One thing that can’t be said about blogging is that it’s a new thing; successful business models based on blogging can be found and studied in almost any niche imaginable. That’s usually what entices people relatively new in the industry to start blogging – the proof that it works, and the “you can do it too!” message that’s being sent to them, directly or indirectly.
Generally speaking, everyone can create a successful blog and become a blogging rock star – you don’t even need to know the basics of coding anymore, just buy the domain name and hosting and throw in a nice layout and you’re ready to start. Well, no matter how easy it may sound, the truth is that the vast majority of the new bloggers will fail.
If you don’t want to be one of them, please read carefully what you should watch out for.
1. If you just build it but don’t promote it, they won’t come
In an ideal world and an ideal case for you, right after you publish your genius post someone important will stumble upon it, recognize its value and share and recommend it to death. But this isn’t an ideal world, and you have to understand that the Internet is seeing hundreds of thousands new blog posts published each and every day. The chances that someone will accidentally find yours are very bad, even if you’re not so good with math.
You are the one who is responsible for promoting your content. That means that blogging isn’t just about you sitting in front your laptop and writing for your blog; blogging is also (sometimes more) about how good of a marketer you are, how strong are your connections with industry influencers and how big and engaged is the rest of your social flock.
So you have to do a few other things simultaneously:
- Build your Twitter and Facebook following
- Constantly work on getting the influencers’ attention
- Create a promotion plan for your blog and stick to it
- Manage your online reputation
2. If you wait to have an audience to publish ‘the good stuff’, you will never get the audience
How many first impressions do you expect to get? There’s no reason to believe that you’re any different than the other 7 billion inhabitants of Earth, so yes, you will only get one. If a first time visitor doesn’t find anything mind blowing on your blog, they won’t be coming back to check if you have published something better in the meantime. Why should he? It’s your job to prepare your blog for every new visitor – because that’s the only way you can build audience.
You don’t want them to come, see and move on; you want them to come, see, get blown away and subscribe / share / connect / comment.
Now, it sure is frustrating to write awesome content and to have only a handful of people reading it; but think of it as an investment for the future. First, the few people who will read it will probably become your devoted fans. Second, as your blog grows and gains more visibility in the search engines, your old content will get more exposure and get you new visitors and new subscribers. A bonus is that you won’t be embarrassed when someone decides to dig through your old posts.
3. If you don’t differentiate yourself from the rest, you shouldn’t be blogging at all
Overcome that silly fear that you will insult someone, or that you will be ridiculous because of your points of view. At least find your unique voice. You have to come up with some concept that will set you apart from the rest – if not, then what is your contribution, what are you offering that can’t be found on hundreds of other blogs in your industry?
There sure is a catch with this. You don’t have to agree with the thought leaders in your industry, but you have to give good arguments and you have to show that you don’t lack the experience and the deep understanding of how things work.
4. You don’t have to write a blog under your real name
You just don’t. If you’re unsure and don’t want to embarrass yourself, you can test the water by creating an alias. You can always reclaim it if things turn good. Just be consistent, and use the same alias everywhere. Technically, this isn’t a dangerous mistake, but rather a friendly advice – it will help lower the pressure, and if that’s what you need, then go for it.
Most of these blogging mistakes you would figure out on your own eventually, but it’s better to be aware of them right from the beginning, it will cost you less.
[See related post: 50 Golden Blogging Tips For Business]