The DON’Ts Of Blogging
Blogging can be a very useful tool for online marketing. It is a way to interact with your audience and potential customers, become better known in your specialist field and attract additional traffic to your website. But many first-time bloggers make serious mistakes, which only alienate their audiences and make it more difficult to build a good reputation.
Today I wanted to focus on a few things to avoid when starting out with your blog in order to achieve the best results.
Many people who start a blog in the interests of promoting their product/service/company see it as a perfect opportunity to push said product through various forms of overt advertising. This is to be avoided at all costs! A blog reader does not want to see millions of adverts on your blog—the want to read interesting and relevant information on the areas you specialise in. Your blog is there to connect with your customers and build a solid, long-term network, not to make a quick sale. Of course, feel free to discreetly put in a link to your website where appropriate, but don’t overload your audience with sales pitches.
DON’T over-complicate the design and layout
Making your blog too colourful and the design too bright is completely unnecessary. It will only detract attention from what you’re trying to say and will probably give some of your readers a headache. Consider the following factors:
– Colours – avoid neons and go for a simple colour scheme, three colours at most
– Theme – make the theme look professional but interesting; use one bright colour to make your blog a bit more fun, if you wish
– Font size – although readers can choose their own font size on a web-page, you don’t want to make your page look too cramped. Go for 14 pt and a font that is easy to read, such as Arial or Tahoma. It may seem like an exciting option to go for a twisty font, but this will only put your readers off.
DON’T ignore your readers
Or other bloggers. The community is very important and it is essential to build up the relationships with your potential customers through blogs and make yourself known in your chosen field. Whatever area you specialise in, visit other blogs that cover the same topic and participate in discussions. It is completely acceptable to share links to your website, as long as the owner of the blog is OK with it. Make sure you also respond to the comments made on your blog—the worst thing for your reputation is ignoring your readers.
DON’T go for auto-play
Don’t ever have music or videos on auto-play. Many of your readers will be visiting your blog page as a break from work in the middle of office-hours, so the last thing they want is the latest hit blaring from the speakers. In any case, it’s impossible to satisfy the tastes of all readers, so you will automatically be alienating some of them.
DON’T write really long blogs
Don’t write pages and pages—blogs are designed to be short pieces of writing posted on a regular basis to keep in contact with your audience and initiate discussions. If you do write longer blogs, separate the pieces of text into chunks and use headings and subheadings to make it easier to follow. If it looks neat on the page, it will automatically be more readable!
DON’T write for the sake of writing
Don’t forget that content is the most important thing in a blog! Don’t write a blog every day/week just because you’ve told yourself you have to. If you have absolutely nothing to say, don’t substitute quality for quantity. That said, it is important to maintain regular contact with your readers, so if you have a small note you wish to share, even if it’s a few lines, that’s much better than nothing, so DON’T be afraid of short blogs.
DON’T forget about the importance of social media
In our day and age, social media is one of the fastest and easiest ways to become known in a community and one of the most useful tools for online marketing. Don’t forget to add a Facebook Like button/Twitter button to your blog to allow your readers to share the content on these social media websites. This will help your audience grow and will give you exposure to different circles of people.
Of course it’s not all about avoiding mistakes and pitfalls. Blogging can be an exciting and stimulating way to engage with your readers and forces you to stay on top of the things that are happening in your community. It can also help you build a great network of contacts and learn some new things about the area you specialise in.
So the most important DON’T of blogging is:
DON’T be afraid of trying out this wonderful tool, and I’m sure you will see for yourself that it can really help you out!
Roman Viliavin is Vice CEO in Promodo SEM Company, his specialization is internet marketing and he has successfully been helping brands to strengthen presence in the internet since 2005.
Image credit: http://search.creativecommons.org/, Freedigitalphotos