I need help to fix my blog – do you? Have you been wondering where to start?
In my last post, why do blogs fail, I took a long hard critical look at my blog and worked out where I went wrong with the presentation. Now that the blog looks inviting, when people land on it they shouldn’t feel they need to run for the hills.
This post, I need help to fix my blog, will talk about the attitude we need to have towards content creation and promotion so that we get some love from readers and search engine spiders (Google Love).
Review what you have and make it work.
I highly recommend that you have a good look at your blog before you have too many posts and the task becomes overwhelming.
Unfortunately, I did not do this and have a big task ahead of me.
However, acknowledging to yourself that you can do this if you set your mind to it can make a big difference to your state of mind.
The age of a domain does matter so I feel it is better to rework and improve your current blog if at all possible rather than start a completely new one. (Unless you decide that you really hate the topic).
Twelve months ago, I felt I needed to start afresh with a whole new blog only to get a dozen posts under my belt and finally, I got an affiliate commission from this blog which I had considered abandoning.
Trying to keep two going on a very similar niche was just too hard and after struggling along for 6 months, I decided to close the second blog and evaluate and rewrite this blog in order to move forward. As the niches are similar, I can rewrite the posts of the blog I am closing – so all is not lost.
A Good First Impression is important.
If you have not taken a good critical look at your blog, then do so. Make sure that you are making a good first impression. Why do blogs fail – will help you understand what to look for.
Know your audience and the reason you are writing each post.
I made the mistake of thinking that if I wrote articles there would be people who were interested in the topic and if I posted enough on social media they would come to my blog and read.
I forgot that people search on Google and the other search engines to find answers to the problems they need to solve, or to find out information in general. I was not writing for others, I was writing a journal.
Your blog needs to be about how to help people. It needs to answer their questions and solve their problems.
I realized when evaluating my blog that I was writing about ME (and how I was living a great lifestyle, I traveled and worked online and tried to share everything that I discovered). I was not helping anyone. My attitude was all wrong. My attitude should have been about how my travels and work could help others.
There are a lot of big authoritative websites that know a lot more about blogging than I do and have courses, YouTube channels, books and software to prove it. Instead of trying to regurgitate the information I needed to take the attitude that I could help by telling people where to find good information without it costing an arm and a leg.
Another mistake I made was forgetting that not everyone wants to travel full time like I was. When I travel again I will be sharing where to visit that is free, or inexpensive.
Some people may wish to travel part-time or in the future but have plenty of money so they will do so in a completely different manner to me. Others may retire and travel with a fixed low income and this would be my audience.
I forgot that what I was doing was traveling and living on a low income. It was this thought that led me to realize that I could relate to people wanting to live well on a low income or find ways to supplement their income including through blogging.
Often I would read about the ‘freebie seekers’ and those ‘not wanting to spend money’ and many times this was me.
Yes, I have bought a lot of ‘stuff’ and been disappointed. There comes a time when you just can’t afford to keep buying each new shiny object and people on very low incomes do need to be careful that the items that they do purchase are good value-for-money.
This was my audience and one so many bloggers, especially in the make money online niche, do not target because there is not a lot of money in it.
The golden rule of any website is to help people rather than to try to only make money.
Research the right way.
I literally spent thousands of hours reading and learning the same thing over and over again, yet I did not take action and put my education into the creation of my blog.
I thought that if I researched more I would know everything and would somehow find the right words that resonated with people.
I kept researching therefore I had plenty of theories but little action. I needed to do stop looking and start taking action. I was researching what I thought I needed to know – not what my audience needed to know.
I was, in fact, researching incorrectly.
I should have spent time researching a particular topic and working out how the knowledge would help my audience, low-income earners. I needed to discover how the information would be beneficial in solving their problems, rather than trying to be more knowledgeable about the topic itself.
Now that I know my audience and who I am trying to help, I will evaluate all my content and rewrite it with my audience in mind and in particular, how I can help them.
What did I get wrong? A lot.
General Website Issues.
I realized that I had a lot of general issues with my website and brand that really did need fixing.
These issues did hurt my SEO in general as well as contributed to my high bounce rate and made me look like the amateur I am.
My attitude with regard to making sure everything looked good and that the content actually solved a problem, was sadly lacking and my branding was poor.
These issues included:
- Not posting regularly.
- My social media profiles did not match my blog properly.
- Misuse of Social Media and not marketing properly.
- I did not have a clear niche, or audience in mind and wrote journal style.
- I was not helping anyone – but trying to make money from them.
- Poor spelling and broken links.
- Failing to check mobile appearance.
- Poor quality titles and headings.
- The site layout looked amateur.
- Incorrect linking.
- No free offers.
- Too many affiliate posts.
- Bad SEO.
- I will go through each of these so you understand how to evaluate your website and give you ideas on what you may need to improve on.
I did not post regularly.
Regular posting helps when you do get followers as you are putting your name in front of them on a regular basis. It also helps the search engines to realize that your blog is always being updated with new content, which they like. Having more content makes your website look more authoritative
Irregular posting can be mistaken for site abandonment.
Social media profiles showcase you as an individual and as a brand. As I had two blogs I tried to blend my social media profiles with both identities and websites. This was very confusing and was not consistent with my branding when people arrived at my website from social media.
