Guest Post - Our host is Patrick Del Rosario, In this post Patrick has some great blog tips to keep in mind so you work with your blog not against it.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
The benefits of blogging in today’s digital age almost go without saying. From better rankings on search engines, more value to website visitors and a forum to speak you and your brands voice, blogs have taken the online world by storm and lent a way for businesses and people to engage better and more with others. Still, in spite of the increasing popularity, many bloggers still make crucial mistakes that hurt the quality of their blog and may end up harming their own image unintentionally.
Here are 15 ways you may be harming your blog without realizing it.
1. Too much info in the header – When a person arrives at your blog, they do not want to be hit with information they are most likely not searching for, such as your mailing address or website which they already found. Instead, keep the header simple and inviting to keep your readers on the page for longer.
2. Keep taglines simple – It is not a bad idea to put a tagline to give new visitors a quick reference about what they can expect to see on your blog. However, making these taglines too lengthy can confuse them and make the blog seem so specific they may assume it is not for them and leave. Keep taglines simple to give your blog a wider range of topics.
3. Adding legalize to your logo – Your logo is the wrong place to include ‘Inc.’, ‘LLC’ or any other legal contraction. Instead, put this on the footer of your blog and leave it out of your logo. This will not only make you look more professional but it will also make your logo less busy and your blog less overwhelming.
4. Change from advice to promotion – So many blogs are created to offer advice, opinions or simply news items then switch to start promoting paying advertisers. If you have taken a switch to promoting specific affiliate products, your readers can see right through your efforts. While your intentions may be good, your readers will feel more like your posts are created in an effort to sell something instead of as a forum to post useful nuggets of information.
5. No photos – The digital world has become one that demands visual excitement at every turn. Give your blog an easy way to be pinned on Pinterest and keep the page entertaining to look at with images. This will break up the wordiness and appeal more to web readers.
6. Overuse of stock photos – While visual excitement is important on any blog, overuse of obvious stock photos just looks lazy. Instead, take your own or find some unique images off creativecommons.org to jazz up your look.
7. Credit for photos – When you do grab a photo off of creativecommons.org or other sites, it is important to always give credit where credit is due. You may even benefit from contacting the person directly and letting them know you are using their photo so that they can also help promote your posts.
8. Lengthy paragraphs – Just like you want to use images to not appear overwhelming, you will also want to avoid large blocks of text. Not only is this uninviting but it can also leave your reader confused as to your thought process. Use lists, bullet points or break up the length sizes of your paragraphs to get your point across in an easier to read format.
9. Not linking to other posts – If your readers are engaged with your content, they will want to continue to read what you have to say. Link to relevant posts either within your post or at the bottom of your post. This can be done with a simple plugin for your blog, or manually and is very good for your search engine rankings.
10. Not linking to outside pages – People are interested in what others have to say as well. Give credit to other pages and link to the articles that inspired you to write your post. This too is great SEO strategy but it also gives more benefit to your reader.
11. Open up the comments – There’s little use in having a blog where no one can comment or engage with you or your brand. Open your blog up for comments and make sure to moderate these frequently. Respond to people who post positive and negative reviews in a timely manner to keep the conversation going.
12. Be honest – Honesty is important, even if you are the marketer at a large company, or the CEO of a major brand. Use honesty in all of your posts and avoid becoming a marketing machine. Instead of downplaying your struggles, talk them out on the blog and your readers will respect you more for your authenticity.
13. Keep the content varied – No one wants to read the same information over and over again. Vary the type of content you are delivering and your readers will have more incentive to come back for your next new tidbit of information.
14. Blog to write – While this may seem straight forward, far more businesses and people too are blogging to earn money from affiliates, market their product or reach search engines. That drives people away and turns the traffic you need to be successful to other similar blogs.
15. Avoid being sporadic – Your readers will not know when to return to your blog if you have sporadic postings. With that said, make a plan so that you have something to talk about and are not posting just for the sake of posting.
Blogs are great tools but when not used correctly they can be harmful to your company and brand image.