What I Learned About Writing & Sharing Content In 2012 (Part 2)

Let Me Continue To Share What I Learned About Writing And Sharing Content This Year: Off Topic Content, Bounce Rates, Laser Focused Content

I learned a very BIG lesson in 2012 in regards to my beloved Google. Sometimes they make changes that we don’t like at first but are for our own good. For a very long time, I was getting great traffic to a few of my sites, especially this one, but my bounce rate was at an abysmal 80%. (I cringe just typing that number!) I knew that this was going to be a big problem for me in the future because Google had made it very clear that at some point in the future they were going to penalize sites with poor bounce rates.

bounce rates image

FIRST – I have known for a very long time what the problem was with my bounce rate, I just didn’t know what to do about it. It wasn’t that I was writing content that was off topic for my readers, although it sort of was. Throughout the years of writing articles on this blog, I have always giggled at how bad of a speller I am. I thought that if I was making some of those errors that other people were too, so I came up with this bright idea to share some of those grammer blunders with my readers.

These were actually articles that I did zero keyword research on, I just wrote them up. What I didn’t count on was just how many people look up these terms everyday. There were a lot! For example, one of the terms that I get a lot of traffic from is bare vs. bear. A lot of people do not know how to use these two terms properly, so a lot of people found my article on it, but this created a big problem for me…

SECOND – Sites that were dedicated to grammar  only were referring to my article on their websites. While I was honored that they used me as a resource, I also thought that perhaps I would get a lot of writers from these sites (because I work with a lot of writers) but that was not the case. I basically got a lot of lookie-loos. Could have been kids needing help with a paper or whoever, but they were people who read the definitions and then clicked off my site within a second or two. They got what they needed very quickly and left. This is NOT what I want people to do on my website, and this is not what you want either.

THIRD – While my site is dedicated to helping people create better content and good grammar is part of that, people are not generally going to use my site as a referral for grammar tips. Therefore the high bounce rate. So what happened to fix it? Nothing on my part. What happened was that when Google added their “exact domain match” update, it knocked a lot of my grammar tip pages way down the search results, so I no longer get the huge surge of traffic I use to from these pages. In fact, my traffic decreased by about 10% from this one change which made me very upset – at first.

BUT the result was that NOW my traffic visits my site through articles that are laser focused and related to my website’s mission. People visit for up 15 to 30 minutes now – some longer. I get a lot more page views per visitor. So now my bounce rate is at an all time low of 13%! Can you say yippee!!!

LESSONS LEARNED – The lessons learned are simple. While in the past I have casted a pretty wide net in regards to content I will create for my site, I will no longer do that. While I know a lot about a lot of topics having run my business for many years online, the reality is that I cannot write about everything. Content for my site will be laser focused around my topic. I will include (sort of) off topic articles in my newsletters, in guest posts, or with my private clients. I don’t want to ever throw the balance off of my site again.

Also, your bounce rate matters if you want organic traffic from the search engines. So get familiar with yours by checking your Google Analytics stats and make any adjustments you need to make in regards to the “focus” of your content.

Read Part One Of What I Learned About Writing & Sharing Content in 2012

 

What I Learned About Writing & Sharing Content In 2012 (Part 1)

I’m going to take some time to share with you what I’ve learned about writing and sharing content this year.

When a year winds down, I like to take a look at what the big takeaway or area of growth was for entrepreneurs and marketers. This year I think it’s pretty clear that small business owners have realized not only the importance but the necessity of using content to market their businesses in a way that engages people and inspires them to share it.

The big kahunas have figured this out and have really stepped up their games this year. For instance, let’s take a look at Coke’s home page. Coke makes several attempts to engage visitors with content. They want you to read their @DocPemberton tweets over on Twitter, watch fun YouTube videos of drinking/sharing Coke, or read some of their updates over on Facebook where they share lots of interesting Coke related photos and fun facts.

painless content marketing coke

What I Learned About Keyword Research In 2012

The first element of making sure that your ideal clients and customers read your content is to make sure that you speak their language using terms that they search for on the web. The only way to make sure that you get this right is to do the research. There’s no way around this. If you don’t do this, you will be shooting in the dark and next thing you know a year has gone nothing has changed in your business.

