I’m not going to do the whole ‘Happy New Year’ thing in this post. I’m sure you’ve read plenty of those posts to keep you going, but I do wish you well with your blogging for 2011.
Just to cheer you all up after the jollities I thought I’d warn you that your blog is definitely doomed…
Here are my 11 Reasons.
1. You rattle off a post in 15 minutes and press Publish.
I know you don’t always feel like writing.
But if you’re serious about your blog and want people to read it you have to pay it the attention it deserves. When you pick up a newspaper and start to read an article, it has to capture your interest or you’ll just turn the page.
It’s the same with your blog. A new reader will soon click away if you haven’t put in tthe time and care to write something he benefits from.
2. You never leave worthwhile comments.
How do you feel when someone writes ‘good post’ in your comments section? Do you feel they really enjoyed it? Or not!
A comment should ‘add value’ to the post, not simply be a way to get a link to your blog. I try to re-read the post carefully before composing my comment and also respond to the comments above mine. That way it becomes a conversation.
3. You’re often stuck for post ideas.
Now you’re being silly!
Ideas are everywhere if you look and listen. Overheard conversation snippets, questions in comments, newspaper and magazine articles, news items, your life experiences, stories from other people’s lives… too many to mention here or you’ll click away and we don’t want that, do we?
4. You’re not sure why you’re blogging.
You haven’t chosen a particular ‘niche’ or subject to write about.
You just … write ‘stuff’.
People search for what interests them. Which words will they type into Google to find your blog? ‘Stuff’ won’t do, I’m afraid. (I’ll Google that when I’ve finished this post and see what comes up!)
Choose to write about a subject you
- feel strongly about,
- have a passion for,
- are an expert in,
- have personal experience of,
- know there’s a need for,
- know few people are writing about.
You need to meet the needs of your reader and give insight into their problems.
As Mary Jaksch says over on A-List Bloggers, you need to be ‘insanely useful’.
5. You rarely read other blogs.
There is so much to read that it’s impossible to select, sometimes. Reading other blogs can be a bit addictive and time flies away as you’re writing notes about what you’re reading but I’ve learnt so much this way and you can too.
You’ll find the answers to blogging problems and questions and you’ll enjoy different styles of blogging (making sure to evolve your own of course…)
6. You’re only interested in your ‘stats’.
At first I was constantly checking mine.
It’s natural to want to see that people are actually finding you and reading your blog but this too can get obsessive. Once you’re happy that your blog is ‘on its way’, I think it makes sense to check less often.
What you need to focus on is the wrting, so that you’ll keep your reader. He’ll be so uplifted, helped, pleased, surprised by what he reads, that he’ll subscribe’ and your stats will grow.
7. You never ask another blogger for help.
I was a bit shy about doing this at first.
But when I joined the A-List Bloggers Club I soon found that everyone was only too pleased to help me. The forums are great and all I need to do is post a question and several answers come flying my way.
I also email blogging friends for an opinion or an answer. If it wasn’t for my friend Arvind, I would never have upgraded my blog to the Thesis theme.
8. You rely on copying blog posts.
Don’t get me wrong. I find ideas or topics from reading blogs. But I write about that particular subject in my own way. After all, there’s a limited number of topics but an unlimited way to approach them and unlimited opinions about them.
It’s important to stand out from the crowd, and it’s a very large crowd, so your blog will only attract readers if it’s unique to you.
9. You have no story to tell.
Your reader will empathise with you if you tell them a story.
When you relate a personal experience or anecdote to show you have ‘been there’, your reader will see that you’re not just making it up as you go along. You have some experience to bring to help them. You wouldn’t ask someone to mend your TV if they ‘made it up as they went along’ and the same applies to blogging.
10. You don’t post on a regular basis.
Once again, I know it’s not easy to have a posting routine, especially when you have demanding day job. But if you set yourself an achievable timetable it won’t be too stressful.
Every blogger has a view about how many times a week/month to post but once you’ve chosen a routine that suits your life style you’ll enjoy it more. Pressure is never a good thing so take it away!
11. This is where you come in!
Tell us about a ‘bad blogging habit’, in the comments.
One that will ensure a blog is doomed…
Then we can all take steps to avoid it and be confident that all our blogs will be successful!