There are no real right and wrongs in blogging, but there are mistakes to grow and learn from. Some see mistakes as a rite of passage, but for new bloggers who are wanting to avoid rather than embrace them, here’s what you can do.
You post a new blog post. You’re proud of it; you worked hard at it – the likes should be flooding in. But they’re not. You didn’t promote your post whatsoever except for telling your Facebook friends to check it out! Promotion is an important part of blogging. Sharing it with friends won’t be enough, especially as most people notice their friends are the people least likely to read your blog. Share on twitter, facebook groups in your niche or ones for bloggers and as many places you can think of. But don’t just drop a link and run – tell your prospective audience a bit about the post; make them want to click! And don’t just promote your post for an hour and think you’re finished. Keep promoting posts throughout the week, update them regularly as you gather new information and keep your content relevant.
You may follow a lot of blogs but you never like or comment – surely following them is enough? Nope. Creating a blogger community is the best thing about blogging and taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment on a great post can make a world of difference. Just make sure your comments are worthwhile – DON’T tell people to check out your blog or blog post in your comment unless it specifically relates to something in the post you’re reading and you think you have an answer for the writer. If you just comment ‘great post!’ with a link to your blog it’s obvious you didn’t actually read anything and just want traffic.
Oh! A blogger wants you to follow her blog in exchange for a follow of yours. Great! Actually, not-so-great. Do you really want followers that only clicked ‘follow’ because they themselves wanted a follow? What’s the point in having a tonne of followers that don’t even enjoy your content or read your blog? You want your followers to genuinely love reading your blog instead of wanting to gain traffic for themselves.
NO/LOW QUALITY PHOTOS
Even in lengthy, wordy posts that don’t necessarily have any relevant photos (erm, like this one), we bloggers are all about aesthetic and love a cute flatlay or awesome graphic to break up the text. Blogs are largely about visuals – they can be as important as the actual words – so getting good photos or graphics is almost mandatory for blogging. You can edit your photos to make them look more appealing (a bad picture can ruin a blog post) and keep practicing your photography and layouts until you’re happy.
LOW QUALITY WRITING
As I said above, in a roundabout kind of way, words are the integral part of a blog. Obviously. So that’s why it pains me and your readers when posts haven’t been proof-read or spellchecked, or they read like an MSN conversation or an exam paper, rather than a proper piece of blog writing. You can keep your tone conversational and inject your own personality into your writing without ruining the feeling of friendly professionalism that most blogs strive for. When you write a blog post, use a proofreading programme to point out any errors and read through it yourself to see if you can improve anything.
I plan my blog posts extensively, which speeds up my process when it comes to actually writing them and taking photos, and it also helps me maintain a schedule. Even if you don’t keep to a specific schedule, you should try and be consistent. Consistency is key when it comes to keeping an active following and making sure your blog is picked up in search results. Try using a blog calendar or planner like me to plan your time efficiently and keep on track. Sitting down each Sunday and planning out your week makes your life so much easier, and planning the posts for the entire month is even better.
Even with all of these tips, blogging is a constant learning curve and we all make silly (and not-so-silly) mistakes whilst we grow. There’s no shame in doing something ‘wrong’ and we all have different opinions and feelings about blogging! However, I hope these points helped at least one new blogger to avoid some common blogger mistakes.