Before Google Panda and Penguin, it use to be that you could create a piece of content, optimize it for the web, and if you followed a few basic SEO principles  Google would rank you highly and send you free traffic. This year some of that changed and it affected many, many sites across the web.

One of the huge things that I learned this year behind this is that it’s much more important to create a website and its content around one central theme versus spending too much time focusing on optimizing each individual piece of content. What I mean by this is that you have to get even more niche focused than before so that search engines as well as potential customers and clients recognize you as the authority in ONE specific topic that you write about. This is going to make it much easier to do your keyword research going forward.

FIRST – For example if you write about blogging, you need to get really specific about what aspect of blogging you focus on such as: making money with a blog, building a blog from scratch, WordPress blogging, Blogger blogging, etc. Get really specific and create content around only one of those topics.

SECOND – Build a list of 5 to 10 keywords around that topic only. This will take you literally about fifteen minutes if you use a robust keyword research tool (like my favs Market Samurai or SEMRush) or a bit longer if you do it old school using Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool.

THIRD – Use these keywords and related keywords (you can find related keywords when you do your search using any keyword tool) in your titles, first paragraphs, and sprinkled naturally throughout your articles.

FOURTH – Also use the keywords as anchor text when backlinking to your site BUT be sure not to use exact matches all of the time. Enclose some of your keyword phrases with other words. For example, if your keyword is “blogging basics” be sure to use longer and varied anchor text such as “blogging basics for coaches” or “easy blogging basics”. The search engines frown upon a lot of exact term anchor text, which is why a lot of sites lost many of their rankings when the Panda, Penguin and Exact Domain Match updates hit.

FIFTH – Don’t over think your keyword research. Ultimately you need to focus on creating content that your readers will read and share!

Here are a few additional articles I wrote in 2012 that discuss keyword research:

Five Reasons Why I Won’t Read Your Blog
http://lisaangelettieblog.com/5-reasons-why-i-wont-read-blog/

How My Blog Traffic Increased By 33%
http://lisaangelettieblog.com/how-my-blog-traffic-increased-by-33-percent/

My Keyword Research SEMRush Review & Tutorial
http://lisaangelettieblog.com/keyword-research-semrush-review-tutorial/

Why Do So Many Entrepreneurs Fail At Content Marketing & Article Marketing?

This is a frequently asked question from members of my community that I don’t think I’ve answered before on this site because it is such a “loaded” question. Yet I think that I’ve now worked with enough entrepreneurs and small business owners that I can answer this pretty confidently. So here it is…

Here are my top 5 reasons why so many entrepreneurs have trouble seeing results from their article & content marketing and what they (you too!) can do about it:

trouble with article marketing#1 – Analysis Paralysis

Many entrepreneurs do not succeed with article and content marketing because they get stuck on what to write about. If you aren’t creating content on a consistent basis, you will not see results — plain and simple. It should not take you 3 weeks to write a blog post and if it is taking you that long — then you need to see me! You are over thinking this whole content thing.

Here’s the key for consistent content creation: solve a problem! Quickly write out a list of 10, 25 or more of the problems your clients/customers typically face. Now write an article that solves that problem. Ta-da the end!

#2 – Unrealistic Expectations

I am notorious for “splashing cold water” on my clients by telling them to stop believing all this crap that many marketers are trying to sell. You cannot dominate your niche with content in a week or even a month. It takes consistency for a long period of time, but the payoff is totally worth it. Free traffic. More visibility. More influence. More authority.

#3 – No System In Place

Many fledgling article marketers typically wake up and decide at some point to write an article or shoot a video during their day, then they do not what to do with it OR they don’t create another one until the “mood” strikes. Things like this happen because entrepreneurs don’t have a system or a blueprint for what to write, when to write, where to publish, etc. in place. I use the Articology blueprint for article marketing in my business and the businesses of my clients. It really makes things a lot simpler when all the guessing has been taken out of the equation.

