Whether you’re new to blogging or have been blogging for a brief period of time and are finding that things aren’t going as planned, it’s worth your time to invest some time learning the most popular mistakes bloggers create, mistakes that make it difficult to appreciate what should be an enjoyable, fulfilling experience: blogging!
The five most frequent new blogger errors are as follows:
Dive in (rather than wading in)
Having exaggerated hopes
Absence of emphasis
Disregarding the reader
Dive right down!
Many bloggers are so eager to get underway that they plunge in rather than wading in gently — an error that might be made in an unknown swimming pool or pond, and it would also be made while approaching a different arena such as the ‘blogosphere.’ Consider the following before beginning your blog:
Determine a focus for your blog…one that represents your knowledge, your passions, and the topics on which you enjoy speaking and writing. There are no off-limits subjects: governance, philosophy, science, sexual orientations, comedy, fitness, nutrition, and illnesses, to name a few.
Consider reading hundreds of various blogs and taking notice of the colors, graphics, and layouts to get a sense of what appeals to you. Additionally, some blogs are lengthy, whereas some are succinct and to the point… whereas some are simply chatty and fun with no particular point to create… this, too, is a personal preference.
You’ll need a host for your site; some are free, while others charge a small monthly fee; some are easy to use, while others need more technological expertise; some have more functionality than others; choose carefully; once your blog is developed and has a few frequent followers, you do not want to update your address (your URL).
You may or may not want to use your actual name on your blog; this is determined by a variety of considerations, not the least of which is your position on contentious matters and how openly you want to be associated with your views.
Expectations that are unrealistic!
If you anticipate immediate benefits from blogging, such as a huge readership and many complimentary feedback, you can be disappointed. Tens of thousands of blogs exist online, all competing for the same audience. Your patience and tenacity are needed. If you write well, identify a particular niche, create appealing post titles, and advertise your blog relentlessly, readership and feedback (some of which will be complimentary) will follow.
I’m losing my concentration!
When you began your site, you had a specific purpose in mind; it may have been to share your opinions on a subject or to simply chat with a small group of friends regarding your everyday activities. Readers will visit your site for the first time and will either be involved in your subject matter or not, will either like your design or not, and will either leave a message or return later. If you’ve developed a topic and tone for your blog, you are free to alter them, but doing so effectively means restarting.
Bear in mind that you may have several blogs, each dedicated to a separate subject and, if desired, each with a distinct identity.
There are some excellent bloggers out there, and when you peruse blogs, you might come across one that expressed something particularly well, something that struck a chord with you and inspired you to write something on your own site. DON’T just copy and paste someone else’s words onto your site without offering them credit, thus giving the public the impression that the words are your own. If you compose it, write it with your own terms and improve it by using your own opinions and emotions. Then, with grace, note where you got the concept and provide a connection.
Disregard for the reader!
Any readers will leave comments; some will identify with you, and some will even applaud your observations, but the majority will take apart an argument you’ve created and condemn it. Individuals leave remarks on other people’s posts with the same purpose they write their own: to share thoughts and communicate their perspectives. Always refer to your readers’ comments; thank them for reading and taking the time to leave a message (even the harshest critics), and then address their comment appropriately. If you disregard your readers’ feedback, they will eventually abandon your site.