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Here’s Why Your Blog Sucks (8 Reasons With 8 Fixes)

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Blogging is hard! I started the B² Blog a little over a year ago and it’s been a slow and steady process to gain readers, shares, and an overall interest in what we write about.

I’m constantly looking for tips and tricks to tweak what we have. I read lots of blogs in my own quest to be better. And, lemme tell ya, a lot of blogs SUCK!

your blog sucks

Why Your Blog Sucks

  1. The absolute NUMBER ONE reason your blog sucks is because there’s no discernible value. If you’re not solving problems, giving jaw-dropping tips, and figuring out ways to HELP your would-be customers, you might as well spend your time picking the seeds out of a strawberry.
  2. You don’t know what white space is (or how to effectively use it). The design of your blog, just like your website, is extremely important. Mass amounts of readers are murdered with every large, chunky paragraph you have with no spacing, bullets or a header.
  3. Your grammar and spelling totally negate your degree in English (or any sort of higher education). No need to elaborate here.
  4. If your blog doesn’t entice a little conversation, it is, by definition, dead. Make it easy for readers to leave a comment AND to share. Trust me, your blog won’t sprout legs and market itself!
  5. Consistency is key. It’s going to be really hard to create a loyal following of readers when they aren’t sure if they’re going to get valuable content on a regular basis. As with any social or online media, it takes a true commitment to pull off a regular schedule.
  6. Your blog doesn’t have an SEO strategy. No matter how big or small, you should have some sort of plan to get indexed and profiled by search engines like Google. What industry keywords are you using? How many high-quality, internal links are you creating? The post-and-pray method won’t be enough to draw stampedes of subscribers to your blog.
  7. If your blog doesn’t run on a Content Management System (CMS) — like WordPress — you won’t have the nifty bells and whistles that help it grow. Can people subscribe to your posts via RSS? By email? Further more, how are you pulling stats on your readers and subscribers? How are you backing up your posts? All things to seriously consider!
  8. The next step isn’t a part of your blogging strategy. What is the point of your blog? Where’s your call-to-action (CTA)? How are you asking people to stay longer? What’s your plan for getting people to add themselves to your marketing list(s)?

True to #1, I’m not going to tell you how you (might) suck and then leave you hanging! We’ve got some easy-peasy fixes for your suckiness.

How Not To Suck

  1. I can’t tell you specifically how to add value. I can give you these tips to get there:
    – Know your audience
    – Figure out what their pain points and problems are (think about your FAQs)
    – Write a list of 10 ways to solve each FAQ (this should give you AT LEAST 10 different posts, if not hundreds)
    – Remember: Value is not decided by you, it’s perceived by your readers.
    – ACTIONABLE tips work best
  2. When designing your blog, white space matters. Use headlines. Use bullets, numbered lists, and dashes to make your posts easy to read. As long as readers can skim your post and grasp the concept, it doesn’t matter if it’s 300 words or 3,000.
  3. PLEASE review your posts before hitting publish. If you can, get an editor to look over your work. Have a question about correct spelling or how to properly use grammar? Try Google, Thesaurus.com, Grammarly, or ask a friend! Making mistakes and coming across as uneducated are two totally different things.
  4. We’re not likely to copy and past the URL of your blog post into our Facebook status box or on Twitter. That’s why you need to have social sharing widgets.  Additionally, there are many ways to entice users to comment. We use, and love, CommentLuv. Comments and shares are good indicator of success.
    twitter shares
  5. Make a COMMITMENT to some sort of schedule and STICK TO IT. This isn’t about writing, or topics, or anything else. This is about YOU making the commitment and taking the time to do something. Here’s a FREE blog editorial calendar from HubSpot to help you get started.
  6. When it comes to SEO I highly recommend Yoast for WordPress to help you with keywords, your meta description and getting found. Make sure you have links in your posts and an overall link strategy.
  7. A CMS for blogs is just a given. I really can’t understand why you wouldn’t use one. We use WordPress, but you can also try Drupal, Joomla, and the list goes on and on. In my opinion, you can’t effectively manage your blog without a system that allows for management, plugins, themes, etc.
  8. What’s the next step? What are you trying to accomplish? This can be very easy, such as text that asks users to comment. Or, it can be more complicated. For example, we have:
    – A free eBook in our blog sidebar to help with gaining subscribers
    – A plugin that suggests similar posts, as well as a slider that recommends a post based on user data to keep readers engaged
    – A newsletter opt-in at the end of my bio

blog

It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

I’m sure the above sounds extremely daunting. Remember that our blog took a year to get where it is now and it’s a constant process to improve it, make it more reader and user friendly, and to convert!

