Stop Doing That: 6 self-destructive Habits Of Bloggers

lucy_bitingThe difference between entrepreneurship and employment (or self-employment) is leverage – the simple fact that entrepreneurs don’t trade their time for money. They find arbitrage opportunities, a great team to work for them, and get a lot more done in a day than employees of self-employed consultants can.

Bloggers usually start out with day jobs while they run a blog to test, experiment, “see how it goes”, and work “part-time” on it. That’s where the self-destruction starts. A blog stands a better chance of survival when there’s collaborative team effort behind it than the sweat equity, effort, and time of a single individual.

That, however, is not the only problem with bloggers. There are a lot more issues that plague bloggers thereby never letting them unleash their full potential. Here are some habits bloggers have that could be easily avoided by following these tips:

Write first. Set the tone & pace. Outsource later. Pay Well.

Of course, you don’t want to spend too much right off the bat. So, begin writing your blogs yourself. Work in advance if you find that you don’t get much time to sit and write. Sooner or later, you’d want to focus on growing the blog and writing posts isn’t the direct path to grow and scale up. Once you set a unique voice and pace for your blog, find others to step in and write for you.

Now, finding the right bloggers isn’t easy because everyone seems to think they can write. Blogs are unlike books, so everyone claims to be a good blogger. The key is to experiment with writers. Start a one-week paid trial, get 10 bloggers to write 10 different blog posts, pay for the ones you accept, and choose the best bloggers for long-term assignments.

Of course, many bloggers and marketers already outsource their blogging needs. Here’s the big mistake: looking to pay less. Bloggers who are good at their profession don’t come for cheap. If content is at the core of your business, why are you looking to spend less?

SEO? Try asking NY Times, Economist, or WSJ what that is

Bloggers go online, read up a few posts and articles, decide that SEO is the next greatest thing after riding the wheel, and then focus all their efforts on developing less-than-readable content strewn with keywords that don’t make sense in the middle of their posts.

Yet, some of the greatest and most-read publications do not focus on SEO; they focus on readers. They look at the quality of their content. They strive to carry the best content forward. They are so good at what they do that they never have to depend on Google or any one single source for their traffic.

Don’t depend on Google. Don’t let web traffic dictate your business. Do what’s right and everything falls into place.

What’s with that bland tasteless look?

WordPress is an amazing find. It spurs the growth of self-publishing and gave birth to hordes of self-publishing mavens. So, with WordPress came an endless sea of themes to choose from. One of the things with the themes is that there’s only so much you can do to make them unique. Most blogs end up with a familiar tasteless and uninspiring design.

Of course, Darren Rowse got away with an early 2000 looking theme for his blog. You aren’t Darren Rowse, so you got to work harder and invest more. Find a freelance WordPress expert with graphic design skills and get graphics for your blog.

The right design can set you apart. Make no bones about the importance of great looks.

Publish and forget? Sorry, but you didn’t write the bible

Some bloggers have a real bad habit of not responding to comments, not being on social media enough, and not engaging with a community on the outside of the blog. On the Internet, unresponsiveness is charged with the demise of your own blog. Again, social media consumes a lot of your time so hire professional social media managers (they are more honest, if you find the right ones, than your neighbor).

Respond to every mention, every post that links in, keep a hawk’s eye on your blog mentions elsewhere. Look out for your Tweets being re-tweeted. There’s a lot to give on social web. Of course, there’s even more for you to take. Before you expect to take, however, you have to give.

What value do you add to the community? How does your experience, attitude, skill, and knowledge help others? Find those questions people ask on the Internet and answer them to the best of your ability never mentioning your blog, brand, or business.

That’s the way it is: take it or leave it.

Stop Looking for “free”

“Free” stuff is free for two reasons: either because it has no value or maybe because a vendor was smart enough to use a shredded version of a premium product for a while allowing you to test drive (also called as freemium products). If you were to stick with anything free for too long, you’d end up earning nothing because free fetches zero (that’s how economics works).

Free methods of advertising, free tools to monitor social media activity, free analytics tools, free blogging tools, free ways to get traffic, free listings in blog directories – try them all out and you’d wonder why you spent time doing it all. Nothing’s ever free. For all the free stuff, you spent time, which in case you didn’t calculate, works out to be more expensive than effective, paid tools or services.

Only Google can pull it off by giving tremendous value away for free (actually, even that’s changing with Google Apps now being charged for).

Get off this self-destructive habit to get everything in the world for free. If you want to make money, be willing to trade in those dollars. Free can only get you so far. For the rest of the way and to grow, you’ll need to invest.

Follow the law of reciprocation

The whole blogging world runs on “You scratch my blog, I’ll scratch yours”. Merely publishing away and getting yourself listed on a blog directory won’t get you as much as you would if you could visit others’ blogs, leave meaningful comments, send out messages on social media, engage with the community, solve others’ problems on Q & A sites or forums, and try to get attention from those who matter.

