by Shannon Milholland, Social Media Director
About six months in someone who found out about my speaking and writing ministry asked me if I was similar to a well-known national speaker. "No," I replied, "She's an example of how to do things right, whereas, I am an example of how to not do things wrong."
My journey into blogging was no different. I made many blunders. Today you are the beneficiary. Here's what NOT to do when starting your blog:
Don't Comment Back
I felt weird when someone commented on my blog. It seemed like if I replied to their praise, I was being egotistical or egocentric. I didn't reply and they stopped commenting.
Don't Read Trade Articles
Despite my attempt at humility through lack of comments, I displayed a rare streak of egotism by not bothering to learn anything about blogging. When I finally started reading articles, like the ones found in Southern Writers Magazine (shameless self-promotion warning), I learned more in a few hours than I had in months of blogging.
Don't Partner with Others
Why in the world would I need to feature other people's work on my blog? How would I ever get read if I was busy highlighting someone else's work? I did all the blogging myself and quickly exhausted my sphere of influence. I had few documented readers I didn't have a personal relationship with. When I began to network and partner with author bloggers, my readership grew exponentially.
Don't Read and Comment on Other Blogs
I barely had enough time to write my own blog. Why would I spend the precious moments I had browsing someone else's site? I didn't read anyone else's blog and they didn't read mine. When I started reading other blogs, I got an excellent idea about once a week. It may be a layout enhancement or a social media utilization but ideas rapidly morphed into improvements. Improvements led to more readers.
When I started blogging, I was a real Bozo. I fell on my face several times. The result is several bloody noses. With each crash, I learned a lesson. Eventually this Bozo found a nose - a "read" one.