21 Dangerous Blogging Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

social media how toAre you struggling to get the results you want from your blog?

Blogging can be complicated, so you want to make sure you’re doing things right.

We asked our Social Media Examiner writers “What’s the single biggest mistake bloggers make and why?” Read their answers carefully to see how you can improve your blogging to get the results you want.

Get Off to a Good Start!

Mistake #1: Not understanding your audience

Charlene Kingston

Charlene Kingston @SocialMediaDIY

The biggest mistake bloggers make is to misunderstand who their audience is. I see many blogs where the bloggers clearly understand the topic, but they fail to connect to their audience with their posts.

Bloggers must understand the problems facing their audience and what the audience already knows about the topic to craft posts that deliver useful information. Otherwise, the posts include the wrong information or exclude the right information, making them too complex or too elementary. Or, the posts fail to explain the problem being solved, and the reader can’t put the information into context. Either way, the post is full of information that the reader can’t put into use.

Charlene Kingston, author of the Social Media DIY Workshop.

Mistake #2: Not having a strong niche

Peter Wylie

Peter Wylie @threeshipsmedia

The biggest mistake bloggers make is trying to be everything to everybody, or even three or four things to three or four different groups. You can’t overestimate the benefits of focus, and the more clearly and tightly defined your mission for blogging is, the more likely you are to develop a niche following that is equally as focused, passionate and valuable.

For instance, if a banking blogger is especially interested in lead generation for small business lending, he shouldn’t waste time and energy also trying to write about the mortgage market. Instead, he should focus that energy on niches and interesting topics within small business lending. How do loans differ for convenience stores versus restaurants? What are the different small business loan options for different businesses?

This doesn’t pigeonhole the blogger; it just means the wealth of topics is more specific, and ultimately more interesting and informative, to a smaller group of people.

Peter Wylie, lead researcher for Three Ships Media.

Mistake #3: Covering too many topics

Stephanie Gehman

Stephanie Gehman @airport_girl

I believe the single biggest mistake bloggers make is covering too many topics. Many bloggers want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, so they write about a myriad of topics.

The problem with this is that the scope of the blog can become lost and possibly disengage the audience. Defining a few key areas that a blog’s posts will cover can finely hone the content and laser-focus the knowledge and expertise of the blogger.

Stephanie Gehman, marketing manager for Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania.

Establish Good Practices

Mistake #4: Inconsistency

Jay Baer

Jay Baer @jaybaer

The single biggest mistake bloggers make is inconsistency, both in quality and in publication frequency. The tricky part is that these two elements of success often work as opposing forces.

The notion that you should blog “when you have something to say” makes sense on the surface, but unless you establish and adhere to a publication schedule or a level of frequency (daily, three times per week, etc.) it becomes VERY easy to eventually tell yourself, “well, I don’t REALLY have anything to say today, so I’ll just skip it.” That’s how your publication frequency drops from five per week to three to one to occasional blogging. The blogs that are successful over the long haul are those that make publishing routine, not based on daily inspiration.

But making publishing routine does not mean, “let’s just throw up a garbage post because I have committed to writing three per week.” Quality always trumps frequency (with the possible exception of SEO). Five mediocre posts per week will not get you as far as two outstanding posts per week.

That balance between the need to be consistently publishing and the need for consistent quality is the key to successful long-term blogging.

Jay Baer, author of the popular blog Convince & Convert and the book The Now Revolution.

Mistake #5: Not committing to the process

Rich Brooks

Rich Brooks @therichbrooks

Oh, there are so many mistakes business bloggers make. If I had to choose just one, it would be not committing to the process. Too many people get into blogging thinking that it will have an instant impact on their business. Their search engine visibility and inbound traffic will skyrocket, and they’ll be sleeping on a bed of $100 bills.

However, unlike pay-per-click advertising, constructing a blog that builds your business takes time and effort. I tell people to plan on writing two to three posts per week for six months to get the results they’re hoping for… more if they’re in a competitive industry.

This means more than just writing, however; you also need to write keyword-rich posts with persuasive, compelling titles that will be read, linked to and shared on social media sites.

Rich Brooks, president of Flyte New Media and author of The 11 Biggest Mistakes Small Business Bloggers Make (free report, email registration required).

Mistake #6: Focusing on quantity instead of quality

Dag Holmboe

Dag Holmboe @dagh

I think a lot of bloggers focus on quantity versus quality and I think this is the biggest mistake. There is this theory that states that you need to blog a few times a week to make your blog always seem fresh; both from the perspective of human consumption and also from a search engine perspective. The advantage is a gain in quantity—perhaps also a gain in page rank—but there is a loss in quality.

A good, in-depth blog post takes time to research, write and edit. Unless you’re a larger company with a team of professional writers, there’s not enough time in the day to do this well; thus there are a lot of blogs with underperforming material.

Dag Holmboe, CEO of Klurig Analytics.

Mistake #7: Writing for yourself, not your audience

Jim Lodico

Jim Lodico @jlcommunication

Although it might be cathartic to opine on your latest thoughts of the moment, if it isn’t of value to your audience, your audience won’t read it.

