Or, surefire ways to sabotage your blog posts & jeopardize your reputation
Target audience: Businesses, brands, bloggers, social media marketers, SEO marketers, Web publishers, educators, journalists.
Guest post by Neil Patel
So let’s call it what it is. When you look around at successful blogs — in any industry, on any topic — there are several undeniable bases to success. And it starts with blog posts that kill it rather than blog posts that get killed.
What kills a blog post? Here’s a list of 12 sure-fire ways to fail. Ignore these warnings and you’ll have a tough time being successful. Do you do any of these?:
Crafting cute, clever or confusing headlines
1Awful headlines are commonplace — but a losing proposition. Your headline is going to appear in many places. At the top of your post …
In search engine page results …
Feed readers …
And email subject lines.
The goal of the headline is to stop readers cold and draw them into your post. You can’t do that if you use cute, clever or confusing headlines.
You can stop readers cold, however, if you write headlines that are unique, ultra-specific, useful or urgent. Here are a few examples:
- 6 Lessons You Can Learn from the Rise of DropBox (unique)
- 100 Ways to Becomes Twitter Power User (ultra-specific)
- How to Become the Person Everyone Wants to Interview (useful)
- 10 SEO Trends You Can’t Ignore If You Want High Rankings (urgent)
As you can see, headlines can share multiple qualities. The best ones often do.
Never linking to old posts
2In the example above, I linked to four older posts of mine.
I did that for several reasons.
- They helped me prove my point.
- Those links drive traffic to those older posts, giving them new life.
- Those links contain keywords I want to rank high for.
- Links are one of the best ways to direct Google spiders through your site.
Just because you’ve published a post doesn’t mean you should forget about it. Each post is a valuable asset, so give new life to your old posts with new links.
Never linking to other bloggers
3A long time ago I wrote a post without any links. It was an important topic, but I was busy and just wanted to get the post out. I actually intended to go back and put in links when I had more time.
However, an influential blogger who had started reading my posts commented almost immediately. He said, “Don’t you want others to join the conversation?”
I immediately went back and put in links.
The value in linking out to other bloggers is threefold:
- You draw others into the conversation. Linking to others opens yourself up to discussing the topic at hand. This allows you to listen and trade ideas with others, learning things you didn’t know before you started and creating relationships.
- You give credit where credit is due. If you write something that is based on an idea that you got from somewhere else, you must link to that blogger. It’s proper manners on the Web.
- You get the authority juice. Inbound links no doubt have high impact on your search rankings. But so do outbound links…especially if you are linking to authority sites. Continue reading