Blogging looks like an easy way to make an income, but when you get started, you’ll soon learn there’s a great deal that goes into making it a success. Too many bloggers look for an easy setup, only to discover that there’s more to it than they expected.
First impressions mean a great deal when you’re designing your website. If things aren’t working just right when a reader hops onto your site for the first time, you’ll have a difficult time changing their negative impression in the future.
When setting up your website, brand, and first post, don’t make these rookie mistakes:
- Your internet connection isn’t fast enough.
You’re probably thinking: “Why does it matter if my internet connection is fast?” It’s my readers that need a good connection so they can read my content. This is true, but it’s also very important for you to have high-speed internet.
Reliability is essential, and a slow internet connection slows down backup processes and increases your risk of losing content. It also opens you up to security vulnerabilities and may prevent you from installing the security measures you need to protect your blog and your readers.
Most bloggers use a variety of online tools as well, and a faster internet connection means you’ll have access to any tool you need without slowing down your site. If you don’t currently have a good internet connection, it’s worth looking for a better one!
- Your website is too busy.
Busy websites are confusing and difficult to navigate. Your blog has a simple purpose: to entertain or inform your readers. So, your website should be simple.
A Google study indicates that a simple, uncrowded website is scientifically better. Researchers focused on visual complexity and prototypicality of websites. Prototypicality refers to the mental image your brain makes that helps it to categorize your content. This is the cognitive function responsible for helping you identify categories like furniture, human beings, animals, etc.
“Users prefer websites with low visual complexity and high prototypicality,” the authors wrote. “Websites of low prototypicality are generally judged as being unattractive – in fact, this counts for websites of high as well as low complexity. Both factors already influence the aesthetic judgments after a very short presentation time of 17 [milliseconds].”
- You’re selling too much ad space.
Too many ads make your blog look like total spam. They distract from your message, and readers are pretty wary of ad-heavy web pages. There are better ways to make revenue, so explore your options and reduce the number of ads on your page.
- Your posts are too text-heavy.
A recent study from ChartBeat revealed that the average reader only consumes about 50 percent of your post. Sometimes, that number is even less. They simply scan the words and look at the picture. Without pictures, you’re likely to lose them.
“Charts, infographics, and even clipart help break up your monotonous wall of words,” says an article from StartBloggingOnline. “You can also use them to share information visually, allowing you to streamline your sentences and cut right to the heart of your content.”
- You didn’t set up analytics.
Analytics provide essential data about the successes and failures of your blog. You can’t make progress if you don’t know what you’re doing right and where you need to improve.
Setting up analytics is simplest and most effective if you do it at the beginning. Install Google Analytics and any other analytics plugins that go with your blog platform. This will tell you which posts are most popular, how people are connecting with your blog, the way users are navigating your site, how long people are visiting, your bounce rate, and more.
- You didn’t optimize for SEO.
Here’s another convention of good blogging that’s best done at the beginning. Install Yoast SEO or another highly-rated SEO plugin so that your blog posts are easy to search on Google. Refer to your analytics to determine ways to increase your posts’ searchability and put your blog on the map.
- You haven’t started an email list.
Email lists increase your reach significantly! It’s one of the best ways to target your readers and provide them weekly content that they want to see. According to John Chow, author of the successful blog JohnChow.com, starting your email list at the beginning is essential.
“My biggest mistake was not starting my email list from day one,” Chow, told NeilPatel. “…The list didn’t start until a year down the road. Had I started the list from day one, my list would be twice the size it is now, and my income would also be twice as high…Start the list today!”
Starting a successful blog can be simple as long as you have keen attention to detail. These setup steps are crucial to extending your reach and maximizing views from the very beginning.