by Alex Cosper (5/2/15)
Writing a musician blog should be fun and rewarding, not mind-numbing just to meet a deadline or word count. It takes talent, skill and imagination to keep a great musician blog series going. Those are qualities most people possess, although not everyone knows how to tap into those resources. Here are some ways to avoid and fix common blogging mistakes.
1) Neglecting the target audience
Your target audience should not be a mystery since it's the foundation of your blog in the first place. Follow these steps on identifying your target audience.
Define your target based on who you're trying to reach (age, gender, income)
Create personas that reflect subgroups within your target audience
Avoid generic content that doesn't speak directly to your music fanbase
Write as if you're writing for your best friend
Instead of dumbing down content, tell a good story in plain English
2) Writing for the search engines instead of humans
If you write for search engines and robots, even they might ignore you since they would rather give priority to well-crafted sites written for humans. Besides, writing for robots can be pretty boring for you and your readers. Think of search engines as bridges, not replacements, to audiences.
Never resort to "black hat" techniques designed to trick search engines
Use keyword-rich titles instead of trying to convey cleverness
Do not overuse keywords in your text, which may be considered spam
Write creatively for your audience first, then enhance writing with SEO
Focus on quality more than quantity
Use short paragraphs and bullet points when possible
3) Ineffective or non existent call-to-action
Call-to-action is crucial if you are not a hobby site and you are trying to sell a musical product or service. Without CTA, your visitors might not know what you want them to do. Remember that CTA links are doorways into your sales funnel, so avoid one of the most common blogging mistakes by making your CTAs obvious.
Display simple CTAs at the top of your home page
Use "buy now" and "contact us" buttons
Make CTA statements easy for anyone to understand
4) Avoiding mobile-friendly design
Due to the small screen sizes of mobile devices, it's important to make text and images as easy to display as possible on smartphones, laptops and notebooks. If you run a local brick and mortar business that relies on walk-in customers, then it is essential that you make your site mobile-friendly, since mobile users are the most ready to buy.
Check Google's mobile-friendly test to find out if your site is mobile-friendly
Decide which design solution works best to make your site cross-platform
Consider responsive web design or creating a separate site for mobile users
Keep text large and links spread apart for mobile users
Remember that in April 2015 Google updated its mobile search algorithm
Sites that are not mobile-friendly will be degraded in mobile search rankings
5) Missing social sharing buttons on your blog
Social media is the runaway internet hit of the 21st century so don't fall into the trap of ignoring social media, which is yet another one of the most common blogging mistakes. Most sites can benefit from engagement with followers. Social media is particularly a very effective tool for live customer service.
Go to sites like Facebook and Twitter to get icons to put on your blog pages
Invite people to "like" your pages
Tell followers to share your content
6) Lack of A/B Testing
One of the keys to improving your site is A/B testing, which involves changing one element at a time to see what works in terms of audience response, as well as your own decision on aesthetics and practicality. Use Analytics to gauge audience reaction.
Another one of the most common blogging mistakes is to assume that the information you share is all that matters. Remember that a variety of factors influence internet behavior, from easy navigation to page layout to how easy to read your text appears.
Test font sizes to find out what looks the most readable
Test colors to see what looks the most attractive
Test different graphics to see what enhances the content the most
7) Failure to update the blog frequently
When you fail to update your blog on a regular basis, you run the risk of people thinking that your content has reached a dead end and there's no reason for them to keep checking your content.
Don't worry about updating your site daily unless you have something to say
Make sure you at least update your blog on a weekly or monthly basis
Brainstorm with others including followers for fresh blog ideas
Use guest bloggers to add variety and expertise
Always offer at least one free music download that can be shared online
Break up your main themes into subcategories for future blogs
8) Ignoring Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you don't believe that search engines are the keys to driving internet traffic to websites, then you must be stuck in the 20th century. A high percentage of all internet traffic does indeed originate with Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. If you are unaware of the impact of search engines, then it's time you learn so that you don't get accused of committing one of the most common blogging mistakes that leads to sparse audiences and negative ROI.
Start with keywords that define your niche
Learn about "white hat" SEO guidelines
Write about your expertise in your chosen niche to establish authority
Find more niches within your niche to write about
Use strong eye-catching headlines that include keywords
Test out sensible keyword phrases in search engines to find market holes
Focus on keywords that surfers will likely use in search engines
Develop different versions of the same content using different keywords
9) Zero or little blog promotion
No matter how much SEO-friendly blog content you write, people may still never find it if you do not promote it through various marketing channels. Keep in mind that SEO does not guarantee high search rankings. In fact, nothing guarantees it. That's why you need to increase your chances of reaching an audience through inbound marketing, which is the art and science of connecting your target audience with the content they are searching for, using SEO and beyond, such as pay-per-click ads.
You may also want to promote your blog through traditional media, which is known as outbound marketing. Learn through experimentation and studying analytics the best marketing channels for reaching your specific audience. One of the most common blogging mistakes is keeping the public in the dark by not telling them about your content.
Find out how competitors promote their blogs
Create special pages that promote your blog
Share links to your blog on social media and through permission-based email
Partner with community organizations to get free public service announcements
Promote your blog through other more popular blogs
Use podcasts, newsletters and other online tools to promote your blogs
10) Lack of input from other musicians
Collaboration and interactivity are concepts that define modern blogging. Find out who the leading online experts are in your field and become friends with them through social media. Learn from them and share your insights with them. Guest blogging on other blogs is a great way to get free publicity.
Avoid telling yourself that you will only focus on your own experiences
Don't be self-indulgent - present multiple perspectives
Find experts to interview
Join a blog community and find people with similar visions
Cross-promote content with other relevant bloggers
11) Not collecting contact information on your blog
One of the most costly and common blogging mistakes is to forget why you're blogging. The whole point of doing blogs could get lost if you don't use it as a lead generation tool. The key to many businesses online or offline is to develop a marketing list that you can turn to for announcing new product developments. This list can be used for many things, particularly email marketing. Since permission is required anyway to send email promotional content, make sure you build your personalized market by collecting emails through follower interaction.
Allow followers to leave comments on your blogs
Use email marketing software to build customer profiles
Send emails to prospects to ask if they want to subscribe to free content
Pay attention to the people who interact with you the most
Offer opt-in buttons on the top right, about page and footer of each post
Building customer loyalty and trust includes communicating with prospects through personalized emails. Avoid generic emails, which are often regarded as spam even if you have the recipient's permission. By scoring leads you can prioritize your communication with them, responding to the hottest leads as soon as possible and nurturing the rest for the future. As it should now be apparent, bypassing the most common blogging mistakes is simple, just with a little bit of effort and creativity.
Your clutter-free musician blog needs to consistently shine with a fresh, focused, personal touch that shares valuable information. That means it needs to be meaningful and worth reading from start to finish, since everyone's time is valuable. So avoid industry jargon and use personality to talk with your audience as individuals instead of a mass faceless audience.
Then proof your work to eliminate mistakes and make sure the text flows in a conversational style. Demonstrate your expertise and willingness to answer people's questions. Make sure you host your blog on your site so that you are in full control and get full credit. Follow these guidelines and you will be on your way to hosting a winning blog while overcoming the most common blogging mistakes.
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