Readers are selfish. They want information they can use. Find a way to provide it.

Jim Lodico, copywriter and marketing consultant.

Mistake #8: Making it all about you

Linda Coles

Linda Coles @bluebanana20

Are you that interesting? A celebrity perhaps? If the answer is no, stop writing about yourself and write about something that your readers will find useful, interesting or entertaining.

Sure, put your own personality into your content or add a post or two about something that has happened to you and is noteworthy, but write about interesting stuff.

Linda Coles of Blue Banana.

Hone Your Craft

Mistake #9: Bad writing

Corina Mackay

Corina Mackay @corinamackay

A blogger’s objective is the same as any other writer: to find (and keep) readers. The more readers, the better. Having said this, there is one sure-fire way to turn off regular and potential readers: bad writing.

With the ease and accessibility of creating a blog nowadays, the importance of good writing in getting published has all but disappeared—online, at least. I cringe in disgust when I find typos in a $30 hardcover book from the bookstore, or a newspaper or journal article. Yet it’s not uncommon to find formatting, spelling and grammatical errors littered throughout blog posts and articles published online.

Not only do these mistakes make a post difficult and unpleasant to read, they make the point harder to get across, and ultimately leave the reader with a less-than-professional opinion of the blogger. Of course, good writing is more than grammatically correct sentences that have been spell-checked.

Good writing is concise, has a point to it and is accessible (in other words, easy to read and understand). But I would argue that half of the battle to gain readers comes down to simple, lazy mistakes that are easily fixed. Use spell-check; take time to research ideas, facts and concepts you’re not sure about; and most importantly, read over your work before posting. This can make a huge difference.

Corina Mackay, an entertainment-based social media manager and writer.

Mistake #10: Failing to engage readers with a compelling headline

Jeff Korhan

Jeff Korhan @jeffkorhan

The biggest mistake bloggers make is failing to engage readers with a compelling title and an opening statement or question that supports it. Think of the title as the label of a package, one that will only be opened if the label clearly or cleverly describes what’s inside.

Once the package is opened, the first few lines have to hook the reader again by delivering on the promise of the label. When both the title and opening work together, the remaining content is willingly consumed.

Jeff Korhan, professional speaker, consultant and columnist on new media and small business marketing.

Mistake #11: Going it alone

Debbie Hemley

Debbie Hemley @dhemley

What do I mean by that? I think bloggers have the ability to be great storytellers, but sometimes they cut themselves short. They think they have to generate the whole story themselves and fail to use blogging as a way of reporting.

Bloggers need to ask questions and go after a story. Bloggers should follow their instincts and interests. They should feel like they can reach out to other bloggers and people who have commented on posts. Contact companies directly. Ask an author if he or she can do a Q & A. Go behind the scenes, dig deeper.

Simply stated, bloggers will write better pieces and generate more interest when they look for the special angle and break free as writers, reporters and researchers. Bloggers needn’t go it alone. Instead, they should ask themselves what they hope to achieve in a post and go after the material. Like what you’re doing here, Cindy!

Debbie Hemley, social media consultant and blogger.

Mistake #12: Adding to the noise

Richard Spiegel

Richard Spiegel @crowdtogether

Because social media has what seems like an insatiable thirst for content, it can feel like there’s a black hole consuming as fast as we can create. Don’t fall into the trap where you feel like you’ve got to create content for the sake of creating content. Publishing material indiscriminately that lacks substance adds to the noise and diminishes your credibility.

So how can you keep the quality up while also keeping up a steady flow of material? Take one well-thought-out topic and break it into smaller parts. Not only will this approach give you both quality and quantity, it can be used to stimulate a conversation with your readers.

Start by telling your audience what you’re planning to do; for example, let your readers know this is the “first of a three-part series that will explore…” This simple technique will let your audience know there’s more to come and help to create demand for your next piece. Next, make sure to invite readers to comment or share their thoughts by asking questions or including a survey/poll at the end of your post. Then in your subsequent pieces, show your audience you were listening to what they had to say by referencing or incorporating some of the feedback/input they provided.

Richard Spiegel, founder and CEO of Crowd Together.

Build Your Blog Community

Mistake #13: Only talking about your company, products and services

Janet Aronica

Janet Aronica @janetaronica

I see that companies talk a lot about themselves—their products or their services—on their blogs and I don’t think that’s the best way to go about it. If potential customers are seeing your blog for the first time, they don’t care about you yet. They care about their problems and how your product or service can solve them. Informative content such as tips/tricks or how-to posts are much more effective.

Whether you’re a furniture company giving home decorating tips, or a B2B marketing analytics software company giving marketing tips, informative content puts the customer first and build trust before the sale. That’s how you build relationships and create a community that will advocate for you.

Additionally, this is how you can rank for the right keywords and phrases that your target audience searches for on Google.

Janet Aronica, director of marketing and community for oneforty and author of a social media blog.

Mistake #14: Not engaging with your readers

Mari Smith

Mari Smith @MariSmith

The single biggest mistake bloggers make is not engaging with their readers in the comments section. Creating exceptional content is one thing that certainly can get lots of viral visibility. But I feel that acknowledging and responding to your readers as they comment helps build stronger relationships and more “social equity.” People remember you when you take time to reply.

