There are lots of ways to blog. You want to make your blog your own, reflecting your interests and personality. Your blog’s uniqueness is one of the things that will bring and keep readers. But there are some common blogging mistakes that bloggers make and you don’t want to make them. If you are aware of them, you can avoid them. Here are five of the most common.
Failure to Plan
To have a successful blog, you need to start with a plan. First, find a focus. Although you can write about just about anything you can think of, you shouldn’t try to stuff it all into one blog. Make your focus narrow enough so that a returning reader won’t be surprised by the subject matter of your next blog post.
Think of what kind of content you want to publish. Publishing often — preferably daily — will help the search engines find your blog. You can write long posts or short ones or mix it up. Your subject matter or your personality may determine your tone. You can be chatty, academic, or anything in between.
Images and videos will add interest to your blog. If you are ambitious, learn to make them yourself so that your content will be unique and will draw viewers. Images and videos are also more likely to go viral than written posts.
Failure to Promote
It’s sad but true that you won’t get readers just by publishing. You need to promote your blog so that your readers can find it.
The first and easiest way to promote your blog is through social media. Every time you publish a post, announce it on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and whatever other social media platforms you use. Find a group of bloggers on Facebook to share posts with.
Post thoughtful comments on other blogs. You’ll often have a chance to include a link to your site. Regular posting gets you known to the readers of other blogs and raises your profile in the niche.
Blogging can be like other adventures you may have experienced. You start out enthusiastic about your new blog. But then your interest wanes. You don’t get the traffic that you were hoping for. No one comments. You run out of things to say. One of the most common blogging mistakes is to stop when you get discouraged.
Don’t get discouraged. Blogging is deceptively difficult. Sure, it’s easy to put up a blog and to post to it. But maintaining it and making it grow take a lot of work and commitment. You can have a successful, popular blog, but you need to keep going with it.
If the problem is that you aren’t getting traffic, try different ways of promoting it. If you aren’t making money, consider other approaches to monetizing it. And if you have trouble thinking up things to write about, consider using PLR — pre-written content that you can purchase and publish as your own.
Letting Them Go
It’s harder find a new reader than it is to keep one. Once someone has found your blog, you need to find ways to keep them. One of the most helpful ways is to get your new reader onto your email list.
To do that, you give away something of value in exchange for your email address. The freebie could be a short report, an email course, a series of videos or anything else related to the subject of your blog. You want to give a good impression, so be sure it’s well-written and informative. Failure to migrate your repeat visitors to your list is one of the most common blogging mistakes.
Once you have a reader on your email list, you can email them daily with news from the blog. You can also send offers for products that you have created or that you are promoting as an affiliate.
When you are so lucky as to get a comment — a genuine comment, not spam — treat it with respect. Comments are great. When your blog post gets comments, it makes it easier for the search engines to find it. It demonstrates to other readers that your blog is popular. And it paves the way for subsequent readers to post their own comments.
If you get a comment, encourage more by responding to it. In fact, finish each post by inviting comments.
Now, we have all seen sites where the comments are filled with spam, negative remarks, and insults. An anti-spam plug-in will eliminate spam comments before you ever see them. Then you have the editorial responsibility to review and approve or reject the other comments.
Use that editorial responsibility well. A popular blog with a lot of thoughtful comments becomes like a forum. You can find a real exchange of ideas there. And a lot of comment activity enhances the authority of the blogger. So encourage thoughtful comments to your blog posts.
So that’s my list of common blogging mistakes — failure to plan, failure to promote, getting discouraged, letting readers go, and ignoring comments. What have I left out? Are there other errors that you see? Let us know below in the comments.
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