Bloggers are the Rodney Dangerfield of the writing world, people who do not get respect. Some of that is unfortunate, as many bloggers contribute valuable information that is oftentimes missed by the mainstream media.
But, in other instances the disrespect is deserved because the blogger has made some mistakes that make him/her look like an amateur.
If your blog’s bounce rates are high, there could be some very good reasons why people leave your site at first glance. Read on as we identify and discuss five blogging mistakes you must correct…
1 – Your theme is a mess.
You settled for one of those freebie WordPress themes, thinking it would attract and retain readers.
Unfortunately, the theme is seriously broken, hiding comments automatically, sending your readers to the wrong pages or simply featuring an undesirable color combination.
Perhaps most important of all, test your blog regularly for broken links. And by all means invest in a quality theme that rocks.
2 – Your “About” page is vague or boring.
One of the most visited pages on your blog is your About page. That’s because your readers want to know more about you, your authority as well as your credibility.
Write up a short biography about yourself and include a current head shot featuring your mug. Keep it short and simple, describing in four or five sentences what your site is all about.
3 – Your photos are terrible.
There is no excuse for awful-looking photos on any site, including on blogs. Those grainy pictures you captured with your cell phone are a major distraction and a detraction.
Source some good photos from a photo-sharing site or, if you’re particularly good with a camera, begin to take quality photos of your own and including same on your blog.
4 – Your sidebar is a maze.
Back in the early days of blogging, adding widgets to blog sidebars became commonplace. They also ended up overrunning not a few blogs.
Keep your sidebar simple, by including recent blog posts and comments, a navigation area, one or two adds and very little else. You want to know why your blog takes forever to load? The junk crowding your sidebar is one big reason why.
5 – You don’t take advantage of paragraph headers.
Your readers will frequently scan your material and if they see something they like, will read your article in depth.
For some reason, you haven’t been using sub-headers or paragraph headers, smartly written keywords that can help your readers quickly gauge what your article is all about. You’ve learned to write an engaging headline, but you seem to lose people after your first paragraph. Write a better opening and clean up your articles by including paragraph headers.
You don’t want to be pre-judged by others, but that is exactly what people are doing when they take a look at your blog and don’t bother to read on. If you want to rise to the top of the blogosphere, then your site has to be appealing and void of amateurish blogging mistakes, freeing yourself of the Rodney Dangerfield type-disrespect you want to avoid.
About the author: Matt Keegan is a freelance writer, a blogger, an editor and a website publisher. He dispenses writing advice at Matt’s Musings, his personal weblog.