA to handle your social media for you.
Whichever route you choose, make sure that you’re consistent with your social media updates, and that you’re active regularly. And if you’re too busy to manage 4 different platforms, stick to just 2 or 3. There’s no harm in that!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mecyll Jamila is a creative blogger, freelance writer, super creativepreneur, and coffee addict. Along with her fiancé, Igen, she runs the website Bitchy Chicken, which is dedicated to helping other small business owners stand out from the crowd.
Which of these 4 mistakes are you making? What steps and strategies can you put in place to fix them?