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Sep 22, 2016

6 Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Starting a Blog

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6 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting a Blog (Common technical and writing mistakes)

Whether you've waited years to finally start your own blog or the inspiration to do so only recently came to you, you don't want to have to shut down the blog before you even really begin. Instead of diving into the world of blogging without any direction, take the time to review some common pitfalls.

1. Don't immediately post after writing

Think back to when you were in high school and college. Ever write something, come back a few days later and say “What was I thinking?!”. Chances are that you also may have left at least one essay until the night before it was due. When you received the paper back from the instructor, the grade probably wasn't great, and one of the main reasons was that you didn't leave yourself with enough time to revise. Set the writing aside before you go live. Doing so provides you with the chance to edit the piece and fine tune it and to remember other ideas that you may want to incorporate.

2. Avoid writing for a widely general audience

While you want to generate traffic to your website and to build a substantial audience, you need to define your focus. Think about how you change your voice on the telephone depending upon the person with whom you are speaking. Consider how a creative piece for your personal collection sounds different from an academic essay submitted to your university. Writing has to be tailored to the target audience. Before you can begin to write your first blog post, you need to consider who is most likely to benefit from your blog.

3. Don't post too frequently or too infrequently

If you post every day, you aren't giving your readers enough time to actually read the information. You may think that all of them come to your blog on a daily basis, but that probably isn't the case. On the other hand, you can drive people away when you do not produce fresh content with regularity. The amount of time that should pass between your blog posts will depend upon a few factors.

For example, you must take into account how long your posts are and how avidly your consumers read. Also, what topic does your blog cover? Does this industry change often? Is it extremely technical with a greater learning curve?

4. Avoid writing like a robot

Search engine optimization is important because you want to drive traffic to your website. However, when you base your entire blog post around keywords and phrases, you detract from that personal connection that you want to establish with readers. Even though your blog is stuffed with keywords that may attract readers to the page in the first place, that doesn't mean they will stay. Also remember, search engine algorithms learn and grow more complex. They understand context and not just specific anchor text, so opt for a more natural style. Doing so allows your content to become more digestible to your readers, and it allows you to establish a greater deal of rapport with them.

5. Don't feel relegated to writing only

Envision textbooks that you used to read during college. You probably liked when you saw some pictures because it meant that the chapter was that many pages shorter. Although you do want to produce content that your readers want to read, you should also consider that most people absorb information visually these days. Adding pictures to your blog posts can help to provide your audience members with a greater sense of what you mean. You can also use videos to provide them with demonstrations of the products or services that you offer which are usually very well received.

6. Don't become pompous

Remember that you are writing material for an audience. If you start to use words that they do not understand or begin to brag about how successful you are in your business, your readers might question your character or lose interest. On top of that, do not assume that you are the only voice that matters in the blog. Calling for a guest blogger once in awhile helps you to keep the content fresh; furthermore, it shows that you care about the writing voices of others. Another idea is to open a comments section on your blog. While you do not want to encourage mayhem on your website, you can still give people a platform for expressing their ideas about your writing.

Bonus infographic:
11 common blogging mistakes to avoid (and why) - infographic
infographic source: Disciplr.

Venturing into the world of blogging can be very exciting. If you can avoid these issues early in your career, it can help pave the way to a successful and fulfilling blog.

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