7 common blogging mistakes

Clients often ask if blogging is something they should be doing. The simple answer is yes. As with anything however, it’s only worth doing if you do it properly.

First and foremost, let’s start with; ‘why blog?’

· Blogs are great for search engine optimisation (SEO)

· They drive traffic to your website

· They improve brand awareness

· They help to build trust as people begin to recognise you as an expert in your field

If you’re still not convinced…

· Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors compared to those who don’t

· B2C companies get on average, 88% more leads when they blog

· More than 60% of online consumers say they’ve made a purchase from a company as a direct result of reading a blogger's recommendation

· B2B marketers who blog have a 67% increase in lead generation compared to those who don't

No doubt you want to be one of those people who can create posts which engage their audience and encourage them to take action. Make a note of these common blogging mistakes – avoid them and you will be writing great posts in no time.  

Mistake one: trying to blog every day 

Why this is wrong:

· You won't have enough fresh content to keep people interested

· Researching, writing, editing and publishing a new blog post every day will get tiring very quickly

· You will end up posting content for the sake of it and probably won’t have time to think about whether or not you’re providing anything of value. Anyone who knows anything about SEO will tell you that Google favours quality over quantity

Do this instead:

· Post two to three really good quality blogs a week

· Be willing to dedicate a good three to four hours researching, writing and editing your blogs

Mistake two: your text is difficult to read 

Most of us have our phones on us all the time - we’re constantly checking our WhatsApp messages, replying to emails, scrolling through our social media feeds and reading news stories. This means that our attention spans are shorter than ever so bloggers have a matter of seconds to capture our interest.

· If your blog looks like one long page of text, readers are going to click off it immediately

· Even if your content is fantastic, if your presentation isn’t, people simply won’t read it

Do this instead:

· Break up your paragraphs by using headings. This helps your readers to find what they’re looking for or identify a point of interest almost immediately

· Keep paragraphs to a maximum of three to five sentences

· Try to keep sentences under 30 words

Mistake three: you’re writing purely for SEO

Why this is wrong:

· A human audience isn’t interested in reading a blog crammed full of keywords. Google can also penalise you for keyword stuffing  

· Remember, you're not writing exclusively for Google. A blog written purely for SEO purposes is unlikely to be interesting or engaging to a human audience

Do this instead:

· Provide content that adds value. If your blogs are creative and engaging, your search engine rankings will naturally improve because people will return to your site to read them

Mistake four: you’re complicating matters

You may think that using long words and throwing in as much industry terminology as you can is impressing your readers but the reality is, you’re turning them off. People skim through blogs which means they need to be easy to read and get to the point quickly.

· Long sentences and jargon do nothing but slow your readers down

· If people have to stop and think about every sentence they’ve read, chances are they’re going to give up a paragraph into your blog

Do this instead:

· Cut excess words from your posts and replace long words with simple ones

· Make your posts as easy to read as possible – this means writing in plain English. Imagine you’re writing for a tabloid newspaper, not a broadsheet

Mistake five: you’re not showing your personality

Why this is wrong:

· Your posts will sound robotic

· It’s almost impossible to stand out from all the other blogs out there

· People will get bored quickly

· You’re not adding value to your posts

Try this instead:

· Write topics from a fresh perspective

· Share your personal experiences

· Don’t be afraid to use a bit of humour

· Develop your own blogging voice

· Let your audience get to know you as a person, not a company. Your personality and experiences are what makes you unique. Your readers don’t just come back for more useful tips, they engage with you because of who you are

Mistake six: you’re not being sociable

The best way to get your blogs read is to shout about them on social media – this is key to promoting your blogs and the best bit is, it’s free. 

If you’re not being sociable:

· You have no way of growing your audience

· If someone has taken the time to comment and you ignore them, you can guarantee they won’t bother in future

Do this instead:

· Always reply to comments. By doing this, you’re opening a dialogue which will lead to a conversation. When other people see this exchange, they’re more likely to start commenting as well

· Answer people’s questions. This is a great way to establish your expertise and share some knowledge

· Take the time to build up your social media following. The bigger your audience, the more readers you will have and your engagement levels should naturally increase

· Use your online conversations for blogging inspiration. If people keep asking the same questions, you couldn’t ask for a better topic for your next post

· Allow people to comment on your blogs on your website

· Add social sharing options to your blog. The more people share your content, the bigger your audience. The easier it is for people to share your posts, the more likely they are to do it

Mistake seven: you’re not using Analytics

Without analytics data, you’re playing an unnecessary guessing game. Information about what your visitors are reading and how they’re finding you is easily available to you and you should be utilising it.

If you’re not using analytics:

· You can’t possibly know which of your blogs are performing well and which aren’t

· You have no way of knowing how people are finding your posts

· You could be wasting your time blogging about topics that people have no interest in

· You could be missing out on topics that your audience really wants to hear about

Try this instead:

· I personally love Google Analytics. It's free, it’s easy enough for beginners to use and it provides an in-depth analysis of what people are doing on your site and what’s leading to those all-important conversions

· Using Google Analytics, produce a monthly report so you know exactly what’s happening on your site. Look at how many visitors you’re getting, how long people are spending on your site, which pages people are looking at, bounce rates, keywords and how people are finding your site

If you would like help with your blogging, please don’t hesitate to contact me – I’m always more than happy to help. 

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