John Chow has posted up a list of popular blogging mistakes. Here they are without his commentary, do read his full post but before you do I will add my thoughts after the list:
- Not Updating
- Blogging Only For Money
- Rushing a Post
- Not Being Personal
- Being a Copycat
- Not Replying To Comments
- Not Giving a Full Feed RSS
- Not Reaching Out To Other Bloggers
- Writing For Google Instead Of People
- Not Reading John Chow
What all of these points come down to in my view, apart from the cheeky last one, heh, is neglect.
Neglecting your blog, neglecting your visitors, neglecting your niche. Look at the list with this in mind and you will see, even if you don’t quite agree, I have a point?
Not answering comments is just rude. You don’t have to answer each and every one (and some would say that actually breaks the flow and stops people commenting if you jump in to the conversation too much), but not answering enough gives the impression nobody is home. Comments take time, thought and effort. It is just the right thing to do to at least say thanks.
Rushing posts, not posting, blogging only for cash, that is neglecting your blog and audience by not giving it the time and thought it needs. Its a take-take-take attitude. People can tell when you are only in it for the quick spamola cash and soon leave. Writing for search engines, or as bad only to get the attention of a-listers also smells of spam.
Full RSS has been debated and debated so I won’t go into it here, it’s a decision each blogger must make and nobody can tell you what is right for you. I would advise if you don’t know which way to go, go full feed.
Copycat posts are not as common as people think, perhaps that is why they stand out so clearly when you spot one, but not correctly attributing is very common and there is some elements in common between the two. It is perfectly reasonable to be inspired by another bloggers post (as I have here), and many stories get broken by one blog and reported on by others, also fine. It is a problem though when a blogger posts based off anothers without credit. I’m not sure what the motivation is exactly, linking out doesn’t lose you subscribers (in fact it can grow your readership quite nicely). In blogging “competitors” aren’t like in the real world, by notifying your audience of another blog they might be interested in you grow your blogs value.
The good news is the majority of us do put a lot of care into our blogs, and that really is all it takes. Just as people can tell when you are just knocking out the posts for the adsense clicks, people can tell when you are really into what you are writing. If you put the heart and effort in you really do get rewarded.