We’ve all heard the phrase “you should start a blog” after you’ve spent the first fifteen minutes of that coffee catch up with your friend.
It seems that every man and his dog these days is putting fingers to keyboard and sharing their thoughts in the virtual world of cyberspace, which means chances are you’ll be a very small fish in a vast pond.
Blogging is an excellent way to promote your business, share those all important thoughts or find that community online you’re looking for who share your problem – or passion! But it can be hard to get right, so it’s best to do all the right things from the start and increase your chances of success.
Here are five common blogger mistakes that you should avoid when starting a blog.
Not Adding Social Media Links & Sharing Options
If you’re online, chances are you’ve got multiple social media pages across different platforms.
While you might want to maintain a wall between your blog and the rest of your social media, unfortunately, this is the easiest way to get people to lose interest in your blog.
Your followers want the option of being able to share your material, which in turn will give you an advantage in free advertising – the more they share your content, the more people see it and more likely to visit your page because they want to know more.
Adding links to all your social media will peak your audience’s interest and help them see the person behind the writing – everybody is interested in what goes on behind the scenes.
This way your chances of views on your blog will shoot up – the more you put yourself out there with self-promotion, the higher the chances are of success.
Add links to your social media profiles and also add social media sharing buttons.
Not Keeping Up With The Community
Embarking on the long and narrow footpath of blogging isn’t as glamorous as you might think – like all passions that become work, it requires a lot of day to day maintenance, beyond that mind-blowing content you’re bursting to share with the world.
The second thing to avoid when writing a blog is not interacting with your viewers.
Your readers are spending the time to show interest in your content and leave comments – the best way to keep them coming back and loyal to your blog is by showing that you care about them by replying to their comments.
This will give your blog a personalised advantage that will bring you across and relatable and approachable, increasing your chances of keeping those keen readers around for the long haul.
Hiding behind that computer screen and showing no interest in your follower’s comments will only repel them.
Reply to every single blog comment – yes – every.single.one.
Not Using Images
While the beginning of a blog might seem to be all about you and what you have to share, you will soon quickly realise that it’s as much about the community that begins to show their interest as it is about what you want to write.
This means a bit of the give and take – you’ve got to be invested in the curiosities of your followers to maintain a successful blog.
As much as you would like all your readers to be so passionate about your words that this is all they need, studies show that people are far more likely to be interested in your content if you have pictures to add to your words.
Leaving images and photographs out of your blog will decrease your page views.
Not Being Relatable
A blog is very different from an Instagram page and post – it requires words and images, and is more about the content of what you write than anything else.
This means that, while you don’t need a Ph.D. in literature to write a blog and be successful, you do need to know a few necessary things about writing, to begin with, so that you can keep your audience interested and engaged.
The pressure of having your opinions and thoughts out there for everybody to see can result in your writing being stiff and unrelatable – it’s an easy mistake to make.
Instead, you should try just to write as you think the thoughts you’re trying to convey. Your personality will start to shine through your words, and people will begin to imagine that you write just how you talk – a warm, welcoming relatable person who is trying to engage with their followers.
Not Using Statistics
I’m sure the last thing you’re thinking about when trying to start a blog is maths.
Maths, especially statistics, can be tedious for someone who prefers to express themselves through the creativity of writing. But if you want to keep up a successful blog, you’re going to have to do the tedious day to day upkeep as well.
One part of this, unfortunately, is analytics. In a perfect world, you would upload your posts, and your readers would love them no matter what you were writing about, but in the real virtual world, it doesn’t work like this.
Collecting data to put into graphs that tell you which blog posts your readers have liked best will help you to keep producing the content they want to see. If you don’t do this, you’re in danger of losing readers – knowing what your community wants to see in your next blog post will help you keep growing that community.
Tip: there are WordPress plugins that will make the set up process with Google MUCH easier.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of benefits to blogging and maintaining a blog, but there are some behind-the-scenes tasks as well that you’ll need to do to make sure that it runs just the way you and your community like it.
Like any social media site out there, blogging is all about the give and take, and while it begins with you and your thoughts, it ends with a satisfied following of like-minded individuals that keep coming back because they like what you have to say.