Friday, March 2, 2012

3 Days with Danny Iny - Book Bash for Engagement from Scratch!

New Blogger Blunders to Avoid At All Costs! 

Everyone and their sister has a blog these days.

And unfortunately, most of them never get seen or read, and the three regular subscribers are the blogger, the blogger’s mom, and the blogger’s other email address.

It’s a sad reality for most bloggers, and the good news is that it can be avoided quite easily.

You see, even though there’s a lot that goes into creating a successful blog, the worst results are usually because of the same few – very common – new blogging blunders.

Let’s talk about what they are, and how to avoid them...

Blunder #1: Blogging for You

When you get into the world of blogging, it’s very, very important to remember that it isn’t all about you. Of course you need to blog about something that you’re interested in and passionate about – but you need to have an audience, and you need to make sure that everything you write interests them.

All the time. Every post.

Readers can tell when you’re interested in giving them content that they want, and are very, very quick to abandon a blogger who fails to meet their needs. Look back at the posts you’ve written in the last few months. Were there any that got a lot of attention in the form of comments or shares?

Good. Write more like that.

Was there a post or two, or three that you sweated over, agonized about and love like it was your own flesh and blood? Did it fall flat? Was it ignored?

It may not be easy, but sometimes you’ve got to hold back on some of the topics you could be writing about – even if you love it and it blows your mind – if they’re leaving your readers unmoved.

Blunder #2: Not Going Where the Eyeballs Are

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, every blog starts out with three subscribers. Of course, if you want to make your blog a successful one, you’re going to attract a lot more people than that!

But how?

Well, you’ve got to put yourself and your content in front of the readers eyes. Don’t worry, there are lots of ways to do that:
  • You can share content via social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • You can guest post on other blogs that are read by the people you want to attract.
  • You can leave interesting and insightful comments on the blogs of others – both the blogs of your prospective readers, and the blogs that they enjoy reading.
  • You can join can contribute to forums on different topics – those that are similar to yours, and forums on other topics that interest your readers.
Once you choose how you want to get your content out there, you need to stick with it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a big audience.

Blunder #3: Not Having a Plan

Procrastinating is easy. Really easy.

And writing blog posts is one of those things that it is incredibly tempting to put off, and put off, and put off, until you’re scrambling to meet your deadline (or, in extreme cases, missing the deadline) and churning out mediocre pieces that reflect badly on you.

Don’t fall into the procrastinating trap!

No matter what other pressing matters are on your plate right now, the content for your blog needs to be a real priority. You need to plan what you’re writing about and when well and in advance.

It’s not that hard to do; just take a look at the coming year for your blog, and decide on some things that you want to accomplish during that time. Then schedule those things in so that you have a framework of larger goals to work around.

All of a sudden, your blogging is going to be a lot more meaningful – to your readers, and to you.

Blunder #4: Reinventing the Wheel

Learning by trial and error is a time-honored tradition that goes back to all of our childhoods, when we first figured out how to tie our shoes and catch a ball. In fact, trial and error is an important part of most education and growth processes.

But it’s not the best way to build your blog.

The fact of the matter is that there are wildly successful bloggers out there who are willing (even eager) to share exactly how they achieved their success in terms of content, traffic, social media, affiliate sales, you name it.

They want to help you succeed, and they know what they’re talking about, so take advantage!

It’s always a good idea to try and be innovative in your ideas and your delivery – that’s how real change and development happens, but you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot if you deliberately ignore (or fail to seek out) the best practices to start and the worst mistakes to avoid as given and shown to you by bona-fide experts.

Danny Iny (@DannyIny), a.k.a. the “Freddy Krueger of Blogging”, teaches marketing that works at Firepole Marketing. Together with Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark and Mitch Joel, he wrote the book on building engaged audiences from scratch (available in paperback and on Kindle).