Once you start doing that, you’ll see the law of reciprocation kicking in; others will visit your blog, leave comments, send out emails to you, and basically do all you’ve just done for them. Don’t expect that everyone would reciprocate, of course.

Similarly, the law of reciprocation works in many other ways. Once you start writing guest posts for other bloggers, they’ll begin writing for you. That’s a great flow of content over there.

A few will, and “a few” is all you need. If you’ve put in all that hard work and if you have a great looking, popular (even mildly popular) will do, or even if you are just getting started, share your blogs with us and we’d love to check you out.

What’s your sweat equity in your blog? How much effort goes into it? What are you doing today to take your blog several notches up? Share it with us. We’d ring a bell to celebrate your comment here.

About Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is Co-Founder & VP of Marketing of E2M Solutions & OnlyDesign. The primary focus of E2M Solutions is on content marketing and leveraging its potential to generate revenue for clients. OnlyDesign helps companies build a better web & mobile presence. Get in touch with him on Twitter @DholakiyaPratik.

Comments

  1. its very impressive article thanks for sharing what! SEO guys should not follow…appreciate

  2. SEO isn’t the greatest thing in the world that will magically get you great results but I think it’s still important to do today, although you should never sacrifice your content and it”s quality to do so.

    • You dont think NY Times, Economist, or WSJ do SEO?
      Of course they do, look at their sites and you will see.
      Of course the main focus should be content but a little SEO, smart white SEO, sure can’t hurt.

  3. Hello pratik,
    This is one of the nicest post i’ve read today. i don’t believe in SEO because i never use SEO on my blog and i still get 2k views per day. i’m more interested in social networking. thanks

  4. One of the sentense made me think today was
    SEO? Try asking NY Times, Economist, or WSJ what that is _
    Really that made me jump into deep thought to decide next strategy while writing posts.

  5. Great article. I find that many new bloggers tend to forgent the most important part of their blog: their content, the value they generate to readers by passing on information.

    Too quickly the move into SEO, outsourcing of articles and so on. I would always argue: Focus on writing your own content before you focus on anything else. The blog’s design would be second priority.

  6. This post definitely covers the most important aspects. To single it down to just two I think social engagement and content are key. There are plenty of people that have said screw it to the search engines and become successful just through the use of high quality content and social media. It will only be a matter of time before whatever SEO tactic a person is using is caught and banned by Google.

  7. I started my blog related to the car industry around 6 months ago. I only use SEO for the Title etc. I mainly concentrate on the content so it remains readable

  8. Having great content is what you need for your blog. No one should worry about SEO too much.

  9. Hello!

    This is my first time here. I am about to go full-time with my writing/blogging, and so am looking for this type of information. Growing traffic is key for me this year, as well as making money. I think engaging in the community is huge, and it’s something I did not catch onto for my first two years of blogging (I am in year 4). In fact, I am still learning how to engage better with the blogging community…but I am about to have more time to do so!

  10. This is a very nice reading article, I enjoyed the flow and you hit straight on the head don’t be cheap and free is usually not worth it.

    I have been doing several different experiments in a combination of several different things for my blog that seems to be working which are the following:

    - commenting on other blogs
    - retweet my favorite blog post of the day or week
    - trying to thank or send out an thank you every day

    These are just a few things that I am doing and working at being a proactive blogger!

  11. Nice post but I think you have left the design issue because designing and layout also makes a difference.However the key factor is contents so for any blogger to become successful quality contents are necessary.One can’t think to get popularity with the help of copied post.

  12. Yes you’re right Pratik, I was one of the bloggers who make a blog just for test and experiment. I write what I want and it generate less traffic and less revenue. Of course I will change my habit and write as you suggest. Thanks for this good article

  13. hi,
    really a good blog.
    Simple, Easy, content,, latest topic, designing,point to point description all are the technoque to make the content impressive with full knowledgeable thought.

  14. Hi Pratik,

    Nice tips, In my opinion you should only focus on important things as per your blog. Don’t focus on each and every thing which you heard here and there. You need to understand that you have limited time, you can’t do each thing and you need to use it intelligently. So create list of important task which you feel could really help your blog to grow faster and focus on them. After few months if you see no results then you can change your priorities accordingly, but stick to your strategy and give proper time to see its effect.

  15. Having worked on a lot of websites (its my job) you wouldn’t believe how many times people just cram keywords in, and you try to explain to the even if you get traffic to the site who is going to read a list of keywords. Lets just say its a self profiling prophecy of failure.

  16. Thanks for sharing such an amazing article and I really wish to follow all the points that have been detailed very closely.I agree that it so important to write first and set the tone as this article has rightly explained.

  17. hehe some nice and amazing tips here.
    really pratik, you have mentioned everything in your post. this happens with most of the bloggers like using everything for FREE..and writing the post and articles for search engines
    thanks for sharing these points . will try to avoid them

  18. LOL

    Quite informative; it seems, you did lots of research on other bloggers. People learn from mistakes. I’ve something to share that while writing post, we should have multiple computers to work and one computer should be free from Internet and oriented only for writing because sometimes i use Facebook while writing post and got deviation.

