February 17, 2010
There are a lot of articles and blog posts on the web that will present a list of things you should do in order to run a successful blog, this is not one of those articles. I want to discuss some of the things you shouldn’t do, opinions may differ but most of these you will likely agree with.
1. Don’t call yourself, “An Authority” or, “Expert” on your blog’s subject.
If you run a great blog and seem to have a great answer for everything, then yes, you are likely an expert or authority; but the minute that you announce to your readers that you are, you become a jerk instead. Think about it, the people who we admire the most are those that are modest and in denial about their own talents, whether they fake the denial or not, it is the cool thing to do. Same thing goes for heroes right? When was the last time some guy pulled a kid from a burning building, and when the reporter calls him a hero he says, “Yup, absolutely, I am incredible, aren’t I?” Never, that’s when. Anyone in that position knows that they have to say, “Hero? Nah, I was just doing what anyone else would do, I ain’t no hero.” Otherwise, he would be a jerk.
2. Don’t argue with your readers.
It doesn’t matter if he is the biggest idiot in the world, and you are right as rain; you are the only one with something to lose: your readers. If you think that your content is so good that you can say whatever you want to whoever you want, then people will go out of their way to ignore your blog and tell all of their friends to do so also. Treat everyone with the same respect that you would want, even if they are wrong, it will make you look like the better of the two.
3. Don’t fail to remember your theme.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are so many blogs that ramble on and never recover. Please do not get the wrong idea here. If you write a blog about playing baseball, then each and every one of your posts do not have to be about baseball, but if the last twelve posts are about your mother-in-law’s divorce struggle, then you seem to have lost direction. Yes, people want to understand that you are a real person, with real problems, but unless your blog is specifically about those problems, then stick to the subject.
4. Don’t alienate the “majority.”
Now this is a big one I see continually. Please don’t think that just because two or four people want your blog to go a particular route, that ALL of your readers want it to go that way. Keep in mind, a successful blog is about pleasing the majority of your readers. Just because you have a few people who LOVE a particular type of content, it doesn’t mean that all of them do. Remember, you likely have many readers whom you will never hear from on your comments, but are extremely in to your blog. So how are you supposed to know which direction they want you to follow? Well, try using the poll feature in Blogger or WordPress, and ask your readership what they like best; you may be surprised. Also, keep a mailing list that is up to date, and ask your members for their view; most people jump at the chance to offer their voice in a matter that concerns them. Plus, it will make you look great that you are asking for their input.
5. Please do not be a rolling billboard.
Look, everybody understands that advertising is what pays the bills for a full-time blogger, but when you jam ad copy down their throat at every single turn, it gets annoying. Take care of the most vital thing, the content, and the rest will take care of itself. Yes, ads are significant, and you should optimize your ads and put a ton of work into it; just don’t be overbearing with them. They are there, people see them, and if they are interested, they will click.
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