If you are new to blogging and feel like things aren’t working out like you thought they would, you should be aware of the common mistakes that some bloggers make. Take some time reading these so that you understand what not to do when blogging.
Five common mistakes bloggers make are:
1. Diving in too fast
2. Unrealistic expectations
3. Losing Focus
5. Ignoring the reader
1. Diving in Too Fast
Sometimes bloggers are so anxious to start blogging that they dive in too fast instead of wading in slowly. This is a mistake in an unfamiliar pond or swimming pool and it’s a mistake when you are entering in the new world of blogging. Before you start your blog, keep these things in mind:
• Find a focus for your blog. This focus should reflect what you know, what interests you and what you enjoy writing and talking about.
• Read other blogs. Find blogs that are about the same niche you will be writing about. See what colors, graphics and layouts they are using to give you an idea of what appeals to you. Pay attention to their style of writing to decide what you prefer and what you think your audience will find attractive.
• Find the most appropriate host for your blog. Some hosts are free; some charge a small fee per month. Some hosts are easy to use and some require more technical knowledge. Some have more features than others. You need to review each one and choose the one that best fits your needs the best. If you decide to change hosts down the road, it can sometimes take a lot of work to transfer your blog and you definitely don’t want to take the chance of not being able to use the same website address, which could happen.
2. Unrealistic Expectations
When you start blogging, do not expect instant results. You will be disappointed if you think you will receive tons of readers and comments in the beginning. There are many other blogs online that are writing for the same audience as you. You need to be patient.
If you write quality blog content about your niche, have appealing titles for the blog posts, publish blog posts consistently and create an effective marketing plan for your blog, the readers and comments will eventually come. As they say, “If You Build It, They Will Come.” Just make sure what you build is quality material.
3. Losing Focus
When you began your blog, you had a specific reason for starting it. You might have wanted to express your views on a topic, you may have wanted to give your readers tips and ideas about your niche, or you may have just wanted to talk about your daily activities to share with close friends and family. When a reader visits your blog for the first time, they will be interested in your content and your writing style or they may not be. If they do enjoy what they see the first time, they will more than likely come back to your blog later. Therefore, once you have decided on what you want to write about (established topic and tone), it’s best to stay focused on that. If you would decide to change it, that is like starting all over again because your current audience may no longer be interested in the change of topic.
When you are reading other blogs, you will see that there are some great bloggers out there. They may have said something that really appealed to you and you would like to add it to your blog post. Never copy and paste something from someone without properly crediting the person who wrote it. If you do this, it looks like you wrote the content yourself… that is plagiarizing. Not only are you taking a chance of getting fined for plagiarizing, it would also damage your reputation as an expert in your niche. If you do wish to include something that someone else wrote, write it in your own words, add your thoughts and feelings about it and then mention where you obtained the information along with a link to where it came from. I have done this a couple of times and even took the time to contact the original author of the content and obtained their permission to use what they wrote, just to be safe.
5. Ignoring the Reader
When someone reads your blog post and leaves a comment, good or bad, make sure you always take the time to respond. Readers comment to exchange ideas and express their points of view, so you need to acknowledge them. Thank them for reading and commenting on the blog post and then respond to what they wrote (for example, if they asked a question, answer it). If a reader feels you are ignoring their input, they may not return to your blog. You need to make sure your audience feels important.
Keep these things in mind when blogging and you won’t make the same mistakes that some bloggers do when starting their blog. Just remember to be patient, have realistic expectations, keep focused, credit sources for borrowed content and acknowledge your readers’ comments. If you do these things, you should have a great start on your new blog!