Publishing Content Online – Which Mistakes Do You Make?

Publishing Content OnlineJust now before I started writing the title for this post, I forced myself to slow down a bit and thought about publishing content online. Not that I could not sit down and start writing immediately but there’s a thought that really disturbed me.

You see, nowadays, people are always on the move. Even when they are about to sleep, their mind is still wandering around. If you are passionate about your business, that may even become a ritual before you fall asleep.

So what was I wondering? The title might have given you a hint already but let me elaborate.

As I looked around blogs around the industry, I couldn’t help but cringed. How would people spend so much time in their life on these crap? I mean, everywhere I see nowadays, I see people generate (with automated software) low quality content.

They won’t even take a look at what the software produces, but they want to shove it down other people’s throat and run away with the money. Worse still, I believe some of them are really nice people.

Here’s the thing. Those poeple just didn’t know how to do it and at the same time they found some overaggressive marketers who insist that it is “the” way to make money online. I also know a few successful marketers who invented one blackhat technique after another. Once the old technique stopped working, they just jumped ship. Easy. The damage is not their responsibility.

There will be people who clean up the mess — just not at the marketers’ cost.

But marketers should know better, right?

Avoiding Online Publishing Blunders

Well, before I continue, let us get into the meat of the matter. It is worth it to spend some time to let these sink in. If nothing else, at least it will save you hundreds of hours doing or fixing the mistakes.

Believe me, in your way to build and grow your blog, you will eventually face some of these.

1. Expect overnight success

I have said it at least ten times, but it really is worth repeating. If you start with this mindset, stop it. Stop wasting the time, effort and money.

Rather than getting disappointed a few days later, take my advice. Go to the nearest Starbucks and treat yourself a cup of coffee from your hosting money. You will get nothing or a cup of coffee.

Well, not exactly true. You’ll probably make some money but your life is always about staying on the edge. Your enemy is every web site owner. Or Google. You are ashamed to show people your sites. And you keep worrying when people will find out your tricks and suddenly money stops flowing in.

You see, blogging is a publishing venture. If that scares you, it’s a good thing. Either you have to spend time working on it and produce content every day, or hire others to do it for you. There is no other way to get around this.

Of course, you can learn to become better of that or find ways to re-purpose content from other resources, but that’s a topic of another post.

2. Targeting the wrong audience

I admit it. Sometimes there is an urge to blog about something else that you are interested in that is not in any way related to the blog.

You want to share the passion, but the audience doesn’t care. They come to get specific information, and perhaps a bit of a story about you and your experience. That’s the relationship part of it.

But don’t think for a moment they will enjoy philately in a fishing blog as much as you do. The audience is generally forgiving, but do it every day and you will soon get some pretty nasty comments and unsubscribes.

3. Inaccurate information

Blogger acts as a filter between the overabundance of information and the audience. It is your responsibility to deliver accurate information.

Don’t get me wrong. Your audience may as well accept a few mistakes in your data but you should do your homework. When you quote something, make sure you credit the right person.

Do your own research. Readers depend on you in delivering accurate information. After all, they have trusted you with that, so don’t put them in dismay.

4. Focusing on technology

Technology is there to make your life easy. If you feel that in some ways it slows you down, you should seek for a better alternative.

I choose WordPress, for instance, because it lets me focus the majority of my time on content instead of design, getting the layout consistent, creating an archive of my content, etc.

With a blog, they are all handled for you automatically. No matter how great is a technology, no matter how much you admire it, don’t spend too much time on it. Unless, of course, your business revolves around mastering the technology.

Get the work done first. In blogging, you want to get your content out and that’s it. Find others to help you if you need design or do initial SEO related work for your template. Tinkering with technologies lets you feel in motion, but you actually get something in lower priority done.

Outsource or hire others, or learn to do things quickly. Don’t try to figure it out yourself.

5. Thinking as far as your next post

Some bloggers are always in the pursuit of the next post. If you are one of them, it is time to stop and really think about it. You need a plan for at least one or two years in the future.

Don’t fall into the trap of pursuing the deadline. The process may look like this. Write a post. Wait and see if there are people who come, consume and like what they have to say.

If there at least some responses, or people are clicking on ads, they will write another post.

Wrong. That is a surefire way to kill your blog.

Bloggers who want to build a business around their blogs should use a blog to get traffic, build expert status and foster community around it. A post is just part of the process. A post may be part of the product that you create in the future. But without product creation in mind, you can easily lose focus and quit because of a small block.

How do you fix this? Read my other posts about web content strategy and blog editorial calendar.

Closing Words

There is more than one way to build a blog, but some of them are not going to benefit you in the long run. Others are complete waste of time. They could even be costly.

Among those blunders, I want to emphasize on the first point.

If this post successfully moves you into making a contribution in publishing content online, then I consider the time I spend on writing this is worth it.

People start new web sites at an astonishing rate. But websites fail as quickly. Not in a few years, or in a few months. Some people abandon it within the first few days or weeks.

To beat the odds, you need to do it right and avoid making the mistakes.

For most people, it is all about money. You know better now. As you make a difference in people’s life, money will follow. I firmly believe that.

You too can make a difference to other people’s life, one at time, through your blog. I bet that will make you feel good about blogging and set a whole new direction about online publishing.

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