Granted, this may not always be possible or scalable for larger blogs. But even a few replies to comments indicate to all readers that you do read your comments.

Mari Smith, social media speaker and trainer and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day.

Mistake #15: Not taking time to respond thoughtfully to your blog comments

Ben Pickering

Ben Pickering @bpicks

The biggest mistake I believe a blogger can make is not to take the time to respond thoughtfully to comments and interact with readers. Interacting by responding to comments and questions is an important way to build readership because readers who are acknowledged are likely to come back.

It seems that some writers approach blogging as a unidirectional means of communicating (i.e., “I have something to tell you”) rather than an active conversation within a community. From the reader’s perspective, an analogy would be attending a lecture that didn’t allow for any question-and-answer period.

Although the content might be quite interesting, the richness often comes through the back and forth with the audience. I have found this to be true, for example, in a recent post on Social Media Examiner. Not only were great questions asked that benefited other readers, but the comments also helped me realize what readers are interested in hearing more about in future posts.

Ben Pickering, CEO of Strutta.

Get More Out of Your Blogging

Mistake #16: Not promoting your blog content

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines @kikolani

One of the biggest mistakes I see bloggers making is they don’t promote their own content enough. Granted, there are some who go overboard and do nothing but self-promotion, which is not the right way to go.

There is, however, a healthy balance that will get your blog posts the attention they deserve without driving your followers crazy. If you don’t do just that amount, no matter how great your content is, it’s still likely to fail at bringing in traffic. The whole “If you build it, they will come” motto from the movies just doesn’t cut it unless you already have a subscriber list in the thousands. Even at that stage, you may be getting a satisfying amount of traffic to blog posts on your own site, but it will still take extra work to get the same volume of traffic to guest posts and articles that you write as a freelancer on lesser-known sites.

So if you’re writing great content, don’t feel guilty about promoting it! Your followers want to know about your awesome content as well as the awesome content you share from others. Proper self-promotion is a win-win situation for both you and your audience!

Kristi Hines, author of the popular blog Kikolani and the Ultimate Guide to Blog Post Promotion.

Mistake #17: Not joining a blog community

Elijah R. Young

Elijah Young @elijahryoung

One of the largest mistakes new bloggers make is going about it all alone. There are tons of talented writers who would love to form a community blog based around wonderful content in your niche, which would accelerate your blog’s growth with more promoters and give you a wider social circle to pull from for comments and sharing.

Look at Social Media Examiner as a case study in this. One person’s social circle didn’t make this site the powerhouse that it is today, but a community effort of many. My advice to bloggers is to consolidate for the greater good, so you all can be successful instead of trying to do it all alone.

Elijah R. Young of Fandura.

Mistake #18: Not collaborating with other bloggers in your industry

Stephanie Sammons

Stephanie Sammons @stephsammons

The single biggest mistake that I see bloggers making, and that I’ve made myself up until very recently, is not collaborating closely with other bloggers within your industry or profession.

When I first began blogging, I was very skeptical about showcasing or promoting any “potential” competitors, but I was completely mistaken about this. By collaborating with and promoting your peers, everyone benefits from increased traffic and visibility. All boats rise with the tide!

You could put a blogging group together in your local business community, or you could build a group from across the world if you want to! Each group member could agree to comment on blog posts of group members as well as promote posts through social media sites.

Remember, there’s enough business to go around, and you need to have an abundance mentality in order to be a truly successful blogger. I plan to spend a lot more time figuring out ways to promote other bloggers who work within my industry or share the same passions and interests. It’s really important that we all help each other grow!

Stephanie Sammons, founder and CEO of Wired Advisor, a turn-key blogging and social media platform for financial professionals.

Mistake #19: Not sharing your expertise

Carla Dewing

Carla Dewing @CarlaDewing

The single biggest mistake bloggers make is not sharing their expertise with other blogs and other bloggers to build credibility, reputation and trust.

The fastest way to build a community online is to share information. Most bloggers think they’re doing this because they post daily and interact with their community. By far the most common problem bloggers face is attracting loyal readers. But readers don’t come from a void—they come from other authority blogs or sites where great information is shared and syndicated.

What’s lacking is the integration of guest posts into their own blogs, and being a guest author on other blogs. This is how you rapidly build a community of targeted readers—by sharing excellent information from and across a variety of sources, not just your own. Did you know that trust, credibility and a good reputation can be shared too? If you do this, you won’t have to search for readers, they’ll find you!

Carla Dewing of Contrast Media.

#20: Sacrificing keyword-rich titles for cleverness

Jason Miller

Jason Miller @JasonMillerCA

Many bloggers sacrifice keyword-rich titles for clever, attention-grabbing headlines they feel might share better socially. However, doing so will ensure a quick trip to social media wasteland and cause your content to be overlooked by its best friend, the search engine.

With a keyword-rich title, your blog post will live on in search indexes and become a resource instead of a flash in the pan. Don’t rely on a magical combination of shares and retweets to carry the torch for your hard work.

