Sunday, July 20, 2014

What NOT to do When Blogging

Becoming a blogger is easy. Becoming a successful blogger is difficult.

Anyone with even a basic understanding of the Internet can set up a blog, type up a post, publish it, and call themselves a blogger. However, writing up multiple content-rich posts on a daily basis, sharing reviews, promoting, networking, and trying to land your name on a list of envied Top Bloggers requires time and effort, the same way a job requires such.

So, how does one become a successful blogger?

Well, instead of telling you what you should be doing to create a successful blog, I'm going to give you a list of 5 things you should never do as a blogger. Knowing what not to do allows you to avoid common mistakes that other bloggers make, and in turn, give you a push up the ladder of successful bloggers.

1. Update whenever you feel like it.

Unless you're putting out some really, really great information, posting an update once a month is not going to cut it. When people visit your blog, they want fresh content. If, every week, they see the same old post on the front page, they're not going to want to come back. There. You've just lost dozens of potential loyal readers, all because you "didn't feel like updating." You have to keep content fresh, and you have to keep it coming. Posting at least 3 times per week is recommended. However, posting multiple times a day, at least 5 days per week is ideal.

Tip: Posting multiple times a day might seem like a grandiose task, but with most blogging platforms, you can schedule posts in advance. Setting aside two days per week to write up evergreen content will not only keep the content on your blog fresh, but it will also save time and energy.

2. Write only sponsored posts.

One of the perks of being a successful blogger is the chance to earn a little cash for your efforts. However, jeopardizing your chances to build a loyal following in the name of the all-mighty dollar is simply not the way to go. Of course you want to make money. We all do. However, the chances of your readers wanting to hear about random businesses or services just because you're making money off of the posts are slim to none. You need to have a good balance of both sponsored posts and regular posts, written by you.

Tip: A good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 regular posts for every sponsored post that you share on your blog. That way, you'll build a loyal readership while also earning a little bit of cash on the side.

3. Forget the "evergreen" content.

When it comes to building a successful blog, evergreen content is key. If every single post on your blog becomes irrelevant within a couple of months, your blog is virtually useless. Focus on creating content that will remain useful, even in the years to come. This way, past posts will still receive hits.

Tip: When doing sponsored posts or reviews, include tips or tutorials that allow the post to remain relevant even after the sponsorship is over. For example, if you're reviewing your favorite lip stick and offering a giveaway, write up a list of tips on how to make your lip color last longer. That way, once the giveaway is over, the content is still relevant.

4. Criticize other bloggers.

In the blogging world, criticizing your fellow bloggers is like running to tattletale on your colleague. Not only is it unprofessional, but it says a lot about your character as a blogger. Unless there is a blogger out there trying to scam their readers and everyone around them, you should keep your mouth shut. If you must vent because a fellow blogger shunned you, leave out the names.

Tip: Think about it like this. If you openly criticize another blogger and use his/her name, you're only driving traffic to their blog. Is that what you want?

5. Attack your readers.

If your readers are upset with something that you said or something that you shared, you need to take a moment to think about it. Why are they upset? How could you remedy the situation? Catering to your readers is important, and pissing them off is the last thing you want to do. If an apology is warranted, then apologize. Now, on the other hand, if you get a troll on your blog or your social media accounts who is harassing you or saying things to get a rise out of you, that's a different story. Approach with caution, but the best thing to do is block their IP and ignore them altogether. There is nothing worse than a blogger who spends most of his or her time arguing instead of producing relevant content.

Tip: Keep your readers happy. They're the ones who help make your blog successful. Without readers, your words are nothing but a bunch of symbols on a screen. If there is no one to read your content, there is zero chance of success.

Can you think of anything else that should be on this list? Say so in the comments below!

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