You love to blog. You love to write. And you probably love technology. But you’re probably not masterful at everything.
For example, I love software development. I started out as a programmer, and still program in PHP/MySQL but when I’m faced with a monumental task or project I know where my limits are and will outsource the work.
Same goes for website design. I can do it. I know I can, but it means that I put on hold everything else that I am working on. So instead, I can either outsource or purchase a template and optimize it.
You need to know what your limitations are, then compensate for them. Either buy taking advice from others, reading other blogs and putting the information to use or outsourcing to someone else.
Over the course of the last three months, I’ve visted hundreds of blogs. I’ve implemented some changes that I thought were good, but in the end found that they were sucking up bandwidth. There are other changes that I’ve implemented that have made fantastic use of the bandwidth that I have and have taken my blogging and traffic to another level. As I visit sites, the esthetics of a site always determines whether I will visit again.
If it looks like an amateur put the site together (and by that I mean the theme or layout) then the chances are very high that I will not go back there.
Here are 5 blog design mistakes that I constantly see being made. These are seen moreso in the blogs of Internet Marketers than others… Are YOU making any of these mistakes?
Mistake #1 – Who Are You Writing For?
I see this all the time. I read blogs and the writer is writing to him/herself. Boring. Yes, blogs are personal in nature but if your blog is about internet business – I DON’T CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU DID ON THE WEEKEND! Come on – that’s what personal blogs are for. Get one! When you write, write to YOUR READER/VISITOR. Don’t write about yourself write about your reader.
Take for example the line “You love to blog. You love to write. And you probably love technology. But you’re probably not masterful at everything.”
I could have easily written this as “I love to blog. I love to write. And I love technology. But I’m not masterful at everything.”
What makes more sense? Using I or YOU.
Write to your reader, if you don’t know how – take some creative writing courses or other writing courses and lear now. Try this out. Pretend that your reader is sitting right in front of you. Now write your post.
Mistake #2 – No Whitespace
There is nothing worse than reading a post where the author is scared of using whitespace. Everything looks like one BIG block. This is bad. Very bad. Your readers need to be able read information one paragraph and line at a time. You need to give them the opportunity to take the information in and the thoughts in each paragraph and line. That being said, it is also important to use proper punctuation and grammer AND spelling.
Some spelling mistakes might be acceptable – however if your post has dozens, then it becomes difficult to read because your reader needs to mentally correct the mistakes then read the post. Try forcing them to rewrite your posts all the time – they will not be back.
Mistake #3 – What Purpose is Your Blog Serving?
What is your blog about? Are you creating splogs? By that I mean a 200×200 square section for text but the rest of the blog is one BIG advertisement? Are you:
- Educating your users?
- Informing your users?
- Building relationships with your users?
If you are not able to add value then you should consider what the focus of your blog is for. There are a lot of tools out there that will make you tons of money by creating thousands of splog sites. Maybe you should be doing that if you can’t education, information or build relationships?
You need to decide.
Mistake #4 – Hoarding Information
Do you hoard information?
I understand that the reason why you set-up an internet business blog is to sell your products and services — but remember it’s your readers/visitors that have or will become your customer. They have supported you, and you should give back when you can.
Mistake #5 – Who Are You? How Can I Contact You?
This is so common its funny now.
I come across a great blog. I want to contact the owner. I look for their e-mail address – none. No problem. I try and leave a comment. I can’t because comments are turned off. I search for the About page. There isn’t one. Jeez – is this person serious about their business? Probably not…
I will not look-up their WhoIs information, why should I? Will you?
If you are you not using an opt-in form then you are missing the best opportunity to connect with your visitors.
If you don’t have an About page – how do I connect with you? How can I relate to you?
The About page tells visitors about you, about your blog, and perhaps about some of your interests. It’s not a page to fill with fluff or brag — but a page to tell your visitors why you are blogging about your topic and what you hope they will get out of it.
In preparing this post, I did a bit of research and found two fantastic resources that will help you create your About page.
There you have it - 5 Blogging Mistakes That Are Costing You Readers, Visitors And Money.