    Thanks for sharing superb post. :)

  19. All these tips are very crucial for anyone starting a blog or a website of any kind. I also feel that content is going to become king and that search engines, like Google, are going to put more and more weight on them. Hopefully this will make sites act more authentic rather than try to keyword stuff their content into nonsensical ramblings.

  20. Thanks for sharing such an amazing article and I will try to follow these points, I thoroughly liked your #4, many bloggers don’t interact well with the readers, they feel they done with their work, after producing the content, Yes, we have to be well socialized to achieve success.

  21. soooo true!! i have been guilty of getting lazy on replying to blog comments lately.;.. the way you worded it (a self-destructive habit), was such a wake up call!! its such a simple and easy step to take, there really is no excuse for me to slack on that. thank you!

  22. How SEO works? Did someone has working a detailed SEO on some website? Tnx for all…

  23. Great Points!
    It is genuine that a blogger will come across any of such self destructive things. One should take care that he/she should not get scummed to these effects.

  24. One thing hat I’ve seen is that most of the bloggers look for free plugins and themes to avoid paying the extra cost. I was one of them but now I realized why paying price for the premium ones can make your life easier.

  25. The law of reciprocation, it is true. We have to visit others blog both for getting traffic back and for learning from others. More you will read others blog more will you learn.

  26. All of your points are valid but many are pointing to advanced bloggers. Basically you outlined the path of a blogger from being an amateur to a professional. The SEO is probably the most misunderstood concept in the internet marketing world. Google has evolved into a perfect machine that if one does the basics right his/her site will naturally attract more visitors.

    For casual bloggers, the free stuffs is the key that keeps us going. Thanks for sharing!

  27. I really agree with you that content is the king.But one problem is until you are writing something that someone else has not written,you have to think about SEO

  28. Thanks Pratik for sharing this great article, SEO is the main thing as you have mentioned,
    thanks

  29. Cool posts! Thanks for sharing tips on what we should avoid doing. It helps new bloggers and even the others who are blogging for such a long time but still do what’s included here. Awesome! I agree! We should focus first on making a great content and not the money at every beginning of creating our posts!

  30. I agree pretty much on everything said in the articles.. but am not 100% sure about the “free concept”
    Many free tools prove to be very useful as opposed to some paid version that just over charge to do basically the same stuff.

    But in general your article is well put together.
    and does prove your point pretty clearly

  31. I think this post was like a medicine to my ailing blogging ‘career’.Now,thanks to you…watch my blog grow. ‘Cause now I know I have to visit and comment on as many blogs as possible,reply to comments,be pleasant and all.Thanks

  32. ya..lol.. we are not writing bible.. one more thing i wanna add to this lovely content.. importance of comments.. bloggers should write articles that encourages comments.. End your article with a loop so that your visitor may end it with a comment.. comments are valuable..

  33. Agree with you completely! All these habits are quite common for bloggers, at least I have already noticed. Especially I agree with the fourth habit, very often bloggers place a post and forget about its existence completely. They don’t pay attention to people’s questions about it or comments. And it’s a pity

    Julia Spencer’s recent post.. Likes and Recommendations: 4 Must Use Facebook Plugins

  34. nice tips and suggestions prateek,
    i am still in the learning phase so i can not say that i understood all the points but yes i agree with the last point “law of reciprocation”. if we are visiting others blog and leaving comments, there are chances that they will do the same. thanks for the post

  35. Lol..”You’re not writing a Bible”
    Awesome line.
    Really an interesting guide.
    Always looking for free stuff is a bad idea, Have to spend money even for premium plugins or themes

  36. Hey thanks for such a informative post,till now i did not anything about it but now got every information and like to use SEO to my blog.

    Thanks.

  37. All these tips are wonderful but I have to say that the rule of reciprocation for me has to be the most important.

  38. Interesting Post, as many many things, you can improve your businnes if you TRUST in it. So you can give much of you, to obtain you goals!!

  39. Like the article, very interesting, sure because articles in this site, as i see, are written by professional operators in the Information Technology. Thx!

  40. I work as professional SEO and Web Designer in Italy. I found this article very interesting, thanks;
    i think the worst of the six points is the point about SEO, because it never has to ruin the normal content and aspect of texts; you can write for seo but not ruin text for it!

  41. Hi there,

    wow! Very informative blog you have. thank you for this. Have a Great One!

  42. I’m agree with you! Content is so importent and if your content is good then people will share it on facebook, twitter and so on and you will then get some very good and natural links to your blog.

    It’s also importent that you answer people if they ask you something in the comments – don’t forget about your posts!

  43. The headings that summarized the points mentioned was really lovely. I liked the way that you explained each of them instilling a bit of humor into them…!

Speak Your Mind

*

RSS and Marketing Services