#4 – Not Using Enough Optimization

Okay, I’m not trying to frighten you with SEO talk but I’ve got to be honest here. One of the major ways that new traffic will find you is if they find your content through a typical organic search in Google, Yahoo or Bing. You cannot create an article or video with a “clever” title and think it will be found by people searching for information on the web. People don’t search for answers using clever words or analogies. They use everyday 5th grade language. Ex: “How do you fry chicken?” or “How can I lose weight?”

So it’s extremely important that you optimize your content for the search engines, otherwise known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I have tons of articles on SEO on this site, but if you need a tip right now: you should be writing titles for your content that contain keyword phrases that your clients/customers are searching for.

#5 – You’re Not Promoting Your Articles

I talk about article promotion a lot in Articology because it’s something not a lot of marketers or strategists are showing you. It’s not enough to publish an article and wait for the traffic to follow. You have to publish then promote that article. Tell people that it’s out there. Shout it out! Guide them with a link.

Let people know what problem you are solving for them today and where they can find the answer and they will RUN to your content, like it, tweet it, share it, etc.

Conclusion

Content marketing and article marketing work. In fact, all the six or seven figure entrepreneurs I know online ALL use content marketing in their businesses. Avoid these 5 stumbling blocks and you’re already way ahead of the game!

How My Blog Traffic Increased by 33%

One of the major ways that you can and you should be attracting more clients and customers is by leveraging the power of the web. Ultimately what that means, is that you should be taking advantage of the free traffic that the search engines will send you when you give them what they want–content.

How I Increased My Blog Traffic By 33%

On February 13th I got the highest amount of traffic ever on my site and most of it was due to several articles I had written over two years ago on February and Valentine’s Day related article ideas. I saw similar results last year, but this year the increase was even higher probably because Google has ranked those articles pretty high for me with related keywords.

lisa-angelettie-blog-stats

For instance, if someone is searching specifically for Valentine’s Day Article Ideas, they will find that two of my articles on this site come up in positions #1 and #2 in Google out of over 49 million results!

valentine's day article ideas

 

Keep in mind that I wrote these articles two years ago — nothing this year around this topic because I was busy promoting Articology. So my point here is that the real key to consistent traffic that will only get better as long as it still is relevant is to just do it! Create it, publish it, rinse and repeat. And realize that you will reap rewards from your efforts immediately when you push your content out in social media AND for years to come as the search engines rank your content higher and higher in a search like the above example.

You can replicate these types of results as well when you follow a few simple rules:

Do Proper Keyword Research
I didn’t accidentally come across the term valentine’s day article ideas. I did my research and knew that there was a select group of people searching this topic using these keywords. So I made sure that I wrote optimized articles around them. I talk about this a lot in my article marketing training program Articology.

Keep Stacking Content
It’s important that you continually publish content to your blog. Not only to keep things fresh for your clients, but for the search engines, who will rank your older content based on how relevant you continue to be with your new content. Simply put, if I hadn’t continued to build my site and stack it with relevant content, I doubt that those articles would hold the #1 and #2 positions. They would get ranked, but probably not that highly.

Keep Sharing Your Content
One thing that I did do differently this year, was to casually remind people through my ezine and social media that if they needed article ideas for February or Valentine’s day that I had a few articles around that topic. I really think that this helped my traffic rise for not only the 13th but the entire month of February. Remember that while you are always sharing new content, it’s important that you remind folks of all your great older content found deep inside your site.

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Remember that content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy. It serves as the foundation for your business and you should ALWAYS be doing something content related in your business. This is not a quick fix strategy. Once you adjust your mindset around that fact, you will do the work necessary to see REAL results like mine as you grow your business.

Are You Going To Hit It & Quit It?

I want you to stop thinking about the pursuit of search engine traffic as a one hit wonder, a one night stand, or a quick fix. Sure there are a lot of marketers out there trying to sell you WordPress plugins, software, and “systems” that will assure you a HUGE avalanche of traffic (can you hear me being sarcastic?), but the truth of the matter is that I am not here for a quickie. I’m in it for the long haul. I can stay committed. I am faithful. I want a long term partner and therefore long term results. That is why I consistently feed the search engines what they want:

Content that is original
There is little tolerance for duplicate content by the search engines and rehashed content by readers. The search engines are getting smarter and smarter each day to all the duplicate content tricks, PLR mess, etc. and the readers are getting a little sick and tired of reading something they know that they’ve read somewhere else. Be original.

