When you start a blog you usually don’t do it with the intention to make money or even have a large audience. Most people (me included) start a blog to keep family and friends updated on their life, and to have a creative outlet. However, if you are interested in making money, driving traffic, etc, you need to be aware of a few simple things you COULD be doing wrong that are easy to fix. Today I am sharing five mistakes you are making with your blog and how to fix them now!
Mistake 1: Your about page URL. What is your about page URL? Is it yourblog.com/about or yourblog.com/about-me? Either way, it’s wrong. If you go to my about page you will see that I have it location and blog topic focused. When brands are searching for bloggers, they are not searching for “about me”, they are searching for a “Texas Beauty Blogger” “Chicago Fitness Blogger” etc. Change your URL to match what you do. Are you a Southern California Parenting Blogger? That should be the title of your about page. Whenever I work with brands I ask them how they found my blog. Almost always they say searching for a “Dallas lifestyle or beauty blogger” BOOM! I get the job.
Mistake 2: Not having an email list sign up. I had a really crappy sign up option before. It was awful, and you would probably have had no idea it existed. Since relaunching my blog my signups have tripled. I am so upset with myself for not doing this sooner. Learn from my mistake. Have an email list, and make it available several places on your blog for sign ups. I use Mailchimp and it’s amazing.
Mistake 3: How new pages open on your blog. When you look at your blog and go to any page does the page open in the current tab or does it open a new tab? It should open a new tab. You don’t want people to have to go back to your main page if they are reading a post and click on a link you have. You want that link to open in a new tab so they are still reading your main post and also able to view the post you linked to. Otherwise, it is likely they will not stay and they will not comment or interact with you. Having pages open in a new tab is also good for when you include links to other sites or posts in your post.
Mistake 4: Posts not shareable: If you do nothing else please install a widget so that people can share your post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ etc. Nothing is worse than going to a blog, loving a post and not having a way to share it! You could be missing out on TONS of traffic this way. It may seem like a “duh” sort of comment, but daily I see great blogs with no sharing options on posts. Fix this! There are a ton of great plugins for these. Shareaholic is one of my personal favorites.
Mistake 5: A Messy Sidebar: I have had my blog looked over by some of the best in the business, and some of the people that make decisions on which blogs get picked to work with brands. Every one of these people has said their biggest turn off is a messy side bar. Having tons of ads, tons of buttons, and tons of crap in general on your sidebar is NOT good. I think a few things are important on your sidebar: Having an easily accessible email signup and your social media links are two of them. Lastly, if you belong to a network and need to have an ad: BlogHer, Mode Media, etc have that. Beyond that, just don’t have TOO many things. I like having my categories on my sidebar too. Whatever you have on your sidebar, just make sure it looks clean.
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Mistakes you are making with your blog can be the difference between getting that awesome campaign or not. Working with the brands you love or not. Don’t let little mistakes hurt your future.