5 Things Every Blogger Should Understand and Avoid

Contrary to the title, this is not a negative article. Also contrary to the title, I am an amazing blogger and have never once made 5 mistakes that have led me to compile a list of “stay away” blog lessons. I am also sarcastic. All the joking aside, I think we all realize that blogging is about more than just writing a great article.

Blogging is about writing a great article, having the social skills to pitch it to an editor, having the technological sense to promote it on social networks, having the management skills to create a personal blog, and having the design know-how to make that blog look professional. In other words, there are many ways that blogging can go wrong.

It’s a bit cliché, but my parents always told me that you learn best from your mistakes. Personally, I prefer to “learn best” from other peoples’ mistakes. Let’s look at what went wrong without having to actually go through the consequences.

1 – Guest post before you have a solid blog of your own

If you are looking to make money off of your articles, you are known as a freelance writer. A blogger, however, is someone who is looking to promote something. Generally, a blogger wants to grow and promote a personal blog. Whether you are hoping to grow your blog to the size of Mashable (which started as a one man operation) or simply want to generate a solid visitor base, you will likely need to utilize guest posting.

Guest posting is a great way to draw in an already established audience to your blog and get your writing read by many different social circles. However, if you choose to guest post and link back to an unfinished blog, you will lose credibility amongst the very social circles you’re trying to impress. If you make this mistake, you will then have to spend your time re-creating your blogger reputation, and I assure you this is not easy.

2 – Sign up for more social media accounts than you can manage

Even new bloggers know that social media is important when it comes to promotion. However, what some do not realize is that ignoring social media accounts can ruin a bloggers reputation. Most do a fine job managing Twitter and LinkedIn, but many bloggers are beginning to dabble in newer social media like StumbleUpon and Digg.

Many assume that if you sign up for a social media account, there is no harm in ignoring it if you do not have time to remain active on the site. This can be detrimental to bloggers because many blog readers are active in social media. If you write an article and someone really likes it, they will likely go try and connect with you on social media networks. If they see that you’re ignoring user comments or post nothing of relevance, they have no reason to come back.

3 – Don’t edit guest posts on your personal blog

This is a piece of advice for the blogger with the pretty established blog. Chances are, the longer you’ve been managing the blog the more readers you have visiting the site. As time goes on, writing articles specific to your blog becomes more and more difficult. Many times readers like a fresh perspective, and this is where guest posting comes into play. However, if you have guest posts coming in this does not mean you get a break. It is never a good idea to simply glance over a guest post. Read it carefully, or your credibility will once again go down.

4 – Ignore reader comments on your articles

This is a slightly different faux pas than ignoring social media accounts because reader comments are a part of the blog more so than social networking. In other words, you can be a blogger with zero social media accounts, and you will still see comments on your articles from readers. If you ignore these comments, those who were originally interested in your work will not bother giving you any feedback, and in most cases will not bother with your work at all.

5 – You are annoying with your social media and your comments

On the flip side, you can overdo social media and your comments. People do not appreciate if you only advertise your articles; especially if you do this non-stop. Most social networking sites have some sort of “feed,” and people want to see a good variety. If you are tweeting or posting every 5 minutes, you face is all they will see. This will likely get you “unfollowed” or “unfriended.” On the same note, no one wants to read paragraph long comments.

So these mistakes may have happened to me. Although blogging is not always easy, it is still a great way to spend your time. Blogging helps you get your ideas out to people all over the world; people you probably would have never crossed paths with if it was not for blogging. I believe in blogging, and believe that more people will be able to get their thoughts out if they know what not to do.

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to employee background checks. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including business phone systems to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading B2B Directory, Business.com.


19 thoughts on “5 Things Every Blogger Should Understand and Avoid”

  1. This is an essential post for people looking to promote their websites. I especially hate it when I guest post and the person edits it to include links to their other articles – I had one where the owner added several sentences that didn’t even make sense!

    1. A_DiSilvestro says:

      That’s terrible! I do, however, think you will see editors posting their own links within your article more in the future. This is a great way to help SEO efforts. I think most people can assume that the editor put in the links (as opposed to the author), so you’re more or less in the clear! @MetalCarports

  2. itsabhik says:

    Those are surely some great points a blogger should keep in mind.

    I agree with the guest post things also. You deserve the right to edit a guest post, but you shouldn’t do that.

    1. A_DiSilvestro says:

      I have to say I agree with you. Major edits should really be shown to the author first. A few grammar or spelling mistakes is fine, but if someone is going to put their name on an article it should be something they wrote (not something so edited it completely took away the author’s voice). @Abhik

  3. fas says:

    This comment system is terrible, I cant even link back and now I am thinking to quit!

    1. John Chow says:

      @fas If by linkback, you mean a link back to your blog when someone clicks your name, it does do that. In fact, if you reg for a Livefyre account, it will also show and link to your latest blog post under your comment.

  4. YaisaHagood says:

    John,

    As a new blogger I was guility of number 2. I quickly learned that when you sign up for social sites you need to be [email protected]

    1. John Chow says:

      @YaisaHagood You got that right. This is the reason I don’t join too many social media networks. Only the main ones like Twitter and Facebook.

  5. Chris McCoy says:

    I’m signed up to pretty much every social networking site around, and use about three actively haha 🙂

  6. JorgeDelgado says:

    Well I created a homepage for all my social media profiles to try to handle them (still trying 😉

    using a simple site like this one…

    http://about.me/jorgedelgado

    Cheers,

    Jorge

  7. alok24smart says:

    I completely agree that we should do guest posting after establishing our blog properly. Driving traffic to unfinished blogs is a futile attempt. Thanks for sharing an informative post.

  8. alok24smart says:

    I completely agree that we should do guest posting after establishing our blog properly. Driving traffic to unfinished blogs is a futile attempt. Thanks for sharing an informative post.

  9. julianwp says:

    and also, commenting on other people’s blog more than his own

  10. rabbistarak says:

    thanks for sharing this awesome tips, I have joined more then 200 social networking and bookmarking sites

  11. Good advice and I will try to follow it. I think the most important bit is about guest posting. It is so popular now that one may be tempted to go for it before building a impressive blog .

  12. SEOofBocaRaton says:

    Could not agree more on the subject of having an established blog of your own. The key is to have a steady stream of followers who come back for more information and hopefully sign up for newsletter. not just to land on your blog and leave without taking away any thing of value. Keep up the good work @JohnChow

  13. A_DiSilvestro says:

    Wow! The comments on this site are so wonderful! I apologize for waiting three days to check back (I should follow my own advice shouldn’t I? I was out of town if you want to start with the excuses, but I should have come online!)

    Well anyways, I’m glad to see that most people are agreeing with my points. I think the biggest one that people miss is “signing up for a lot of social networks.” It looks as though most of you agree with me on that one. It’s tempting, I know, you want to be involved in everything. I think people don’t realize that ignoring their networks can be hurtful, so please help me spread the word!

    Again, thank you for all the great comments.

  14. b.nijhoff says:

    These are 5 amazing points you mention in this article. I totally agree with all of the points. I think each point can help people become a good blogger, but if you want to be much better you should follow these 5 points. Keep on the good work!

    1. A_DiSilvestro says:

      I’m glad you are in agreement! People think it’s easy to be a blogger, but there is more to it than people realize! @b.nijhoff

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