Content that is high quality and useful
I’m going to be totally transparent here. There are definitely days where I have written articles that I just wanted to get done and rushed it. Or there were articles I’ve written where I didn’t really have a lot to say and perhaps should of saved them to include in a more meaty article — but I didn’t. Ultimately I will pay the price for those so-so articles because people won’t read them or they certainly won’t convert. Not when there is a higher level of content out there on my topic. Now I’m not putting a word count on that content – I’m putting a quality meter on it. If it’s highly informative or entertaining, then publish it. If it’s not really something that you would read yourself, forget it, and go back to the drawing board.

Content that is shared with others
This is a relatively new concept for many business owners but it makes perfect sense. The quality level of any piece of content can generally be judged by how many people share it with others. Think about an article you shared with someone recently. Or a video you “liked” or “tweeted”. If you’re not totally sold on social media yet, think of “old school” sharing. Comments. Or reviews (like Amazon). Anything that gives your content the thumbs up or the seal of approval is of great importance to the search engines and helps them determine where they will rank your content. For example, if you’ve enjoyed this article, I’d really appreciate it if you would comment, Tweet it, share it on Facebook, or give it a G+.

Your Turn!
What strategies have you used to increase your blog traffic this year?  What are your trying? What’s working for you? What isn’t?

Pinterest Marketing Tutorial For Small Business Owners

Pinterest Was My 3rd Top Referrer Of Traffic To My Website Last Week.

Lisa Angelettie Pinterest TrafficI received pretty good traffic last week. Typically Mondays through Thursdays are good days for traffic to my website and to most websites, but when I checked my statistics, I noticed something really interesting. As usual, my primary source of daily traffic came from the search engines (mostly Google), my secondary source of traffic came from WordPress.org because I have a WordPress plugin in the repository there that I created (which is in beta right now). Bloggers are downloading it, but I haven’t really promoted it yet because I’m still working all the kinks out. It’s called WordPress Guest Post.

BUT my 3rd primary source of traffic was from the new social media website Pinterest and I was pleasantly surprised, because there wasn’t much I had to do to earn that new traffic.

Now I am by no means a Pinterest expert (and really who is at this early stage?), but I believe that the results I have seen by using it for only about 10-15 days are really worth sharing. Therefore if you are a small business owner, solo professional, and your ideal clients are women then I’ve written this especially for you.

Pinterest Tutorial – Section 1

What the heck is Pinterest? Pinterest is a social media site that acts as a virtual online cork board. In my home office, I have about three different cork boards up. Two have lots of personal pictures of my kids, my friends, my hubby, my parents, as well as a few mementos from long ago like a few buttons from high school and college, and stuff that my kids have made me over the last few Mother’s Days:) So needless to say the whole cork board thing resonated with me. I mean it’s fun!

Also, Pinterest is experiencing huge growth especially among women of all age ranges (which is unique) in social media. So if your ideal client is a woman, then this is definitely the place to find her. 

It took me a few minutes to “get it”, but the general point of Pinterest is to “pin” or “repin” images of things that you like from websites or from other Pinterest users and create your own virtual corkboards of items that you like. These items then get categorized with topic categories, titles, and descriptions of your choosing. As you can see, I have a mixture of business and personal boards from content marketing to handbags (my favorite accessory, no okay my drug of choice!). I think it’s a good idea to have a mixture of business and personal stuff.

You don’t want to blatantly promote yourself and you DO want to appear personable and authentic. But most of all, there is more to you than your business isn’t there? So why not express that visually over on Pinterest. Again, it’s a lot of fun:)

pinterest user page

Pinterest Tutorial – Section 2

1. The first thing you need to do is create an account at Pinterest, and at the time of this writing you still need an “invite” to create an account. This isn’t really hard to obtain. You can request one directly from the home page and wait for it for a few days, or you can send me over your email address and I’ll add you to my list of “friends” to send invites to.

