Top Three Mistakes To Avoid In BloggingTop Three Mistakes To Avoid In Blogging
By Thomas Howland
Let’s take a look at some of the misconceptions that people have about Blogging and place them in a more realistic context. Some of these unrealistic expectations include the following:
Little To No Work Involved – This may come about from the idea that there is little physical labor or that you are working in a virtual environment using the power of the Internet. However, as any business owner will tell you, running your own business always takes a lot of work to start and much more work to maintain. If you are getting into Blogging to make money, consider it a full-time job to start.
It’s Easy Money – Making money on the Internet is easier than doing manual labor. However, the number of hours you have to devote to learn the ins and outs is not limited to a 40-hour work week. Can you make easy money? Yes, but often this takes years of steady progress before you realize that dream.
Anyone Can Do It – Anyone can hop online and build a blog, but it’s not as simple as writing and attracting an audience. You will want to take the role of learner in this endeavor and seek to upgrade your skills and knowledge to exploit the power of the Internet. It’s not a birthright that everyone has just waiting to be put to use. You have to make a conscious decision to work at it and to keep learning.
You Can Make Tons Of Money In One Shot – It may come as a surprise to many people that the “tons of money” actually comes from a number of diverse online ventures. You probably won’t make tons of money on just one blog, although that does occasionally happen. Instead, if you concentrate on building multiple income streams from a variety of websites, products, and services, you’ll have a much better chance of striking it rich later on.
Not Enough Research Before Starting:
If people fall prey to any of the unrealistic expectations we’ve discussed, the outcome is that they don’t spend enough time researching and planning their online activities to make them a success. Instead, they’ll think it’s just a matter of slapping a website up and putting a shopping cart on it to get orders. That couldn’t be the furthest thing from the truth. You have to start by knowing what niches are hot online and how you plan on attracting people to your site. Even if you managed to get a huge traffic stream, do you know enough to convert those visitors into leads or customers? This is where people fail miserably when they could have improved the chances of success simply by taking some extra time upfront to research and learn how to implement a successful online business.
What Is Your Hot Niche?
Typically, people can get carried away with a specific, personal passion that they instantly focus all their energies on marketing it, thinking that customers will be equally enthralled with this topic. That’s a poor way to establish a business online, especially with so much information online about what people are actually buying, searching for, or talking about. Why not market something that everyone already has an interest in and that don’t need to be convinced to buy?
One thing to remember when working out what niche you want to target is that they can be dependent on world events. Right now, the recession has made some niches more important than others. Finance is always a hot niche, but the influence of the recession means that there is less interest in the stock market and housing and more interest in debt management and consolidation. Or, you might find a sub-niche like “gold mining stocks,” which weren’t very popular before the recession, but that now have numerous investors flocking to them.
Research Using Online Tools
Use online tools like Google Keyword Analyzer to find out what keywords, and thus niches, are being searched currently. Go to places like Digg.com or Technorati.com to find out what topic is tops on everyone’s mind right now. Go to eBay.com or Amazon.com and look through their top sellers. This will give you great ideas on what is hot and easily marketable, even before you take the time to develop a website or open a blog, saving you tons of time and heartache down the road.
Fuzzy branding can apply to multiple aspects of your online business. It can be as obvious as a bad domain name or it can even be how poorly you’ve designed the site. It’s any fault in your site that is an Internet faux pas that makes it difficult for your visitors to associate your name with the brand of product or service you’re offering. Instead, they’re left scratching their heads trying to figure out what your site is all about.
Domain Names Are Very Important
After you have your niche in mind, it’s time to start getting the elements of your website together. You will have to register a domain name and start to think about the organization and branding of your site. If you are selling fishhooks online, you want to try to include that in your domain name somehow. A good domain name is short, descriptive, and tells the customer in a few words what your business is all about. Obviously, many domain names have already been bought, leaving you less choice on what to name your site. If you must pay someone else for a name, be sure it is a very well branded name that is going to stick with your business for a while.
Is Your Home Page Clear And Concise?
Most people will log into your top-level domain first, meaning the home page. If this is cluttered with bright fonts, a disorganized menu, a bizarre or confusing design, and copy that doesn’t equate to your business, you are going to have a number of people leaving as quickly as they showed up. The idea is to get people interested in your site enough to browse it some more. Make your home page as clear, concise, and descriptive as possible.
The look and feel of the website should also reflect the brand or image you are trying to associate with your business. An office supply website will look more professional, with muted colors in blue, gray, or black, and be highly organized. A website for web scooters might try to attract a younger, funnier crowd by providing colorful snapshots of scooters and a fun domain name.
Pay Attention To Content
Next comes content. In order for people to find your site, your content should be optimized for major search engines, using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. It should also be written with an eye for headlines, white space, lists, and other sales copy techniques that make it easy for someone visiting to briefly scan your copy and to pick up the most salient points about your products and services.
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