Just got sent the (edited) below from Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (their link below).
I've edited what they have to say, as IMHO they got most of it right... (my comments in italics).
The Biggest Mistakes Bloggers Make
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Golden Rules of Blogging
1) Chose between self-hosting and letting someone else host your blog. Why? Because the idea behind blogging is getting traffic, momentum, exposure and all the great benefits of blogging. If you don't have your own URL and your identity, you're really only using half of your blogging ability. Also, if you utilize a blog platform like, let's say Wordpress, and you are blogging on something controversial they can pull you if they don't like it. Now they don't often do this but it has happened. Yes, it's free and it's great. You can still use the blogging software but incorporate it and host it on your own URL. However, you are going to pay for some big bandwidth right off the bat - or pretty soon, whenever you get astonishingly popular. I've also seen blogs shut down because they exceeded their bandwidth quote. And - you can get ample links to your site(s) from other-hosted blogs. My personal advice: Set it up one way or the other and then don't change it. When you have an established blog, it builds your credibility. But always link your blog posts to your site - or several.
2) Your blog is like everyone else's blog. A friend of mine just bought a silver Toyota Corolla. Great car, but it's nondescript. Not that there's anything wrong with being nondescript, but if you apply the same principles to your blog you'll vanish in cyberspace. Get a custom blog or customize your blog somehow. Don't settle for what the blogging service gives you (standard templates and settings), create your own, unique message and look of your blog. If you don't have the skill to do this on your own hire someone, it'll be worth whatever you pay and you don't have to pay much. Most highly-custom blogs cost less than $2,000. Just do it yourself. Blogs are a constant work in progress. And the learning curve of customizing you blog will help you in building your websites. Blogger's recent update makes it very, very simple to tweak your look. And Wordpress (if you host your own or not) has some great plug-ins.
3) You don't allow people to post or comment on your blog. All comments and posting should be welcome. Comments mean someone's *actually* reading your blog and thinks enough of it to offer a comment. Then when folks do comment, respond back and let them know you appreciate them taking time to read your blog. But-- make sure you set it up to approve all comments. You don't want a bunch of trash-talk wrecking your blog, or spamming it. When you get really big, you won't have time to wade through all these approvals - but that is another step to take. Check out Instapundit's policies for that size.
4) There's a saying about chefs that goes: even the best chefs eat at other restaurants. Why do they do this? They want to know what the competition is doing. The message here is: read other blogs in your genre. Get to know these bloggers, post on their sites and invite them to blog on yours. Not only will you be able to keep up with the 'chatter' out there on your topic, but it's a great way to network. And the commenting on others' blogs should link back to your own site or at least your profile. But budget your time on this. Don't spend your entire week chit-chatting when you should be promoting your book.
5) How you say it is almost as important as what you say. Don't talk down to people, blogs are conversational - as though you were talking to your reader over a latte. And please, don't talk about yourself. Yes, you can talk about what you're doing, share your life (as long as it relates to your topic) but if you do it all the time it will get boring. It's ok to talk about your book, your book signing, or what you're up to - just remember it needs to be about your reader. Help them, guide them, offer them advice, insight and make your blog worth reading. Very important. All marketing is a conversation. Most advertising is trash, because it's only one-way. See Cluetrain Manifesto.
Blogging can be fun and certainly a great way to build your audience. By following these simple rules you'll not only be a better blogger, but be able to use this astonishingly easy platform to its greatest advantage.
Is Social Media a Fad?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~No! This is just one of the myths that some people have about social media.
Let me share some statistics with you:
* 48% of business leaders spend 2-5 hours a week using social media tools to generate leads (!) and find new clients (Source: socialmediaiq.com)
If you're an author, speaker or entrepreneur, you can't afford to dismiss social media any longer. Your customers are using Facebook, YouTube, wikis, blogs, podcasts and other social media tools to talk about your products and services. (And if you've been following this blog, you'll see that social bookmarking will rocket your blog or site to the top of the search engine rankings within - literally - minutes!)
Tip offered by Susan Gilbert, AME's Search Engine Marketing Expert and Web 2.0 company owner, http://www.JoomlaJump.com, which provides Social Networking websites and services.
Why Search Engines May Not Be Good For Searches
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~With so many web sites, blog entries, podcasts, ezines, and articles proliferating the Internet it's hard to find what you want. The same is true for search engines. I don't know if you've noticed this but search engines seem more and more inclined to pull up junk before it pulls up the "good stuff."
The reason for this is that even a search engine as thorough as, let's say, Google, struggles to find the right stuff the first time around. That's why social bookmarking is on the rise. Social bookmarking is a way of creating your own people-powered search engine. By marking your blog posts, articles, or web pages using Digg, del.icio.us, Stumbled Upon or the over thirty other social bookmarking sites, you're essentially giving your stuff a better chance to be found.
Recent studies have showed that instead of heading to their favorite search engines, many consumers are now going to their favorite social bookmarking site to find the things they need. So while I don't recommend that you overlook search engine marketing, you might want to consider becoming more social, a la social bookmarking.
You can social bookmark each page of your web site and each blog post. If you archive articles on your site, bookmark those as well!(I've read reports that Google is working to set their robots to auto-index all changes - but for now, blogs and social bookmarking sites have priority. This is the apparent way the Internet is changing - we are reverting to our social roots.)
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Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com
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