Blogging started out as a fun hobby and simple form of online self-expression. Today, many blogs still serve as online diaries, but others have evolved to become a major publishing business, such as The Huffington Post, and they are also a part of a successful company’s online presence.
WordPress.com reports their users are producing about 38 million new posts every month. So how does the would-be successful blogger stand out from the now massive crowd?
While that figure may sound rather overwhelming, by avoiding these common blogging mistakes, you’ll be off to a great start. Ideally, before you even begin searching a site such as WebHostingBlueBook.com for the best web hosting service, you should learn how to become a successful blogger. But whether you’ve already been blogging for a while, are brand new, or are somewhere in between, reviewing these blunders and taking steps to correct them now can help you to move on and increase the chance of achieving your blogging goals.
You Don’t Know Your Audience
Unless your goal is to keep an online diary, you’re writing for an audience, and you need to know who that audience is in order to attract and to keep readers coming back. If you haven’t done so already, ask yourself, “Who am I writing for?” Over time, you’ll get to know your readers better, but you’ll need to have an idea at the start about what content to write and how to present it.
The best blogs know their audience very well, which is where you’ll need to do your homework. What is the average age of your reader? What do they do for a living? Where do they shop, where do they live, and what is their education level? It’s important to interact directly with your audience to get to know them well, but you can also utilize demographic or audience tools available on the Internet to develop a profile, such as through Alexa.com.
Not Encouraging Interaction
If you haven’t enabled commenting, you’ve forgotten that your audience is a part of the total blogging experience. Comments should always be encouraged, so one of the first things you should do when starting a blog is to enable commenting.
Comments create the ideal way to connect with your customers, or any type of audience. But don’t stop there — you don’t want your readers to think their comments are going off into a deep, dark black hole where they are never seen or completely ignored. This means you need to respond to comments and questions that will help keep the conversation active, build your audience and also let you in on what readers are most interested in hearing about.
Even the best writers in the world occasionally make typos, grammar or spelling errors. Mistakes can damage your credibility. Poor writing is a good way to prevent readers from returning.
Many errors are the result of failing to proofread, which is one of the easiest problems to correct. Take time to read over your work at least twice, preferably reading it out loud, and do a detailed spelling and grammar check before hitting that “submit” button.
Failing to Solve a Problem
In order to build an audience, you must figure out how you can resolve problems your readers might have. Many bloggers make the mistake of focusing on themselves, their products or a service they provide. Instead, you need to blog about something that can provide value, solves a problem, or saves time and money.
Blog posts that offer tips, tricks and how-to advice are especially effective. For example, if your blog is based on travel, you might write a post with tips for locating the best airfares, rather than a post that is focused on selling a particular service or package that you hope to sell. This will help to build a community of readers who look to you for trusted information and who are more likely to buy from you in the future.
You fail to promote your posts
Some bloggers are under the mistaken impression their blog will just market itself, but that’s almost a sure way to fail. Marketing should be a priority. Not only should you share your articles on all of the social networks that you’re active on, you should add share buttons on your website to make it easy for your audience to share your posts with their friends and social networks. Be sure the share buttons are located in a prominent spot and easy to find.