If you want to have a catchy title, put your keywords first, add a colon, and write an attention-grabber. Remember, blogging is the social media rug that ties the room together. So make sure you’re getting it the attention it deserves.

Jason Miller, social media marketing manager at Zoomerang.

Mistake #21: Neglecting blog SEO

Tim Ware

Tim Ware @hyperarts

Certainly bloggers must make sure they engage with commenters and keep their blogs free from spammy comments. However, the most important thing is that as many people as possible read posts. This means that each post utilizes SEO (search engine optimization) best practices so that it ranks well when the subject matter of the post is Googled. I feel neglecting this is the biggest mistake bloggers can make.

Bloggers should make sure their posts have: 1) a descriptive, keyword-rich title; 2) a “permalink” natural-language and keyword-rich URL; 3) section headers that are descriptive and utilize keywords specific to each section; 4) “anchor” text (the text that is hyperlinked) that contains keywords relevant to what’s being linked to; and, most importantly, 5) self-hosting your blog instead of using Blogger or WordPress.com.

Also, a blog should have an SEO plugin like Headspace for WordPress or in some way be set up so that bloggers can craft their own title and meta description tags for each post. All of these elements should convey the subject matter of the post in a keyword-rich manner, top to bottom.

Tim Ware, owner of HyperArts Web Design.

What other blogging mistakes have you noticed? How would you improve your blogging? Please share your comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Cindy King

Cindy King is the director of editorial for Social Media Examiner. She spent 25 years abroad in international business development and then built her own international business from scratch by using social business networking. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.ranashahbaz.com/ Rana Shahbaz

    All are excellent points especially:

     

    1. Finding a right balance between quality and frequency
    mentioned by @dagh

    2. Engaging with your reader mentioned by @marismith

    3. Marketing your content (make or break your blog I guess)
    mentioned by @kikolani

     

    Thanks guys for sharing useful insights about blogging.

  • http://mykafkaesquelife.blogspot.com/ Taiwan Explorer

    But some people don’t care about any of these things and just have fun writing – and are successful and popular :)

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Glad you liked it Rana!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    I guess that means they do some of these naturally

  • http://jeffkorhan.com Jeff Korhan

    Reading this list is a great reminder for all of us because not only do we see these mistakes every day, but we have all probably made most of them as we learned and developed our skills over time!

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  • http://osovictoria.com Victoria Rickert

    Lots of good points here, thanks for putting this together. I do find I am slower to post when I have to do research on some of my ideas for blogs, but fortunately I have a university library down the street. And, as My Kafkaesque Life said some folks do blog just for the pleasure of writing, must be darn good reading if they are successful, point me to some of those blogs, I enjoy a good read, thanks!

  • http://www.ranashahbaz.com/ Rana Shahbaz

    They are just like they won a lottery. 

    It’s up to you to decide whether you want to wait to win a lottery or want to work systematically to match with those guys. :)

  • http://aremorch.com/ Are Morch

    Hi Cindy. 

    Great article and great tips here.

    Most of these tips I can relate with. Still for me the advice I have a hard time with is #6 Quality vs Quantity. I am all in for balance it (I am a true Libra ;) . But I see this advice over and over again from most Social Media ‘Authorities’. And most of the of them have quantity in their numbers. 

    Is it not all about having a servants heart and find ways to serve everyones needs and wants. I doubt that very many of us have deep connection with over 100 – 150 people. So what is really quantity when it comes to Social Media? 

    I think Mashable quality has come as a result of quantity. And Mashable have over 2 million Twitter followers but only follow back a little over 2000 of them. 

    For my niche I want quantity of quests arrive to our Hotel Family, and then find valuable and great strategies to turn these guests into quality champion advocates. 

    Guess for me the Quality vs Quantity debate gets a bit confusing some days. 

    Cheers.. Are

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Jeff!  It’s our hope that folks can learn from our mistakes and speed their path to blogging success :)

  • http://discountflooringliquidators.net David K. Nielsen

    Great list here to learn from, I’ve been guilty of more of these then I care to admit. Interaction with your readers is easier said then done. Over promoting yourself or your service is natural for most of us. Good quality content only comes from with-in and not from rehashing material you see everywhere. I especially like number 14. Thanks for the reminders and tips.

  • http://twitter.com/gaycarboys Gaycarboys

    Thanks so much. All good points

  • http://twitter.com/QRRealtyTag QRRealtyTag.com

    This Post was very helpful, thank you for taking the time to put it all together. Even though you tend to start off each and every post with the full intention of using all the helpful tips and traits listed above, sometimes you can be distracted and forget whats important. Its nice to have a well organized cheat sheet with insight and points to help you remember all the small things that can set you apart from other like minded posts. 

  • http://twitter.com/adarshpete Adarsh P

    Super cool….. enlightenment 

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  • http://marketing-strategy-management.com Ken

    I’ve been guilty of trying to go it alone during the past year (when I started blogging).  I’ve now come to favor the idea of joining a blogging community.  I’d be interested in hearing suggestions of how to either form or join one.  Specifically, how does one ensure the community will have the capacity to maintain quality?  And what strategies might be employed to effect a good cross-promotional initiative? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/DonaldPayne Donald Payne

    I’m guilty of # 1

    I am also guilty of #16, 17 and 18
    Now to make a change for the better. If you can read this give me a visit @ http://paynelessadvice.com (Smile).

