Social media usage, clever and inventive writing, and smart SEO tactics: these are just a few of the golden rules of blogging. Any blogger worth your time will tell you that those three things are critical in the journey to become a successful web personality. It’s almost common sense.
But then there are the golden rules of bad blogging. There aren’t enough articles out there that discuss what you shouldn’t do—the habits and pitfalls that you should avoid if you want to make it big.
And I can tell that far too many bloggers aren’t worrying about the mistakes they make—you see these mistakes in a majority of blogs, in fact. There are a few big things that you need to avoid if you want to be a blogger that’s head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. Here are four of my golden rules of bad blogging habits.
You repost other people’s material more than you write your own
This is a classic mistake, one that I see many social media-savvy bloggers make daily. While it’s a good idea to post great material from other bloggers on your own site, you shouldn’t be posting more links than you are writing your own material.
If you’re only reposting what other people about your niche then you lose the personality of you blog. If your blog loses its personality, then there’s no real reason for readers to check it out.
Reposting in itself is fine, just do it in moderation. For every repost you have, be sure to include at least one of two posts of your own material, or at the very least offer some commentary on what you’re reposting.
You don’t develop a dynamic with your readers
Ignoring your readers is just about the worst thing that you can do. If you write as if you live in your own little bubble, how can you expect for other people to get interested in what you have to say?
A true blogger sparks a conversation with the readers in his or her niche, asking thought-provoking questions and debating the merits of some issue. Asking for reader feedback and comments is blogging 101—it’s something that you should be doing all along. But in addition to asking your reader questions, you have to openly engage them. That means responding to comments and to emails to show that you’re sociable and open to discussions.
You’re afraid to express your opinion
Blogging offers you a rare opportunity to say what you want to say, no matter how controversial it is. Don’t be afraid to express your opinion on the topics that matter the most to you within your niche. Doing so will show your readers that you trust them with your opinions and that you’re mature enough to share them in an open conversation. Besides, no one likes a blogger who is neutral on everything—that just makes for dull reading.
You don’t try out guest posting
Of course I’m going to promote guest posting! Not nearly enough bloggers use guest posting, when the reality is that it’s such a beneficial service for them to utilize.
A guest blogger can bring in a new readership and a perspective that might spark a whole new thread of conversations. What’s more, guest blogging will connect a blogger with more writers and fellow bloggers, expanding their network of professionals within their niche.
What bad blogging habits do you notice on other blogs? Let me know!
Samantha Gray is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about career advice for college students. She enjoys spending time with her various pets, reading poetry, and traveling to off-the-beaten-path countries and regions.