9 ways how not to promote your blog

In my previous post 5 ways how to promote your blog further, I outlined some good practices that will help you market your blog. But there is always another side to the coin which highlights the kind of methods you should learn to avoid.

Most of these are stemmed from pure laziness, rather than ignorance, so are inexcusable. It is therefore a wise move to take heed so you don’t fall into these traps.

1. Leave a long time between posts

A neglected blog isn’t really a blog, it’s a sorry state of affairs. Nobody likes visiting a blog whose last post was published several months ago. It shows the owner doesn’t really care, isn’t very interested in talking about the subject or has run out of ideas. It does not say that they have been too busy to post, even if that has been the reason. Even if the content is first rate, it is tainted by its distinct vacuous situation and subsequent lack of search engine spider visits.

2. Write selfish selling posts

Nobody likes people who only sell, as it’s another form of spam. Blogging is all about communicating with readers, and if that only includes babbling on about how wonderful you are, what fantastic products you have or the superb services you offer, it’s soon going to get pretty boring. If your blog exists purely to promote your products, then make this acceptable by offering something else first, such as interesting content, valuable information, educative advice or top tips.

Blogging is not for the egotistical. The posts that become popular and have a better chance of going viral are not focusing on the writer. They are talking about something else in an entertaining way, usually in a conversational style, an educational slant or a fact filled format. Forget writing ‘me’ and start thinking ‘you’ for better results.

3. Spend no time or thought on headlines

The headline is probably the most important element of a post. Some successful bloggers spend hours fine tuning them to get the best results. Indeed there are many plugins and applications available to help you optimise your headlines, as they could make or break how you promote your blog. Even if you don’t have such gadgets or gizmos to assist you, aim to think of the kind of reader you wish to gain, and how the headline will attract their attention and appeal to their interests.

4. Forget about categories, tags and meta titles

Inexperienced bloggers neglect to allocate categories, add in tags and fill in their meta titles (obtainable through SEO plugins). The result are empty posts, devoid of any search engine interest and therefore unlikely to be properly indexed. As the blogging world has grown so huge, it is crazy to skip this simple transaction, which otherwise makes your post as useless as if it hadn’t been written at all.

5. Over-saturate your posts with keywords

And don’t go the other way and become obsessed with including every keyword under the sun, stuffing them to breaking point into every portion of your post. Not only will this drive away your readers, perplexed by being confronted by such unreadable content, but you will probably be penalised by the search engine spiders too, who won’t be able to sort out this bombardment of information. In fact search engine algorithms have been adapted recently to focus on particular keyword groups, which is not improved by exasperating the situation.

6. Forget to include a call to action

I’m sorry to say the English are reticent at reacting to blog posts. Unlike the Americans who instinctively know that responding, commenting and sharing is the correct thing to do when they’ve read a post, those on this side of the pond still need to be told what to do. It isn’t in our nature or have the confidence to undertake such reactions, it’s almost like we’re imposing upon the writer for saying what we think. To overcome this, full and enticing instructions are necessary to promote your blog, by stimulating the desired outcome of obtaining comments and initiating sharing within social media.

7. Forget to feed to social media

There are plenty of applications available to feed your posts into your social media platforms, in fact some are included by default within certain platforms. These require appropriate activation and optimisation to gain increased exposure of your posts to a larger audience, all necessary requisites to promote your blog. And this can be enhanced further by regularly posting at a particular time that results in the most reader responses.

8. Dump your link and leave

This is a particularly lazy trait. One marketer termed it ‘like a seagull’, swooping down to deposit your latest post’s link in a social media group and then immediately fly away without a second thought. How do you think your potential readers will react? If they don’t know you or what you represent, and haven’t had the chance to get to know you and like and trust you, are they likely to click on that link and read it?

Without taking time to get to know the other members of the group you will get a limited response, and especially if you don’t return to follow up on any comments you may receive. Responding to replies is very important, as it develops conversations which are attractive to both readers and search engines alike. Being selfish in social media is not tolerated, neither does it do anything for your reputation.

9. Don’t respond to comments

This is a follow on from the above item. It’s only courtesy to acknowledge the time and effort taken by your reader to leave a comment, so be gracious and thank them and write something to continue the conversation. Comments are also viewed as new content by search engine spiders, which could prolong the life of a post after it has been published with continuous indexing. And popularity also pays dividends throughout the blogging world once you learned how to promote your blog properly.

Can you think of any other traits that should be avoided when it comes to promoting your blog?

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.
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