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LEARNING CORNER

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The summer is starting to wind down quickly. Just take a look at all of the Back-to-School sales that are underway! When getting ready for a brand-new school year, life can become a little overwhelming over the course of the next few months. This is the precise time to dig into your blogging and allow this summer season springboard you into fall without losing readers. 

If you’re doing the following six things, you’ll probably lose a reader here or there, or goodness forbid, a slew of them.

1. Stop Writing: This is a given, but oh so easy to do. When you’re in the throes of summer and the back-to-school season it is tempting to neglect your blog. Nothing drives readers away faster than not updating your blog. We always maintain that if all else fails in your online world you’ll always have your blog. Don’t take it for granted and assume that you’re so great your readers will return when you’ve abandoned your blog for a spell. It just doesn’t happen that way. If you’re serious about your blog, treat it like your job and don’t fade away.

2. Going Too Commercial: If you are a personal, first-person blogger who doesn’t work with many brands and then all of a sudden you start running a lot of giveaways and writing sponsored posts your readership will resent that. There is great value in striking a balance between paid and editorial work. Even though it’s the back-to-school season and opportunities to work with brands are rife don’t go overboard if your readers aren’t used to branded conversations on your blog. Dip your toes in the brand stream. Don’t belly flop in.

3. Flipping the Script: If your readers are used to you espousing the virtues about indie companies, for example, and you start writing about all the money you’re going to save at big box retailers you’ll definitely lose readers. Have convictions and stick to them.

It is easy to justify a post even though it doesn’t fall in line with your core principles. Stay true to yourself and your readers in the face of opportunities no matter how big or lucrative.

4. Publishing Too Many Guest Posts: Yes, you have a ton of things to do, but don’t hand over your voice to a slew of guest contributors, especially the ones who "offer" you a post and fill it with follow links. Beware of those! A guest writer here and there this summer is fine, but remember your readers come to your blog to read you, not them!

5. Repeating Old Content: As with guest posts, rekindling old posts is not an effective way to keep the attention of your readers stoked. Blogging is a hard job. Coming up with new content is not easy! Always think about the next post and the next opportunity to share in a more creative way. You can do this!

6. Get Boring: Bring as much flair to your blog this summer as you do the rest of the year. In fact, this is the time to get most creative.

One thing readers love is getting a glimpse into the lives of others. It’s intriguing and fun to follow along. Take your readers along with you this summer and during back-to-school season. Blogging is all about storytelling. Set goals and tell compelling stories. Your readers will appreciate you for your efforts.

Remember your readers are just as busy as you are. Respect them with great writing and they will be with you for the long haul.

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