The Most Common Mistakes You Can Make When Starting Your Blogging Process
More and more writers today have ventured into the wonderful world of blogging. Reports show that the blogging population is expected to exceed 31 million within the next 2 years, according to Statista. To put that number in its proper perspective, that’s essentially more than the combined populations of Texas and Arkansas!
Thanks to the increasing popularity of blogging and social media, it is now easier than ever before to build a blog. However, this also means that it is also easier than ever before to break a blog. Below is an overview of several common mistakes that are frequently made by amateur bloggers as they first start their epic journey of regular content creation:
You Cross the Line Between Blogs and Rants
One of the biggest mistakes that inexperienced bloggers make is that they quickly cross the line that separates a fantastic blog from a frustrating rant. Some people use blogs as if they were personal diaries – a virtual journey that allows them to share their personal thoughts with themselves in a public setting. Why? What is the difference?
When you journal or post an impulsive rant on social media, the last thing that you are thinking about is structure and format. On the contrary, you are just basically dumping all your thoughts and emotions into your keystrokes and clicks – creating lengthy paragraphs that have plenty of words but hardly any followable flow or sustained structure.
Keep in mind that most of your readers will not even read your entire blog word-for-word. In most cases, they will just scan through it – paying close attention to your headlines, subheadings, embedded images and key sentences. How can they navigate through your blog if it is nothing more than a sloppy journal entry without any real structure or direction? The answer to that question is simply, “They can’t.” More importantly, what should concern you is that they won’t.
Your Opinion is the Foundation, Not Facts or Research
Another valuable point that separates blogs from personal rants or wordy “brain dumps” online from high-quality blogs is the foundation on which they are built. Personal blogs, journal entries, rants and weak blogs are mostly based on opinions and feelings. Whatever you are thinking or feeling right then and there is typed up and posted without any background research, links to supporting documentation or authoritative references.
Even you have a personal blog, your audience will engage with your content much more if you have established data and references to support those opinions. In addition to educating them on points that they may or may not have already known, it also boosts your credibility in that field – helping you to position yourself and your brand as an expert on the topic. This type of reputation will prove to play an integral role in the growth of your audience and the long-term success of your blog.
You Only Blog Occasionally, Not Consistently
It does not matter what type of firewood you throw into a firepit. It could be top-of-the-line firewood from an exotic rainforest that was the most expensive firewood you ever purchased. If you do not continue to feed the flames of your fire, it will quickly burn out and prove to be useless to you. When you try to fuel the flames of your blog, you must keep the value of consistency at the top of your list of priorities.
The excitement and enthusiasm of starting a blog may compel you to generate post after post in rapid time – firing them away at your target audience like a highly-skilled archer firing arrows after enjoying a delicious cup of caffeinated coffee. However, when the excitement and enthusiasm start to fade as the initial boost of adrenaline dissolves, your consistency will start to suffer.
A general misconception that beginning bloggers fall for is that the higher the number of blogs you post as quickly as possible, the better your chances of reaching the first page of Google search results when people are interested in your target market or niche. The volume does play a role, but it is merely a backup singer to the headlining performer: consistency!
Your subscribers will expect you to maintain a consistent flow of content to your blog week after week and month after month. You may feel inspired enough to publish 10 blog posts in a single day. However, if it takes you nearly a month to publish another 10 blog posts, you run the risk of losing your audience.
Your audience wants to know how much they can get from you and how often they can expect to get it. It would be in your best interest to meet (or even exceed) those expectations.
Place Too Much Focus on Immediate Traffic
If you want a quick way to kill your blog before it even gets a chance to live, all you need to do is shift your undivided attention towards immediate traffic. Do not worry: This is a trap that ensnares amateurs and veteran bloggers alike – especially when you have been bitten by the bug of viral content and enjoy seeing your traffic stats and analytics spike.
However, if you are focused too much on immediate traffic – such as the traffic from RSS feeds, social shares and email subscriptions – then you are essentially pulling the plug on your entire blog and online presence. Keep in mind that the life expectancy of that immediate traffic is relatively short – here today and nearly gone tomorrow. Do not assume that your blog is an automatic failure if your immediate traffic is lower or slower than expected. A recommended approach is to pay close attention to the cumulative potential of your long-term organic traffic. Before you know it, your high-quality posts will eventually account for a substantial percentage of your overall blog traffic. Focusing on the short game will kill you (and your blog) in the long run.
The Bottom Line
You can have a successful blog. However, like all great things, you must be willing to wait for it to be successful. Avoid shortcuts that may deliver immediate results while jeopardizing your long-term potential. Before long, you may be able to get everything that you need from your blog in more ways than you could have ever imagined simply because you avoided making these common mistakes.
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