  • http://www.Frequence-Cosmique.com/ Gilles Vitu

    WOW… Really excellent tips ! So true.
    Thanks a lot

    Endless Blessings,
    @Gilles_Vitu

  • http://www.rakacreative.com/ Brian DeKoning

    I like this info. It would be cool if each tip had Like/social sharing buttons associated with it so we could vote up the  best tips. FWIW, Tim Ware’s avatar is the coolest.

  • http://www.latinosbehindthelens.com/about/ Ramon B. Nuez Jr.

    Mistake #3: Covering too many topics
    I think that this is the most difficult thing to avoid when you are a blogger. It almost seems like a natural reaction to blog about lots of stuff if not everything within your space. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to blog about everything. It’s best to focus on a handful of “big idea” stories — creating a niche if you will. It is also imperative to build a content strategy as well as a editorial calendar.

    These tools will help you stay on track and focusing on the core blog topics.

  • Jennifer H

    I am so glad I saw this when I did. I was just thinking about how my blog has been suffering, and you’ve given me many things to think about that can help me get out of a rut. Thank you!

  • http://thejonesesarebroke.blogspot.com The Joneses Are Broke

    Very helpful post and advice.  I too am guilty of quite a few.  Thank you for these words of wisdom.  Can’t wait to put some of them into action!

  • Chowsr

    But a lot of them aren’t mistakes. Tim Ferris’s blog is full of  “mistakes” yet he ALWAYS has 100s of comments forget readers, because he has awesome content on a number of different topics and posts what once every couple weeks even with people helping him out with content.

  • EugenedP

    These blogs are very inspiring for novices like me, while absorbing all valuable content and information, gr8t sharing these experiences with us. A big thank you!

  • Pamela Adams

    Thank you for this great info! I’m in the planning stage of starting my first blog. As a subscriber, I find your blog to be a great resource for learning more about blogging from experienced professionals. Thanks again!

  • http://kendysproul-socialmediaconsultant.com Kendy Sproul

    Great compilation of blogging tips. Thanks!

  • http://www.nomorepencils.com/ David Bennett

    “…If you want to have a catchy title, put your keywords first, add a colon, and write an attention-grabber.”

    I can take that away and remember it.

  • https://jewelry-necklace.kitsylane.com/ Ramiro Rodriguez

    I’m guilty of the quantity over quality as my blog is only a few months old and I want to fill it with stuff!  But then I have to go back and rewrite some things because I posted late at night while I was tired.  

    But being new gives me an excuse!  Thanks for the article.

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    IMHO, the reason so many recommend quantity is they want to maximize their traffic and with every post you get a certain amount of traffic. In the short term, quantity does work; however, in the long run do you want to be known for publishing four trivial posts a day or truly substantial posts less than once a day?

    As any ecommerce or lead generation specialist knows, you need quantity to generate sales. The challenge of producing quantity while maintaining quality is one all of us will struggle with and why so many established blogs publish guest posts. The larger your blog grows the more demand on your time and using guest posts is a great way to maintain both quality AND quantity.

  • http://www.marthaspelman.com Martha Spelman

    I’d like to add one more mistake: ignoring what your blog entry looks like. It’s important to add a visual element.  A strong, relevant image, be it a photo, illustration, chart or graph can make a big difference between read and ignored.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

     Ken, I think there are different ways to approach creating a blogging community. I prefer more informal networks where I choose what I want to plug or not.  I’ve sort of been there and done that with regards to networks like Triberr. I prefer natural networking because I really enjoy the company of real peers, if that makes sense.   

    To get things rolling you can get creative in your networking. What I did in the beginning was to host Twitter interviews on culture – which is related to my core niche. And I asked people I found interesting to join me on these Twitter interviews where I asked everyone the same 10 short questions on culture.  With this small exercise I was able to learn more about the people I met online and deepen relationships with the people I found to be a good fit. 

    I think the hardest part is to get new bloggers on board because they usually don’t fully appreciate the power of teaming up with others yet. So it might be easier to focus on networking with people who’ve been around as long as you have.

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    The best way to evaluate future quality is to look at existing content. Every blogger should be going out of their way to identify and collaborate with the best other bloggers in their niche. I am developing best practices and collaboration processes through mentoring niche groups. I am always happy to assist bloggers in identifying and networking with other bloggers and have many lists by niche.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Donald, I don’t even want to think about what I’ve been guilty of :)   I think blogging is a wonderful learning process and we’ve probably all made most of these mistakes at some point.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

     Jennifer, I love to review my blogging every 6-9 months.  It’s easy to get into habits and be too close to our blogs.  So spending an afternoon every now and then and just looking at our blog from a different perspective is a great exercise.

  • http://gomosolo.com/ Sadie-Michaela Harris

    Great tips Cindy and contributors, thanks :o )

  • http://GrowMap.com Gail Gardner

    Thank you, Cindy, for including the Twitter usernames of those whose tips you published. That is really beneficial. I sent this post directly to several small business and social networking groups on LinkedIn because there is some real gold in it. While I share many of your posts across Twitter, StumbleUpon, Facebook, FriendFeed I only share maybe three posts a week at the very most to any LinkedIn group.

