Posts Tagged ‘Blogging Pitfalls’
Email overload is a burden that affects digital workers of all stripes, not just bloggers. However, bloggers are especially susceptible, especially as their site grows and more people wish to get in touch with them.
Not only does the public nature of blogging act as an open invitation for this problem but many seem to be caught off guard by it, having grown comfortable with the relatively low volume of mail that newness and obscurity brings with it.
To make matters worse, thanks to social media, IM and other communication methods, there’s actually less time to spend on email than ever before as our private communications are divided up among more channels than ever.
But, as almost any cubicle dweller can tell you, email isn’t going anywhere as a method of communication and it is best to learn how to deal with it now because it won’t get any easier the more popular that you get.
In short, this one could be a growing problem and one that does more harm to your blogging than good. Read More
Every blogger wants to be the star of their site. One doesn’t usually go through the time to create a site and write for it regularly with the intention of have others show them up and become what matters the most.
However, nearly all successful blogs are something of a collaborative effort between the blogger and their community. Commenters, forum posters and other community members no only help encourage others to visit the site, produce additional (free) content for it and expand the conversation/discussion on everything you write about, but they more importantly add a layer of depth to your writing by bringing in outside viewpoints, something no person can get alone.
Unfortunately, a lack of comments may be turning your visitors away from your site and it can be extremely discouraging for a blogger to put a great deal of work into a post only to find thousands of people read it and almost none take the time to say a few lines.
For a healthy blog, community is crucial and if you don’t work to grow it, you may find that your site is left in the dust as others in the niche race ahead to do bigger, better things.
If you blog long enough, it is bound to happen to you, even if you aren’t aware. Someone will take your content and republish it on their site, sometimes with a link, sometimes without, sometimes the full work, sometimes just a snippet. There are a million ways your content can appear on other sites, some ways legitimately and other ways less so, but they are all interesting lessons in how your readers interact with your work and, in some cases, problems you have to address.
Because, while most content reuse is fairly harmless. Some uses, especially by plagiarists and spammers, can have a negative impact on your site. This makes it important to know both how to track your content, what your rights are regarding your work, when is a good idea to step in and, most importantly, what you can do if you find that you need to.
Unfortunately, the issues are far more complex than what we can discuss in a single column, but we can definitely give a good overview of the situation and what you can expect.
Though blogging may be a great mental exercise, so much so that it is recommended for seniors to help them keep their mind sharp, it is not exactly the most intense of physical activities.
Since most of us blog while sitting down, which puts almost no strain on our body, a 145 lb person will burn about 99 calories per hour typing. That makes it only 40 calories per hour more than sleeping, which burns 59.
This sedentary lifestyle, especially when combined with a bad diet and lack of other exercise is not without its consequences. Though there are no statistics available for obesity and bloggers specifically, certainly the nation-wide statistics in the U.S. do not paint a pretty picture.
How, in a nation where over a quarter of all people are obese, is a blogger, one of the most sedentary of all jobs, supposed to maintain a healthy lifestyle? There are no easy answers but it is definitely a pitfall of blogging that needs to be looked at.
There’s an old maxim that says “Ideas are a dime a dozen.” In sort it means that ideas are worthless without execution, which is what gives them value.
That maxim largely holds true for bloggers, that is, so long as ideas are plentiful.
However, if you blog long enough you’ll likely find that, at some point, you’ll run completely out of ideas and your mind, no matter how hard you force it, isn’t able to create new ones.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing in a tight niche or about something as broad as things you see in your day-to-day life, at some point inspiration dries up and you’re stuck with a post to write and nothing to write about.
How you respond to this challenge can say a great deal about you, your blog and the potential future of both, especially if it is to last for any length of time.
So how do you deal with this problem? The answer is surprisingly simple. Read More
My good friend Patrick O’Keefe recently sat down for an hour-long interview with Rise to the Top that discussed, among other things, how to build and promote a successful site or community.
