This week, we've discussed rookie mistakes on Facebook, and on Twitter. Now, let's talk about some of the mistakes we all need to try to avoid when starting a new blog. Here are some things NOT to do:
Start a blog because you need to "express yourself." There are better ways to express yourself - keep a (non-public) journal, get a therapist, call a friend...do anything but start a blog. Yes, blogging can be a good form of self expression, as long as the self-expression is a by-product of your posting. But please, please, please have a different primary focus and goal in mind for the blog (e.g., sharing photos, entertaining, promoting your business, etc.). Otherwise, you'll be writing to your family and friends who will feel the need, mostly out of guilt, to visit and comment, and pretty soon even you will be bored with you.
Log in and start decorating the sidebars of your blog. Just don't do it. For more info, see Ditch the Sidebar Flair! and the WebRev archive on "Page Rank."
Start a Blogroll. If you're just now starting a blog, you've missed the peak of that trend - just thank your lucky stars, and don't do it! For more information, see Blogrolls...people are still doing that?!
Ignore the other bloggers in your niche. For tips and tricks on how to avoid this, see our series on Blogging Law and Etiquette.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.