You may already know that having a blog is essential for your business in many ways. However, not every blog every blog will be able to generate money.
If you’re noticing that you’re putting in the effort and developing blog content but not seeing any return on your investment, then it’s possible that you’re making some blogging mistakes.
9 Common Blogging Mistakes
1. You’re Not Writing For Your Target Audience
There are two things that you may be doing wrong: writing for everyone or writing for yourself.
If you’re doing the former, your writing risks being generic and bland. Therefore, it will not be able to emotionally engage your audience. If you’re trying to please everyone, you risk being noticed by no one. The other extreme is writing only for (or about) yourself. There can be a place for that because it shows your personality and helps your audience get to know you better.
However, it can’t be the only content that you share. Because, ultimately, it’s not about you, but about what your audience needs.
Solution: Define Your Target Audience
You need to understand who your target audience is, what they do, what problems and challenges they face. On most importantly – how you can help them to solve their problems and overcome their challenges. Once you know this, that’s what you should be basing your blog content on.
You should keep your target audience in mind not only when deciding what to write about, but also when writing. Will your audience understand jargon? Or will they prefer simpler terms? Would they like you to be serious or prefer jokes here and there? Can you reference in your writing something that they like or find important?
All this will make your audience feel as if you’re writing for them. Consequently, it will make it easier for them to connect with you on a more personal level. And that’s always a good foundation for establishing a business relationship.
2. Your Blog Posts Do Not Provide Value
Your blog posts can’t be just about anything. And especially – not just speaking about your product or service. They need to somehow better the lives of your target audience.
Modern humans are driven by information and want to learn. They don’t want to be told what they need to buy. They want to hear how and why they can solve their problems on their own.
Solution: Provide Valuable Information
It may feel like a waste of time and resources to show your potential customers how to solve problems by themselves. Isn’t that giving out valuable information for free when you can charge a price for it?
Yes, it is. And many indeed will simply consume your information for free and never buy from you.
But, there’s a reason for why you should still do it.
People who are going to purchase from you won’t do it simply because you have your offerings listed on your website or throw an ad at them. But they will purchase from you because they trust you.
You don’t have to give away all the information you know. Provide small portions of simple digestible and practical information that people who do not have your expertise could use. Think about it as a preview into what your potential customers will be getting if they do decide to purchase from you.
3. You’re Trying To Be Too Original
I’m not telling you to plagiarize. Never ever do that. That would be one of the ultimate blogging mistakes that would get you in legal trouble. Make sure your content is unique and run it through a plagiarism checker to be certain.
However, if you’re trying to be too original and esoteric, you risk not being understood by your audience. That is if they can even find you. So, if you’re too original with your ideas, there’s a risk that no one is searching for such information online. And if they are not searching or it, there is no way that they will be able to find it.
Solution: Write About What Your Target Audience is Looking For
When creating your blog content, keep in mind what your audience will be looking for in search engines. You can use different keyword tools such as the Google Keyword Planner to identify those.
Next, research the content on your competitor’s websites. Then, don’t try to create blog posts that are radically different, but instead – ones that are better. If they provide 5 tips, provide 10. If they describe a solution in one paragraph, go deeper and describe it in two. If their tips are outdated, provide more modern ones.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Just make a better one. It will not only provide more value to your audience but will also make coming up with new article ideas much easier.
4. You’re Not Planning Your Posts
Are you sitting down and just writing what you come up with? Well… it does work for some. Not for the majority though. You risk turning your blog posts into a disorganized brain dump. Not the best way to attract an audience that is looking for quality information.
Solution: Outline Your Blog Posts Before Writing Them
Before you dive into writing, outline your posts first. Do some research online, look at what your competitors are writing about, and list your ideas. Make sure you include an introduction and a conclusion to your articles.
Then, you can simply determine how long you want your blog article to be and how many words each section should have. Your article will not only be a lot more structured, but it’ll be much easier to write it too.
5. You Do Not Edit Your Blog Posts
Do you write your blog posts in one sitting and simply hit “Publish”? That may be the reason why your blog posts aren’t s appealing to your audience as they could be. You risk leaving nasty grammar and style mistakes if you do not edit your posts.
Solution: Never Publish Unedited Blog Posts
You’re likely to be biased and have a much harder time to find mistakes in your own writing. What you can do is edit your writing in a variety of different formats. It makes spotting mistakes easier. For instance, type your post in Word or Pages. Then, transfer it to your website and reread it again. Hit “Preview” and read it once more.
You can even leave some time such as a day or a few before editing. This will allow you to disconnect from your own writing and be more objective about it.
Alternatively, you can use tools like Grammarly to help you notice the mistakes. Or ask someone, for example, your colleague, to read your posts before they go live.
6. Your Headlines Aren’t Engaging Enough
Nowadays people have very short attention spans and they are easily distracted by visual content. You may have the best blog post ever written, but if your headlines aren’t getting potential readers to click on them, they will simply scroll past them.
Solution: Take The Time To Craft Compelling Headlines
Sometimes, it may be harder than writing the article itself, but don’t ignore your headlines. They can make a difference between your audience sticking with you or going with your competitors.
Research what your audience is looking for and use these keywords to craft your headlines. If you’re out of ideas, headlines such as “How to…” or “X Tips/Reasons/Ways …” work rather well.
7. You’re Ignoring SEO
Search Engine Optimization may seem like black magic, but ignoring it can significantly harm your business. By optimizing your blog posts for SEO, you make sure that your articles are more likely to rank. And search engines like what users like. Therefore, if your content is SEO friendly, it will also be user-friendly.
Solution: Learn The Basics Of SEO
You don’t need to be an SEO specialist to make your posts more SEO friendly. Start by researching the keywords that are relevant to your industry. Then, use them within your blog posts.
Make sure to include sections, subheadings, and lists. They all make your posts easier to read and follow. Be sure to also link to prior posts on your blog. This will keep your readers longer on your site. As a result, they’ll be more likely to trust you. See? It’s all connected.
Don’t get obsessed with SEO though. Too much of it isn’t good either. Start small and implement new changes over time.
8. You’re Not Blogging Consistently
Consistency is something that both your readers and search engines like. Search engines favor regularly updates blogs and are more likely to rank you higher. As a result, you can get even more visitors.
Solution: Set Up And Follow An Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is basically your publishing schedule that you should plan months in advance. This will allow you to have a consistent and organized flow of information, as well as prepare for any holidays or special occasions. Ideally, you should write and schedule your posts beforehand.
If you know that you aren’t able to produce all that content in due time, consider hiring some help. Such as a dedicated content writer.
9. You’re Not Capturing Your Leads
Finally, you need to make sure that your visitors not only read your content, but eventually turn into paying customers. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Solution: Include CTAs, P
rovide Freebies, And Build Your Email List
To make your readers give you their email address, you need to ensure that they have an easy way of doing so. For instance, enable a pop-up box that asks them to sign up. Also, have an easily available signup form on your blog sidebar and/or in the footer.
Keep in mind that simply asking your readers to leave their email address may not be enough. You may need to provide an incentive for them to do that. This is called a lead magnet. Depending on your business, it can be an ebook, a discount code, or anything else that your audience will consider valuable.
Karina Norton holds a BA in English and Education with a minor in Psychology, as well as certifications in Inbound Marketing and SEO. She currently manages white hat link building, market research, on-page SEO, and content management.