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December 11, 2010
3 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid
 
Everyone is jumping onto the blogging bandwagon because they’ve heard that they need one for SEO purposes.
 
While there’s some truth to that, if SEO is your sole reason for blogging, you’ll likely not do it correctly. Blogging should be done because there are topics that you’re passionate about, which you want to tell others about. This enables you to write compelling, interesting posts on a regular basis, which in turn can bring you more visitors from search engines. 
 
But too many blogs don’t work that way.
 
Here are three mistakes that new bloggers often make: 

  1. The blogger gets carried away with anchor text.  The blogger writes posts that may or may not be of interest to people, with the main purpose of providing other pages of the site with keyword-rich anchor text links.

    These posts are typically difficult to read as so many of the words on the page are linked. Or, in other cases, the links may be somewhat hidden so you only see them when you mouse-over the words. Either way, the intent is clear – anchor-text spamming.

    I’m sure the bloggers using this technique justify it as being helpful to their readers. But they’re not fooling anyone. Well, maybe they’re fooling the search engines as I have seen this trick work. But I always think of anchor text as akin to the doorway pages we used to see back in the 1990s. You end up with tons of content written for the sole purpose of raising the rankings of the pages linked to, with nothing of value to the actual site visitor.

  2. In an effort to monetize his or her blog, the blogger uses advertising software to turns words into ads.  Basically, the blogger tricks you into clicking these fake links because you think you’ll be provided with more information on something, but the link is just an ad. When I see those fake links (typically with a double underline) I leave the blog right away and won’t read further. I assume -- rightly or wrongly -- that the only reason for the blog post was get people to click on the ads rather than provide useful information.

  3. The blogger has no writing capabilities. Let’s face it, not everyone is a good writer. That’s okay. Unfortunately, with the ease of creating a blog, everyone thinks he’s a writer. Just because you can type, it doesn’t mean you can write! Admittedly, I have very high standards when it comes to writing, but there are just too many poorly written blog posts. How often do you start to read a blog post and never finish it because it’s too hard to read?

If you want to have a blog because you have an interesting perspective on your industry, then you should write one. If you aren’t a great writer, then hire someone who is to be your blogger -- someone who can take your great ideas and write coherent posts that are neither repetitive nor too long. More isn’t always better; in fact, it’s often worse. And if you can’t afford to hire a great writer, then you should at least hire an editor. Editors can take your so-so content and slice and dice it until it’s ready for prime time, while keeping your original thoughts intact. 
 
Great blog posts can bring more visitors to your site as well as help your overall SEO goals. But, you’d be smart to avoid these blogging mistakes! Take a look at your own blog, if you have one, and be honest with yourself. Is it really and truly serving your target audience, or is it only serving you? 

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As an SEO Consultant, Jill Whalen has been providing her no-nonsense, practical SEO advice since 1995. If you learned from this article be sure to sign up for Jill's popular High Rankings Advisor SEO Newsletter to keep up with the latest information in the ever-changing world of SEO. Follow her on Twitter @JillWhalen, "Like" her at Facebook, and "Circle" her on Google+.

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