Content marketing is a $400 billion industry, and blogging plays a considerable part. Not only is blogging a solid way to make a huge chunk of extra change, it’s also the vehicle that helps drive traffic to your website.
While blogging is an excellent side hustle and a reliable digital marketing tactic, there is a right and wrong way to approach blogging.
In other words, there are strategies you can use to see consistent boosts in traffic. There are also mistakes you can make that will leave your Google Analytics reading, “Website traffic, party of one. Who’s the one? Your mom.”
This article will discuss the 8 deadly blogging sins to avoid in 2021, so you can scale your blog quickly.
1. Picking a bad domain name
One of the first things you’ll do when starting a blog is pick a domain name. Your domain name is the address searchers will type into their browser to find your website. For example, the domain name at HostGator is www.hostgator.com.
It’s critical to pick the right domain name from the beginning so people can find your site easily. Here are some tips to help you:
- Choose an available domain name. When you register for web hosting with HostGator, you get a free domain name. You can search here to find out which names are available. If the dot com version of your desired domain name isn’t available, consider a top-level domain.
- Keep it simple. The shorter your domain name is, the easier it will be for people to remember. It’s also essential to leave out words that people commonly misspell. Finally, keep in mind how multiple words look when they are squished together. You don’t want someone to misconstrue your domain name because it means more than one thing.
- Pick your brand name. The best domain name to choose is the name of your business, brand, or yourself if you’re your own brand.
2. Not choosing a reputable web hosting company
Web hosting is the service that makes sure your website appears on the internet, protects your information, and keeps your site running quickly.
While there are several web hosting companies available, not all offer the same excellent services.
Top hosting companies like HostGator will provide:
- Multiple hosting options to meet your specific needs (e.g., shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, WordPress hosting, etc.)
- One-click WordPress installs
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free SSL certificate
- Free domain name
- Unlimited storage
- Domain registration
- 99% up-time guarantee
- And more!
You may be tempted to choose just any web hosting company, but this is begging for problems with website load time, website security, and storage. Pick HostGator instead.
3. Not using WordPress
WordPress is the most popular content management system for a reason. More than 40% of websites in the world run on WordPress, which accounts for over 64% of the market share.
Why is WordPress so popular, you ask? Not only has this CMS been around for a long time, but it has proven to continually innovate its UI over time in ways that make it easier to use. WordPress is well-developed, easy to customize, open-source, and simple enough for novice website builders to navigate.
Freelance writer, Kaitlyn Arford, uses WordPress for these very reasons. Arford says, “WordPress gives me the opportunity to have a well-designed website that also allows a high level of customization. WordPress also has professional templates for as little as $50. It’s a great CMS for new business owners.”
WordPress isn’t just for beginners. Some of the most popular and complex websites run on WordPress (e.g., Skype, Disney, and Yelp). Many websites that started out small but grew quickly also run on WordPress.
Website strategists Raubi Perilli from Simply Stated explains that WordPress is the perfect CMS for businesses looking to scale. She says, “WordPress is a great foundation for new brands that want to start small but also need to be able to scale as they grow. WordPress can grow alongside any business and easily become more robust as needs change.”
Additionally, WordPress integrates with all major web hosting companies, making it easy to install it with one-click. The one-click installation will help you avoid all the headaches of starting a new blog.
Here’s the best advice I can give: Save your precious research time for deciding what plugins to use, not which content management system to use. Choose WordPress.
4. Picking an ugly or outdated theme
As mentioned above, WordPress is an open-source platform. This means anyone can develop themes and plugins for you to use.
The advantage is you have free and affordable access to so many tools. You don’t have to know how to code to get a nice design and advance functionality on your website. You only have to know how to search for a theme and plugins and press the install and activate buttons.
On the opposite side of the same coin, not all developers are equally talented, and it’s possible to pick a theme that is garbage.
Some WordPress themes are limited, outdated, or bogged down with unnecessary code snippets, which will make your website run slowly.
The best alternative is to choose a good WordPress theme from the beginning. Pick a theme that is:
- Compatible with all browsers
- Updated regularly
It’s hard to go wrong with themes WordPress suggests. Other themes to check out include Divi, and Ultra.
5. Not publishing consistently
A few years ago, I was at a writing convention learning from bloggers who have been wildly successful.
The Six Sisters team was at the convention, and gave an outstanding presentation on how to grow a successful blog.
Their advice? Publish consistently.
This doesn’t mean you have to publish every day. Readers typically don’t care how often you publish as long as there is some posting pattern. They only want to know when they can expect new content from you and for you to deliver on your promise.
Remember, it’s much better to write well-researched, helpful, and engaging posts less often than it is to post anything every day.
6. Not writing for your audience
The best way to capture your target audience’s ongoing attention is to write about topics that interest them, not you.
To find your target audience, look at your current customer base. Use your CRM, data, and market research to determine your customers’ demographics, interests, favorite social media platforms, behavioral patterns, and purchasing decisions.
Above all, dig deep to find out what your readers’ pain points are. Ask yourself what problems your customers have, and then write posts that speak to those pain points.
When you’re focused on writing blog posts that entertain, educate, or connect with your target audience, you’ll see boosts in traffic.
7. Not optimizing your posts for search
The primary purpose of a blog is to create a meaningful relationship with your readers. As mentioned above, the topics you pick must resonate with your audience.
However, it’s also critical to remember that it won’t do anyone much good if internet searchers can’t find your content.
There are several ways to get more traffic, but optimizing your posts for search is one of the best. Consider the following SEO stats:
- Google’s organic search is responsible for 59.2% of the world’s web traffic.
- The first result in Google gets approximately 32% of all clicks.
- Companies that blog receive 97% more backlinks to their site.
Organic search listings matter.
If you want Google to find, crawl, and index your content, you have to learn SEO best practices for bloggers.
8. Not using social media to promote your blog
While stats show that organic search results drive 300% more traffic to websites than social media, it doesn’t mean social media isn’t extremely valuable.
This is especially true if you already have a social media following but are still growing your organic search ranking efforts.
Social media is one of the most popular ways people consume and share content. And, the global audience isn’t small either. Statista estimates the number of social media users will increase to 4.41 billion by 2025.
If you don’t have tons of followers, you can boost blog exposure with social media advertising. It’s worth your time to engage new followers via advertising, considering that after following a new company on social media, consumers will continue to engage with the brand.
In fact, 91% of new followers will visit the brand’s website, 89% will make a purchase, and 85% will recommend the brand.
While you’ll naturally share your posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest, remember you can leverage new platforms to drive traffic to your blog as well. Get in with the Gen Z crowd by promoting your blog content on Snapchat and TikTok.
Start your WordPress blog with HostGator today!
Blogging is one of the best ways to drive customers to your website and engage with new readers.
However, when you start your new blog you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid the most common blogging mistakes.
Start your blog off on the right foot by making sure you purchase a hosting plan from HostGator. HostGator offers affordable, reliable, and secure hosting. Check out our web hosting plans today.
Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.