New Blogger Stumbling Points


The other day I found a great post at Mashable discussing common blogging mistakes that businesses make when setting up a blog.  The points discussed could actually apply to any type of blog especially genealogy blogs and should serve as touchstones as to what not to do.  Here are my variations on those same points:

  • Don’t Recycle Press Releases.  Most genealogy bloggers are on the same mailing lists with genealogy-related vendors and companies.  If you are just starting out with your blog, realize that most of the more established genealogy blogs may already have posted the same information – verbatim.  A better idea: if you have personal experience with the product or event, add your opinion or take on it.  Readers often like to see how others are reacting to the information.
  • Blog Regularly.  If you want to build a loyal readership, make sure you have at least three new posts each week.  This can be a challenge but the Daily Blogging Prompts provided here at GeneaBloggers can make it easy to create new content.  Also leverage the concept of an Editorial Calendar to help plan content weeks and even months in advance.
  • Allow Comments.  Blogging can really only be considered a social media tool if you enable ways for readers to converse with you.  Some new bloggers are afraid of spam comments or inappropriate comments.  Most of the major blogging platforms have ways for you to keep comments from being published until you review them.  See Creating a Comment Moderation Policy.
  • Highlight Great Content.  One built in feature of blogging is to have the latest post appear at the top of the page.  But if you have posts which generated lots of comments or that readers find useful, create a “best of” list in your sidebar.  New visitors will gravitate to those posts and get a better idea of the type of information to be found at your blog.
  • Go Slow and Stay In The Race.  Good blogs are not built overnight nor do good blogs gain lots of readers in an instant.  Provide consistent and interesting content and you’ll gain new readers gradually plus you’ll keep your loyal readers interested.

Top 5 Business Blogging Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (via Mashable)

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

5 thoughts on “New Blogger Stumbling Points

  1. “Good blogs are not built overnight…”
    and good bloggers aren’t born in a day.
    I think that for most of us it takes months and months of writing and READING, READING, READING other blogs to develop our own consistent “blog voices”.
    but it’s hard to be patient during those first few months!
    Evelyn in Montreal

  2. Thanks for the tips. I’ve been blogging almost 11 months now but still feel new to Blogging. In the past few months I haven’t had a lot of time to put together stories for my blog and have used the Daily Blogging Themes. I don’t want to stop blogging so the Blogging Themes are very helpful.

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