The Biggest Mistakes Bloggers Make

All right so you have a blog, now it's time to get serious. There are ways to grab traffic (readers) and there are ways to lose them. Once you have someone's attention you want to keep it, right? Of course you do. So abide by the Golden Rules of Blogging and don't (inadvertently) show readers the door before you've had a chance to engage them and, of course, sell your book. Also, the idea of having a blog is gaining traffic, yes? These Golden Rules will cover that too, and then some.

1) Letting someone else host their blog. Why? Because the idea behind blogging is getting traffic, momentum, exposure and all the great benefits of blogging. If you don't have your own URL and your identity, you're really only using half of your blogging ability. Also, if you utilize a blog platform like, let's say Wordpress, and you are blogging on something controversial they can pull you if they don't like it. Now they don't often do this but it has happened. Yes, it's free and it's great. You can still use the blogging software but incorporate it and host it on your own URL.

2) Your blog is like everyone else's blog. A friend of mine just bought a silver Toyota Corolla. Great car, but it's nondescript. Not that there's anything wrong with being nondescript, but if you apply the same principles to your blog you'll vanish in cyberspace. Get a custom blog or customize your blog somehow. Don't settle for what the blogging service gives you (standard templates and settings), create your own, unique message and look of your blog. If you don't have the skill to do this on your own hire someone, it'll be worth whatever you pay and you don't have to pay much. Most highly-custom blogs cost less than $2,000.

3) You don't allow people to post or comment on your blog. All comments and posting should be welcome. Comments mean someone's *actually* reading your blog and thinks enough of it to offer a comment. Then when folks do comment, respond back and let them know you appreciate them taking time to read your blog.

4) There's a saying about chefs that goes: even the best chefs eat at other restaurants. Why do they do this? They want to know what the competition is doing. The message here is: read other blogs in your genre. Get to know these bloggers, post on their sites and invite them to blog on yours. Not only will you be able to keep up with the 'chatter' out there on your topic, but it's a great way to network.

5) How you say it is almost as important as what you say. Don't talk down to people, blogs are conversational - as though you were talking to your reader over a latte. And please, don't talk about yourself. Yes, you can talk about what you're doing, share your life (as long as it relates to your topic) but if you do it all the time it will get boring. It's ok to talk about your book, your book signing, or what you're up to - just remember it needs to be about your reader. Help them, guide them, offer them advice, insight and make your blog worth reading.

Blogging can be fun and certainly a great way to build your audience. By following these simple rules you'll not only be a better blogger, but be able to use this astonishingly easy platform to its greatest advantage.

Penny C. Sansevieri
Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
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