As bloggers, we face a wide variety of tasks each day related to managing and building our blogs. Productivity and efficiency are vital, especially for part-time bloggers. A number of extremely addictive and time-consuming habits stand in the way, though.
I’m sure you can relate. We all make mistakes, but learning from them and not repeating them will make you successful in every respect. The key is to control habits, good and bad. If you know how to change your habits, then minor effort can create major results.
For a better blog, a variety of factors must be taken into consideration. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most notable habits to avoid for better blogging.
You may be interested in the following related articles as well.
Please feel free to join us and you are always welcome to share your thoughts that our readers may find helpful.
New bloggers read the success stories of others and start following them and writing about similar topics—but they don’t see how much work goes into those blogs. Bloggers don’t do well just by writing one post every now and again, and continuing to write about something you’re not passionate about is difficult.
Keep your interests in mind when you select your subject. Know your subject; don’t write about what you don’t know. Establish yourself as an authority.
The most common measuring stick for determining a blog’s impact, importance or success is the number of subscribers.
While building a large base of subscribers is important for any blog, obsessing over the subscription count does more harm than good. For one thing, you can’t force anyone to subscribe; you don’t control the situation, as frustrating as that may be. Secondly, loyal and engaged subscribers are more valuable than subscribers who never read your posts. Getting a clear picture of an audience and its participation by looking only at the subscriber count is impossible.
Focus on finding active readers and developing relationships with them, instead of on the length of your subscriber list.
Traffic statistics can become addictive; it’s easy to slip into the habit of compulsively checking your referral stats, search engine traffic and page popularity rankings. Checking your stats every couple of hours won’t change the results.
Make a schedule; check your stats once a day or once a week and not at any other time. You could allot an extra hour once a month for more in-depth analysis; this will give you a broad perspective on daily traffic and SEO.
Social media brings traffic to a blog, but it can be a huge distraction. Too much social media involvement could take you away from the task of generating content. Remember that content is king; it is responsible for drawing traffic. And make sure to submit only your best work to social media. You’ll see more success.
Most of us are addicted to our social networks. Keep your Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and other tabs closed while working. Switch off all instant messengers and connect only when necessary. Concentrate. Setting a dedicated blogging time helps.
Web forums and RSS feeds are great ways to stay updated, so subscribe to feeds for blogs about your subject. Many people spend a lot of time every day wading through feeds that don’t interest them. Go through your subscriptions every couple of months and get rid of anything you read infrequently; don’t let a subscription waste your time every day.
Similarly, web forums are great for networking and helping others but if you’re not careful, you could spend much more time participating than you intended. Forums can become addictive, especially if you get email notifications whenever people reply to your posts. Stick to a schedule for forums as well. Opt to get email notifications only for important threads, and unsubscribe as soon as you’ve received satisfactory responses to your questions.
Communicating with other bloggers is an important part of blogging, but many people find that they’re spending an increasing amount of time on it.
Staying organized will reduce time spent on email. Categorize the types of emails you receive often and make response templates for them, or set up a detailed FAQ page. Manage your inbox more efficiently by using folders. Check your emails just twice a day. Learn to work with your mail program or inbox window closed. You don’t have to respond to every single email you receive.
Proofreading might sound dull, but it is mandatory. You might be able to get away with an error here or there, but a load of mistakes in every post will distract the audience.
If English isn’t your first language and you’re writing for an English audience, be diligent about making your point.
Edit and proofread after writing. If you are both the writer and proofreader, leave a gap of at least an hour between writing and proofreading. Make a copy of the original version, and check the spelling and grammar in it.
Many bloggers underestimate the importance of design. Every first-time visitor observes the overall look and feel of a blog. Three or four sidebars full of useless widgets, for example, will just confuse visitors. Visitors will stay for a while if they feel comfortable in an easy-to-use design.
Sensible color combinations are another important factor in a successful blog. For example, a bright and flashy interface for a business and marketing blog would seem unprofessional and irrelevant. Also, the fewer image files you add, the faster the page will load. This matters for SEO—and to your visitors.
You’re free to visit your favorite blogs, read articles and even draw inspiration from them, but don’t copy. You’ll have to be original if you want to be known.
People who want to be full-time bloggers need to remember that copying and pasting random articles into a blog doesn’t cut it; you won’t gain recognition among readers or be successful by plagiarizing—or by habitually reposting.
Do thorough research to produce high-quality, unique content. A successful blogger has a unique voice and unique style.
When bloggers fail, it’s often because they didn’t set out with a clear goal. Setting realistic goals is highly beneficial because they make great motivators. Whether the goal is to get a certain number of subscribers, comments, ads or anything else, having a goal keeps you from getting lost in a sea of endless tasks.
Every blogger has a personal life, a life away from the blog, and that’s not a bad thing. A business blog is not a diary, and it should be concise. Remember that readers stay away from things that don’t interest them. When it comes to writing about your personal life, know when and where to draw the line.
If traffic to your blog is substantial and steady, then you can post breaking news knowing it will get good exposure. If you don’t have heavy traffic and you focus on news stories, then you might lose visitors, because you’ll be in direct competition with giant blogs such as TechCrunch, Mashable and ReadWriteWeb. Several major blogs do this work properly and efficiently. Distinguish your blog from others by going a different route.
Don’t spread links to your blog everywhere you go, and don’t try to be the first commentator in every post on a traffic-heavy blog. Also, avoid replying to every comment on your own blog.
Some bloggers make the mistake of thinking that they can put ads everywhere on the blog and double their profit. What they don’t realize is that this will affect their SEO and revenue. Too many ads will irritate readers and drive them away.
Don’t waste time trying to convince readers to buy products by peppering your posts with sneaky words. They’ll move right on. Minimize affiliate marketing and readers will stick with you.
Most new bloggers start their careers on a free domain (such as Blogger or WordPress)—but there are no free lunches. With a free domain you’ll never have complete control over your blog. I recommend that new bloggers set themselves up on their own domain from the beginning.
The key to success is regular and consistent posting. Many bloggers write every day at the beginning but after some time become irregular. Readers don’t have any idea what to expect or when. Make a master plan and a schedule, and post regularly!
Patience is crucial. Everybody wants to earn quick money online, and some think they can get rich overnight. Every aspiring blogger should remember that blogging is not as easy as it appears. It takes hard work and patience, and overnight success is rare. Don’t give up early.
There’s a cool Firefox plug-in that refreshes AdSense stats every 15 minutes. Revenue boosts morale and motivation, and poor earning days dampen enthusiasm. Turn off your real-time revenue notifiers, and check revenue just once per day. You’ll have peace of mind and you’ll be able to concentrate on writing.
Ideas come and go quickly, so write them down somewhere instead of relying on memory. Prepare drafts for current and future posts; keep the waters flowing.
I wonder what makes people think that blogging is an unskilled profession. I say, don’t knock it till you try it. And I’ve done my bit by posting this article.