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.
© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee