Every one is blogging these days. Odds are there aren’t even many grandparents left who haven’t been trained how to blog by their tech-savvy grandkids. Okay, while that might be a bit of an exaggeration, it is true that blogging is on its way to becoming the newest universal pastime since sleep.
As common as blogging is, there has to be a share of expected (and forgiven) mistakes being made out there by those new to the concept. While the list is miles long, most of them aren’t severe enough to create problems for bloggers-to-be. However, there are three common mistakes being made by first-time bloggers that can and will sink your dreams of e-readership.
You should read:
- How to create a successful blog
- 5 tips to make blogging easier
- How to write the perfect blog content
Maybe I’m biased, but I am labeling this must read before starting a blog.
NO AUDIENCE IN MIND
Novelist Kurt Vonnegut once said, “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” The same is true of blogging, and if you want your writing to stand a chance at gaining an audience, you need to write with that collective, potential readership as if they are the only person for whom you write.
The most common mistake bloggers make when starting out involves just writing all of their disconnected, scatter-shot ideas or thoughts. This might grab a few readers, but most are more likely to get confused or bored. When readers feel anything but joy to read your blog… that’s when readers stop reading.
This isn’t all to say that bloggers can’t just post their thoughts as they come to them – several do, and are quite successful, but these seemingly random thoughts need to contain consistent messages; they need to share some connective tissue, whether in tone or in subtext.
FAILURE TO BE AUTHENTIC
This is a boon of most humans unfortunately, and it is hard to overcome – especially when you want the world to read your blog. As traffic to your site will decide its fate, a blogger should never write anything that lacks authenticity just to get page hits.
Studies and surveys have shown that readers tend to leave blogs that loses its consistency, as well as its authenticity. The reasoning goes back to having that audience in mind, and in maintaining that relationship. If you don’t write political pieces, don’t write one just because it belongs to a “hot” story elsewhere. Again, this isn’t to say that you can’t make a post if the issue truly means something to you, but stay consistent in tone. If you can only write the piece in a tone your audience may not be accustomed to, make a note of the change before the body of the post begins.
If readers feel that you feel enough to inform them, they’re likely to forgive any rough patches in their eyes.
FAILURE TO NETWORK
It’s a lovely idea to think that readers will just find you on their own, but this is a foolish flight of fancy. I’m being very generous when I say that more than two blogs start every day, and that blogging has been around for a while. With that much content and only so many readers, you can’t expect them to come to you.
Blogging is a full time job that most of us never get paid for, but we do it any way. While it looks easy to those who don’t do it, there’s a great deal of self-promotion involved. This is why I always stress to bloggers the importance of getting your names out there, not just your work.
One of the best ways to do this is to guest post on other people’s blogs. Almost every site that accepts guest posts allows a guest to add a link to his or her blog in an author bio at the bottom of the piece. If your content is engaging, odds are readers will click on the link to your own blog. With this comes an unspoken rule, however: Never take this generous gesture for granted.
When submitting content to another blogger’s site, do him or her the favor of only submitting material you would be proud to post on your own site.
So, what do you think? Have any of you out there new to blogging seen an error you are guilty of committing? Did I leave anything out? Leave a comment or question below!