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The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Bloggers

This guest post is by Karol K of YoungPrePro blog.

The advice on how to be “the effective guy” is just so common online that it starts to get boring … You know, reading yet another article on how to be a great blogger and all…

So why not take a different approach and consider the seven habits of highly ineffective bloggers instead?

If you think that it’s a joke, it isn’t. If you look around in the blogosphere I’m sure you’ll find tons of bloggers who fit this description perfectly. In fact, I bet that you’re guilty of one or two of these habits as well (I know I am).

Habit 1. Not proofreading

This is the first sin bloggers make. I know that crafting a nice blog post takes time. You need to do your research, prepare the resources, and finally write the thing using a number of relevant links and keep all the SEO optimizations in mind … there’s really a lot to do.

In all this commotion, it’s easy to overlook one simple thing: proofreading. The fact is that proofreading is one of the most important phases of crafting a blog post. Without it, you’re not using the potential of your post effectively—some readers will simply be discouraged with all the grammatical errors you’ve made.

My advice is this: proofread your posts at least once. In addition, use a plugin like After the Deadline for some extra help (it provides automatic proofreading).

Bonus tip: There’s one more trick I want to share with you. I’ve found that I get much better results when it comes to the quality of my writing if I write a post one day, and then edit and proofread it the next day.

Habit 2. Not networking

Did you know that 80% of your blog’s success depends on the people you know, not on the content you write? You didn’t? That’s because I made that statistic up!

Whatever the stats, I’m sure the benefits of reaching out to your fellow bloggers are pretty clear to you. Building a successful site is always easier if you have someone you can contact for help, or for a joint venture proposition.

Treat your blog like business. The more quality business partners you have the better. Networking in the blogosphere isn’t even difficult. It all starts with a simple email that says hi.

Habit 3. Not using offline blogging tools

These days, I’m all about offline blogging tools. One particular tool, actually. It’s called Windows Live Writer. What’s great about it is that it allows you to create an optimized blog post offline, and then send it to any WordPress blog you want.

Let’s face it: you won’t have internet access at all times. Maybe you’re staying in a cheap hotel, or visiting your family over the weekend, or some other scenario. If you want to be effective, you have to have a way of creating a post even if you’re offline.

I know that the standard way of doing this is through Microsoft Word or some other text processor, but they are not very good at providing WordPress-ready formatting. Windows Live Writer is great in this regard—give it a go.

Habit 4. Not staying on topic

Going off topic makes you highly ineffective. And the reason is that your readers have come to your site to read a very specific piece of information. They’ve seen a headline, or a search engine listing, and clicked on it. Now, if you decide that you want to change the direction mid-post, they’ll simply leave.

Over time, such practice will make you really ineffective at writing about the things you wanted to write about. You’ll always get distracted at some point and talk about other things. This is something you really need to be wary of.

The simple advice is this: if you fail to stay on topic, your readers will get confused and leave.

Habit 5. Not promoting your stuff

Writing and publishing the post is usually only half the job. If you want to make it really popular, good content won’t be enough, you also need to spend a fair amount of time on promotion.

And by promotion I don’t necessarily mean spending money on ads and reaching out to investors. Just a couple of clicks on some social media share buttons might be enough, or sending an email update to your subscribers, or notifying your StumbleUpon friends and contacts, and so on.

Also, this is where your network of contacts comes into play again (mentioned earlier). If you have some friends in the blogosphere, you can let them know whenever you publish something really valuable (your pillar content).

Habit 6. Not writing guest posts

Every website you know of—every single one of them—became popular because of some other website. There’s not one website online that became popular on its own (no, not even Google or Facebook).

The key to success, then, is to get featured on other websites. There are two possibilities here:

  1. The difficult one is to do something remarkable and get mentioned naturally.
  2. The easier one is to write a guest post and offer it for free in exchange for a link.

I really can’t emphasize this enough, but guest blogging is the cheapest and the best way of building your brand online. If you think that you don’t need to do any guest blogging, then you are not utilizing your full potential as a blogger.

Habit 7. Not doing SEO

I know some people say that SEO is dying. Mostly, this attitude is the result of the recent updates like Penguin, which killed a number of legitimate websites and online businesses just because they were building quality (yes, you read this right, quality) backlinks.

This whole situation makes the SEO game a lot harder, but it doesn’t mean that you should leave it completely. The fact is that one thing surely won’t change anytime soon: Google will still remain the main provider of traffic online, and if you want to get a piece of this traffic, you’re going to have to learn how to be up-to-date with the best SEO practices and implement them in your blog.

