Don’t control the message
Your blog won’t succeed if oversanitize, overedit, and overspin your blog postings. Blogs are about sharing information — whatever that information is — not controlling it.
Don’t put your integrity at risk
Don’t push your creativity too far. Bloggers that don’t exist in real life, or that don’t have the experiences they claim to, aren’t appreciated in the blogosphere, which is exceptionally sensitive to deception. If you can’t use a real blogger, and let him or her blog about real information and events, rethink the whole blog idea.
Fake blogs are fictional blogs that you can use to get creative. You can create a story, as long all concerned realized that it’s fiction.
Don’t be defensive
If you start a blog, you will be criticized, and in a very public medium. Your strategy in dealing with criticism, warranted or not, is pretty simple: be informative, not defensive. Do the following:
Apologize for mistakes
You’ve probably noticed that staying mad at someone who makes a sincere apology is difficult. Acknowledging the problem instead of ignoring it — especially if you can also do something about it — gets noticed and respected.
Explain, but don’t make excuses, when mistakes do happen
Your readers will probably respond well to factual explanations of why something happened. Your explanations have a greater impact if you can talk about what you did to fix the issue or what you’re doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Readers do not appreciate excuses or blame-passing, especially if they think you’re trying to avoid taking responsibility for whatever the problem is. You can almost always defuse irritation with graciousness and an explanation of what happened, even in situations where you can’t actually fix the problem.
Acknowledge valid criticism
You’ll deserve some criticism, and you can do yourself and your readers a great service if you respond forthrightly to it. Let readers know you’re paying attention and responding. It is the best possible outcome they can expect from making criticism.
Besides, your readers know your products and services well — they may very well give you criticism that helps you improve what you’re doing and just maybe sell more of that better product or service as a result.
Don’t give scathing, vicious attackers the satisfaction
Trolls (commenters who post offensive feedback) and folks who just plain don’t like your company will find your blog. If they post abusive criticism that is more invective than informative, feel free to delete the comment and ban the user. No one benefits from remarks clearly intended to stir up trouble, but make sure the criticism isn’t valid before you get rid of the comment.
Don’t break your own rules
If you do adapt a set of standards or guidelines, be sure to stick to them, especially if you have made them public! Breaking your own rules is a fast way to lose the respect of your audience. Many bloggers resolve to:
- Be truthful and accurate.
- Delete comments only when they are spam or don’t contribute to the conversation.
- Make corrections and updates without materially changing the substance of the original blog posting.
- Respond promptly to comments and e-mails.
Don’t be greedy
Don't add all of revenue-generating functionalities to your blog, including advertising, affiliate program links, and donation requests. Carry all this too far, however, and your blog becomes a sales tool rather than a communication tool. You lose readers and you certainly won’t sell anything when you get carried away by the desire to make money with your blog. Don’t let the possibilities of the marketplace overwhelm your sense of serving the readers.
Don’t be scared to link
Links are a huge part of what makes your blog valuable to your readers — links to other blogs, news stories, resources on your company Web site, and even to your competition! The blogosphere is based on a network of linking and referrals. Some of the oldest blogs were nothing more than a collection of links that readers might find of use. In fact, many blogs are still a collection of links around a particular topic.
Don’t be afraid to send your readers to other Web sites — including your competitor; if you’re doing your job right, they will come back to you. If something your competitor posts on its Web site helps inform your reader, include the link. Ignoring the competition doesn’t make them go away!
Links add value and earn you points for being helpful to your readers. Plus they encourage other sites to link back to you and send you potential readers.
Don’t be afraid to try new things
If your traffic could be higher and your readers don’t seem enthusiastic about your blog, try something new! You generate conversation and attention when you do, even if the attempt doesn’t succeed.
Here are a few things you can try:
- Redesign your blog
Better yet, get your readers to help you redesign by contributing a new logo, a new name, vote on the color palette, and so on.
- Do a survey or quiz
People love to test their knowledge or compare their experiences with those of others. Ask them to weigh in, and don’t forget to show the results!
- Add a new technical tool you aren’t already using
If you haven’t already implemented a search tool, RSS feeds, or comments, these are logical places to start.
- Get a prominent member of your company or industry to be a guest blogger for a week
Don’t forget to promote the guest blogger before he or she begins posting so that your readers know to come to the site.
Don’t show off
Make sure that your blog displays expertise and intelligence, especially about your industry and business. But don’t let that become the purpose of the
blog. Avoid showing off. Never post something just to make yourself look smart, unique, well-read, or well-educated.
Let your knowledge and expertise show by choosing your words, topics, and links carefully. Never choose a topic solely because it makes you or your
company look good. A successful blogger puts the readers’ interests and needs first.
Don’t forget to ask for help
Blogs are a give and take, an ongoing conversation between bloggers and readers. If you’re wondering something, ask your readers! Blogs are a fast, inexpensive, and easy way to get feedback from people who know your company, products, and services very well.
Don’t take your blog too seriously
Have a little fun, and keep your sense of humor about you. Be funny. Everyone loves funny. Funny and informative is even better.
Source: Buzz Marketing with Blogs For Dummies