(DGIwire) — So you’ve decided to enter the world of blogging…and maybe things aren’t going as you expected. Where’s the sharing? The return for your time invested? Why aren’t you suddenly a recognized thought-leader in the field you desire?
If you genuinely seek success, it’s going to involve a learning curve and commitment – just like everything else in your life where you might desire success. “It’s worth your time and energy to educate yourself, determine your objectives, define your ultimate target market and develop an understanding of some of the common mistakes made by newbie bloggers,” says Dian Griesel, president of Dian Griesel International, a public relations firm that works with traditional media and has been creating original content for clients for over 20 years. “Blogging can be a very rewarding business building experience, if done correctly. However, if you don’t have the time and focus to learn the tricks of the trade–hire an expert to ghost write for you or you’ll likely waste a lot of precious time with a very low return on your investment.”
Before blindly diving head first into the blogosphere, Griesel suggests taking your time to fully understand the space and process. Here are six mistakes that you’ll want to avoid in your blog:
1) Lack of focus: Find a focus for your blog, and make sure it’s a topic that reflects what you know and what interests you..after all, this is what you will be writing about. In other words, make sure you actually enjoy writing about your chosen topic or else it will be a real struggle to find new ideas for content. When it comes to blogs, the topics to choose from are endless. Your focus could be anything: politics, health, technology, science, comedy, fashion, cooking, exercise, diet, religion, entertainment, etc. Follow your gut and find your focus.
2) Writing for Traffic-less Sites: Too many people spend hours originating, writing and editing a blog—only to find out that it’s published on a site that has zero traffic. “Blogging should not be ego-oriented. Your corporate website or some other low traffic site might not be the best place to spend your creative energy. The focus instead should be to share your absolute best quality information and make sure it’s published on trafficked sites with the broadest possible desired-audience reach,” says Griesel.
3) Writing for Google: When anyone starts a blog, the dream is to appear on Google’s first search page someday. Many believe the way to get there is through the repetitious use of key words. However, the more you repeat these key words and phrases, the more your content suffers. It’s really obvious when bloggers use the same words over and over again throughout their posts, which does not make readers want to return. Readers will not stay to finish reading the post or come back to your blog most likely. Use key words sparingly; make sure you don’t overdue it and risk your reputation.
4) Plagiarizing, Typos and Poor Grammar: As far as plagiarizing goes, the same rules apply to blogs that were in play all throughout school. DON’T DO IT…just don’t! Even though blogs are more casual, it’s still unacceptable to copy/paste content from someone else and write if off as your own words. If you like the wording, cite the author and provide a link. Make sure you’re proofreading your posts before you publish them. Edit for spelling, grammar, typos, run-on sentences and accidental mistakes. Read over your posts to ensure everything flows nicely.
5) Unrealistic expectations: If you came to blogging expecting instant results, it’s time to reevaluate otherwise you may be disappointed. There are tens of thousands of blogs out there, and they’re all vying for relatively the same audience. That’s some stiff competition; so don’t feel too bad if your blog is slow to grow its readership. Be patient. Give it some time, and as long as you write well, create quality content, find a unique niche to fill and work to promote your blog, the readership will come.
6) Over-designing: Bloggers just starting out can get carried away with all the graphics and design options. Throwing too much into a new blog is overwhelming and can be off-putting to readers. Blogs are best when the design is simple; they’re easier to use and navigate. It’s easy to get sucked into the world of graphic design and finessing those minute details, but those details aren’t going to increase readership…quality content will. Rather than wasting time and over-designing your blog, use that time to create quality content.
Starting a blog is nothing to rush into. Doing your research to better understand the blogosphere and avoiding these blogging blunders will help get you well on your way to creating a successful blog!