Make sure to pay attention to the popular SEO blogs and also the official Google webmaster central blog.

Are you guilty?

This concludes my list of 7 habits of highly not effective bloggers. Feel free to tell me what you think, and admit how many of these habitds you’re guilty of. Be honest—I know I’m doing at least two myself!

Karol K. is a freelance writer, and a blogger. If you want to check out what he’s up to, feel free to hit him up on Twitter (@carlosinho).

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Comments

  1. Kristy Chong says:

    Thanks for these very upfront tips. I am just starting to build my marcomms business in Sydney and have just started blogging. I am definitely going to get onto the guest blogger suggestion asap.

  2. Alessia says:

    I am guilty of a few but I’ve never had effectiveness as a goal. Not on my personal blog. I’m happy with entertaining the few people who know me already if I fail reaching others, I only optimise the theatre reviews.

  3. This was great feedback and essential to a blogger’s success. One thing that I do not do is the guest blogging portion. I am still working on building those relationships prior to asking if I can become a guest blogger. I also am somewhat shy in that respect and working to overcome that. You mentioned that you were doing at least 2 of these yourself. I am not sure of one of the flaws you have committed; however, I did notice that you wrote “habitds” instead of “habits.” :) But once again thanks for the post, excellent content and very valuable.

  4. Yes! I almost feel that I should put five, no six or possibly seven yes’s here. I am guilty of all these at some point throughout the year. As a blogger and a family man we need to manage our time effectively.

    Prioritising each of your points becomes the key, however we must ensure we do them all.

    SEO I find the most fruitless. So difficult nowadays to get listed in the SERPS. Social media skills and networking have become the real assets in my online business.

    Regards

  5. Well, I haven’t used offline blogging in a while, but Live Writer is my favorite too. It’s useful even when internet connection is available.

    I’m happy with the fact that as of last week, I’m no longer guilty of any of these. Perfect timing.

    Great list!

  6. Every seven habits that you referred here are linked to each other if you are not doing any of it then you are not blogging effectively. Working on a blog and avoiding such a common steps doesn’t makes you successful!

  7. After reading the 7 habits, I was like “oh my”. I’m glad to see, actually, that I don’t have a problem with most of these habits. The one that seems the most challenging to me at this moment is guest posting. I have no problem sharing my thoughts on my own blog, but to put those thoughts and opinions on someone else’s seems a bit daunting to me. It doesn’t matter though, I know that is the next step that I will conquer. Thanks for the post.

  8. Ben Troy says:

    In an ideal world if you wrote an article you would get someone else to proof it for you. A fresh set of eyes will pick up on errors you donot see.

    • Good point Ben,

      I tend to write an article and then revisit it the following day before it gets published. It’s amazing how much editing you do using this technique. I also find my word count grows!

  9. Nice piece. The article could be summed up by iterating the #1 habit of ineffective bloggers, which is the act of being anything but authentic. SEO means nothing if the content is not compelling and compelling content is a simple byproduct of being authentic.

    Are you genuine? Or merely an actor? A representative? Or that which is represented? In the end, perhaps you are merely a copy of an actor. Second question of conscience. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

  10. Faizan Elahi says:

    Very helpful list. I have to admit I have been a guilty of some of these mistakes and I hope to avoid them in future.

  11. Very clever list! YES most bloggers are guilty of 2 or 3 from the list. I’ll take your advice on writing 1 post in a day and proofreading it the following day, I guess that worked well for you. :)

  12. Dee Ankary says:

    Ouch – you hit some sensitive points there.

    For those of us on a Mac, Windows Live Writer is not quite an option. One thing that works well though is ScribeFire, a browser extension that works for most browsers.

    Great list.

    Dee

    • Amanda says:

      If you’re on a Mac, and you’re using WordPress, Mars Edit is also a great editor for on and offline blogging.

  13. I am so guilty it isn’t even funny. I often post on my blog and then wait a week before going back to proof read. I just find it hard to read over something I just wrote. I really do need to do better. I also have never used windows live writer for my blog. I actually carry a note pad around and do my writing in it. Then later I transfer everything over. Wow, I quess I need to make my way into the 21st century. lol

  14. lisaflorence says:

    Great Information.

    Thanks for sharing such a nice tips.

  15. Agree with all of this – and am sadly guilty of too many of these habits!

    I think it is really amazing how the first two habits can really undermine a lot of your good work if you are not careful. However, the good news is that as a blogger you have ownership and control, so can take all of the required action to fix it!

