The advice on how to be “the effective guy” is just so common online that it starts to get boring … You know, reading yet another article on how to be a great blogger and all…
So why not take a different approach and consider the seven habits of highly ineffective bloggers instead?
If you think that it’s a joke, it isn’t. If you look around in the blogosphere I’m sure you’ll find tons of bloggers who fit this description perfectly. In fact, I bet that you’re guilty of one or two of these habits as well (I know I am).
Habit 1. Not proofreading
This is the first sin bloggers make. I know that crafting a nice blog post takes time. You need to do your research, prepare the resources, and finally write the thing using a number of relevant links and keep all the SEO optimizations in mind … there’s really a lot to do.
In all this commotion, it’s easy to overlook one simple thing: proofreading. The fact is that proofreading is one of the most important phases of crafting a blog post. Without it, you’re not using the potential of your post effectively—some readers will simply be discouraged with all the grammatical errors you’ve made.
My advice is this: proofread your posts at least once. In addition, use a plugin like After the Deadline for some extra help (it provides automatic proofreading).
Bonus tip: There’s one more trick I want to share with you. I’ve found that I get much better results when it comes to the quality of my writing if I write a post one day, and then edit and proofread it the next day.
Habit 2. Not networking
Did you know that 80% of your blog’s success depends on the people you know, not on the content you write? You didn’t? That’s because I made that statistic up!
Whatever the stats, I’m sure the benefits of reaching out to your fellow bloggers are pretty clear to you. Building a successful site is always easier if you have someone you can contact for help, or for a joint venture proposition.
Treat your blog like business. The more quality business partners you have the better. Networking in the blogosphere isn’t even difficult. It all starts with a simple email that says hi.
Habit 3. Not using offline blogging tools
These days, I’m all about offline blogging tools. One particular tool, actually. It’s called Windows Live Writer. What’s great about it is that it allows you to create an optimized blog post offline, and then send it to any WordPress blog you want.
Let’s face it: you won’t have internet access at all times. Maybe you’re staying in a cheap hotel, or visiting your family over the weekend, or some other scenario. If you want to be effective, you have to have a way of creating a post even if you’re offline.
I know that the standard way of doing this is through Microsoft Word or some other text processor, but they are not very good at providing WordPress-ready formatting. Windows Live Writer is great in this regard—give it a go.
Habit 4. Not staying on topic
Going off topic makes you highly ineffective. And the reason is that your readers have come to your site to read a very specific piece of information. They’ve seen a headline, or a search engine listing, and clicked on it. Now, if you decide that you want to change the direction mid-post, they’ll simply leave.
Over time, such practice will make you really ineffective at writing about the things you wanted to write about. You’ll always get distracted at some point and talk about other things. This is something you really need to be wary of.
The simple advice is this: if you fail to stay on topic, your readers will get confused and leave.
Habit 5. Not promoting your stuff
Writing and publishing the post is usually only half the job. If you want to make it really popular, good content won’t be enough, you also need to spend a fair amount of time on promotion.
And by promotion I don’t necessarily mean spending money on ads and reaching out to investors. Just a couple of clicks on some social media share buttons might be enough, or sending an email update to your subscribers, or notifying your StumbleUpon friends and contacts, and so on.
Also, this is where your network of contacts comes into play again (mentioned earlier). If you have some friends in the blogosphere, you can let them know whenever you publish something really valuable (your pillar content).
Habit 6. Not writing guest posts
Every website you know of—every single one of them—became popular because of some other website. There’s not one website online that became popular on its own (no, not even Google or Facebook).
The key to success, then, is to get featured on other websites. There are two possibilities here:
- The difficult one is to do something remarkable and get mentioned naturally.
- The easier one is to write a guest post and offer it for free in exchange for a link.
I really can’t emphasize this enough, but guest blogging is the cheapest and the best way of building your brand online. If you think that you don’t need to do any guest blogging, then you are not utilizing your full potential as a blogger.
Habit 7. Not doing SEO
I know some people say that SEO is dying. Mostly, this attitude is the result of the recent updates like Penguin, which killed a number of legitimate websites and online businesses just because they were building quality (yes, you read this right, quality) backlinks.
This whole situation makes the SEO game a lot harder, but it doesn’t mean that you should leave it completely. The fact is that one thing surely won’t change anytime soon: Google will still remain the main provider of traffic online, and if you want to get a piece of this traffic, you’re going to have to learn how to be up-to-date with the best SEO practices and implement them in your blog.
Are you guilty?
This concludes my list of 7 habits of highly not effective bloggers. Feel free to tell me what you think, and admit how many of these habitds you’re guilty of. Be honest—I know I’m doing at least two myself!