Please let us know what blogging tips you have for those that suck in the comments below (and a solution for fixing it)!

See you in the social sphere!

 

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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
Category: "Ways Your Marketing Sucks" Series, Best Practices, Blogging, Content Marketing, Online Marketing
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14 Comments. Leave new

  • Excellent article, Brooke! I absolutely agree with every point you have made. Blogging is hard. By following your tips, we can be on our way to reaching our blogging goals. Definitely sharing this!
    Robin Strohmaier recently posted…Blog Writing Style – The Quirky Things We WriteMy Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, Robin! These are the most common mistakes I’ve seen out there … I’m sure there are more. However, with a little research and elbow grease, these are easy to fix and start ROCKING the blog-o-sphere!

      Reply
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    Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou
    September 18, 2013 11:36 AM

    Yay! I managed to read it today. Great one. I’ll tell you what really puts me off when I visit a bllog for the first time: too many pop ups and the flashy Ads on the side or top bar, especially if they are non-related. I don’t share them (never) and sometimes I just leave without reading.
    I love the consistency of the bullet points in your articles. I know I’ll quickly skim it if I don’t have time to read all but I’ll still get that #1 point: VALUE.
    Thanks for being here. A pleasure to read you always.

    Reply
    • Agreed, Veronica. Too many ads start to take away from the main message. I worry about the little things we have! The blogs with banners, and ads, and flash, and slide-ins just get to be a little too much. Maybe they are making gobs of money off the ads…? That’s the only reason I can think to have that kind of “show”.

      Thanks for your kind words! I always love when you pay us a visit. 😉

      Reply
  • It’s Joomla 🙂

    Also, I could just be missing it, but your call to action graph with the “click button below to sign up for e-newsletter”? Where exactly is the button to sign up below it?

    It is indeed VERY hard work to keep up a blog. #3 just so happened to be my favorite, I must confess. Though I think you need to tell online newspapers that, too… I find most of them are the worst offenders.

    Reply
    • Ack! Thanks, Amanda. Not sure how that extra little ‘a’ jumped in there. I’ll edit.

      Yep … right under the recommendations (“You may also like …”) there’s a button that says (with arrows) “Click the button below to sign up for our newsletter” – it’s either a FB button or a regular button (depending on if you’re signed in or not – tricky!)

      #3 is hard. EVERYONE makes mistakes (like my extra a in Joomla!), but the repeat offenders look uneducated when they constantly spell things wrong (like ya’ll instead of y’all).

      Thanks again for chiming in! Appreciate you! 🙂

      Reply
  • Another awesome post Brooke! I agree with everything you wrote and I want to enhance the “white” space point.
    One thing that drives me away instantly is a blog with a black, red, or other harsh color for the ENTIRE page and the font in white. This is so hard on the eyes that I just can’t stay and read. Use a nice “white” or off-white center space and normal, black font. Make it easy for people to read it!
    Jenn Herman recently posted…Are You Too Slow To Respond?My Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, Jenn! It’s hard to explain “white space”, isn’t it? I worry about that a lot with our blog. I want it to be branded and look good, but I want it to be easy to read. Your blog is SUCH a good example of white space and a clean look. Black and red, or green and red wording is so HARSH! Plus, what about the portion of the population that’s color blind?! You have to think about these things if you want a global audience!

      Reply
  • Hey Brooke – you’ve got a lovely turn of phrase – LOL and lots of great tips. Can I be picky though? and pick up on Jenn’s comment about white space. Actually, you’ve got sort of grey space here 😉

    Reply
  • Hey Brooke, This is a great post. I’m just making my own blog and this has been very helpful for me and i’m definitely going to come up with a more detailed strategy. I’m going to do my best to make sure my blog doesn’t suck!

    Thanks

    Rhydian

    Reply
    • Hi Rhydian! Thank you so much for stopping by and weighing in. I bet you’re SO excited to start a new blog. Please do be sure and let me know when it’s up and running … I’d love to read your posts and return the favor. 🙂 I know you won’t suck!

      Reply
  • This biggest tip I give anyone who asks, be active on your blog. By this I mean, respond to comments and actively promote your blog. Responding to comments on your blog helps you get to know you audience better which will help you write more content that they want to hear/read.

    Great post Brooke.

    Reply
    • Hi James, I very much agree that conversation on blogs is key to readership and success. I also think — which I think you mean as well — that as a blogger you should comment on other blogs. I can’t very well expect people to read and comment and share my things without doing that for others!

      Thanks so much for weighing in with your comment today! 🙂

      Reply

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