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7 Mistakes That Hurt Your Blog's Success
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting in bed, frantically searching Google for articles on what makes a successful blog.
I was desperate for any sign of a hole in my plan. I had learned so much in my first few years of blogging, and yet I wanted to be sure that I could recreate that success to an even greater degree with this blog.
So I researched for weeks, looking for any little detail I was missing. Maybe you can relate?
Since then, I've found that most of my success has come from trying and testing new ideas rather than reading. And so with that I'd like to share the top seven things that hurt your blog's success (most of which I have learned the hard way!)
1. Broken links
Broken links are such a pain. No matter how hard I try, I always seem to come up with a few every couple of months that need fixing.
Broken links are pretty much an inevitability when you are a blogger.
The most important thing is to fix them quickly!
Broken links not only frustrate your readers and reduce your credibility, they also look very bad in the eyes of Google and Pinterest. This can affect your traffic significantly if you continue to have unresolved link issues..
The biggest thing that has made a difference for me in this area is the Broken Link Checker plugin.
This plugin is completely free and regularly scours your site for non-functioning links.
If it finds any, it will send you an email so you know to get right on it. This plugin is a lifesaver! I highly recommend it to all WordPress bloggers.
2. Forgetting to Compress Your Images
Forgetting to resize and compress my images really came back to bite me in the butt in 2018.
As you can probably tell, I love using big site wide images on this blog.
I can't help it, my Sassy Styled Stock Collection is my baby and I absolutely love using the photos!
So what happened last year anyway?
Long story short, my site slowed waaaaay down.
As in, I checked my site speed and it was pretty much crawling like a turtle.
Some of my images were taking three to four seconds to load, approximately the speed of dial up in the '90s. (Any other '90s kids relate to this?)
The solution here is to make sure you compress every image before you upload it to your site. I use JPEG-optimizer.com. It's free and fast and only takes me an extra 30 seconds when uploading a photo.
Since then, my site speed has improved incredibly!
#3. Not Putting Enough Images In Your Blog Posts
I've been learning a lot more about SEO lately. It's definitely been something I've had on the back burner, but now that I have a bit more time I've been diving back into it in order to optimize my traffic.
One thing I recently learned is that Google loves to see multiple images on every single blog post.
They have this thing for multimedia blogs. It seems that the more images, videos, and podcast players are featured on a blog, the higher quality Google believes it is.
This is why it's so important to have at least four or five images on every blog post, more if the post is more than 2,000 words.
So how do I get enough images to put at least five on every single blog post?
Glad you asked!
Here are my secrets:
- I always add one image from my Sassy Styled Stock Collection at the very top of my blog post two further my brand and make my blog look oh so pretty!
- I frequently use screenshots to get free images that are both useful and boost the quality of the content.
- I occasionally will include a free image from Pixabay or Unsplash if needed. However, I try to minimize the number of free images I use as free images are starting to not look so good with Google and Pinterest.
#4. Writing Blog Posts That Don't Help Your Audience
One of the biggest signs of a successful blog is that it is filled with blog posts that truly help one specific audience.
It's easy for new bloggers to think they can write about anything that suits their fancy and their audience will be interested enough to keep reading.
Unfortunately, in today's day and age with so many blogs competing online, it's crucial to your success that you write blog posts that help your audience with one specific thing.
Of course, people love to read tidbits of your story and your personal life, but they also come to blogs looking for help.
Instead of writing about your dog or your random musings of the day, write on-topic posts that are going to make a difference in someone's life.
My Secret Weapon for Creating Incredible Blog Posts
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#5. Unclear and Confusing Navigation
Unclear and complicated navigation is a major pitfall you'll want to avoid as you design your blog.
Search engines can definitely be picky about this, so there's a few things to keep in mind:
- Use both a header and footer navigation to help people find the most important pages on your site.
- Make sure to interlink related blog posts to give your readers more relevant content to read.
- Use clear linking terminology like “home”, “next page”, “read more”, etc.
#6. Not Including A Pinterest Pin
Including a Pinterest pin on each of your blog posts is a must these days. If you don't, what happens is that people end up pinning other random images from your blog post onto Pinterest instead.
This can definitely be a missed opportunity for you, because other images won't be optimized for Pinterest.
Often times they are horizontal images, they don't include any keywords on them for Pinterest to use, and they will be the wrong size.
Including a Pinterest pin on your blog post is a great way for people to save your post, share it, and ultimately help get you more traffic for free!
Here's a few things to keep in mind when making your Pinterest pins:
- Pinterest pins should be vertical, not horizontal
- The best Pinterest pins measure 600x900 pixels
- There should be a catchy headline on your pin that makes people want to click through to your blog post
- Bright colors tend to do better on Pinterest than softer muted colors
#7. No Email Opt In
This last one really gets me! You absolutely MUST have an email opt-in form on every blog post in order to grow your email list as quickly as possible.
An email list is so critical to your blog's success.
One thing that took me a long time to learn was that that the majority of the income your blog makes will be through your email list.
That means that if you don't have an email list, your earning potential is going to be severely limited.
I include a number of email options on my site, including:
- One stagnant option at the end of every blog post
- One pop up email form on every blog post
- A notification bar on every post that leads to one of my opt ins
If this seems like a lot to you, that's okay! You certainly don't need to use the same number of opt-ins as I do.
The point is rather that you make sure that you have one opt-in form on every blog post to maximize the number of readers who sign up.
Your business depends on it!
Making sure you avoid these common pitfalls is one of the easiest ways to prep your blog for success!
If you aren't sure which things you should be working on next in your blogging business, make sure to grab my Profitable Blogging Blueprint below! It will walk you step by step through every action you need to take, in correct order, to make money from your blog.
How to (Finally!) Start Making Money From Your Blog
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Join the Full Time Bloggers Hotlist and receive the blueprint as a perk of becoming a subscriber.