If you’re new to blogging or have only been blogging for a short time and are finding that things aren’t going as planned, it’s worth your time to learn about the common mistakes that bloggers make, mistakes that make it difficult to enjoy what should be a fun and satisfying experience: blogging!
The following are the top five new blogger blunders:
Getting down to business (rather than wading in)
Expectations that are unrealistic
I’m losing my concentration
Ignoring the audience
Let’s get started! Many bloggers are so eager to get started that they dive right in instead of taking it slow. This is a bad idea in an unfamiliar swimming pool or pond, and it’s also a bad idea when entering a new arena like the ‘blogosphere.’ Before you start your blog, think about the following:
Choose a blog topic that reflects what you know, what interests you, and what you enjoy talking about and writing about. Politics, religion, science, sexual orientations, comedy, exercise, diet, diseases, and so on are all fair game.
Take the time to read a variety of blogs and take note of the colours, graphics, and layouts to get a sense of what you like. Also, keep in mind that some bloggers are long-winded, while others are short and to-the-point… while others are just chatty and entertaining with no particular point to make… this, too, is a personal preference.
You’ll need a blog host; some are free, while others charge a small monthly fee, some are simple to use while others require more technical knowledge, and some have more features than others; choose wisely; once you’ve established your blog and have a few regular readers, you may not want to change your address (your URL).
You may or may not want to use your real name on your blog, depending on a variety of factors, including your position on controversial issues and how publicly you want to be identified with your views.
Expectations that are unrealistic! You may be disappointed if you expect immediate results from blogging, such as a large readership and numerous complimentary comments. Thousands of blogs compete for the same audience on the internet. Patience and tenacity are required of you. Readership and comments (some of which will be complimentary) will come if you write well, find a unique niche to fill, have appealing titles for your posts, and tirelessly promote your blog.
I’m losing my concentration! You probably started your blog for a specific reason; it could have been to express your opinions on a topic or simply to keep in touch with a small group of friends about your daily activities. Readers will visit your blog for the first time and will either be interested in your subject matter or not, will like or dislike your style, and if they like your subject and style, they will leave a comment and return later. You’re free to change your blog’s topic and tone once you’ve established it, but you’ll be starting from scratch.
Be aware that you can have multiple blogs, each dedicated to a different topic and, if desired, each with a different identity.
Plagiarizing! There are some fantastic bloggers out there, and as you browse blogs, you might come across one who said something particularly well, something that struck a chord with you, and which you want to incorporate into your own. DO NOT simply copy and paste someone else’s words into your blog without giving them credit, giving the impression that the words are your own. If you write it, do so in your own words and to a higher standard, including your own thoughts and feelings, and then be gracious and mention where you got the idea and provide a link.
Ignoring the audience! Some visitors to your blog will leave comments; some will agree with you, and some will even praise your insights, but the majority will pick a point you’ve made and criticise it. People leave comments on other people’s blogs for the same reason they write their own: to exchange ideas and express their opinions. Always respond to your readers’ comments; thank them for reading and taking the time to comment (even if they’re harsh), and then respond to their comment as appropriate. If you don’t respond to your comments, your readers may stop reading your blog.