I’m worried about your blog. Wait, let me back up. I’ve been reviewing my reader’s blogs and overall their content is spectacular and they are run by extremely passionate people.
But the same little mistakes keep popping up.
I believe that every visitor to your blog makes a decision about your worth within a few seconds. They subconsciously tally up 10 factors that dictate if they’ll support and promote you.
Aside from these factors, there are little missteps that may be hurting you now.
Today we are going to get you straightened out. Don’t beat yourself up about what I’m about to show you. This is the stuff that you learn through trial and error. My pain is your gain.
Kill This Button:
Many of you use this nice little Share button. Kill it now. To use it, your readers have to mouse over it or click it. Then they need to hunt for their share preference, and then click that. A fraction of your audience will go through this process.
Instead, download the Official Twitter Button, Tweetmeme, Topsy, or Digg Digg. Put your share buttons front and center at the top of every post. You want to make it as easy as possible to simple click and share your posts. That leads me to…
Fix Your Permalinks
Settle down, I’m not going to get technical with you. It’s simple. Your permalinks are WordPress’s way of directing traffic to the right link on your blog. You have a choice of using an arcane link like www.pushingsocial.com/2 to link to a post or www.pushingsocial.com/this-post-rocks. You want to use the second choice.
You can configure your choices in your WordPress Admin area under “Settings” and Permalinks. You’ll need to put this line /%postname% in the Custom Structure box. This change will give you URL links that include the post name. This is good for SEO, Retweets, RSS Feeds and other cool stuff that gets your blog noticed.
Check Your Retweet Button
Click the retweet button on one of your posts. If it doesn’t grab the title of your post and the link then you’ve got a serious problem. Some retweet buttons grab the title of your blog and the blog url address. Bad Bad Bad. There are too many retweet button options out there to give you a tutorial on how to change this but if you have a problem search for the problem on Google.
Also make sure you have a retweet button beside each of your blog posts. One retweet button in the sidebar doesn’t work. Most likely you are retweeting your blog address rather than the individual post. Like I said, it’s the little stuff.
Naked Share Icons
Your Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and Google+ icons are more than decoration. If you want people to click these icons and connect with you then you need to tell them what’s in it for them. Simply finding a cool icon and planting them in your sidebar isn’t going to get the job done. My Twitter following zoomed from 4K to 10K in 5 months by telling people why they should follow me.
Hiding Your Email Opt-in
The very first thing a person should see in your sidebar an invitation to join your email list. Better yet, you should have a juicy special report or ebook to give them when they do. The only money-making asset a blogger has is their email list. Make building yours a priority. Go to Neil Patel’s blog to see how this is done.
Let’s be honest with each other. You know when a blog owner is pinching pennies don’t you? Their blog looks like a throwback to the 90’s. It’s embarassing. I won’t beat around the bush here – buy a premium theme. I use Studiopress, it’ll cost you $80. It’s worth every penny.
The moment you do your blog will start to look like a real place to get professional information. Until then you are playing in the minor leagues.
Putting Adsense at the beginning of your blog post is suicide. You’ll forever be branded as one of “those” sleazy internet marketers. It looks bad and isn’t worth the .30 cents you’ll earn for your trouble. But don’t misunderstand me, I like advertising – if it is discreet and effective. Study how experts like Pat Flynn expertly place their Adsense ads to generate real revenue.
By the way, if you only get less than 1000 visitors a day, concentrate on writing audience building content rather than fiddling with ads.
What Are You Going to Do?
Two things are happening right now. 1) You’re scrambling to check and fix these errors 2) Shaking your head rationalizing why you use that stupid share button. If you are in the skeptical camp, try this, test out my suggestion. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t stop back here and let me know in the comments.
Either way tell me what your are thinking in the comments now.