2. Once you are accepted into the fold, the first thing the site will ask you to do is to start pinning, but I wouldn’t do that. Like any major social site I join, I rather build out my profile first.

3. The first thing I would decide on is my Pinterest username. The great thing about this site is that you can change it if you need to, which I did. The best thing is to make your username consistent with the profiles of your other social media profiles. I use Lisa Angelettie everywhere so that is what my username is. Pick yours.

4. When you joined Pinterest you had a choice of  logging in and setting up your account via Facebook, Twitter or a manual login. If you set up your account via Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest will automatically use your profile photo on that site as your photo on Pinterest.

5. Next you can add a brief description of who you are which will be located under your profile photo.

6. Then you can add a link to your website (very important!). Use the full url address. [http://LisaAngelettie.com]

7. Decide on whether or not you want to connect your account to your Facebook account & timeline (which I recommend).

connecting your interest account

Pinterest Tutorial – Section 3

Now that you’re all set up, it’s time to start pinning. Pinterest sets you up with several boards already such as Books That You Like, Stuff For The Home, etc. Very general stuff, but stuff to get you going. You can keep these boards or you can edit them. You can also create more. It’s really simple.

1. The easiest way to start pinning is by “repining” another Pinterest member’s photos. So you can conduct a basic search in Pinterest for a topic such as “dogs”. You will then see results for people who included dogs in their title or description of their photo. If you see a photo that you like, scroll over it and you’ll see 3 icons with which you can decide to:

>> REPIN IT so that you can add it to one of your boards

>> LIKE IT if you like the picture but don’t want to add it to your boards

>> COMMENT ON IT if the pic moves you to speak

2. You can also add a Pin It Bookmarklet to your web browser which will allow you to pin photos that you like as you cruise around on websites. How this works is that you click on Pin It, the bookmarklet will “pull” all the images it sees on that page and give you the option of selecting which photo you want to pin.

Pinterest Tutorial – Section 4

Followers
Like other social media sites, you can follow people on Pinterest, you can follow specific boards that they’ve made and of course they can follow you as well. There will be plenty of people who will want to follow you based on your boards and when you go to follow them back, you’ll see that they have zero boards created yet. So, a word to the wise is decide on what your strategy is going to be.

If you sign up via Facebook or Twitter (I signed up via Facebook), Pinterest found followers for me who were already my Facebook friends and automatically started following them. That’s fine, because I do want to cross promote and engage those friends through multiple platforms.

Will you follow everyone who follows you?

Will you seek others to follow?

*A great benefit to being an early adopter on Pinterest is that you can get in front of many of the leaders in your niche in a very unique way. Most people will take a few minutes to look at your boards regardless of who they are because this site is so new. They won’t ignore you. So it’s important to make sure you are pinning relevant images for your topic and get in front of people who you normally would have a tough time meeting.

Pinterest Tutorial – Section 5

Pinterest Marketing
The biggest question that entrepreneurs ask about Pinterest, is how on earth can it be beneficial to business owners. More importantly — is it a waste of time? We already spend so much time on other social media sites.

The reality is that Pinterest is so new, that no one can truly predict what impact it will have on business owners, but there is one obvious strategy that all business owners can take advantage of on Pinterest and that’s the fact that we know that an unprecedented amount of women are on the site AND that it is a chance to present and establish your brand in a unique way — visually.

A few Pinterest Marketing Ideas

1. Pin your logo.

2. Pin some of the more interesting images from your website.

3. Pin testimonial images.

4. Pin infographics (really big on Pinterest!)

5. Pin pictures of you and your family, you and your clients, or you speaking,

Pinterest Tutorial – Section 6

Search
Pinterest is gaining traction in the search engines, but it’s not what I call a Power Link yet, but it’s new and it needs time to grow. I did do a search for “I love purple” and a Pinterest I Love Purple board did end up high on page 2 of Google. That’s okay, but not great. So I wouldn’t expect any major search engine traffic from Pinterest at this time.