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  • Dougrey

    This was a great write up with some real smart advice.  I immediately started switching screens between my own blog and this list.  I agree about key title words, but emphasize “key.”  One thing I hate is getting the ol’ bait-and-switch from many outlets trying to generate traffic.  Sorry yahoo.  I It seems some outlets try too hard to just get that traffic with their news and articles, and I hate it when bloggers try to emulate this behavior.  I also agree about writing for your audience and not yourself, but that can be tricky territory as many times writers fail to connect with their audience by trying too hard.  If your postings are too sugar coated as an attempt to broaden your audience then you are indeed “adding to the noise” and in effect just spreading yourself too thin.  The most successful blogs have a P.O.V. I feel.  My only advice, if any, is the golden rule of blogging:  Just treat your blog the way you would want to be treated….and also put some personality in it along with all that rich content. 

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thank you Gail! 

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Gail and Are – It is NOT about quantity.  Quality will always trump quantity.  That is why we only produce one single post per day have grown significantly.

  • Gary Sinclair

    There’s always that tension between quantity and quality and how to find that balance.  Thanks nonetheless for the practical and helpful insights. We can always learn something – I did.

  • KentMauresmo

    Some blogs do not have a “Brand”….unless the persons name counts. I dont know about you, but I remember a logo or a band name faster than I will remember someones name and face.

    For example, I have no idea what the owner of Twitter looks like, nor can I think of his name right now. When I think of Twitter, I think of that little light blue tweety bird and that’s it. And that goes for Millions of other people that use twitter too.

  • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

    I’ve been struggling with #20…I HATE that we have to always bow down to the search engines. But I know better. Thanks for reminding me.

  • http://twitter.com/eRiverSocial eRiver

    Great article! I think #16 resonates with a lot of bloggers. Sometimes I almost feel guilty promoting, but you have to do it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/moniquebradford Monique Bradford

    Great article!  Thank you for sharing this information to all who are striving to build a successful blog with loyal readers.  There is always a method to the madness….  I look forward to making use of all the advise given and seeing my blog blossom~  :)

  • http://aremorch.com/ Are Morch

    Thanks Gail and Michael for your response.

    I agree that quality trump quantity.

    And I have learned over time to find the balance that works best for me. 

    I think you found a great balance on presenting articles here on SME. 

    For me personally I think I found my tipping point when I turned my funne upside down (or maybe the way it should been from the beginning). Instead of going wide (quantity in all ends) I chose to narrow my niche and focus on quality. 

    So for me Quality has trumped Quantity as result of testing and experience through various adversities on my path. Most of my setback I used as setups for new opportunities to find another path to would work better for me. 

    I think here I in someway also follow the 80-20 rule. Where 80% of my actions should focus on Quality and then 20% on Quantity. The Quantity aspects mostly focus on finding new ways of attracting traffic to my blog. And then again I spend time on turning the Quantity into Quality.

    I focus on quality growth.

    I thought Dag had one of the better explanations of the Quality vs Quantity perspective. 

    Though as said I am not 100% sure yet if I have totally figured out the real definition of Quantity in a Social Media perspective. 

    Cheers….

    Are Morch
    Hotel Advisor and Social Media Strategist ;)

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Shilpi Roy – Virtual Assistant

    Great post Cindy and these giants on social media giving tips is such a great thing and loved reading it and will implement all these points to our blog.

    Recently posted : http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/blog/6-facebook-applications-which-can-be-used-effectively-for-ebay-and-amazon-businesses-%e2%80%93-shared-by-obva-social-media-virtual-assistants/

  • http://www.internetincomecode.com George Tee

    These are great posts I do agree that common mistakes that a blog have are: having too many topics. One should specialize on only one niche so that you have target the right customers. Focusing quantity instead of quality. Posing a quality article a few times a week is right than rushing into posing a non-quality article everyday. Not engaging with your readers, that is by commenting to what they’re thoughts are. I know you may not able to comment all of them but you can comment on few of them.

  • Paulina

    Not taking time to answer your comments and quality instead of quantity are the most important to me. I don’t have time to blog all the time, sometimes only blogging once a month; but I try to not be superficial and have more thoughtful posts than just a couple of sentences. Thanks for the tips!

  • Janine Hart

    Thank you Gail, I accessed this post via Linkedin.

  • Janine Hart

    Mistake 21 5) self-hosting your blog instead of using Blogger or WordPress.com.
     
    What are the advantages of self hosting?

    I guess so many newbe’s are overwhelmed with social media and scared of getting things wrong, this is an excellent post.

    I have forwarded the link and am interested in finding out about JV and guest blogging.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DonaldPayne Donald Payne

    Thanks for the reality check. I am guilty of at least three
    of these contractions, #1, 16, 17 and 18. Now let me see what I can do to
    change it.

  • http://twitter.com/BeaverBetty BeaverBetty

    Fabulous post– so helpful to hear from many experienced voices. Thanks!

