Blogging has become so popular these days that it seems anyone can do it. And yes, while it’s simple to throw some thoughts up on an easily-made template, it becomes an entirely different ballgame if you actually want to create a following and turn your blog into something more than mere random thoughts. Unfortunately, most people don’t do their research before they start blogging, they simply jump right in. Then they wonder why they aren’t getting the feedback, followers or reaction they were hoping for.
If you’re considering launching a blog, especially for your business, it’s important to do your research, plan ahead and avoid the rookie mistakes that plague many new bloggers. Here are some of the common pitfalls of starting a blog and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Developing a Voice
Why are people going to read your blog as opposed to the thousands of others that are out there? Unique content should be one reason, but more than likely, you are probably writing about a topic (or topics) that many others are covering as well. The important thing is developing your own voice. Maybe it’s sarcastic, maybe it’s highly technical, maybe it’s sprinkled with idioms. Whatever it is, make sure it’s YOU. People follow blogs because they like the person who is writing it. They want to ‘see’ your personality and once they’ve decided they like it, they’ll listen to what you have to say and they’ll keep coming back.
Mistake #2: Expecting People to Visit
You develop a great topic to write about, you hone your voice, you post what you believe is an out of this world entry and…nothing. Where are all the readers? Don’t they realize how cool your blog entry is? Many new bloggers have no idea how to attract visitors and comments to their blog. They think that if they put up good content, the readers will come. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It takes time and effort to attract readers. You need to reach out to fellow bloggers and support what they are doing. You may need to do some advertising of your blog to drive initial numbers. The important thing is, don’t get discouraged when you aren’t mobbed by readers after publishing your initial blog post. However, if you aren’t getting readers after a few weeks or months, you might want to reconsider your strategy because it obviously isn’t working.
Mistake #3: Worrying About Your Blog Design
People don’t go to blogs to look at pretty designs. They go because there is good content, because someone told them they should go there, because they’ve developed a liking for your personality…you get the picture. Thinking that redesigning the look of your blog will increase your readers is going to disappoint you, especially if you waste hours and hours on the redesign. Make sure your design isn’t distracting from the content or flat-out ugly, then forget about it and focus on what matters.
Mistake #4: Writing Too Much
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking the way to get more readers is to write more. If you gain a couple more readers with each post, posting more equals more readers, right? Not necessarily. If you’re posting just to post and don’t have anything good or interesting to write about, you’ll probably end up losing readers. While there is no magic formula to how often you should post, a good rule of thumb is post a couple of times a week. However, you need to make sure those posts are of high quality and interesting to the reader. Remember, it doesn’t matter how often you’re posting if you’re posting content no one wants to read!
There are many ways to become successful as a blogger…and ten times as many ways to never be successful as a blogger! Above are just a few mistakes you should avoid. Remember to plan ahead, do your research, and make sure you have a clear plan for what you want your blog to be about. Happy blogging!