Posts Tagged ‘Blogging Pitfalls’
Bloggers often times refer to their blogs as if they were human beings with their own personalities. But while bloggers usually want their blogs to be intellectuals filled with interesting and useful knowledge or entertainers that can keep passer-bys engaged, we don’t pay nearly as much attention to our site’s physical health, let alone its athletic performance.
The truth is that blogs are a lot like people in another way, they tend to become bloated and out of shape over time. This can happen quickly, often times with just the installation of one plugin, or gradually over time as feature creep begins to drag a site down.
But also as with humans, this extra weight can have serious health consequences. If a blog isn’t up to speed, it can have dire consequences for the site that can result in a drastic loss of traffic, reduction in search engine presence and even instability and an inability to function.
Simply put, every blogger needs to be aware of the dangers of letting their site get out of shape and be able to make the necessary adjustments to bring it back into line. Failure to do so can be very disastrous for a blog indeed.
At the end of the day, the most basic activity a blogger must do is write.
While it is true that bloggers are, with good reason, expending more and more into video and audio, at some point every blogger is going to have to write something. It might be a description, a bio or even just an advertisement but, at some point, a every blogger is going to have to put words onto paper.
But not every writer has the heart of a poet or the writing skills of a hard-hitting journalists. Bloggers come from all different backgrounds and styles and many have had little training or experience with writing prior to starting up their blog.
The good news is that you don’t need to be the next Shakespeare to be an effective and popular blogger, in many ways it helps not to be, but you do have to be able to write clearly and in a way that is engaging to your reader. It may not require a Ph.D in literature, but it does require that you work on honing your craft and make your writing as good as possible.
Failure to do so can sink an otherwise great blog and make your previous hard work a complete waste of time.
There’s a story told to those in school for advertising about William Wrigley Jr., the owner and founder of Wrigley gum.
According to the story, Wrigley was on a train when another passenger asked him why he continued to spend millions of dollars when everyone knew his product and he had a virtual lock on the market.
Rather than answering the question, Wrigley responded by asking how fast the train was going. When the other passenger said, “About 70 miles per hour,” he shot back with the now-famous quip:
“Well, that’s fast enough, why don’t they unhook the engine?”
Wrigley understood that advertising and promotion was a key to growing his company and it is also key to growing your blog. However, most bloggers only focus on promotion during the earlier days and months of a blog, let it coast to hopeful success later. This can cause growth to slow to a crawl and, in extreme cases, even stop.
Everyone knows what being a blogger entails but fewer people know what creating a successful blog involves. Far too many bloggers have fallen for the false mantra of “If you write it, they will come” only to watch their traffic, readership and even profits lag behind their efforts.
There is much more to writing a blog than just simply putting out new blog entries. Even ignoring promotion, communication and other activities all bloggers do, there is a simple truth that, for the most part, a great blog can not be simply a great blog.
Nearly all great blogs are something else too and it is important to be thinking about that both as you work to develop the idea for your site and as you grow it. Rather than focusing merely on the daily grind, you need to make sure that your readers have other reasons to both first find your site and keep coming back.
After all, blogs are a dime a dozen on the Web, without something more, your site may not be worthless, but it can sure feel that way.
Quickly, how often should you update your blog? Several times a day? Daily? Several times a week? Weekly? Monthly?
The answer is that it isn’t terribly important. There are successful blogs that update dozens of times of day and successful blogs that update weekly or even less. Though you should probably try to keep a weekly schedule at least, what is much more important than the exact schedule you keep is that you actually keep it.
Getting off your blogging schedule is an easy pitfall that bloggers face and, in truth, is one that pretty much every blogger will fall into at some point. After all, we are only human.
However, avoiding this pitfall and recovering from it is essential because one of the most sure-fire ways to prevent your blog from being successful, or existing at all, is getting off your blogging rhythm and letting both yourself and your readers down.
We all pretty much know that being a spammer is a bad thing. After all, anyone who has checked their spam folder in Gmail or had Akismet clean up a spam comment attack has said a round of thanks to the marvels of technology that keep our sites and inboxes clean.
However, we often times visualize spammers as lonely hackers utilizing either massive server farms or botnets of computers to send out countless garbage emails and comments. Indeed, some spammers are exactly like that and they make a living, albeit an ill-gotten one, peddling pharmaceuticals, gambling sites and whatever else is popular at the time.
But there is another class of spammer out there and it is made up of bloggers just like you and I. Bloggers who get lured by the temptation for easy traffic and go too far with our promotions.
Becoming a spammer is surprisingly easy, avoiding that fate not so much. Read More
What kills more blogs every year than bad hosting, legal threats and all other blogging pitfalls combined? Blog abandonment.
The biggest killer of blogs by far isn’t what makes headlines, it’s the simple fact that people get up and walk away from their sites.
How bad is the issue? According to a recent Technorati survey, of the 133 million blogs tracked less than 7.5 million were still active and, of those, just 1.5 million had been updated within the past week. This means that almost 99% of all blogs created are not currently active on at least a weekly basis and approximately 94% have been abandoned completely.
So how can you help your site beat the odds? Well, there is no easy answer to that one as even the blogs that take the best precautions still, most of the time, wind up being abandoned at some point. However, there are still some steps that you can and should take. Read More
A little bit of controversy can be very good for a blog. It can re-invigorate and motivate your existing readership, draw in new a readers to a site and spark up a great conversation.
However, controversy can also be addicting. The traffic spikes that come with posts that are talked about and the good feelings that comes from being the center of attention, even if much of it is negative, can actually be a motivating factor for a blogger and the driving force for the site.
This, in turn, comes with a slew of new challenges and they are problems that can literally rip a site apart and destroy the reputation of a blogger. Simply put, going down the road of controversy may be an easy path to traffic and even some material success with a blog, but it is a deathtrap that can cause a great site to flame out and die all too quickly.
Everyone loves WordPress plugins. They’re great and they can do a ton of great things from improve your commenting system to improving your site’s security.
While WordPress plugins are great, too much of any good thing is simply that, too much. Going overboard with WordPress plugins can have an adverse affect on your blog in many different ways, possibly resulting in a blog that barely functions.
So before you click “Install” and add yet another one of the latest and greatest WordPress plugins, it’s important to take a moment and make sure it is actually in the best interest of your site.
If you don’t, you could wind up paying for it dearly down the road.
One of the great things about the Internet is that it has enabled almost anyone to become a publisher and reach an audience of millions.
One of the bad things about that is that most people don’t have the understanding of media law to know how to avoid being sued while publishing on the Web.
One of the thornier areas that bloggers have to deal with is defamation law, specifically libel. Much like with copyright law, defamation is a misunderstood set of rules that, in the age of the Internet, can at times seem archaic and confusing but is actually in place for a very good reason.
However, also as with copyright, it’s an easy pitfall for a blogger to fall into, especially if they aren’t aware of the rules. Fortunately though, this is one blogging pitfall that is fairly easy to avoid, but it does require one to put forth some extra effort into their writing to make sure they don’t find themselves on the wrong end of a libel lawsuit.