"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

They're "JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU"-- Common Barriers to Blog Success...

Most Bloggers come on the scene with the best of intentions. And regardless to our niche or knowledge base, we typically have one thing in common: to connect with our audience and enjoy a degree of popularity. True?
(To be appreciated would also be a plus).

Though some won't fess up to this, why else would we go "public" with our "penned" thoughts and actions, and display our creative works before "virtual" strangers.
Pun intended.;-)

Still, some Bloggers experience slow growth, little interaction from readers, and unknowingly sabotage their success. They unfortunately toil in vain by committing the following blogging blunders.

How many are you guilty of?

1. Not maintaining the right Blogging frequency.
For far too many it seems to be feast or famine. Either they post every blue moon, or you hear from them more than your relatives! A good rule of thumb is to post no less than once a week, and no more than 3 times a week. Though it also depends upon the nature and purpose of your Blog. And word to the wise: If you're going to take an extended leave, for whatever reason, post it to your site, so readers won't have to bounce back and forth trying to guess the appointed time that you'll re-enter the Blogging world.

2. Not responding to readers' comments.
Maybe it's just me, but I don't care how big of a "hot-shot" you are, if I post a comment to your site twice with no feedback, I'll be giving you the "silent treatment" in the future. That is, unless you have hundreds of comments that you receive and it becomes impractical and time consuming to address each one. We should all be so lucky. ;-)

3. Failing to study and learn from successful Blogs.
No doubt about it: Blogging is not rocket science. But, it still involves certain tools and techniques to do it well. Think about it. Though there are millions of Blogs in the Blogosphere, routinely you'll see the same dozen or so to receive recognition and top the popular Blogs lists time after time.

4. Not providing enough take-away value for readers to take away.
Whether your Blog is designed to educate or entertain, readers should come away with a lesson, reflection, or a laugh.

5. Going off on the deep edge, or not staying on topic.
Though there are different schools of thought here, I think that most people like to go to a Blog knowing what to expect. How about you?
Of course, this is not to suggest that you can't add different topics now and then; especially if you can tie it into your Blog's theme. But, by and large, you should have an identifiable "topic" and stick to it like Velcro.

6. Not having a unique voice in the Blogoshpere.
I've said this before, but it bears repeating. If you want to be relevant and remembered, your style, voice and approach to blogging must stand out amid the chatter.

7. Poor grammar or inappropriate language.
This can serve as an eye-sore for some.

Agree or disagree? Did I miss anything?

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  1. I definitely need to work on consistency. Sometimes I post a couple a week and sometimes only once a month. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 15, 2011 at 10:31 AM


    You're not alone on this one. ;-) But it's something that you'll be able to easily rectify in the future. Good luck...

  3. Excellent tips, Jennifer. These are a great combo for blog success.

    The only other thing I've found helpful is to visit and comment on other blogs of like genre. This has given me an intro to others of like mind, alerted them to my blog presence, and has built great relationships.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    :) Karen

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 15, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Ouch! ;-) Good point. And something I definitely am working to improve upon in the future, when things slow down. ; -) Thanks much, Karen!

  5. Sorry, didn't mean it as a criticism at all! I just mentioned it b/c it's worked for me and been beneficial in other ways too. It still amazes me how kind and supportive the blog community has been. You included. :)

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 15, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Nope. Trust---I didn't see it as a criticism--just a reminder. And who to teach it better?! You definitely practice what you preach. I see you everywhere. ;-)

  7. Agree. Consistency is a key, but can be a chore to stay fresh with content and keep it interesting.

  8. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 15, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    Hi Ricky!

    ...Stay tuned for a future post to address this very issue!

    I'm glad you joined in the discussion. Thanks for your thoughts. ;-)

  9. I think that three times a week is the magic number. I recently stumbled upon this myself and for the past few weeks, that is the frequency at which I have been posting.

  10. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 15, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Hi there, waningwoman!

    Long time no hear from. ;-)Yep, it's a good target (3X) for many. I appreciate your time and feedback. Be well.

  11. Jennifer:
    I took the advice from a blogging friend and chose to post entries three times a week. If I have something special, I may do an extra entry.
    I prefer to email my commenters,if possible. I don't know why, it's just a habit I have developed.

  12. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 16, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Hi quietspirit,

    I appreciate your feedback. Sounds like you have a good plan going, and a wise "blogging friend". ;-)

  13. Totally agree with all those tips Jen. I think one of the most important ones is finding your way to your unique voice and then finding a way to consistently express your authenticity and sincerity to really help your readers. As you mentioned, there are sooooo many blogs out there and you have to break through the chatter. I think a great way to do that is to figure out what it really means to be "you" and then do that over and over again. There really is only one YOU:) Great post.

  14. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 17, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    Hi Sibyl,

    Great to "hear your voice" today. I always value your words of wisdom.


  15. I aimed to post three times a week on my blog but . . . I found it was too much for me to maintain. So I cut back to two times a week and, um, I'm still struggling! As for your other points on providing reader value and sticking to a theme, I am working on those -- not sure I am succeeding but I do try to ask myself whether I am adding anything to the universe with each post. Time will tell!

  16. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 19, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Hi Nihara,

    Blogging like many worthwhile pursuits takes a little trial and error. You can get there from here. :-)

  17. I agree, blogging requires a gameplan and you should be PASSIONATE about what you do. Your passion will bleed into your audience, and from there it will feed. Honestly, it's not hard for people to see when you love what you do! :)

  18. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 19, 2011 at 5:06 PM


    I definitely agree. Thanks for sharing this. :-)

  19. I agree. I just set up a calendar to help with the 'consistency' issue.
    Thanks for list.

  20. Jennifer Brown BanksJuly 23, 2011 at 5:10 AM

    Hi hideaheart,

    Welcome! It's a pleasure to have you here. Consistency is indeed crucial. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Mmmm, thanks for your post,

    It gives me some things to think about, making me wonder if people indeed just aren't that into my Blog(s),

    'Or that there just
    aren't enough people yet
    that actually did
    discover my Blog(s) already...?'

    That's why I like it when people write their Comments (or their - Replies - on comments) because even when they don't like any of my posts I like to know about it.

    I also usually don't delete negative comments, because when it's really negative I have trust in my readers to make their own judgements about it.

    This way such Conversations can help in getting a clear and honest picture about
    the likes and dislikes.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksMay 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      Thanks, H.P.!

    2. I indeed don't maintain a very specific blogging frequency, also because possibly currently I might not (yet) be able to provide enough take-away value for writers. (or might not (yet) have been discovered, or recognised as such)

      So maybe I am just not that into writing, and better put more of my attention on my other blogs.