Social
Pinterest makes it very easy to share what you have recently pinned or liked with Facebook and Twitter making it a seamless and effortless visual/social conversation. I really like this about Pinterest.  I also like that it adds something different and engaging to our timelines and newsfeeds, instead of just more of the same. Plus, this is where the traffic comes from. Facebook and Twitter. Someone sees something you’ve pinned on there and follows the path back to your board on Pinterest and then back to you and your website.

Engagement
While online engagement isn’t anything like Facebook or Twitter, there is an advantage to that. When someone comments, there is a probably some passion or meaning behind the exchanges that is worth reading. For example, I read a few comments made on a board that features extreme dog grooming hairdos. There are some people on there who are livid with these groomers, and there are other people who believe that it is “art” and that these groomers obviously love dogs. That was probably the only exchange in the form of comments I saw on Pinterest today and it was good! So you see there isn’t a lot of meaningless chatter or hyper-promotional crap on Pinterest – yet:)

So take advantage of the simplicity, quiet and beauty of it now!

Pinterest Articles For Further Reading

56 Ways To Market Your Business On Pinterest

What Marketers Can Learn From Whole Foods On Pinterest


Ideas For Marketing Your Business On Pinterest [Infographic]

using pinterest to market products
Pinterest Infographic, an Infographic by Linchpin SEO

How To Create Compelling Content – The Infographic

Are you clueless when it comes to creating content that your readers crave, consume, share, and act on? Hey, it can be daunting task but here’s a little inspiration for you to get over the hump and get a clue! This infographic on how to create compelling content was designed based on a post originally at Copyblogger.com. Enjoy!

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

#1 Secret For Writing Productivity

writing productivityIf you are a parent, especially a mom (shout out to all my moms!), then this is probably going to really speak to you because we tend to be multi-taskers to the tenth power! The problem with multitasking is that it can be distracting. Sure you may get a lot done, but is it really done well? OR do you even get any one thing done completely at all?

I find that the clients who have the most difficult time with creating compelling content on a consistent basis for their audience, tend to suffer from this multitasking approach towards everything in their lives including their marketing and let me tell you — for must of us this approach just won’t work.

So (drumroll please!) this is my #1 strategy and secret for writing and producing more content on a consistent basis:

Focus on only ONE marketing strategy today and that’s creating content.

Do not play around on Twitter. Do not look for Facebook friends and fans. Do not connect with someone on LinkedIn. Forget about commenting on your favorite bloggers posts. Leave those website, pay per click, or Facebook ad stats alone today. Your website doesn’t need any tweaking today. You don’t need to check emails all day. Just once at the top of the day, if at all. Instead, just focus on content.

I find when I decide that on Mondays (my personal writing blitz day) all I am going to do is write, I produce a lot more content. In fact, instead of writing just one blog post or creating one video or writing a guest post for another site — I find that I am creating 5, 7, or 8 different new pieces of content that day that will set me up lovely for the rest of the week! Bam! Content done. Now I don’t have to worry about how I’m behind on creating new content for the rest of the week because I’ve already done it. And get this…

There’s something about doing ONE thing in one sitting, without distraction. You get in a ZONE. So I find that I write my best when I have been writing several articles, book chapters, etc. at one time.

So here’s what I recommend that you do:

1. Select one day a week that you will commit to creating high level content that attracts more of your ideal clients.

2. Eliminate all distractions on that day.

3. Create a series of blog posts, guest posts, video articles, or audio articles that day — don’t just write one piece of content that day.

4. Pay yourself on the back, you’re done for the week!

Top 5 Reasons Why I Won’t Read Your Blog (And What You Can Do About It!)

Why Won't Read BlogThe content you create this year is more important than ever. The big brands like American Express and Coca-Cola have caught on now. Instead of spending a lot of their dollars on interruption marketing (commercials, etc.), they are paying consultants like myself big bucks to create compelling content campaigns for them that build brand trust and brand loyalty. Does your content do this? What is the first impression that your content makes?

