Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blogging for Newbies: Blogging Don'ts to AVOID....

Below are the usual DON'TS I come across with while surfing for blogging tips for newbies like me. These tips of course are by no means original and are in fact should be common knowledge by all bloggers may they be newbies or seasoned pros who wish to increase blog traffic. AVOID the following for you to get  started on the right foot and be successful at blogging eventually :


1. Irregular Blog posting:
Regular posting of blogs is the most important step in blogging which is the primary method of building up your readership (traffic).What I found out very early on as a late bloomer blogger is that blogging requires commitment for your blog to be noticed. Ways to avoid irregular blog posting:

  • post at least one entry per blog everyday. Find the schedule that works for you and commit to blogging on those dates.
  • Allocate 15 minutes per day to writing at least one blog entry. Compensate for  missed days by posting more than 1 entry on "good" days.
  • Try to do it in the morning as blog entries posted early in the day  tend to get more noticed (other bloggers reading and linking to them) than  later in the day. 
  • Aim for at least 30 blog entries a month; consistently done makes 360 in a full year- the higher the chances that your material be indexed by Google, Yahoo , BingTechnorati,and other search engines just waiting for random encounters. 

2. Blogging in a vacuum:
Let's face it- blogging in general is self promotion directly or indirectly. It makes no sense to isolate yourself form the rest of the netizens if you want your blog to be noticed. Ways to avoid blogging in a vacuum:

  • Read other blogs like yoursThis can work 2 ways:1. It can stimulate your blogging through inspiration from similar works of others-more materials for posting.2. You get noticed also by the writers of the blogs you read which can potentially result to your own traffic.

  • Don't ignore your readers- The worst thing you can do once you build up traffic and regular readership is to ignore your audience- they will just leave you anytime. Respond to reader comments, encourage active participation by asking questions back and actively engage with your community to continue the relations.
  • Don't create enemies through your blog- What's worse than ignoring your readers? Creating enemies in the blogging community! This will ruin your credibility and ensure your blog’s downfall. Never directly attack another blogger no matter how justified you may think your reasons are (for all you know, it's NOT). I'm not saying that you should avoid expressing your opinion as this is the hallmark of a free speech in a "democratic" medium such as the internet. There are "plenty of ways to skin a cat"  and these opinions can be expressed in a more diplomatic and constructive manner without resorting to insults and boorish behavior. This is where your writing flair should be put to use
3.Posting Poor Blog Content.
If we go by blogging as a form of self promotion, posting poor blogs (content wise and form) would surely take a hit on readership and traffic as it is akin to promoting a bad product. The best way to avoid this is to try to post as consistently as you can good if not excellent blog content. The bottom line is that it's the blog content or material that will keep the traffic flowing in your direction. Below are ways help you post as consistently as you can good if not excellent blog content:
  • Topic familiarity - blog about something you like. Choose the right topic consistent with the over all theme of your blog. Pick a subject that you feel passionate about, something that interests you which you can become a subject matter expert on.
  • Give credit where it is due- Let's face it- with the ready availability of information nowadays in the trimedia, it is very difficult to come up with 100% original material. Your ideas or posts  will always be based on existing materials hence many bloggers often use images, articles and other  information readily available in the net. The problem is when this is done without proper attribution to the original source. If you plan to take images or text from another person, it’s important you ask for permission and link back to the original source. As much as readers want to see original content; I believe posting materials "inspired" by  the work of others may be acceptable with proper crediting of your source.
  • Proofread- This is done before publication. Once a post is written, reread it to see how well the post flows and correct mistakes you may have missed on the first read-through before you hit the publish button. Minor, small typo errors may not matter that much but consistently publishing sloppy materials with no semblance of editing whatsoever will get noticed and can turn off potential readers.
  • Avoid Writing Long Posts- Guilty as charged! I used to write long posts before but I managed to correct this by breaking up long entries to two or even three parts as necessary. No one wants to be flooded with a 5,000 word blog entry. This has something to do with the readers' attention span. People are generally visual in their appreciation of anything presented to them and a sudden visual image of a long article may easily turn off a casual reader. Just like in the usual face to face communication interaction, if you can say something briefly and direct to the point then do it that way also in your blog post to be able to maintain the the readers' attention span and to keep them coming back.  My tact above of  breaking up my posts into several smaller posts in fact brings another advantage on the table- it helps me comply with item number one above by creating a series of posts that I can easily spread daily throughout the week filling up my daily quota with a single line of topic. In fact...I'm so tempted right now to break up this seemingly long topic into several parts already to fill up the rest of my blogging week!  
Blogging is NOT a get rich quit scheme. You have to apply constant effort over time to be successful at it. Don't give up on something that you know you can do and you want to do. The few pointers above will start you of on the right footing and if consistently applied will be help make posting blogs as a sort of a second nature to you which you can easily turn on daily-effortlessly. Don't give up. Frustration comes usually from ignorance. Try to learn more from others about the proper way to engage in blogging every day so you'll  get better at it  by applying these learnings. 

You should not just do it, but do it smartly.

See previous related post:

Blogging for Newbies: 10 common Tips on Increasing Blog Traffic.


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