Before going to a new destination, you need to take preparation and learn everything you can about the place beforehand. Similarly, when you are thinking of entering the world of blogging, you need to understand the rules, trends, and culture of the industry to succeed. It is particularly the case for professional bloggers and online marketers who do it as a means to promote brands or businesses.
Without insight into the industry and its core culture, you may struggle with some of the most important aspects such as networking, joint ventures, landing guest posts, and so on. As the competition is getting much tighter in 2017, we should discuss a few important things that a novice blogger needs to know.
Here is a list of tips, which will help aspiring and professional bloggers to avoid mistakes and build some genuine connections with the general readers and potential consumers.
- Create a unique identity
The first thing you need to place yourself among the competitors is a unique and exciting name for the blog. If you cannot think of one right away, you should spend some time to brainstorm. You cannot simply copy a successful blog’s name and hope to pass it off as your creation. Dedicated readers will notice your attempt, and they may even call you out for it!
- Always name your sources
Though it is an old school rule, it remains relevant to this day and will be so in the future as well. If you get an idea or inspiration from someone, you should include the source as a reference. Not citing sources may come off as stealing.
- Put links in your citations
Adding references or crediting your sources just for the sake of it may not look right. For example, if you only offer the name of the source and do not provide the link to their blog or website, people will not have immediate access to their work. If you borrow from them, always put a link back. Links are blogging barters, and there are high chances that they will also promote your posts.
- Give credits to photos and images
Even when you post royalty free images and graphics on your blog, you have to give credit to the photographer or the creator. It is only common courtesy to do so!
- Don’t copy articles or use plagiarized text
It is okay to use a snippet of someone else’s article if you quote the source, but never copy the entire article and add a reference link at the bottom. It looks more like a lazy effort, and negatively affects the reputation of both the blogs.
- Don’t mislead the readers
If you put forth a promotional offer such as an exclusive sales deal and you already announced that it is ending in 24 hours, then don’t leave it open for another week. It is, in fact, illegal in many countries.
- Stay focused on the topic
If you are posting a blog on “how to reboot your computer,” then the reader in need is not expecting you to discuss all the advanced computing techniques in the world and the pros and cons of each. So, be focused on what you promised rather than dragging in traffic with a misleading title.
- Always ask permission
If you are using an asset of someone else on your blog, ask for their permission first. Using someone else’s photo without consent to endorse a product may put you in deeper troubles. You can find this handy guide on ideal blogging promotion practices.
- Be consistent
If you release three posts per week and go idle for the time being, and then again come back, it will not work. Being consistent is the right approach to keep hold of your readers.
- Ask for comments
Expecting the readers to leave feedback or comment on their own, even if they are happy with your offerings or enjoyed your blog, may not always work out. You need to explicitly ask them to do so if they enjoyed it out there.
- Ensure that your About page is perfect
The “about us” page is a crucial component of a blog. Failing to make correct usage of this space can be damaging. This is where you need to talk about yourself, your blog, and what you are going to offer your readers through the site.
- Develop your niche
There is no point in discussing everything under the sun or choosing a random topic a day to post. If you do business or promotional blogging, then try to go deeper into your particular industry or niche area of expertise to get a consistent and worthy group of readers.
- Effective mailing
Emailing may be a large part of your blogging endeavor, especially when you are trying to build a mailing list. You need to follow a formal protocol while mailing your subscribers and other bloggers as below.
Keep the content as short and straight to the point as possible.You should have their consent to mail.
- Don’t email raw marketing materials to people if they haven’t opted in for it.
- Don’t publicly CC to anyone.
- When sending bulk mails, use only BCC.
- Don’t cold pitch through mails.
- Never copy paste content into mail text.
- Don’t email to someone randomly unless you know about them in full.
- Don’t try to use cheap gimmicks to mislead the readers.
- Always add the unsubscribe link and disclaimer message to e-mails.
People tend to make blogging mistakes due to ignorance or when trying out some new strategies that end up being useless. However, blogging is a more matured platform, where you need to be very thoughtful and strategic to find success.