In my work with clients, I do a LOT of website content evaluations a.k.a. makeovers, with which I use a 17-point criteria system. Over the years, I have consistently found five factors that site owners drop the ball on and so I thought I’d share them with you today…

Reason #1 – I Can’t Find Your Blog!

One of the biggest areas that site owners drop the ball on is basic search engine optimization. First, you have to start thinking like your ideal client. How would your ideal client search for your what you do in the search engines? What type of language would they use? Now you have to optimize your blog post titles to reflect that language so that when people do a search that your article shows up in the search results.

So for example, if you are a wedding planner and you are writing an article on wedding planning tips, I can’t tell you how many biz owners I have seen that title those articles something cute like “I Do” or generic like “Your Beautiful Wedding” — when the reality is that you need to be very specific and use terms that REAL people search for if you want to get search engine traffic like “How To Plan A Wedding On A Budget”. The key to getting this right is doing keyword research in your niche to make sure you are targeting phrases that people are typing into Google. I use the keyword research tool Market Samurai for this type of research for myself and when I create editorial calendars for clients.

Reason #2 – Your Blog Screams To Me That You Are An Amateur

As a solo entrepreneur, our resources may be limited as to how much we will invest in the aesthetics of our website, but we can make up for it in other areas. That’s why it’s really important that we do. So if your blog screams “amateur” then I’m afraid you are two seconds away from losing yet another possible client.

You are hosting your blog on a 3rd party blogging platform such as Blogger, Wordpres.org, LiveJournal etc. — While these are great resources and very user friendly for newbies, a blog hosted here does not say that you are serious about your business. Serious enough to invest a few dollars on your own domain name and a self-hosted WordPress blog. When I see a blog like this, I don’t think serious, I think “newbie” — and I’m not going to invest my money with a newbie or with someone who appears to be a newbie.

Your blog looks straight out of the package. While you do not have to spend a lot of time or money on this, I think that it’s really important for your website to look like you’ve spent at least a little energy in making it “different” than the many other blogs that use the same template you use. It shows that you are serious about your business and that you want to provide a good user experience.

Reason #3 – Your Blog Gives Me A Headache

If your blog is too cluttered, it will turn off and turn away potential clients. A good way to give your blog “room to breathe” is to make sure that your articles have a lot of white space between paragraphs, photos, etc. You also need to take a good long look at your sidebars. Do you have too many slow loading social media widgets? (Dear Facebook, can you fix that?) Do you have too many advertisements? Is there just too much junk in your sidebars that leave your readers about where to go first? Consider what you can eliminate from your sidebars that will improve your visitors user experience? A simple and clean blog is best.

Reason #4 – There Is No YOU In Your Blog

This isn’t typically a newbie mistake, but one that many intermediate marketers make. A trend that has started which I fully support is the use of guest blog posts. Many bloggers are featuring other writers and experts so that there is more “fresh” content on their site without having to create it all themselves. Totally fine strategy, except that many bloggers are overdoing it to the point that I don’t know what the point or message of the blog is. There are so many different points and strategies being made on the blog by different writers, I’m not really sure what I’m suppose to be learning and more importantly what to do next. If this is you, remember that this is YOUR business and at the end of the day people have to be able to trust YOU in order to make a decision on whether or not to invest with you. Using too many guest bloggers will dilute your message, so be picky and selective about who you feature. Make sure the message of the guest articles are in alignment with your overall marketing message.

Reason #5 – You Haven’t Invited Me To Come Back

While I may do a search, and find your blog articles, AND actually read one, I probably won’t ever come back and visit your blog again because you haven’t asked me to. The #1 call to action that entrepreneurs should make in their blog is to ask for an email address so that the reader can continue to read more content. The reality is that trust doesn’t come easy in today’s world! Visitors need to have additional exposure to your message in order to make a decision to trust you and invest in you. So ask invite them to experience more of you. Make sure to add optin boxes on your blog. The best 2 places for these optin invitations are top right-hand corner of your site and at the end of your individual articles.

Your Turn!

I’m sure you’ve visited many blogs on your travels around the web, what are some things that make you “click away”? Share them below in the comments area, because I’m sure that we all can learn from each other.