One of the points he made was that you don’t have to create the next Facebook or the next Google in order to have a successful site, but instead do something well within your personal niche that enables you to grow.
Because, while the drive to be number one certainly isn’t a bad thing by itself, it often causes bloggers to make two very critical mistakes. The first is to compare their site’s value to others and the second is to blindly imitate those who they see as more successful.
Either mistake can easily kill off an otherwise great blog by creating unneeded discouragement, but, more importantly, the mindset that you have to be number one in every respect can lead you to ruin what makes your blog unique and great. Read More
It’s a promise we’ve all heard before. Web hosting companies all over are offering “unlimited” hosting for mere dollars per month.
On the surface, it seems like a great deal. For a low monthly price you get to stop worrying about bandwidth and server space caps and focus on running your site. You can host as many domains, get as much traffic and store as many files as you want.
However, unlimited hosting is much more myth than reality. It just means that the host doesn’t place “hard” caps on storage and transfer and instead has replaced it with soft ones that could come back to bite you at almost any time.
Fortunately, it is a relatively avoidable pitfall if one is willing to be realistic about the limitations of such hosting and take precautions to avoid abusing it.
Imagine sitting down to your computer one morning and opening up your blog. However, instead of finding your homepage your admin panel staring back at you, you instead see a bright red warning screen telling you that malware has been detected on the site and you are advised not to enter.
The realization quickly sinks in that, if you are seeing that error, so is everyone else trying to visit your site. You begin to hurry and try to figure out what happened but quickly realize that your site has been compromised and, if you’re even able to log in, you have a very big mess to clean up. Worst of all, when you’re done, you have to apply for reconsideration with Google and other security companies and then wait 12 hours or more for the warning to clear off.
It’s a painful process and, in the best of circumstances it can ruin an entire day and, in the worst, it can destroy an otherwise healthy site.
Still, it is an all-too-common occurrence on the Web. Bloggers learn too late that their sites are vulnerable and are left to clean up the mess an attacker leaves behind. That mess could be as simple as adding malware to the site, inserting spam links into the theme or defacing the site but in some extreme cases, it can go as far as to delete everything the blogger has done.
To help keep you, your visitors and your site safe(r) from hackers, you need to make sure your server is secure. Fortunately, it isn’t very complicated but failure to spend the time and energy today can be very costly tomorrow. Read More
There’s an old maxim in blogging that you are only as good as your last post. But what if your last post was utter garbage?
What if, rather than turning out your best work of all time you published something that immediately wish you could disown, set on fire and bury? Maybe it was riddled with factual inaccuracies that, in hindsight, seem obvious or maybe you said something without thinking that turned out to be offensive and/or insensitive.
No matter what your error ends up being, every blogger will make mistakes and some of them will be quite ugly. Even when we are careful, we sometimes say things we don’t mean, get facts wrong and generally screw up.
So with it being a question of “when” and not “if” you make a mistake, the question then becomes what do you do about it? If you can’t avoid mistakes, only minimize them, you have to be able to recover from them, otherwise, one blunder can turn into a landmine that can sink your site.
Generally speaking, bloggers view analytics as a very good thing. There’s hardly a blog that isn’t running some kind of stats program whether it’s Google Analytics, WordPress.com stats or one of the countless other systems.
Analytics provide information that can be very valuable to a blogger. A good analytics system will give you stats that can tell you how many people are visiting your site, where they are coming from and what they do while they are there. This is practical information that can help direct on-the-ground action to improve a blog.
But many bloggers take analytics too far and become obsessed over them. Though we know that lack of blog growth is one of the key reasons for blog abandonment, it doesn’t always have to be, many bloggers make the mistake of treating the improving site statistics as the end goal for the blog, defeating the purpose of having analytics in the first place, which is to help you get the information you need to reach your goal.
This is how analytics, if used improperly, can actually do more harm to your blog than good and why you need to be careful not to take them too seriously. Read More