Eight Things NOT To Do When Starting A New Blog

March 11, 2013

Blogging, Social Media

Eight Things NOT To Do When Starting A New Blog

Starting a new blog is an exciting time. For those who plan on blogging for profit however, it can also be a pretty stressful one. Writing posts and building backlinks takes time and unfortunately, not everyone gets paid for their efforts.

Should you find yourself starting a new blog for the first time, there are a number of important things that you need to get right. Fail to do so and your odds of turning a profit decrease dramatically. Here are eight things not to do when starting a new blog.

1. Starting The Wrong Blog

The biggest mistake that a blogger can make is to dive into the wrong niche. Content might be king but your content isn’t going to mean much if you’re blogging about rocks. Think long and hard about the kind of blog that you want to create. Choose something that you can monetize, something that you can compete in and even more importantly, something that you’re passionate about.

2. Starting a Blog For The Wrong Reasons

There are two things that all bloggers should know before they start out.

  • Blogs are rarely very profitable during their first year. Fail to accept this fact and you’re unlikely to make it to year two.
  • Don’t start a blog exclusively for money. Passionate bloggers make money, everyone else makes pocket change.

3. Failing to Introduce Yourself

When somebody visits your blog for the first time, they’re not going to know anything about you. If they like your posts, they’re going to become curious and they’re going to visit your About Page. What your About Page says will determine whether or not they return.

Take the time to tweak your About -page, it’s arguably the most important page on your blog. In the very least, it should include the following:

  • Who you are (preferably including a photo).
  • What your blog is about.
  • What makes you qualified to write such a blog.
  • What people can expect in the future.

4. Copying Old News

One of the reasons that passion is so important when choosing a blog topic is that it’s opinions that make a blog, not facts. And if you’re not passionate about what you’re writing about, those opinions are going to be pretty hard to come by.

If you think that you can rehash everyone else’s ideas and turn a profit, think again. Regardless of what you’re writing about, you must strive to say something new.

Fail to do so and you’ll just be one more copycat trying to make money from old news.

5. Talking to Yourself

8 Things Not To Do Blogging. No 5 - Talking to yourself

A blog is supposed to be a two way conversation. This means that a blog needs a comment section and it needs a blogger that responds to those comments. Fail to do this and you are essentially just talking to yourself. Nobody likes that guy.

Encourage comments by both asking for them and responding to them. Moderate your comment sections carefully both manually and using the appropriate plug-ins.

6. Posting When You Feel Like It

A lack of updates can kill just about any blog, let alone a new one. Whether you post daily or weekly is irrelevant, what matter’s is that you decide on a schedule and that you stick to it.

Eight Things NOT To Do When Starting A New Blog - No. 6

When somebody visits your blog, they must know when to expect the next post. Otherwise, why would they return?

7. Expecting The Audience To Come To You

One of the biggest challenges of starting a new blog is actually getting noticed. If you don’t actively promote your blog, you’re going to be waiting a hell of a long time. The easiest way to promote a new blog is to find people interested in the niche and simply talk to them.

In other words, find the most popular blogs in your niche and start commenting on them. Find the most popular forums in your niche and start contributing to the conversation.

The fastest way to find an audience is to go out looking for one.

8. Underestimating/Overestimating The Importance Of Search Engine Optimisation

For every profitable niche, there’s a hundred bloggers trying to make a living from it. And because they all use SEO, you’re going to have to use SEO too. Fail to employ basic SEO techniques and you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle from day one.

On the other side of the coin, we have the bloggers that devote all of their efforts into SEO and none of their efforts into creating quality content. Such bloggers might make money in the short term but they’re just a single Google update from losing everything. Optimise your posts for Google but write your posts for your readers.

[Image credits: Flickr-music2work2 , antkriz, Creative Commons Licence]

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About John Miller

John Miller enjoys blogging. He mostly writes article on SEO, web development and online marketing. He believes that SEO is a crucial process for ensuring that your blog is a huge success.

View all posts by John Miller

19 Responses to “Eight Things NOT To Do When Starting A New Blog”

  1. KrisOlin Says:

    There’s some very good here tips for bloggers, beginners and alike. Especially tip no. 6 is something that needs constant attention. Thanks for a great post, John!

