How not to blog
Blogging is not an exact science, but there are a few things you can try and avoid doing if you want to succeed...
Just do it (for the sake of it)
Blogging is often seen as a quick win, requiring relatively little effort and investment. But this isn’t a description you’d expect many successful bloggers to recognise. Blogs require commitment. You’ll need to regularly update your blog, and remain committed to pushing it wherever possible. And then there’s coming up with the ideas and finding time to write the posts... If you’re not in it for the long haul, it’s probably best not to bother.
Assume you’re a writer
I think I have flagged this somewhere before in a ‘How not to’ piece. But it bears repeating, even if doing so makes me sound slightly bitter. Lots of people, and – believe it or not – this includes a great deal of marketers, think they are good writers when, in fact, they aren’t. Writing to a decent standard is not a skill everyone possesses, so it’s worth getting a couple of people to check your copy before sharing it with the world. Everyone needs an editor.
Ignore your audience
The most basic function of a blog is for it to be read. This is a fact so obvious that it often ends up being overlooked. If the blog you write is not likely to be of interest to your target audience you may as well save yourself the effort, and head to the pub instead of labouring out 400 words of pointless waffle. You need to write things you know about, that show your brand as being relevant and knowledgeable, but, most importantly, you need to write things people actually want to read. And it can be easier said than done.
If people take the time to comment on something you’ve written, that’s great; it shows you’re creating content that matters to the people your aiming it at. You should make an effort to respond to as many relevant comments as possible, in order to keep the conversation alive. And this is especially true if people leave comments challenging what you’ve written. There’s nothing healthier than a good old debate, and it looks very bad if you ignore or delete negative responses.
Hide your light
It’s the same with any content, really, but it applies particularly with your blogs: make sure you share. You can have put together the best blog ever penned, it could be SEOed to perfection, linked in all the right places and offer real insight but if no one knows it’s there, it’s likely to go unread. Share your blogs on social media, via email, on your website and everywhere else your potential readers might be hiding.
*I’m aware that offering ‘how not to’ advice on blogging means I’m setting my own efforts up for criticism, so let me know if I’ve missed anything off here, and what I’ve done wrong, in the comments below