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.