  • Cmnewz

    How about adding, “making Your Blog Posts Unprinatable in Either FireFox or Internet Explorer.” That is a common problem with theme design and an issue that also afflicts this site. A lot of people print articles and blog posts and then read them later.

  • http://twitter.com/COM_Consulting Ray Ballard

    Mistake #18: Not collaborating with other bloggers in your industry….guilty as charged.  I will make this correction this week.  I am going to publish (advertise) my competitors website and abilities, within my blog.

  • Jim Coker

    I have Learned today

  • http://NaomiTrower.com Naomi Trower

    I love these types of posts where we can learn from other bloggers. I was on a cruise vacation when I received an email to possibly add my thoughts. (still daydreaming about my cruise! Ahhh relaxation) :) I wanted to add that making simple changes to improve blog design goes a long way. Things such as placing subscriber info, most popular posts, ways to contact you, etc in prime viewing locations.

  • Sue

    Very, very helpful. Thanks!

  • http://thefivefsblog.blogspot.com/ Kate C

    Seriously? 

    Blogging mistake #22 – reading articles such as this and panicking that you’re not following the “rules”. The rules are: there are no rules. I guess it depends why you blog but the vast majority of bloggers do it for themselves and they can do it how they like. Fine if you’re doing it as a business, but 90% of the bloggers I know personally in the UK aren’t doing it for that. It’s a hobby, with side benefits. 

  • http://www.aaroneden.com/ Aaron Eden

    A collection of great blogging tips from the experts! It is once again proven that two heads are better than one. Thanks for sharing this, Cindy!

  • http://www.fierceover50.com Julie Labes

    I read the first 3 and new I was now on the right track as I was guilty of them and just decided this week to re visit and reorganize my blog. I have bookmarked and 2ill be coming back to read and implement each one. Thanks for the great help

  • http://twitter.com/MeetingGenius MeetingGenius

    I would add a comment about design: using low quality images, pages and pages of text or, worse yet, those “blogs” wtih blinking and flashing ads all over the place.

    Raul Candeloro
    http://www.meetinggeniusblog.com

  • Willogic_40

    Hey Cindy! Great article, now I realize how much work I have. Oy Vey!

  • propagandahouse

    Awesome post Cindy! My favouite tip was #18 from Steph Sammons about setting up a blog community; such a simple idea and a great way to leverage the following of many. It’s on my to-do list for next week ;)

    Cheers
    Dan

  • http://twitter.com/HeatherMOConnor Heather M. O’Connor

    This is a great, comprehensive list of the major missteps bloggers can make. Thanks for not just telling us what we’re doing wrong, but also what we can do to avoid repeating the same mistakes. 

  • http://womenwhostrengthtrain.blogspot.com Robin

    Great post!  You are right when it comes to sharing other blogs with the same interest and staying within your niche.  I notice when I comment on other blogs, it’s all a shared interest.  I love it! 

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  • Sally Dahlsten

    Great post Cindy, thanks for all the effort you’ve put in. Now you’ve clearly told us why some blogs do not get a decent readership even if the blogger feels he’s a good writer. Blogging is more than just creating literature, it involves building relationships with your audience, understanding them. Keep posting such articles!

  • http://twitter.com/HayleyScotchegg Hayley Stevens

    Without the cheese, thankyou for providing such an inspiring article.
    Im new to all of this and have joined a web development company who desperately need to showcase their brand and practice social service, which is where ive come in! Also being poet, its good to learn off successful bloggers how to proffesionally showcase my poetry and interact with my readers.
    I have written a few articles and am now in the process of editing these so they work well with scotcheggs technology blog (the web company). I am also following all contributors to the article as well as yourself Cindy so I can follow your awesome blogging ways, and hopefully one day il be one of those contributors. :)

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  • CJ McKinney

    This article is really valuable. As a freelance writer who’s just getting started as a blogger (to hopefully help promote what I do) I see several areas to work on.  And special thanks for bringing up the need for good writing!  That undermines even the best ideas and makes credibility suspect. 

  • http://twitter.com/createloyalty2U KL George

    Great article! Love the tips and will bookmark it and share it as it is powerful stuff.

    One other thing that I have seen occasionally as a mistake is when an author goes off on an emotional tangent, spewing about something they passionately don’t like or disagree with. A well timed comment or a reference to fact is fine  but that kind of negativity is simply unproductive and it puts a shadow over the bloggers other work as well.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M6YMGLMATIG4YTFTA2Z7Z3ROUE jonathan

    Interesting post. I read one on Nine Blogging Mistakes to Avoid. you can find it there http://bloggermarketingguide.com/nine-blogging-mistakes-to-avoid.html

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  • Lindacamarda

    I too would like to know more about why one should self-host and not use blogger or wordpress.

  • Guest

    Great points! But…. as it relates to SEO and “keyword rich titles”, how do you tackle these important points with a video blog? My understanding is video is not searchable. *scratching head*

  • http://www.thespeedticket.com Mark Evans

    Great points! But…. as it relates to SEO and “keyword rich titles”, how do you tackle these important points with a video blog? My understanding is video is not searchable. *scratching head*

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  • http://webylife.com Nikunj Tamboli

    Superb Tips on one thing I would like to add is most bloggers do write about similar topics that have been published before.

