And now for something completely different. This will be an educational post!
I was doing a simple search for a problem I was having with my WordPress reader. An unrelated link showed up, but the title was interesting, so I clicked it. If you would like to bypass my babbling altogether, go straightaway here and get the professional’s original version:
12 Things That Will Kill Your Blog Post Every Time by Neil Patel at SEOmoz
Before I share the highlights of the article and my thoughts, you should know that I had to do another search to find out what SEO meant. Search Engine Optimization. Oh, I see. That makes sense. So here we go …
1. Crafting cute, clever or confusing headlines (or really bad ones)
Patel says, “The goal of the headline is to stop readers cold and draw them into your post. You can’t do that if you use cute, clever or confusing headlines.”
Strike one against me. I never craft my title with search engines in mind, but maybe you should if you want people to come to your blog. He goes on to say, “You can stop readers cold, however, if you write headlines that are unique, ultra-specific, useful or urgent.”
2. Never linking to old posts
What?! I didn’t know this was a good idea. In that case, read these posts:
Erotica (Blush) – where I freak out about today’s romance books. I had no idea mainstream romance novels had moved into the porn arena.
Always Check for One in the Chamber – where I tell the tale of the day my husband shot himself. In our house, it’s considered humor.
3. Never linking to other bloggers
I’m getting better at this now that I have some relationships with other bloggers. Here is a link to a blog I found 45 seconds ago. I typed the word pizza into the WP search engine, and scrolled through the posted links with pictures. I was stopped by this cute guy and his master making pizza. Stop by and take a look – This Little Italian Cooks. I am now a follower.
4. Forgetting to fill out your page title and description fields
Yeah. Ok. I don’t have a clue. I’ll need to do more research on this. Patel talks about plug-ins and Nutella.
5. Creating clunky URLs
Patel says, “If you want to give your post a fighting chance in the SEO landscape, then you have to include recognizable words in your URL. This means keywords, too.”
Ooh, I never thought about this. And I’ve had a website for sixteen years. I’m a moron.
6. Plagiarizing other bloggers
I’m not guilty of this! But I’ve seen some nasty comments between bloggers when one quotes another without credit. Don’t do that!
7. Publishing less than one post per month
There are bloggers who I wish would post more often. I enjoy their posts. But even if they only posted once a month, I would still be happy to see them in my Reader. I do understand that the search spiders won’t be kind to you though.
8. Writing big blocks of copy
Patel says, “Writing short paragraphs is a basic blog post writing law. Just like simple words and short sentences. Resort to long blocks of copy and you are stacking the deck against your blog post.” He goes on to point out that people will only stick around and read until they’re bored.
I’ve found this to be true. Sometimes, I read a blog post, and it’s good, and I think I’m at the end, but it goes on and on for as long or longer than what I’ve already read. I’m easily distracted. I sometimes leave.
P.S. – I love Patel. He just gave credence to my use of simple words and short sentences.
9. Zero presence on any social media platforms
In addition to your blog, he recommends Twitter, Facebook, and especially Google+.
Me = FAIL
I have a presence on Twitter and Facebook, but they scare me too much to use them.
10. Never inviting readers to leave comments
I’m hesitant to do this. It feels like begging for comments. I hope I will come across as approachable, and people will feel comfortable to leave comments, yet I appreciate the bloggers who ask a question, because I’m more likely to respond.
For example, Sarah at Earful of Cider is running a poetry contest about BACON until Monday night at midnight. The prize is a nifty mug. Sarah says, “Lay your bacon poetry on me – bacon haiku, sonnets, limericks, couplets, spectrism, reverse verse, Purple
Cows Sows, nursery rhymes, cinquains, whatever.” She is friendly and inviting – and she’s a librarian. Hubby and I both entered her contest. Here is the poem I would not allow hubby to submit:
Slice it, smoke it, fry it up quick.
Make sure it’s done, or it might make you sick.
Splattering grease burn, it looks like a freckle.
An apron protects you, especially your schmekel.
I’ve admitted to Sarah that we are really twelve year olds.
11. Writing about a topic nobody cares about
Been there. Done that. Some days, it’s a crapshoot.
12. Giving up
Patel says some successful blogs didn’t take off until they were two years in, and most people quit by nine months.
Never give up! Never surrender! ~Commander Jason Nesmith
Neil Patel wrote a great article complete with graphics and loads of links to even more information. It’s extremely helpful, especially to a new blogger. There are 130 comments, and some of the information in the comments section is as good as the article itself. So, if you haven’t already done so, hop on over to read Neil Patel’s 12 Things That Will Kill Your Blog Post Every Time.
What do you think will kill a blog post? Should I teach more often? Will you be entering the bacon contest?
(Look at me! Asking questions!)