Writing a blog post, formatting it and sharing it takes a lot of time. You write for a reason, right? You might want to increase the visits to your website and, thus, also increase your sales or you just want to boost your personal brand. Everything we do has a purpose, but there are some rookie mistakes many new bloggers make. They waste their time on low-quality articles that aren’t interesting and don’t generate any results. And what’s even worse, they waste the time of their readers, too. You don’t want to do that, right? Then avoid these common mistakes at any cost!
1. You have no idea who your audience is
In our blog posts and in our work as e-commerce marketers, we pay a great deal of attention to our buyer’s persona. Based on research and our previous experience, we create a profile (or a few profiles) of fictional characters that represent different target groups. Don’t think that you’re writing for everyone. You need to choose a segment that is interesting for you and your business and then create content and products that will solve a specific problem of your targeted audience. While writing, use their language, focus on their interests and on their problems.
2. You believe that people want to hear about you
While stories at the beginning of your blog posts can definitely engage your readers, you have to keep in mind that they don’t really want to read about you too much. Well, unless you have a strong personal brand and people look up to you or if you’re some sort of a superstar. Anyway, don’t bother people with your personal stories and thoughts. Give them value. That’s the reason why they clicked on your blog post in the first place. You can reveal your personality with your style, wit, and short engaging story. Just don’t be too self-indulgent.
3. You write purely for SEO purposes
Don’t do it! Just don’t! Even Google is tired of it. I’ve been recently hiring bloggers for our agency and I received a lot of portfolios. Some of them almost made me cry. Believe me, Google is not stupid and your keyword rich article won’t bring you more visits to your website. Do you know why? Because people type questions into Google and they need an answer. Logically, you have to write for human beings, not for Google. Besides, you are building a community of readers who need to be engaged enough to want to come back for another article. Nobody will come for dry SEO article. Nobody!
4. You use language that is too difficult
Do you remember the first point here? Unless your audience is made out of professors or academics in a specific field of science that you write about, forget all the technical terms and simplify your language. Use the language of your audience. If your language is too complicated, it doesn’t make you a better writer or a bigger expert. It will slow down your readers and they might lose their focus. Voilá, you just lost them.
Even if you’re using simple English, don’t make your sentences too long and complex. People will need to spend more time analyzing your sentences and that’s something nobody will bother with. Short sentences will give your articles a fresh feel, speed, and juice.
5. You either don’t write consistently or believe that you have to publish daily
Neither of these extremes is good. You always need to write consistently, else your audience won’t know when to expect another piece or if they should actually expect anything at all. At the same time, you really don’t have to publish something every day. It might sound confusing. What you should do is establish a pace that fits you, your business and your time. Publishing daily just for the sake of publishing something will lead you straight towards a burnout or a loss of interest, not to mention that your articles might just suck if you don’t enjoy writing them.
6. Your articles have no purpose
In the introduction of this blog post, I wrote that everything we do has a purpose. You have a reason why you write. Or maybe you think you do, but you really don’t. Some people create an idea out of the thin air and just write about it. The truth is that the internet really doesn’t need your random new article that essentially says nothing. You always want to create something that has value for someone and helps you to achieve a goal. Think about the purpose first, then write.
7. Your articles lack structure
Without a set structure. it’s very easy to get lost in your thoughts. Just create a basic structure for your article before you start writing and then follow or edit it as you go. A structure helps you to get from point A to point B, from the problem to the solution or, better said, to the conclusion? Remember, you don’t want to get lost in your own article and neither do your readers. A good structure helps them follow you article faster and also helps them quickly evaluate if it makes sense for them to read it or not.
8. You completely skip editing
Even the best writers have to edit their work and they sometimes have a bunch of editors who will proofread it after them. If you feel exhausted after you ‘gave birth’ to your masterpiece just let it rest for some time and then read it over. You will be surprised how many mistakes you find. Misspellings and grammatical or stylistics errors are common. You might even find out that you completely lost your point and need to rewrite the whole thing. Always give your articles always a day to cool down. They’ll become much better, I promise.
Another mistake just came to my mind. Don’t edit while you’re writing. It will slow you down a lot and you might never finish your article. Write as it comes to your mind as if you’re talking to your imaginary friend (client, customer, whoever you choose). Edit later, on the next day.
Use your blog wisely. It might help you gain trust, build your brand, and generate leads. But it can also be a boring place somewhere on your website that nobody ever visits. Not even Google bots. The choice is yours.