  • http://www.dialme.com/blog Ray

    Quality is always the best route, but there is a certain level of quantity need at some point too. You will not get much happening with 1 quality post a month or year even no matter how good it is. Quality is the big thing. I have seen some people talk quality, but I must be missing it because I little or no quality. I think maybe a good combination would be good.

  • http://mykafkaesquelife.blogspot.com/ Taiwan Explorer

    No, it does not mean that at all. It means the complete opposite.

  • http://mykafkaesquelife.blogspot.com/ Taiwan Explorer

    It has nothing to do with lottery. I blog for fun, as a hobby, that’s it. And what gives me pleasure is the comments or the emails I get by strangers who think my post has helped them or given them a new perspective. I think I’m a successful blogger (according to my own standards), but in relation to the “mistakes” mentioned above – I’m doing almost everything wrong :)

  • http://www.socialmarketingdynamics.com/ Sydney @ Social Dynamics

    Great points! When most blogs focus on quantity than quality, it really is quite a clogger in the interwebs. It’s best to write with a motivation and style, than just mere re-typing of words.

  • Pesan jaket

    thank you for sharing a good information..
    this is very good article..
    i should repair my blogging way

  • http://integrityfinishes.net San Antonio Painter

    I definitely like the point about quality not just quantity. It’s very east to forget about that just to have something new on your blog.

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  • Zoo Blog Editor

    For advice #10 and #20, can you provide specific examples of what a compelling/catchy title would be that included the key words you need?

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  • http://www.simafore.com/blog bd2x

    How do you “understand” your audience? I have been blogging for 5 months and i have only about 60 followers. What are some ways you can measure that you are blogging about the right topics and in a style that is liked?

  • http://expatdoctormom.com/ Expat Doctor Mom

    Wow, what a great round up. I do many of these and will ensure to implement more.  I am focusing on giving the reader what they want not what I think they want in regard to choice of topic. 

    Thanks,
    Rajka

  • http://www.fansbridge.com/ Faissal Alhaithami

    Like # 14 and 16 for Mari and Kristi. thanks all for sharing these awesome information with us.
    because must of the bloggers are falling into these mistakes.

  • GlenPatton

    Sticking to one blog site was the biggest mistake I ever made.  I thought if I wrote enough blogs on that one site it would eventually make someone notice.  I now have blogs on several sites, spreading the love sort of speak.  Writing on a variety of different sites offers  you a chance to reach a bigger audience.  I RSS feed my blogs wherever I can and I have tons of blogs in tons of places……just make sure to only take on as many as you can handle because you want to be able to even out the content.  If you have too many blogs you may find yourself only writing on a few and neglecting the others.  Hope that helps!……..

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  • GuestQuest

    Keep them on your website and away from provider’s site where competition is lerking…

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  • http://StevenLJohnson.org/ Steven L. Johnson

    Thank you for this useful article. I assigned it this week for my Social Media Innovation course at Temple University: http://community.mis.temple.edu/mis3538b/

  • http://www.cpssecurity.com security systems integration

    Wonderful Article. Writing is not the one night skill, it comes with day by ay practice and Blogging is the best platform where you can hone you skill.

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  • http://www.circularknittingneedles.org/ Denise the Knitting Girl

    Although SEO is obviously important, another of the mistakes that bloggers tend to make is to write for SEO too much.  By worrying about the keywords to much the post comes out sounding dumb.  People don’t like to read that.

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  • PhuongLe

    I think  the biggest mistake bloggers make is to misunderstand who their
    audience is

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  • http://julesgoesgreen.blogspot.com/ jules @ julesgoesgreen

    Thanks for this I am a very new blogger and I’m trying to find my way around still!

  • http://lasantedansmonassiette.com/ Anne

    It’s the second article I read on this site, and I’m completely fan ! I’ve learned so much, I think I’ll have to take these mistakes one by one and think about it apart ! Thanks a lot for sharig this !! A french blogger who will use these tips !! :)

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  • http://codeinjavase.blogspot.in/ Harish

    a very helpful compilation of the common mistakes bloggers make. I am also a new blogger and I also make these mistakes. but the good part is that you should not repeat the mistakes and that is what I am trying to make. So I request all people here to review my blog and give me your valuable suggetions to improve it.

  • http://wpsites.net/ Brad Dalton

    Here’s another. Pop ups. Annoying your readers so you can get to 200,000 subscribers

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  • http://www.samuelkermis.wordpress.com/ Sam Adeyinka

    This article is really filled with interesting stuffs and I’m so delighted I actually found and have taken time to read it. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • http://www.uitechblog.com/ Umer Iftikhar

    Promotion of blog has the essential importance. Your all points are enjoyable to read. Good work Cindy King.

  • Felix Brown

    Before reading this blog I thought I was doing everything right with my blog, I’d say most of us have been guilty of at least a couple of these mistakes at some stage.

  • A.E. Albert

    Excellent. I’m a new blogger myself and needed to hear real advice from some veterans. Thanks for the advice!







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