Doing Business in the Middle East: 10 Blogging Blunders That Disengage Readers By Lama Jabr Middle East Business Correspondent – Ausrtalia
Blogging is an essential tool in the online marketing process if it is done effectively. WordPress offers insightful information in their ‹Introduction to Blogging› and Google offers ‹Blogger Getting Started Guide›, both of which are very helpful to any new blogger. Like everything on the internet, blogging is something that anyone can dive into with ease. Unfortunately, too many people fail to look before they leap. Instead of grabbing the attention of intended readers they wind up with nothing more than an online diary left wandering aimlessly in cyberspace.
The successful blogger must blog with a vision and purpose. They must be original and unique. There is an art to blogging effectively. There is specific protocol that must be adhered to. In addition, there are blunders that must be avoided. Here are ten blunders that will inevitably disengage any possible readers and send them screaming into the night.
No Engaging Title/Headline
People searching online surf the internet at warp speed. Now that the World Wide Web has placed everything they ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask›, at their fingertips, they want it short, fast and sweet. As a blogger you must ensure that your blog title/headline is engaging, captivating and catchy. Many studies have shown that readers rarely move onto the content if they are not hooked by the title.
Blunder #2 – No Engaging Introduction/1st Paragraph
If you hook them with the title it is imperative that you reel them in with your introduction/1st paragraph. You must engage their attention span, which on the net is extremely short, and speak directly to their need. Many readers want to know right from the start what exactly it is you have to offer. They want to know why they should read on. You have to let them know.
Blunder #3 – No Engaging Content
Okay, you›ve managed to grab them with an engaging title and an engaging introduction. You have them on the hook, but now you need to keep them there. This can only be accomplished with engaging content. It is best to write brief paragraphs that are to the point. Every sentence must carry its weight and serve a purpose. Be focused and give readers a reason to stay with your blog until the end.
Blunder #4 – No Engaging Images
We have all heard that images are worth a thousand words. There is some validity to that point. However, the images need to be engaging and be niche appropriate. Furthermore, the images used should not violate someone else’s copyright. There are plenty of websites online that offer free images for just about every niche imaginable.
Blunder #5 – No Engaging Format/Layout
Net surfers are looking for blogs that will not bore them to death. They don’t want to fall asleep reading a paragraph that never ends. It is best to write short, crisp paragraphs that concentrate on a specific point. Use a few headings to give the eyes a break and use lists with bullets and numbers to catch the reader’s eye.
Blunder #6 – No Engaging Conclusion/Sign off
Now that you have hooked them with your headline, reeled them in with your introduction, and kept them on the hook with images, content and layout, it is time to release them and ensure you can catch them again in the future. This must be done with an engaging conclusion or sign off message. It is time for that subtle call to action. Sum up the key points of your blog. Use links to guide them where you want them to go. This is your last chance to win them over.
Blunder #7 – Not Using Good Grammar
If you want to present a professional blog it is necessary to use good grammar. If the grammar is bad, one of two things is going to happen. The reader is either going to spend more time looking for grammar errors than reading your blog, or they are going to see your blog as unprofessional and move onto another blogger. Don’t allow bad grammar to take away from your message.
Blunder #8 – Not Utilising SEO
No one is saying you have to spend a zillion dollars to get your blog optimised. It is important though to ensure your blog has effective content that can be sprinkled with carefully chosen keywords that blend in appropriately. Never over use keywords or use keywords that impose bad grammar. You want to reach the search engines, but in this day and age it is also vital to reach the reader.
Blunder #9 – Not Utilising Social Media
Any blogger that is not utilising social media effectively to hook their readers is missing out on an endless sea of opportunity. If you want to be a successful blogger it is good to create accounts at Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google +, and LinkedIn. Your goal should be to get the most out of your blog. Social media can help you do that.
Blunder #10 – Not Posting Consistently
You can talk to a thousand bloggers and chances are you will get just about as many different points of view on this subject. Some bloggers think that once a day is most effective. Other bloggers think once a month is sufficient for their needs. Some people blog several times a week. The important thing here is to be consistent. The whole point is to connect with your reader base without overwhelming them or losing their attention. Take into consideration the time zone difference between you and your potential readers. As a blogger you need to be consistent and not post once in one week and seven the next.
There are many more blogging blunders that can disengage your readers than those I’ve listed. However, this collection of ten should certainly be avoided by serious bloggers who want to keep their readers engaged and on the hook.
Do you have any comments to share on blogging best practices? Please share in the online comments section. I look forward to hearing from you.