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How Not to Have a Successful Blog

Published on 7/28/2010 by

We live in an age where anyone, anywhere can start a blog.  Look around the Internet and you'll see people blogging about everything from apples and aprons to zebras and zippers.  Some blogs will go viral and capture the hearts and attention of readers worldwide and others will simply fade away.

What do you need to do to succeed online today?  For many, what you do is just as important as what you don't do.  Here's how not to have a successful blog.

1.  Be unoriginal

  • Have a standard Wordpress template with no customizations.
  • Don't make a logo.
  • Copy someone else's website design.

In order to stand out, you need to step up your originality game.  Create a bold, fresh logo that at a single glance will make you instantly recognizable.  Go ahead and use a Wordpress template, but make it your own by adding custom icons and adjusting the color scheme.  If your look isn't unique, you're just like the next guy.

2.  Write only "good enough" posts

Have you ever written a blog post where you knew was OK, but not great?  Delete it and start over.  You should hit it out of the ballpark every single time you write.  Your readers should always walk away with new insights and ideas they can't get anywhere else.

3.  Ignore social media

Social media is the single greatest free tool available today to promote your website and meet your readers.  Start making connections on other networks.

4.  Give the cold shoulder to readers

If you have daily readers and commenters, don't ignore them.  Comment on comments and listen to what your readers are saying. 

5.  Be unreliable

The most well read bloggers keep a pretty predictable blogging schedule.  It makes no difference if you blog every single day or only once a month.  Whatever your blogging schedule, stick to it.  Let readers know when they can expect another entry and be there to provide it. You should never have a blog posting that begins with "I'm sorry I haven't written lately, but..."

6. Don't have an identity

  • Change your site design weekly.
  • Lose focus in your writing, talking about your recycling business one week and how to care for German Shepherd dogs the next. 

Once you've chosen a niche, be it training German Shepherds or recycling, stick with it.  In similar fashion, find a web design you love and hang on to it.  There's a reason why Pepsi doesn't change their can logos each month!

7. Forget key content

Key content is what will initially draw readers to you.  If you have a blog about canning pickles, your key content may include how-to guides about selecting canning jars and cucumbers.  Think about what you'd input into search engines if you wanted to learn how to do something.  You may type in:

  • How to make pickles?
  • How to can cucumbers?
  • What cucumbers are used in canning?

Create key content articles based on exactly what searchers are looking for and get that content up early, and promote it often.

You started your blog with a purpose.  Remind yourself of it often. By refining your blogging skills and keeping focus, you'll be able to take your blog to the next level.