The bad news is that it’s not always easy to know what will make for a popular blog. The good news is that it’s easy to know what turns readers off. You can’t guarantee a massive readership just by troubleshooting what you know won’t work, but you can ensure that you will have a fighting chance. Here are five of the most common mistakes people make when trying to find a readership for their blogs:
Too Much, Too Soon
You see a lot of popular bloggers who update every single day, and this works for them, but when you’re just starting out this rapid pace isn’t so effective. The math works out in greater volumes: If you have ten thousand subscribers, but only a thousand reads on any given post, then posting every day means seven thousand reads a week. If you’ve only got around 100 readers, putting in that extra effort to go from ten reads a week to seventy is a surefire way to burn out. Early on, you should be looking to expand your reach by leaps and bounds. Daily posting only gets you more attention from the subscribers you already have.
You’re here to turn a profit, your readers know that. But when every single post is trying to sell them something, they’re going to lose interest fast. If you’re, say, using your blog to promote mobile games you’ve developed, then you can also use the blog to discuss game design, analyze classic video games and review new ones. Every blog post should move you closer to a sale, but screaming “Buy, buy, buy!” isn’t going to get you there.
It’s a mistake to think that a blog is all about words, words, words. A word is only there to get an idea across. Readers will stick with a longer piece if every sentence is captivating, but they will quickly lose patience when it starts to feel like you’re padding things out. Get your points across quickly and moving on.
Technically Poor Writing
If you don’t think that something as simple as poor punctaution and mispelings will turn you’re readers off, think agian. Freelance writing professionals are their for a reason. Technically poor writing is distracting.
Failing to Deliver on the Promised Content
There are a few ways to lie to your readers about the content you’re providing. One way is to use an attention-grabbing “clickbait” title for content that doesn’t deliver. If you promise that “This Homeowner Got The Perfect Revenge On People Who Broke Into His House,” the story had better not end with him calling the police and the cops telling him most burglaries go unsolved. Another way to break your promise is to take, say, a blog about cooking, and then once you have enough eyeballs on the page, sell out to advertisers who will pay you to promote their sunglasses, sneakers and jewelry. Stay on topic and you won’t lose so many subscribers.
Gilbert S is a writer and artist who lives in rural New Mexico with his dog, Sir Kay, and his wife.