Misuse of Social Media.
I would mainly post on social media – “here is my new blog post. Look at me…” Or maybe a message meant to make people come to a post with affiliate links.
This is not a good way to interact with people, it is really just spamming. People want to make contact within social media, not be marketed to. Whilst some posting is OK, it needs to be only one part of your profile.
I spent time building a general social media audience and spammed them with my posts. I was not interacting with and helping others. As a result, most of the platforms did not share my posts with followers simply because we did not interact with each other.
When I started looking around I discovered that the biggest profiles on many sites do not sell. They promote messages and showcase themselves. Garry Vee does have an advertising agency but he talks and offers advice and help. He does not send messages saying “come buy my agencies’ services”. He promotes himself and his messages of success.
Tony Robbins presents messages and may hope that you will buy his books or attend his courses. He does not spam people about where to buy his books together with the appropriate Amazon link. He is just himself and teaches through social media.
Kylie Jenner poses for Instagram photos and showcases her makeup range. She does not keep promoting “buy me, buy me”. Instead, she occasionally shows people her products and tells of new products to gain interest in their upcoming release.
We need to be the figure-head of our business within social media, not the salesman.
Have a clear niche.
A range of topics about me and how I was trying to build my online business was like writing a journal, not creating a niche. Your audience is your niche.
Once upon a time, many blogs were journals, but today social media has become the place to share your story in this style. Topics need to be about how to help people which leads me to my next point.
I was not helping anyone – I was trying to make money from them.
I wrote a lot of posts on slightly different ways to approach a topic. However, the main point of the post was to share an affiliate link to a website that was helping me build my blog.
It was not about actually helping other people directly. Indirectly, through the products that I was promoting, but not as incidental to the information that someone may have been searching for. I had very few posts that did not lead to a review or affiliate proposal.
Search engines now want to see posts that completely answer a question or solve a problem. Multiple posts can, therefore, be confusing. The purpose of each post must be to solve a problem, answer a question and provide a comprehensive response.
I did not check every post thoroughly for spelling and grammar mistakes. I would apply spell check and I know that there are some variations in spelling between different countries, but many mistakes were simply the placement of the incorrect word.
An example would be something like Out instead of Our. Both words were spelled correctly but have different meanings within the context of a sentence.
A slow, thorough examination of every sentence is essential and something you must not fail to do.
I was often so excited about finishing a post that I hit the publish button without checking for errors. Bad move.
Use a broken link plugin and regularly check to ensure that all links are working.
Sometimes websites change their affiliate links and URLs and links break. I found one internal link that I had never entered correctly from the start.
Does the post look good on mobile?
Today’s websites must be mobile-friendly. It is a good idea to grab your mobile and view the post on there as soon as it is published. This will identify if the post looks good or if the images need to be made smaller, or placed in a better location.
Poor quality titles and headings.
A blog title and the first heading should tell the reader what the post will be about. To help the Search Engines categorize the content properly it should contain a descriptive keyword.
Failing to engage potential readers when they see your post in the SERP results means they don’t even click and have a look. Headlines should contain your keyword and they do need to be interesting and enticing.
If your content does not immediately answer a user’s question, ‘voice’ cannot respond with the answer. Many people now speak their question or problem into search and if the answer is given, they do not look further. You must work on how to identify ways to immediately answer the search inquiry. This can be done through keyword research.
If you need more information on keywords you can find it on these posts.
Along with broken links, incorrect linking also covers things like the wording used to link to either an internal page or an external website. Click here to see my previous post is not how to link (and sadly I found some of these within my earlier posts).
Cite your resources and where people can find more information. The attitude must be about helping, not worrying about losing a reader or customer to the competition.
You need some external links to non-affiliate authoritative websites.
No free offers.
This seems such a small thing but in the scheme of things, I do believe it plays a big part in the success of a blog.
I found many professional-looking sites had free offers that they gave their readers including a printable calendar or tip sheet, an e-book or PDF to help them.
I understand that it is hard when we first start off to do this, but I do believe something as simple as a printable to-do list is better than no free offer at all. The idea of a free offer is to obtain an email address so that you can contact people and offer further help and occasional offers.
In order to build a business, you need an email list and an autoresponder. Prepare documents and when finances allow, start building your list.
Too many affiliate posts.
As I mentioned earlier, my posts were all about ways to direct people to an affiliate offer and not helping them.
As I move forward I will be making some earlier posts informational only and try to achieve a balance of about 20% affiliate related and 80% straight forward helpful content.
Bad Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
There are a lot of things that need to go into a post to make it loveable by the search engines. I had a lot of these elements missing from my posts including simple things like not having a meta description. These elements simply show the search engines that your post is thorough and full of information.
In my next post help me fix my blog- my SEO is bad, I will discuss my SEO errors in detail.
You will see where I have come to the conclusion that the whole process of the blog and the appearance of the website needs to be carefully thought out.
A good first impression does matter.
You need to understand who you are writing for and how you can make your website seem helpful so that people will investigate and read it.
As this happens the search engines will know that you are providing good information and they will promote your website when someone is searching for the information you are providing.
It won’t happen overnight, but I do believe that once corrected my website will gain the approval of the search engines and the public.