Blogging has become a major business channel for the corporate world and individuals, as well. Whenever traditional marketing failed to deliver, content marketing (and blogging) was and still is the best remedy.
Bloggers are wordsmiths with a purpose! But newbies in the blogging world tend to do these 4 common mistakes. They concentrate more on pleasing their own eyes, they lack consistency, their goals are abstract, and they choose the easy solution of thin content. Well, I’ve been in their shoes and done that!
All your efforts can be useless if you keep making these 4 blogging mistakes. In the end, may drive you to lose faith in blogging and content marketing in general. Let’s break down and reverse the most common blogging mistakes. Learn how to earn new leads from the very beginning!
1 – Avoid “Me, Myself and I” approach
You write about your favorite topics on your brand’s blog. That sounds like you are killing your brand one word at a time. If I sell SEO & Digital Marketing services, would be wise to write about knitting and recipes all day long? I hope you said “no way”…
#Tip1: Have a handy notebook with you all the time. Blogging ideas tend to come at random times and places. Write them down and check later if it’s a good fit for your content calendar.
As much as you might enjoy reading and re-reading your blog posts after you publish them, that’s not their purpose. You should only edit, improve and optimize the content. You are not the intended reader and target audience.
What to do instead:
Make it a clear goal to produce valuable information for your audience’s needs regarding your field. And create a personal journal blog for your hobbies. There you can think of blogging ideas that only interest you.
Get in touch with other departments in the company and ask them what kind of issues they face daily. If clients tend to seek answers to certain questions, then create blog content for this particular need.
Ask visitors to share their ideas. Run a poll for upcoming topics. Invite people to involve in your content creation process. Last month, we invited our visitors through an email, to unveil what they hate most in public speaking. Their answers were turned into a positive “How to overcome public speaking fear” and soon will be published on our blog.
2 – Avoid General Topics
Digital Marketing and SEO are interesting topics, indeed. But when you have a general topic the intended readers don’t know what to expect from your article. When a topic has no limits then you should focus on specific details and create blog posts that serve your brand’s goals & mission.
Too broad headlines will attract your audience but most probably you won’t rise up to the challenge. Writing a +3000 words article is way beyond a beginner’s ability to cope with it!
#Tip2: Act proactively and set a content schedule for the following 3 months. See the big picture with one glance. Check if your headlines are boring or repetitive. Improve the wording and change the position of the titles. You want to spread out your message and grab attention effortlessly. The right titles do exactly that!
What to do instead:
Break down your original idea into smaller pieces and produce a set of blog posts. Gradually, you will create enough content to have an outstanding +3000 words piece of work.
Try HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator tool and build the structure of your next blog posts. This is my previous request: Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Blogging. Here is what was generated:
- My 1st Year at Digital Marketing: Expectations vs. Reality
- Will Social Media Marketing Ever Rule the World?
- The Next Big Thing in Search Engine Marketing
- Blogging Explained in 10 Minutes
- This Week’s Top News About Digital Marketing
- 4 Tips To Make Your Posts SEO Friendly
- My First 100 Days of Content Marketing Strategy [Data included]
- Digital Marketing Mistakes I Wish I Could Avoid
- Social Media Audit and Optimization
- 4 Digital Marketing Myths Busted
- What I Hate in Digital Marketing
3 – Avoid Blogging Only Once A Month
Are you randomly blogging every new moon? When we are serious about blogging then writing 500 words once a month isn’t an option. Consistency and quality are equally important. Thin content and inconsistency could harm your brand.
#Tip3: Provide yourself the luxury of an editorial calendar. This will support your efforts to keep your blog fresh and interesting.
What to do instead:
Form a schedule that you can keep. If you spare 6 hours per week for one new & rich blog post, then do just that. But you must stick to this writing habit every week.
The year has 52 weeks, therefore you can plan ahead for the next 52 blog posts. Some prefer Google spreadsheets and Google Calendar, some others use sophisticated planning tools. I prefer to use this simple but effective strategy: for each client, I create a secret Facebook Group where I keep all the topics, notes, sources, files, links, and the monthly editorial calendar.
My job demands to be online 24/7, so this works for me just fine. But when there are other people involved in a project, then Google Sheets is my next best choice. When you are planning your next blogging topics it is clever to gather all your monthly work in one Google Sheet. Have you seen our 30 Day Blogging Challenge?
4 – Avoid Thin Content
Never bother to blog if you are not planning to write a 1000+ word post. The more you write, the better results you’ll get. In this case, size does matter!
Yoast.com explains: Thin content is content that has little or no value to the user. Google considers doorway pages, low-quality affiliate pages, or simply pages with very little or no content as thin content pages. But don’t fall into the trap of just producing loads of very similar content: non-original pages, pages with scraped and duplicate content, are considered thin content pages too. On top of that, Google doesn’t like pages that are stuffed with keywords either. Google has gotten smarter and has learned to distinguish between valuable and low-quality content, especially since Google Panda.
Well-structured blog posts, with data and rich content, provide value to your brand’s name. More content brings more visits. More visits can invite more followers and subscribers. More subscribers mean potential clients.
#Tip4: Treat each page, article, and blog post like the ultimate landing page of your brand. For each new visitor, you have only one chance to deliver your message and plant a new business lead.
What to do instead:
Create an editorial calendar and plan ahead for the creation process of your content. Be patient because you won’t see your blog posts go viral in a night.
Use Google Analytics and track your audience’s reactions to your content. What they visit most is a significant indicator of what you should focus on more. It takes a lot of time to achieve phenomenal results. Did you know that only 1% of blog posts online get over 1,000 shares?
One Last Blogging Tip
Fame is good but devoted readers are better. So stick to your schedule and keep creating new content! Useful content never harmed anyone. Effective, quality blogging can take time but is worth all of your energy. After all, blogging is a way of living.
Hey, don’t forget to use the basics of writing and SEO. Easy-to-follow sentences and paragraphs are essential. And Headings types 1, 2, 3, and 4 exist for a season. Heading 1 is for the main title and headline. Heading 2 is for supporting your main title and keywords. Heading 3 + 4 are the little brothers that repeat and support the main key phrases. SEO needs all types of heading into a blog post.
Stay calm! Maybe you find all of this overwhelming and frustrating. But it’s anything but… The beginning is always a bit rough. In a month or two, you will find yourself feeling more confident in creating a steady blogging flow. Bear in mind the following and keep writing.
- Write for the people, not the search machines.
- Have your own personal writing style.
- Write as you speak.
- Reach the heart of each topic through your angle.
- Be persistent.
- Back up your words with data and facts.
- Try to write long-form, actionable content.
- Provide clear solutions to your audience’s problems.
- Guide your readers step-by-step to solve the problem at hand.
- Screenshots of statistics & insights are great data material.
- Invite people to take action. But you must set the example.
- Create more engaging and rich content.
Blogging is one of the best ways to drive traffic and bring more visitors to your website or blog. Blogging isn’t just a trend that will expire soon. It’s the cornerstone of a successful and solid content marketing strategy. In other words, there is an imperative need to produce content that is equally meaningful for brands and readers/visitors.