Presented here are the most common blog mistakes, in hopes that you can avoid making them yourself...
Mistake #1: Failure to provide search functionality
Blogs should be searchable. Include a search function on the blog so that Web site visitors can easily search your blog content for the things they are interested in or looking for.
Mistake #2: Failure to offer syndication
Failure to provide an RSS feed for blog content is a common mistake. RSS feeds will significantly increase the number of blog followers. Many blogging platforms will automatically create an RSS feed for the content -- if your current content management system does not have that ability, you can manually create the RSS feeds yourself, or use software like FeedForAll (http://www.feedforall.com ) to create the feeds. RSS feeds will increase your blogs exposure and readership.
Mistake #3: Failure to personalize
Blogs are meant to be personal. Blogs that consist mostly of impersonal, factual news clips will not attract as much interest as a blog with a distinct personality. Add character and personality to your blog by personalizing your blog posts. Readers tend to enjoy blogs that contain personality and character.
Mistake #4: Failure to subscribe to your own blog
Be sure to subscribe to your own blog and RSS feed, so that you can see exactly what your readers are seeing. Click through the blog posts to ensure that your linking schemes are functioning properly. Sometimes you might be surprised by how your blog content is being displayed to your readers, so be sure to subscribe to your own blog in order to quickly correct any errors.
Mistake #5: Poor navigation to archives
It is important that you provide clear navigation to older blog posts. You can often categorize blog posts or list related blog posts beneath your main blog posts, which gives the reader access to additional related material if they found your blog post interesting.
Mistake #6: Lack of consistency
Blog postings should be consistent, both in frequency and in tone. Blog readers will expect consistency in blog posts, and straying too far from the established and expected frequency or tone could sour some readers.
Mistake #7: Lack of theme
Blog posts should be united by a common theme, simply because subscribers will follow blogs that contain an ongoing topic they are interested in. If the blog is simply a collection of random and unrelated posts, your subscribers may lose interest and wander away.
Mistake # 8: Failure to use stable hosting
Hosting should be reliable and stable. Nothing is more frustrating to a reader than being unable to click through on a blog post they are interested in. Use a stable Web host and platform, even if it means you have to spend a little more money.
Mistake #9: Changing half-way
Many people will try blogging initially, using a 3rd-party for hosting, and once they realize it is successful they decide to host and manage their blog locally. This means that any followers they've managed to obtain prior to that point must then resubscribe to the RSS feed or go to a different URL for the most recent blog posts. If you are going to blog, don't do it half-way and then change things in mid-stream. As they say: Go big or go home -- meaning that you should do it the right way from the beginning, or not bother.
Mistake #10: Lack of monitoring metrics
View your blog logs on a regular basis, so you know which articles your viewers enjoy the most. Then you'll know how to give your readers more of what has already been of interest to them. Analytics are critical in determining what people like and dislike, so don't rely on assumptions... rely on numbers.
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll audio recording and editing software.© 2009 Sharon Housley
The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.