11 Mistakes to Avoid as a Newbie Blogger
Blogging – the rapidly rising phenomenon of writing about an event, situation or topic – is fun and interesting for no small reason. It gives you an outlet to express your knowledge, insight, and opinion, thereby building your credibility to readers.
Moreover, since readers can post comments and interact with you, you get the chance to establish a relationship of trust. Blogs also have considerable marketing potential as they can be used to influence readers’ opinion to buy certain products or subscribe to certain views.
However, it can be challenging as a newbie blogger as he/she is prone to committing certain mistakes that can waste readers’ time and consequently drag the blog’s visibility.
- Writing without a target audience in mind
Often, bloggers who are beginners do not have a target audience in mind. They write about topics that are random and wide-ranging rather than specific areas that cater to particular sections of the population.
For example, you may want to think – Am I targeting individuals who are middle-class homemakers or office-goers with an annual income of $50,000? Does my target audience comprise students who are seeking to clear competitive examinations or urban pet owners? Different types of audiences have equally diverse needs, preferences and outlooks, according to which the blogger needs to write.
It is important to observe your target audience’s interests, grievances and leisure activities to cater to their specific needs. Writing relevant content on topics that resonate with your target audience has a greater chance of helping you accomplish your business goals.
- Not Building a Rapport with Peer Bloggers
In order to make your blog reach a larger audience, it is essential to build a supportive network. If your fellow bloggers retweet your blog or share it on Facebook, there are chances of more people knowing about your blogsite.
However, for that you need to be a supportive blogger yourself.Involve yourself by commenting on relevant blogs, sharing the blog content of others and answering questions on social platforms.These gestures of goodwill show that you care beyond your own blog. Such activities help build an amicable relationship and encourage others to share your blog. This goes a long way in the publicity of your blog.
- Not Posting Regularly
It is important to post on a regular basis in your blogsite, especially if you are a newbie blogger. This is because regular blogs help to make your target audience build a degree of trust and reliance on you.
The absence of blog posts for a month or so can stagger an otherwise steady increase in traffic, which can boost the marketing potential of your blog.Developing a habit of writing regularly, posting it on your WordPress blog, and scheduling it correctly from WordPress dashboard need to be part of a newbie blogger’s routine.Posting regular blogs helps to:
- ingrain a sense of anticipation for your blogs
- increase your blogsite or website’s SEO (as sites that are updated regularly feature towards the top of search engine rankings)
- remove chances of writer’s block
- Writing only for SEO Purposes
It is common for newbie bloggers to generate blogs that rank high in the results of search engines. For that, they often tend to stuff their blogs with keywords for SEO purposes.
However, the presence of too many keywords can make the blog appear to be concocted and spoil the reader’s enjoyment. This can reduce the number of visits to your blogsite. Writing quality content is the first priority followed by the integration of keywords for SEO purposes. You need to remember that you’re essentially writing for people and not robots.
- Not Displaying One’s Personality
One of the things that can make a beginner blogger’s post stand out is the expression of his/her unique personality. Be it an infusion of humour, a pinch of sarcasm or a realistic and practical manner of looking at things, your personality adds to the appeal of your blog. Without it, a newbie blogger is unable to make his/her mark.
When you discuss a topic without letting your personality shine through, you become a mundane mouthpiece. It is your experiences, voice and your fresh perspective on things that bring forth your personality, thereby making your posts unique.
- Deviating from the Focus
Your blogs are meant to educate the target audience, address their grievances and inspire them to act. Therefore, the focus should remain on these points rather than deviating to irrelevant things.
Beginner bloggers often fill the blog with nuggets of information about their own lives, problems and so on. But while such details may be interesting in themselves, consider whether they are relevant to the blog topic.Make it a point to write every word keeping the audience interests in mind.If your blog frequently goes off track, it is disappointing for your audience and hampers your business goals as well. Hence, you need to stick to the subject matter in the blog.
- Writing in a stiff, formal manner
Newbie bloggers, in their eagerness to taking blog-writing seriously, often write in a stiff and formal diction.
However, this kind of writing tends to alienate the reader rather than impress him/her. This is because internet users mostly look for reading matter that is lucid, informative and/or entertaining. It should be basically something that the target audience enjoys. Therefore, you may want to avoid the formal style adopted in a term paper as it can turn the target audience away from your blog.
- Not Replying to Comments
To build strong relationships with your target audience, the beginner blogger (or any blogger for that matter) needs to respond to the comments that he/she receives from the readers.
The blogger is effectively able to gain the trust of the target audience when he/she takes the time and effort to engage with them. Being a non-responsive blogger, influences readers to stop commenting, which gradually reduces their visits to your blogsite or website as well. It also makes readers distrust you.
- Not Using Data as Evidence
Newbie bloggers often omit the use of data to substantiate their argument in a blog in their bid for authenticity.
However, this triggers off as a negative factor. That is because data helps to validate your point and thereby establish your credibility in the eyes of the target audience.Using data and research from reliable sources establishes your credibility and shows why it is relevant to your readers. Therefore, compelling data from sites such asHubSpot Research, Pew Research Center and MarketingSherpa contributes positively toward the strength of your blog. It increases the readers’ confidence in you.
- Not Editing the Blog
Even though a blog may seem perfect after it is just written, it still needs to be edited properly. First drafts often contain accidental mistakes such as typos, run-on sentences and so on.
At times, the line of thought can also be somewhat convoluted or confusing. While it may appear fine to the blogger at first instance, he/she needs to edit and revise it to make sure that the reader is able to understand it easily.It is a good idea to edit your blog after the lapse of a particular time period (a few hours to a couple of days) so as to revise it with a clear mind. You may want to spend a minimum of 20–30 minutes on editing a blog.
- Writing Content that is Plagiarized
In the attempt to write interesting content, beginner bloggers browse through other content (such as that of other websites and books). But while it is okay to get inspired by other content and write something along parallel lines, newbie bloggers often end up plagiarizing the content.
It is important to remember that if you are caught stealing other people’s content, Google can penalize you. This could ruin your blog’s growth prospects. Learn to cite other people’s content in your blogs while giving them due credit. Passing off others’ content as one’s own can land a blogger in trouble.The above-mentioned mistakes are the ones that are commonly committed by newbie bloggers. They may apparently seem to be no big deal, but can ruin the prospects of a blogger. However, with only a little awareness and perspicacity, you can work wonders on your blogs!
The key is to value your readers and never take their attention for granted.