  16. Mi Muba says:

    Another habit of mine also add in the list i.e taking decision in haste; every decision like what to write, how to monetize, how to presell, how to back link with less planning and more enthusiasm.

  17. Ramkalyan says:

    Thanks Karol, for sharing this very useful article. Very good tips indeed.

    Do you know of a guide that will help me improve on “habit 2 – Effective Networking”?

  18. I’be been guilty of habit #1 more often than not. Limited time in my schedule sometimes gives me only an hour to write and publish a post, so proofreading becomes less of a priority.

    Habit #7 is the one that I’m probably guilty of most of all because I used to be so focused on SEO that it affected the topics I chose to blog about and the quality of my posts, so I changed the way I blog, for the better and now, I don’t care about SEO as much as I used to. Its probably because I started networking and guest posting more so I don’t have to depend on one source of traffic.

  19. Shola says:

    Thanks for the tips Karol! I am in total agreement with you on Habit #1, and I’m so glad that you put it first. Typos, grammatical errors (e.g., using “your” instead of “you’re”), and spelling mistakes can jack up your credibility in the eyes of your readers with the quickness. I’m definitely going to check out the “After the Deadline” plugin, because with two young kids at home, it can be tricky for me to fully focus on proofreading my posts with the laser-like attention that is needed to do it flawlessly. Hopefully this plugin will be my ace in the hole to ensure that no typos happen to sneak onto any of my published posts.

    In terms of admitting guilt–Habit #6 is an area where I need to step up my game. Even though I’m pretty new to the blogging game, I haven’t reached out to guest post for anyone yet. That is something that I need to handle ASAP, because I have no clue why I’m dragging my feet in that area.

  20. techanuva says:

    Hi karol,

    You have written good list of Bad habits in blogosphere. I am great fan of Steven Covey, and his books – 7 habits of highly effective people and 8th habit and others

    You have tried replicating the same for Bloggers and in a other way saying INEFFECTIVE BLOGGERS, as these category of bloggers outnumber a good blogger in the blogosphere.

    I read each and every habit carefully and you have narrated it well. I am new to this arena and want to become an expert in SEO and other.

    I am basically a Software engineer and a designer of few websites. Now i want to take up the SEO too and master in this area.

    Learning SEO and other techniques will help me in my day to day job, as i work on eCommerce projects in my professional life. Also i want be a good writer of SEO techniques and blogging.

    your post was a good one to highlight my in effectiveness in my current site. http://www.techanuva.com

    This is a place i put what interests me but now i am concentrating it to specialize in SEO and its related area, not for monetizing but to make as a passion to technology and eCommerce platform I am working for.

    You suggestion on my site as a personal mail would be helpful. Hope i receive a reply from you.

  21. Helpful reminders to be sure – I can honestly say I’m actively doing everything on this list except guest blogging. I’ve done a few with lackluster results – yes I know, point the finger back at me first. And I was doing just that until I read the newsletter of an A-List blogger I subscribe to. He shared his results from an experiment he conducted to determine the most effective way to get traffic to his site and included every one of the tried and true traffic generating methods – including guest blogging. Turns out no one was more surprised than he was that guest blogging ended up near the bottom of the list in his tracking reports. And this is a guy who promoted the fact he became an A-Lister as a result of a massive number of guest posts.

    He’s since revised his approach/advice and is now saying it’s still something to include in traffic generating plans but because it’s now so ‘common’ that response (people actually following the link back to your site) is not what it used to be. To be honest, as a reader, I’d have to agree since I can’t remember ever clicking the link to follow a guest blogger back to his/her site. It’s not a conscious decision on my part – it’s just that when I get to the bottom of an article either I leave a comment because I have something to contribute, or I move on.

  22. Dylan says:

    Awesome post! I must admit I am guilty of not doing guest blogging, but I must get on that fairly soon!

  23. Thanks for the tip about the offline blogging program! I didn’t know such a thing existed!

  24. Ehsan Ullah says:

    Proofreading is must in blogging to avoid mistakes in blog posts. Other than proofreading it I always wait for few hours after completing my blog post because If I just hit publish than I don’t want myself think something like “I wish I could write this instead of this”.

  25. rakesh says:

    I agree with your points.sharing it in social networking sites really helps and check out my blog infoinbulk.com

  26. Amanda says:

    Thanks for providing these great tips. I think the only one I have a question about is guest blogging. I’m planning to write a post on choosing a stats package, and would like to have it featured on one of the pro-blogging/blogging tips sites, but I don’t know how to go about this. Is it OK to email a blogger and send them the post and ask for a link? Or is it OK to send an email and ask to guest blog on this particular topic? I’ve had a blog for a long time, and am just starting to take up writing for it again. So I know that I’m going to have to start over when it comes to SEO, networking, ETC. And I’m willing to do this. But given that the landscape has changed so much since I started blogging in 2004, I’m having to relearn a lot of stuff. So any help would be greatly appreciated.

