We all know someone who rolls their eyes at the mention of the word ‘blogger’. A lot of people may be of the opinion that blogging is pointless or that they are above such a millennial-centric trend or some people might even think that writing blogs is easy and that anyone can do it. In actual fact, these assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth. HubSpot’s Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2019 states that marketers who prioritise blogging are 13x more likely to have a positive ROI. However, blogging can be difficult, and almost no one gets it right the first time. Below are some common blogging mistakes that you should avoid:
1) Your Writing is too Formal
Your blog should not read like a news report or a grant application or like your English coursework from high school. A blog should be interesting and effortless- if the reader has to work to understand your point or if your blog is full of Jargon, they’ll get bored and hit that back button.
Top tip: Try writing a few sentences exactly as you would say them if you were chatting with your mates, including slang and contractions. We don’t necessarily recommend writing your blogs entirely like this, but it’s an interesting exercise that gives you an idea of the more conversational tone that you should be using.
2) You Only Write Blogs That interest You
Just to clarify, we're not saying that you should only write blogs about topics that you find boring. But what you do need to do, is consider the consumer’s interests above your own. You might find your blog fascinating but at the end of the day, you’re not the intended reader. Blogs should relate to your product/service and naturally tie in to your industry. The more you blog, the more you will find ideas and topics randomly popping into your head and while the timing is random, the content shouldn’t be.
Top Tip: Before you write a blog, ask yourself two questions:
- What problem will this blog solve for your audience?
- Will this blog contribute to the growth of my company?
If you can give clear answers to these two questions then chances are, your blog will be an effective one.
3) You are not Blogging Consistently
If you are blogging sporadically, simply posting when you feel like it or when you randomly have an idea, then you’re doing it wrong. When you blog, you become an authority on your industry and provide a constant source of information and content to consumers, therefore creating a bond with your readers. Inconsistent blogging has the opposite effect as you create an impression that your company is unreliable, and consumers will quickly lose interest without any new content to enjoy.
Google also favours those companies who blog consistently. Below is a graph showing the results of a study conducted by HubSpot on the impact of blog frequency and quantity:
Companies who published 16+ blogs per month had 3.5x more traffic than those who blogged less than 4 times a month.
- In order to help maintain a steady stream of blogs, you can even update and re-post old blogs. Read our blog, ‘How to Spice Up Old Blog Posts to Increase Traffic’ and learn more about re-posting blogs.
- Use a blog calendar- and stick to it! Schedule and publish your blogs consistently and regularly. Write your blogs in advance when possible and plan your topics. You can even use Google Calendar as your blog editorial calendar:
4) Your Topics aren’t Specific Enough
When you begin blogging it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to write a blog which covers too large a topic. For example, trying to write a blog named, ‘Best Social Media Practices’ would be far too difficult since there are so many complex variables within the topic. Best social media practices for who? What are you trying to achieve with these social media practices? Which social media platforms are we talking about here? You’re never going to cover all of these aspects in one blog- not without putting your reader to sleep anyways. Something like, ‘5 Best Marketing Practices on Instagram’ is much more achievable and likely to engage your audience.
Top Tip: Use this Blog Ideas Generator to come up with concise and effective blog topics for your business
5) You Aren’t Including Data or Research
Sticking with social media related examples, imagine you were writing a blog entitled, ‘How to Create a Facebook Marketing Strategy’. Below are two variations on a sentence:
- “It seems as though people use Facebook more than any other social media platform.”
- “With 2.234 billion users, Facebook is by far the most popular social media app.”
Which sentence do you find more convincing? Obviously, the second one. Using data and research in your blog makes your argument more compelling and credible.
6) You aren’t Editing your Blogs
Even the most accomplished writers need to edit and proofread their work. Why put all of that effort in if you’re going to give up at the last hurdle? A silly typo or spelling mistake might be all that it takes for a consumer to form a negative opinion of your brand. Your blog is representative of your company values and practices, so make sure that you are projecting an image that aligns with your brand.
- After you’ve finished the draft of your blog, walk away from your computer for at least 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much of a fresh perspective a short break can give you.
- Read your blog out loud. This will give you real insight into the rhythm and syntax of your blog. What made sense in your head may not have translated onto the page that well.
- Try reading your blog backwards. This will help to flag any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.
If you really want to nail your blogging strategy, read our article on ‘How to Amplify Your Blog Content’. Are you thinking of starting a blog for your business? Are you already blogging? By becoming aware of these 6 common blogging mistakes and solutions, you can get the edge on your competitor, increase your website traffic and boost the growth of your company!