Blogging can be a great way to reach out to people and express one’s ideas, vision, passion or thoughts regarding a topic or subject. It can be therapeutic and fun. Once you get a hang of it, blogging can be very rewarding. People write blogs to get attention to express their point of view or just to make money on the net but for a lot of people, it is still a hobby. So, this article speaks to the new bloggers out there who have just started out on the platform. These are the common mistakes that new amateur bloggers must guard against.
Copy and Paste: Copying and pasting articles or lines from other blogs is a terrible thing to do. You are bound to get crucified for this by search engines who will end up banning you. I made this mistake as a beginner once. I was asked to write travel blogs for a travel website triphobo.com. I tried to act smart and copy pasted from the web. The company ran a check and I was found out. I did not get to write for them again. So, stick to your writing even if you want to copy. Try to reconstruct someone’s work in your own words and thoughts. That is a better way to copy. Just rewrite the stuff in your words and how you would have put them on paper.
Content is King: Keep your content sharp, relevant, informative, humorous, intelligent and witty. Make sure that someone gains something out of reading your writing. He should feel informed and educative. If he feels that the content is intelligent, he may share it with his friends. Use creative standout photographs and videos to enhance the look of your content and make it stand out. Use colour and poetry to give your content the added edge. Always use two things when you are writing – imagery and emotion. Build imagery through your articles so that the reader can actually visualise the scene and then pour raw emotions into your words. This makes for great reading. So don’t waste time on loosely built posts that lack any direction or thought.
Formatting and Blog Layout: See that the layout and script formatting along with the placement of pictures and videos must be done smartly. There must be no spelling errors and all the punctuations and tags must be perfectly placed. The posts and pages should have a smartness about it. People should come on your blog page again and again.
Search Engine Optimisation: Lots of new bloggers handle their backend of the blog themselves and forget to approach the search engines with the detailed summary of their blogs. Thus, the search engines are not able to list them in search results. This leads to no traffic coming on these blog URLs. It is difficult to write content for the blog and also manage SEO backend effort. I use a service provider whom I pay 500 dollars to handle the SEO and other backend efforts like analytics reporting and posting for me. A search engine indexes the content you post on the blog and when people search for your content, it throws up your blog link and URL.
Social Media Websites: A lot of amateur bloggers forget to integrate other social media sites like Facebook, Whatsapp, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram etc. to their blog. These can do wonders for building traffic and readership to your blog. More than 30% of my blog traffic comes from these social media sites. They are also a great way to keep in touch with your readers and to interact with them.
Choose the Right Blogging Platform and an Apt Domain Name: This is very important. First, when you start blogging as a hobby, you can use free platforms like WordPress. But to be seen as a serious blogger, you must have your own unique domain name and a paid web hosting service. The sooner you have this, the better, but do sharpen your skills first on the free platforms.
Not Connecting Well With Your Readership: Many bloggers have interesting things to say but are lousy at chatting up with their reader base or fellow bloggers. I suggest you join blogging forums and keep e-mail contact with fellow bloggers. Use social media to connect to your blogging base. I used to run quizzes and competitions to keep my readers engaged. I also have a monthly newsletter that tells my bloggers what I have posted in the last month. Try keeping your readers engaged. You have to make them feel special.
Trying to Copy Your Favourite Blog: This is a mistake many new bloggers make but it does not work in the long run. You just can’t copy the salient features and content writing of your favourite blog. Be authentic to yourself all the time. Your individuality should come out of your blog, not from someone else. Be true to yourself and your blog passion, be unique.
Patience: Don’t give up on your blogging dreams if you are not getting results at first. My advice is not to expect anything in the first two years. In these years, just learn the tricks of the trade – the technical aspect and the content creation aspect of the blog. You will only start getting results in the third year. You have to stick with it and be patient.