  27. I’m horribly guilty of more than half. Thanks for tips to improve my game!

  28. Thanks for your insight. I think guest blogging is most definitely gaining momentum and is becoming a critical tool going forward. Creating useful online tools such as online calculators is also often overlooked by many bloggers, if a useful tool is provided to visitors, it can bring them back to your site and create a source of natural backlinks. Cheers!

  29. Kunal says:

    Yes, i am guilty. I do agree. And its all because of my hectic college schedule. But will try to avoid my mistakes from now onwards.

  30. Matthew says:

    Hi Karol,

    this is a great list. I admit to being a bit reserved about promoting my posts.I know it’a definitely something I need to do better. thanks for a great checklist.

    Matt

  31. Chad says:

    Thanks for the information.

    Great tips for people just getting started.

  32. Ali says:

    I notice some of these habits in me…Thanks for the great article.

  33. I always look at it in phases when working with others.

    You start off by not knowing anything.
    You progress to understanding the platform you are using
    You start to create a voice for yourself.
    People start asking you questions and await answers
    You start doing interviews for others
    You are asked to speak at events
    They are forcing you to release a knowledgeable product.
    You start making good money each month
    The list goes on….

    What I’m just trying to say is, that without proper knowledge or education people will stay ineffective bloggers, however if there are people to show them the ropes and help them out, we can start supporting a next generation blogging sector.

  34. Priti says:

    Thanks Karol K, you actually saved me from becoming an inefficient pro-blogger. I was giving all my time to write posts for my blog, share it to the communities etc. but always skipped to write a “guest post”. I think it’s a matter of serious concern for me and have to work on it right now.
    Thanks for sharing such a straight forward and helpful post!

  35. Hi Karol, Thanks for the tips. As I read through them I found myself guilty of a few especially the proof reading.Hopefully after reading this I will be able to get back on track with my blogging. Great information ,look forward for more.

  36. Shelby Roth says:

    I confess right away to be guilty on not proofreading and you know how much that will cost your entire writing if not done! A t least I have got a new break-through again. You actually saved my breath; sometimes we lack an idea to change but not because we don’t practice but because we assume to be right when we are not. I really find it very helpful and obliging, keep up the great job!

  37. Kris Emery says:

    Much less guilty of some of these after the Problogger Training Event this weekend, but definitely terrible at proofreading my own blogs. I spend so much time editing for other people, that I’m too tempted to ignore this bit for my own blog. Frequently made to eat my words in encouraging people to use editors!

  38. Felipe M says:

    I definitely should write a guest post. It seems so cool sometimes and so easy when you read all this cool tips but when it comes to action it’s very difficult. I’ll do my best! love your blog!!!!

  39. Deb Hathaway says:

    I am guilty of a few of these points… ACK! I am new to blogging and am trying to learn as much as I can… soaking up information like a sponge. Thanks for posting!

  40. Does anyone have any suggestions of how to arrange guest blogs with other sites and contacts? I know there is an option to do so on ProBlogger (like this post) but if there was any advice about how to do so with other sites I would love to hear them. Thanks, Patrick

  41. I’m probably guilty on all the points.

    Also I’l like to point out another bad habit:

    Habit 8. Not sticking to blogging schedule. If you let down your readers then you will have a thought time recovering back from that.

  42. Great post!

    I’m definitely guilty of a few of those… I’ve been slow to network my blog, but the guest features sound like a great way to get that extra coverage. Thanks for the pointers…

  43. Karol this is a very insightful list. I’m definitely guilty of not promoting what I write and not reaching out to other bloggers, even when I know this is crucial to my blogging. It has taken me 4 years to just get out of my cave and start reaching out to other bloggers and promote myself. I used to be terrified of rejection and was scared of criticism so the idea of reaching out to people and even commenting (yes commenting) on a blog would leave me paralyzed for hours. I made excuses like it took too much of my time but an excuse is still an excuse and unless you start doing the work, you stay stuck in the same place.

  44. Alan Reeves says:

    My worst bad habit is #4, not staying on topic. I haven’t found a good focus for my personal blog yet. I’ve had better luck with business blog but it is hard to come up with good topics to write about sometimes.

  45. tl8y.com says:

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with
    it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or
    two images. Maybe you could space it out better?