In 101 Words
I don't want to lump everyone into the same soup can, but I can tell you that blogging is not for the faint of heart. In the early days of blogging, it was reserved for the geeks and nerds of the world and was most definitely the "uncool" thing to do and my my.. oh have things changed. A guy like Timothy Sykes is laughing his way to the bank when you consider that he takes home a 7 figure income. Surely, this was an unexpected surprise as blogging has become more popular long after his early days of starting his own.
So what makes a blogger ? Is it their passion ? Is it something special that only a select few truly possess ? Is it a particular attitude.. that says no matter how many times you fall, it's about how many times you can take the worst and get back up again ? Is it internal fortitude ? Is it a humble desire to do something you haven't done before or is it mere curiosity ?
If a person had all these things or even just a few, who would argue that they didn't have the right stuff to give blogging a shot ? Even if you had none of these attributes, there's no doubt that blogging is about sharing and by sheer nature of being an individual, it's in your DNA to articulate what you know and share that knowledge, passion and perspective with others.
Blogger DNA is truly within us all...
Too Shy To Try & Paralyzed By Fear
Is that you ?
While I'm certainly not shy, I've been stricken by fear at times when attempting something new.
I'm also guilty of "processing" too much, but I've learned that no matter what you fear, there's something remarkable about the act of trying itself.. because of what you discover through your failures. Things you likely wouldn't have noticed otherwise.
I watched an interview video featuring Darren Rowse that from "my perspective" speaks indirectly to the simplicity of just trying. Considering his success and the simple beginnings of what sparked his interest in blogging, I thought that this would be beneficial to share.
Your life.. just like my life is situational and circumstantial. Literally making "ONE" decision in your life can change "everything" about it. Thousands beyond thousands of people do try to blog. If there's one thing that I can say in referencing the title of this post in how to be presidential in your blogging is to blog better than the other 90% that try.
OMG I'm Screwed
It sounds like 90% of people getting blogging wrong is pretty high right ? That's truly not the big deal here.. The larger picture is about the reality that there are a lot of people that get into this with ill conceived preconceptions or notions of what it is about and the success they will achieve without truly understanding what they should or shouldn't do. Consider the following INFOGRAPHIC:
YES, You're Screwed If You're Doing This
Copying Other Blogs.. Hmmm.. You might consider this one a no brainer, but I've seen it first hand. There's advice trolling the net that if you spin someone else's content and run it through Copyscape that you'll still be able to use their content and rank your own pages. So we're not talking straight up plagiarism, but it's pretty close. Thankfully for those of us that do not engage in that kind of behavior, search engines are getting more intelligent and better at spotting content that does not look like a real person wrote it. Writing a post where you are responding to another post is one thing, but clearly "spinning" someone else's content for your own purposes is something entirely different and very unwise as well.
Posting Once A Year - Not posting enough is going to lead to a stagnant blog and posting too much can turn away your readers too.
Every blog has a different audience so you have to find the right balance for the people that check your website updates. Often times posting too much leads to mediocre posts. If you're not able to post everyday you should make sure that when you do post you're providing a post that is worthwhile.
Not only do readers want to see new content, they want content that matters, content to learn from and content that solves problems.
Too Many Ads Per Page - People don't like "pushy" marketing. While people spend money for things they need and even on things they don't need no one likes to have marketing pushed at them constantly. The best advice I can give with respect to marketing and advertising is to do it in small doses. Marketing is always going to be a part of blogs themselves but the focus should remain on your content. People truly do visit blogs to read.. not to be inundated with ads.
Not Moderating Comments - Unfortunately moderating comments are a pain in the butt ! However, moderating comments is a big deal too. There are people that move around from blog to blog looking for websites to post their links on. They look for blogs that are not moderated because it makes it easy to drop any link they want and get credited for the backlink. If your website is unmoderated it's only a matter of time before this kind of behavior lands on your front doorstep, gets out of hand and starts to deter "real" people from leaving comments on your blog too.
Never Interacting With Readers - This is simple. If people are visiting your blog and you aren't interacting with them when they leave comments, don't count on keeping them as a fan of your site. A big idea behind blogging is the sense of community. If you're not willing to build a community on your blog then you're going to lose your readership in a hurry.
Writing Off Topic - There's one surefire way to send folks that visit your blog looking for someone a bit less scatterbrained. Writing off topic will send your blog into a black hole pretty quickly. If your blog is about how to make money with your website, no one wants to constantly come back to reading about how to make a great spaghetti pasta. Your visitors want to visit a blog that stays "on topic" consistently. Even if you do veer off course from time to time, making a regular habit of doing so can hurt the overall community you're trying to build.
Never Editing Your Work - Have you ever been to a blog where you can tell that correct grammar, punctuation and an understanding of basic communication isn't their strong suit ? It's not a knock on anyone, but here's my advice.. If you know that you don't do well, hire someone else to do it for you before publishing your posts. Whether you like it or not, we all pass judgement in some form or another when we read poorly written material. So acknowledge your own weaknesses and address them. If you're writing a blog, poor writing is not acceptable. You shouldn't accept it and I assure you that your audience won't be too fond of it either. This can also hurt your ability to connect with more established bloggers as well.
Poor Guest Posting Strategy - Guest posting has acquired a pretty poor reputation over the years because it's been spammed to death. However even after Matt Cutts came out and addressed this issue, many many blogs still accept guest posts and there's no reason why you shouldn't either. It boils down to "how you do it". Having no criteria for accepting guest posts is a HUGE mistake.
Criteria should include that the guest post author write at least a 700-1000 word minimum article, include no more than 2 links, at least one photo / video with credit back to the source and that it be a post that has not been posted "anywhere" online or in print before.. That's the kind of criteria that you want for anyone interested in guest posting on your blog. While the criteria may seem stiff it will keep bad company away and keep you out of trouble with Google too.
Not Backing Up Stats - If you're focusing on a topic, hunting down a graphic that gives you statistical representation and support to what you're addressing is always helpful. Providing information in more than one medium is important because not everyone digests information the same way and you can't dismiss the power of visual content either.
Writing Content That Is Fresh - Lastly, refraining from rehashing content that is readily available is a tactic to steer clear of, however, if you're providing a new twist on that topic I would certainly call that the exception. Nevertheless, remaining current is the goal.
The Presidential Blogger
Avoiding these mistakes won't instantaneously turn you into a premier blogger, but not making these poor decisions will certainly help you along your way. Blogging doesn't have to be akin to climbing Mt. Everest. Blogging does require time, energy, patience, strategy and a "long term" plan. There is nothing fast about this process and that mindset will also set you apart from the masses that attempt to do this without ever realizing success.
A blogging mindset that incorporates the characteristics as discussed in the blogger DNA section of this post and avoidance of careless mistakes can ultimately lead to building a thriving community, traffic, revenue and success.
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