Last updated on April 11th, 2014 at 11:42 am
In continuation of the last post, in which I revealed the commonest mistakes I’ve observed among Nigerian bloggers, here are more blunders that you must avoid if you want to achieve success in online business:
Consistency is one of the hallmarks of successful bloggers. When you look at blogs like Bella Naija, Linda Ikeji’s blog, Techloy, and others, you’d observe that they are updated every day — with multiple posts.
As a new blogger hoping to set up a profitable online business, you should try to publish new posts very frequently. If you can, publish multiple posts per day. If you can’t, then publish one new post daily. If you still can’t keep up with that, try to publish new posts at least thrice per week.
Frequently publishing new posts at regular intervals helps you build a large audience quickly and boosts your search engine rankings. Publishing three posts every week — consistently — is far better than publishing more posts at irregular intervals.
Well, I must admit that I’m not a consistent blogger myself. But that’s because I’m almost always busy with clients’ writing assignments, and I manage many blogs (for myself and for clients).
As for most other bloggers, being too busy isn’t the reason why they’re inconsistent. Laziness is.
2. Wrong niche
The choice of blogging topics by most Nigerian bloggers is influenced by money rather than passion, interest, or experience.
Many have chosen the entertainment niche because that’s where Linda Ikeji makes her money from, and so they believe it’s the only niche where they too can make money from. Monkey see, monkey do.
The truth is, you can make money from any niche that interests Nigerians (or people in general). So, you should choose a niche that you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. If you offer value and are determined, the money will come.
3. Bad domain name
Many Nigerian bloggers register domain names without considering the long-term results. While there are no standard rules for choosing a domain name, it’s best to choose a domain name that reflects what your blog is all about.
Also, ensure that your domain name is very easy to spell and remember, so that your readers won’t have problems when trying to check out what’s new on your blog.
As for using your name as your domain name, there’s no rule that prohibits that. But I don’t subscribe to the idea, anyway. I prefer choosing domain names that will read well and can pass for brand names.
Retaining a “.blogspot” in your domain name is quite unprofessional. You may argue that Linda Ikeji is sticking with such. But the truth is, Linda already built her brand around that domain name, and changing it now would only make her lose several followers.
And for your information, someone else — a “sharp” Nigerian — already registered the lindaikeji.com domain and is attracting some of the traffic that should be going to Linda’s real blog. (Of course, many of Linda Ikeji’s followers would erroneously or forgetfully visit lindaikeji.com instead of lindaikeji.blogspot.com. You get it now?)
So, I strongly advise that you register your own domain name from the start. Aside that it makes you come across as a serious blogger, it will prevent others from earning unduly from your sweat when your blog becomes popular.
When choosing a domain name, stick with the .com suffix. This is because people are used more familiar with .com domain names.
4. Lack of focus
I’ve seen many instances where the content of a blog would be totally different from what the blog’s name or title reflects.
Similarly, I’ve stumbled on many blogs with posts that left me wondering what exactly these blogs are all about. It all boils down to lack of focus.
If your domain name or blog’s title suggests that you’re offering content about sports, don’t derail by posting articles about technology. And don’t be tempted to write on many topics on a single blog.
If there’s one thing that separates successful blogs from the rest, it’s focus. Only when you’re focused will your readers deem you an expert in your niche. Only then can you build a large audience of loyal followers. And only then can you make money in the long term.
5. Bad design
In their attempt to make their blogs look beautiful, many bloggers end up screwing up the whole thing. And on seeing the end result, you’ll want to puke!
You see, the most important thing is to make your blog look cool and easy to read. Google doesn’t rank sites based on design. And people don’t visit a blog primarily because of design. So, don’t try too hard to make your blog beautiful, as you may end up making it otherwise.
Ensure that your blog is well structured. And keep the design simple and cool. No one will ever blame you for having a simple design. But you can lose visitors if your design looks really messy.
Derek Halpern’s blog, SocialTRiggers.com is a good example of a high traffic blog with a very, very simple design. Ever since I learned from him that your success as a blogger has nothing to do with sophisticated designs, I’ve always stuck with simple designs.
Oh, one more thing. A sophisticated design can cause your pages to load slowly. And that’s enough reason for you to lose some readers.
6. Not being updated
Many bloggers depend heavily on their knowledge without dedicating time to learning new things that will help them succeed.
To succeed in any business, you need to keep abreast of latest trends in your industry. The same runs true for blogging. To achieve success as a blogger, you need to keep yourself updated by reading other blogs.
You need to read blogs that discuss SEO, traffic generation, and other topics that will help you understand how to attract more readers to your blog. Similarly, you need to read blogs that discuss various ways by which you can make money from your blog, so that you can maximize your opportunities when you get them.
You also need to read other blogs in your niche. Not only will this expand your knowledge of your topic, but it will give you more post topic ideas and help you understand the type of information your readers want from you.
So, in essence…
If you’re guilty of any of the errors I mentioned here or in the previous post, try to correct them (if possible) as soonest as possible.
Do you disagree with any of my points? Or do you think I missed something? Or do you have a question? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment. I’ll reply as usual.
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