Whether a blog is new or old, sometimes it’s hard to get incredible results. As a new blog it can be especially challenging to grow an audience and make money, but taking the time to learn new skills (and we discuss many on our free webinar training) can pay off big time. We took the time to compile some of the biggest mistakes bloggers make to prevent others from making the same errors. Read over these mistakes carefully to improve blogging tactics and get the results a business craves.
You’re not writing with your audience in mind
It may sound like a no brainer to write with your audience in mind, but many writers make a mistake by assuming they know their readers/customers when they don’t. Take the time to understand your audience by observing which posts get the most traffic or if you’re selling products, which products are selling the most. Write about topics they would like to see as Hubspot recommends and you’ll help your brand grow tenfold.
Mistake 1: You think of ideas that only interest you.
As much as you might read and re-read your blog posts after you publish them, you’re not the only reader, or the intended reader.
When you start blogging, ideas will come to you at random times — in the shower, on a run, while on the phone with your mom. While the ideas may come at random moments, the ideas themselves should never be random. Just because it’s a good idea in general — or something that interests you personally — doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for your company.
Solution: Create blog posts that serve your larger company goals.
The reason you’re blogging is to solve problems for your audience and, ultimately, to grow your business. So, all of your blog post ideas should help serve those growth goals. They should have natural tie-ins to issues in your industry and address specific questions and concerns your prospects have.
Need help figuring out what those goals are and how to address them? Chat with your manager about the larger company goals, and then schedule a meeting with someone on the sales team to hear what questions they get asked most often. After both meetings, you should know which goals you need to achieve and have some ideas on how to achieve them.
You’re not doing any SEO
It’s a no-brainer to do SEO on your articles, so if you haven’t been doing it it’s about time you changed that! The Content Factory explains why SEO can really help your articles rank on Google and why it’s worth the time and energy to complete during every single blog post.
Some business owners liken search engine optimization to a mysterious oracle of knowledge only a select and privileged few can understand. “I need an SEO expert!,” business owners think. Far too often, they believe this expertise must come with an exorbitant price tag to be effective. Sadly, some SEO providers don’t do much (or anything) to dispel this myth.
Let’s be clear: SEO expertise is worth paying for in many cases.
Tidying up the technical bits that make your website play nice with Google, optimizing your website’s structure and creating a lucid keyword strategy are all valuable skills — and some are more art than science — but absolutely none of them are magic.
Whether you handle your own SEO endeavors or you pay someone (like us!) to manage them for you, you should make the effort to understand SEO.
Not being consistent
Consistency is also crucial as you build a successful blog that’s hopefully profitable. Social Media Examiner explains how to be consistent and why it’s so essential to a brand’s growth.
The single biggest mistake bloggers make is inconsistency, both in quality and in publication frequency. The tricky part is that these two elements of success often work as opposing forces.
The notion that you should blog “when you have something to say” makes sense on the surface, but unless you establish and adhere to a publication schedule or a level of frequency (daily, three times per week, etc.) it becomes VERY easy to eventually tell yourself, “well, I don’t REALLY have anything to say today, so I’ll just skip it.” That’s how your publication frequency drops from five per week to three to one to occasional blogging. The blogs that are successful over the long haul are those that make publishing routine, not based on daily inspiration.
But making publishing routine does not mean, “let’s just throw up a garbage post because I have committed to writing three per week.” Quality always trumps frequency (with the possible exception of SEO). Five mediocre posts per week will not get you as far as two outstanding posts per week.
That balance between the need to be consistently publishing and the need for consistent quality is the key to successful long-term blogging.
Jay Baer, author of the popular blog Convince & Convert and the book The Now Revolution.
Not taking the time to write well
Social Media Examiner, or more specifically Corina Mackay discusses how important it is to write well. No, you don’t have to be an expert, but you should check for grammatical errors (hopefully our articles are!) before you hit the publish button. It’s distracting to readers if they have a hard time reading the content, so make sure you do your best to write easy-to-read and concise articles.
A blogger’s objective is the same as any other writer: to find (and keep) readers. The more readers, the better. Having said this, there is one sure-fire way to turn off regular and potential readers: bad writing.
With the ease and accessibility of creating a blog nowadays, the importance of good writing in getting published has all but disappeared—online, at least. I cringe in disgust when I find typos in a $30 hardcover book from the bookstore, or a newspaper or journal article. Yet it’s not uncommon to find formatting, spelling and grammatical errors littered throughout blog posts and articles published online.
Not only do these mistakes make a post difficult and unpleasant to read, they make the point harder to get across, and ultimately leave the reader with a less-than-professional opinion of the blogger. Of course, good writing is more than grammatically correct sentences that have been spell-checked.
Good writing is concise, has a point to it and is accessible (in other words, easy to read and understand). But I would argue that half of the battle to gain readers comes down to simple, lazy mistakes that are easily fixed. Use spell-check; take time to research ideas, facts and concepts you’re not sure about; and most importantly, read over your work before posting. This can make a huge difference.
Corina Mackay, an entertainment-based social media manager and writer.
Expecting a response
The author on Written says that if you’re going to ask for a comment at the end of your blog post but not provide excellent content then why even bother asking? It doesn’t make sense to expect something when you’re giving your readers nothing in return. Take the time to write (and provide) readers with thought-provoking and helpful content that’ll make them want to come back and read more.
A Trite Reflection and Then Asking for a Comment – I get it when you ask questions at the end of blog posts in order to gather engagement. But if you’re going to ask a question, at least give the reader some content! Now, Seth Godin is someone who can pack a LOT of punch into a small blog post. Unless you can do the same, don’t offer just trite reflections followed by a “What do you think?” It’s your blog, not Facebook! The less resourceful of content that you provide to your target audience, the more they will tune you out.
You don’t have an editorial calendar
How do you expect to write excellent content and have a plan in place if you don’t have an editorial calendar? That’s just it; it’ll be challenging. That’s why The Content Factory recommends putting together an editorial calendar and sticking to it.
Everyone’s an expert on something. If you own a business, chances are you’ve got some pretty deep knowledge on more than one topic.
Your knowledge is a commodity that you can convert to revenue, but only if you take the time to plan how you deliver it to your readers.
Let’s use an example probably the majority of people can relate to — driving.
Imagine you own a business that sells information about driving, from buying a car to taking a cross country road trip.
If you’re a car buff or a gearhead, you already know how to write web content related to driving. When you think about it, there are literally thousands of potential topics about driving you could write about.
You could probably write a hundred posts about different car models and why one is better or safer or more affordable than another. You could write about the ideal cars for commuters, for city drivers or for families with kids.
Blogging about your expertise is a bit like driving
You could spend weeks writing about driving in various parts of the country, or in different types of weather. Entire sections of your blog could be devoted to cleaning and maintaining your vehicle.
Do you see how this could get overwhelming?
The thing is, nearly everyone drives, which means your potential audience numbers in the millions. Your blog could be a powerhouse of SEO juice, but not if you simply set up a site and start dumping info on it without a plan.
And this isn’t true just for driving. No matter what your business sells, you’re a source of useful information that people will pay money to possess. But you’ve got to deliver it in the right way.
Don’t make these blogging mistakes because you deserve to have a blog that succeeds and stays in profit. Learn some ways to make your online company take off during our free webinar training! Check out smart ways to leverage the web and target an audience that’ll help you make money online. Luckily we know precisely how to get you there.