There is no question that among the estimated 2.4 billion people who used the Internet in 2012, blogging was as one of the common online activities that majority of them did. WordPress, Tumblr, Blogspot and other similar blogging platforms have actually made it easier for ordinary people to start a blog with relatively less hassle. If you are a blogger, make sure that you are not guilty of the following blogging mistakes.
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Undefined Blogging Goal
Although it is fun to see your work online, you must be aware that you cannot simply write for the sake of writing. Just like any task or activity that you do, you must have a clearly defined set of goals. For example, majority of the blogs you will find on the Internet can be classified as one of the following:
- Cause oriented
By defining your blogging goal you will then be able to focus on the topics you would want to write about. This also allows you to set up a blogging schedule to periodically come up with quality posts daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Remember to be flexible in your goals, you must learn to adapt, as the Internet is a constantly changing medium.
No Personal Branding
Very few bloggers, especially new ones, truly understand the importance of branding. Regardless of the blogging goal you established, make sure that you always put your product seal much like any artist always signs his work. You should be aware that the blog is your product and your name is your brand. This is why the “About Me” page is one of the most important and frequently visited parts of any blog.
Any blogger who has achieved significant success and following can attest to the fact that readers want some insights about the writer. To a certain degree, the 366 million people who have viewed over 10.7 billion pages on WordPress were curious about the personality of the writer. Never deprive your readers this opportunity, write your “About Me” page with a personal touch instead of from a third person perspective.
Keep in mind that when people want something, they normally do not look up the title or model; rather, they search for the brand name or writer. Try to visit some blogs and you will be surprised that some bloggers do not even bother to identify themselves. Display your name prominently in the header and be proud of your brand.
Not Establishing Credibility
There are roughly about 45.8 million new posts monthly on some of the top blogging websites. However, many of these new blog posts were written as part of an opinion without the benefit of research. It is completely acceptable to write your blogs from your personal opinion, but always do some research so that you have facts to form your arguments on.
If you firmly believe that blogging is important to you, then you must invest time in research work no matter how boring it may sound to you. Do some research on writing styles of successful bloggers and their approach to various topics of interests. Based on your goals, know what your target readership is interested in, to make them come back regularly. Comment on other blogs, many bloggers are more than willing to help out fellow bloggers.
Not Checking/Responding to Your Email
Sometimes because of the fast paced nature of the Internet, it is so easy to overlook interactions. You may set aside checking or replying email messages to when you feel you are more relaxed or less in a hurry. Give importance to your emails because this is one of the few more personal interactions you can have with your readers. Learn how to segregate those worth reading from pitches, solicitations, or unnecessary subscriptions.
Giving Less Importance to Titles
Using a title that reflects the content is quite easy to remember. Many bloggers though make the mistake of putting less importance to the title because they feel the body will keep readers engaged. The importance of titles is based on how effective and catchy it is that it will convince the reader to read up to the last word and revisit your blog. Some of the more successful blog titles include “Steps to…”, “Tips on…”, “How to…”, and others. As you can observe, these suggest solutions rather than emphasize problems. People normally go online to look for solutions.
Lack of Originality
One of the most common mistakes that you can observe as you go around the blogging world is that there are some without originality. Remember that originality in blogging does not literally mean creating something new, but rather, taking something that has already been written or done and injecting it with your interpretations, opinions, and conclusions based on careful research.
Not Being Current
It is acceptable to write about history or things that may have happened 10 or 20 years ago, as long as you can relate it to the present. Making your blogs current will invite new readership as well as win loyal followers because they know that you invest time in updating your content. Do not fall into the mistake however of updating everything else in your blog and neglecting your “About Me” page. Update your readers as well with what is happening with you including new contact information if any.
The focus of your blogs should always be quality instead of quantity. Do not use your blogs as if you are simply updating your status on social media. Readers come because of the quality of your content and not because you are like a bookstore. Too many posts will cause your older posts to be taken off your homepage making it more difficult for new visitors to find them. Letting your posts linger allows for comments to become more current and updated.
Overlooking Social Media
Don’t think that social media is a threat – it is a good, good friend. You should be aware that before the advent of social media, the main blogging tool used for content distribution was email list. This was a difficult way to promote your blog to other people. Compare this to reaching out to the over a billion users on Facebook and you will know just how useful social media can be. Learn to use current technology to your advantage to promote your blog and increase readership.
In blogging, it is understood that you are responsible for the content of your article. Unfortunately, you should also be aware that your responsibility extends far beyond what you write. As part of the blogging community, you are also accountable for the comments made by your readers. That is why in the Blogger’s Code of Conduct, it is suggested that bloggers be responsible not only for their work, but also for the comments that they allow on their blogs. Keep everything positive and clean to increase your readership.