Saturday, July 9, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

7 deadly blogging sins I have commited

I am actually pretty pleased with what I have accomplished with this blog. It is shaping up sort similar to the vision I had for it when I started. While it by no means is setting the internet on fire I am very pleased with the traffic growth I have seen lately. I especially get a great feeling when I see the map of where the readers of this blog are coming from. I find it amazing that my words are getting read all over the world.

So, for what it is worth I am very happy with the progress I have made as a blogger this year. I have also become acutely aware that I could have done many things a whole lot better. Here follows a list of the seven biggest mistakes I have made with this blog. My hope is that this list of grievous blunders can help others avoid making the same mistakes.

1. Not learning to use the tools
I decided to use blogger for my blog out of convenience. Basically that means I just picked the first solution that came to mind. I am sure there are passionate arguments to be made for Wordpress and Tumblr and any other blogging platform out there, but I think blogger works more than well enough for my purposes. The fatal mistake I made though was to not learn how to use blogger properly.

For example, it took my months before I figured out how to add the option to follow this blog. I still haven't figured out how to replace the social sharing buttons at the end of each post. Worse, I can't figure out how to reply directly to comments. If I had invested the time to learn how to use blogger (I suspect a quick google search would prove very fruitful) I could have made this blog better from the beginning.

2. Never proofreading
As I am sure anyone can tell, I hardly ever proofread my posts. This is a huge mistake and leads to some truly horrendous grammatical errors. Every time I re-read one of the posts on this blog I cringe as I see some glaring errors.

I like to pretend that I would rather spend the time I have dedicated to working on this blog on creating new content rather than going back and reworking old posts. This is nothing but self deception. I don't proofread because I am lazy, and the quality of this blog suffers as a consequence. I recommend most whole heartedly that you proofread anything you write.

3. Not testing different layouts
When I started this blog I picked a theme I liked and ever since the blog has looked the same. I have not made changes to anything. No experimenting with different colors, a different post layout, different icons or anything.

On this blog I am also using Adsense. It is a huge mistake that I have never experimented with moving the ads around, tried increasing or decreasing the ad size or number, nothing.

As a result of this lack of change and tracking I don't know if a different page layout would lead to a lower bounce rate, or if a different ad unit would make more money. Unforgivable.

4. Not cross linking my posts
Pretty much every post I make is without any form of link. This is partly intentional as I want this blog to provide an abundance of original content. However, there are many times when I have created posts on similar topics that would benefit from internal links.

There really is no reason to make this kind of mistake. It requires minimal effort, adds value to the readers, increases page views and decreases the bounce rate. Not cross linking your content is a huge mistake

5. Not supporting the content properly
I want to provide high quality valuable content in every post I make. So far I am reasonably pleased with that aspect of this blog. I think that I have been able to describe some of my thoughts and ideas plainly without too much fluff and posturing. I also think that I have done a good job staying within the topic I had in mind for this blog.

So, the content itself is pretty good, but the extras that go into building a blog are not nearly of the same quality. I am talking of things like having a compelling profile description. To this day, the section called 'About Courage' is still totally empty. There is nowhere on my blog where people can read about the overall aim and topic of the blog.

6. Not enough focus
When I started up this blog it was with a vision of an overarching theme of mental courage. I wanted to show how a courageous mind can help redefine your approach to health, money, relationships, work, play, basically all aspects of life.

This is still my unifying concept for the posts I make on this blog, but the connection between the topics are not very clear. So I have ended up with posts about how to monetize a web site, and how to grow potatoes in a barrel. Without some gentle hints it can be hard for readers to see what the common idea behind those subjects are (subtle hint: "self reliance")

7. Not posting enough
I doubt I will set the blogging world on fire with this last piece of insight, but the more consistently I post, the better the traffic numbers for this blog. I am guilty of some pretty extensive post droughts in the short history of this blog. If I had been able to post once every week day as is really my goal this blog would have been much further ahead.

I don't really know why I lapse into such prolonged blog-outs, but I do know that getting home earlier from the office and getting a stand up desk at home has helped my motivation and drive.

So there you have it. Seven critical mistakes that are all prominently on display on this blog. Read them and snicker at my failures. Then you can rejoice in knowing that despite all these mistakes, I am still able to increase the reach of this blog. Imagine what you could accomplish if you do things right!

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