Duo on May 29, 2014
Blogs are on the rise but you didn't need me to tell you that.
There are 31% more blogs today than there were three years ago and 46% of people read blogs more than once per day. A majority polled follow 5 to 10 blogs regularly. For bloggers with an establish audience and concrete foothold in the market, this is all good news. For new bloggers attempting to gain a following, you could be trembling. If you're working to get a blog off the ground, or your blog is experiencing little to no engagement, take a look at these 5 bad habits that could be hurting your blog traffic.
There are two blogging frequencies that can turn visitors off: content blasts and inconsistency.
Content blasts overload the site with material that isn't very valuable or useful to a reader. The onslaught of mediocre content can be overwhelming and leaving the visitor asking, "What's the point?" When you focus on creating so much content, the quality typically suffers.
Inconsistency is almost worse than content blasting. If loyal subscribers have no idea when a post is going to go up, they won't know when to check for it. Your site will see lower engagement rates and your loyal following will look for updates elsewhere. It's a lose-lose.
Replace your frequency bad habits with good ones:
- We recommend posting 2-3 blog posts per week on average to establish consistency.
- To mitigate content blast issues, consider the following: sites that have 4 or more pieces of content each week should develop subscription options so people can receive the types of articles they want, when they want them.
How your content appears on a page impacts how much interaction the page will see. Large text blocks hurt the chances of content being read completely. Take a page from News publishers and break up blocks of text into three sentences or less.
Break up your text with visuals, but beware of including too many. Some sites make their bacon on lists of pictures that go viral but those are short-lived. While pages like this have lots of contributors and sky-high page views, customer acquisition is not the main focus.
Business blogging has different goals in mind, so ignore blogging trends and the listicle plague if it doesn't fit your audiences needs.
Replace your bad formatting habits with good ones:
- Break up your copy into no more than 4 lines of text and adjust as necessary
- Include relevant images and explain visuals when they require context
Lots of things dictate whether or not a title is poor, including the title being:
- Too long
- A question
- Scare tactics
- Too general / narrow
Each of these elments can be argued depending on the specific use case. The bottom line is that title creation is an art form. Keywords must be crafted with descriptors and the length of the title in mind - and the title needs to be able to stop someone in theirs tracks and click.
Replace your bad title habits with good ones:
- Practice. When you write a blog post spend some time drafting blog titles. Continue to come up with ideas until you find a winner.
- Look at your analytics. Which blog posts have performed really well? Draw on your previous content to see which titles have worked and which ones have flopped.
Lack of Focus
It's essential that individual posts remain focused throughout the text, but even more important is that a blog be focused as a whole. A blog that lacks focus can't sustain growth if content covers too many different topic areas. Business blogs should not contain more than 3 topics without adding a categorical filter.
Once you've written content, work with your developers to create taxonomies to properly assign tags and categories for visitors to use to navigate your blog.
Replace your bad focus habits with good ones:
- Focus in on the main topics that are relevant to your industry
- Stay true to these topics to establish yourself as a credible source for visitors looking for your solutions
Tone of Voice
Certain industries will cater to different writing styles, and branding plays a major role in how your content is presented. Still, don't make it a practice to publish content without outlining clear expectations of branding and writing styles and keep your writing consistent in regard to tenses.
Punctuation, word choice and formatting must work in harmoney with your brand and writing style. Once your blog has an established voice and tone, keep your language consistent across all platforms that visitors recognize who you are as a company regardless of the type of content they are consuming.
Replace your bad voice and tone habits with good ones:
- Create a blog style guide and share it with all blog contributors
- Approach blogging like teaching and use your expertise on a subject to write clearly
The blogging habits are not the only ingredients in the recipe for a success, but they hold a lot of power. Blogs can be a business' best friend, so be sure to nuture yours to continue driving traffic and increasing lead generation.
Do you need help launching a blog strategy or filling your blog with content? We can help.