    Reply

    • John Miller Says:

      @krisolin:disqus : Thanks. I understand what you are saying, I have lost interest in some big blogs I used to follow regularly because the blog owners got involved in other projects and updates became sparse. If your readers know when they can expect the next post, they will come back.

      Reply

  2. Beth Hewitt Says:

    Great post, think you covered everything. I am to glad you put niche first. I think so many people think I need a blog to make money online but fail to figure out what focus they should have.

    I would also add that It’s a good idea to have some way of capturing leads and give some thought to a unique offer as well.

    great post

    Beth

    Reply

    • KrisOlin Says:

      Beth, I agree capturing leads is one of the basic & important actions you should do if you are running a blog for business. I also agree with you that it really helps if you are passionate about the topic. Especially if you rely on yourself to write most of the posts.

      Reply

      • John Miller Says:

        @krisolin:disqus : Most new bloggers start writing on their own in the beginning so saying that “passion really helps” is an understatement ;)

        Once you have a well-established blog with some loyal readers, others would want to contribute their ideas and posts on your blog.

        Reply

    • John Miller Says:

      @twitter-868737631:disqus : Thanks for your encouraging comment. As Kris said, “passion” is one of the most important factor behind successful blogs. Writing, marketing, networking skills etc. won’t do anything for the blog if the blog owner/editor is not passionate about the topic.

      Reply

  3. Joanne Says:

    Thanks for this well-done post! It’s so rare to find one that practices what it preaches, esp. in the social media how-to or marketing fields.

    Reply

    • John Miller Says:

      @239b12cefcd9fcf72a646935d0926fda:disqus : Thanks for the kind words. I am not sure I agree with you on the practice and preach front. I follow a lot of bloggers and internet marketers who eat their own dog food ;-)

      Reply

  4. Sarah Bauer Says:

    Great post! Another beginner blogger mistake is “Letting the words speak for themselves.” Most users scan content, even long-form blog posts, to grab the information they need, so if you want readers to dig deeper, you need to compel them to do so with keyword-driven titles, sub-titles, and headings for different paragraphs, ideas, or lists. A copy/paste from Microsoft Word with no adaptations for web usability will quickly turn users away!
    Cheers
    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia

    Reply

    • John Miller Says:

      @sarah_bauer:disqus : I agree with you, I prefer to say that readers like to ‘scan’ the posts before they think of reading them completely. Interesting and useful sub-headings are mandatory.

      Reply

  5. The5-MinuteMessenger Says:

    The SEO part is what I’m still trying to figure out.

    Reply

    • Kris Olin Says:

      Basic SEO knowledge is an important part of every bloggers toolbox. Luckily you don’t have to be an expert at it!

      There are some powerful SEO plugins you can use that do lot of the hard work for you if you take the time to configure them in the beginning.

      For WordPress blogs I am using, and can recommend All In One SEO for simpler solutions and WordPress SEO by Yoast for more advanced.

      -Kris

      Reply

  6. Joe Wickman Says:

    I’ve probably made every one of these mistakes in year one. Now I’m turning the corner into year two and have more questions than I began with!

    One step at a time, right?

    Reply

  7. Louise Says:

    Blogging is not really easy as it seems. As for me, I always evaluate my blog every month – to know the things I should have or shouldn’t do.
    Louise recently posted…How to Get More Clients while Increasing Website Traffic and Building Your List with ONE Little Known Secret?My Profile

    Reply

  8. Davina K. Brewer Says:

    Think #5 and #7 are my faves – because they highlight what blogging is about: being social. Blogging has a ton of fantastic personal and professional benefits, can really help any business. And they way it works is by connecting you and your business w/ others; so responding to comments and just as importantly, getting out of your own blog to comment and share – that’s how you make those connections, build relationships that develop a successful blog.

    Good writing helps as well, but I know from experience that it’s not the end all. You can’t ignore the backend tech. “Optimize for Google, write for readers” very well said. FWIW.
    Davina K. Brewer recently posted…I Keep My Own AgencyMy Profile

    Reply

    • Kris Olin Says:

      Davina, I agree with you with No 7. The old saying “If you build it, they will come.” does not really apply any more. You really have to work for your audience.

      Reply

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