Beginner Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

Monday, May 1, 2017

Blogging has many benefits for websites looking to improve traffic, search engine performance, conversions, leads, and sales. A well-run blog can attract the interest (and engagement) of your target audience. The delivery of clear and relevant information about your industry can position you as a leader in your field, encouraging visitors to turn to you when they want your products and services. Plus, a good blog can give people information they need to make engagement decisions. On the other hand, a poorly run blog can actually harm your website. Inaccurate information or infrequent posting, for example, can make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. In order to enjoy the benefits of blogging, you need to avoid some of the most common mistakes committed by beginning bloggers. What follows is a look at a few of these errors and what you should try to do instead.

Failing to Write for Your Target Audience

As far as topics for blogging go, the options are endless. The ones that will get you the results you want, however, are a little more limited. A common mistake is to assume that all topics are created equal, and/or to choose topics based on your own personal preferences. While you might really enjoy creating a blog based on such topics, you are not likely to enjoy improvements in search engine optimization, website traffic or conversions. The reason? Your topics will fail to appeal to the audience you need to reach. Instead, before you begin blogging, familiarize yourself with your target audience. This means identifying who you want to write for, what their interests and pain points are as related to your industry, how much experience they have in your field, where they are in the sales cycle, and how much information they need to engage with your website. Once you have this information, you can choose topics that will be interesting and relevant to them. And when your blog is filled with articles written just for them, your target audience is more likely to reward you with the results you need.

SEE ALSO: The 4 Qualities that Define Relevant Content

Failing to Establish a Blogging Schedule

In some ways, your blog will be a reflection of your website. If people see a professionally run blog, they will assume that you run the rest of your website and business with the same skill and competence. But, if you run a sloppy or unreliable blog, visitors are likely to think that same inattention applies to your business dealings. That is why the beginner mistake of failing to establish (or stick to) a blogging schedule can be so problematic. Sometimes, beginning bloggers try to write whenever they have time, but the other demands of their business and website means that the blog is neglected. Other times, the blogger might set up an overly ambitious schedule (e.g. daily blogging) and then find that they do not have the time in their schedule to produce quality content that frequently. The result is infrequent blogging that makes the blog look stale and neglected. The key is to establish a realistic blogging schedule for your website, whether that be as infrequently as once a week or as regularly as once a day. In addition, your blog should be part of an overarching content marketing strategy that incorporates several different types of content into your marketing efforts. If you cannot find the time or lack the know how to set up such a schedule, you may need to hire a web design or web development company to help you regularly create content for your blog.

Failing to Write with Simplicity

Clarity trumps complexity when it comes to blog writing. Unfortunately, many beginning bloggers think that long words and intricate writing are the way to communicate expertise to their readers. The result is a blog that is difficult for readers to understand, boring for them to read, or both. And, when faced with a blog article they can neither understand nor enjoy, they are likely going to leave your blog to find information that is easier to digest. Instead, focus on creating material that is easy to read and conversationally written. For example, replace long words with shorter, simpler words. Write articles that can easily be understood on a high school level. And use a less formal tone in order to capture the interest of your website visitors. With concise, simple, and clear writing, you will be more likely to impress your visitors and enjoy results from your blog.

Failing to Write with Specificity

Ideally, your blog will deal with a wide range of topics related to your industry and your target audience. From how-to articles to checklists, these topics will keep variety and interest alive in your blog. However, what some beginning bloggers fail to realize is that one kind of blog article that should be avoided is the broad one. Broad topics are those that cover multiple topics, or one large topic, at once. For example, “Picking Shoes for Your Child” covers so many potential angles (From ensuring a proper fit to considering style) that it would be very difficult to write concisely. The result of these broad topics is an article that is less relevant to your audience, more difficult to read, and less likely to succeed. Instead, focus on creating specific topics with specific headlines and subheadings. For example, you might choose to divide “Picking Shoes for Your Child” into a number of more specific topics (such as “Ensuring a Proper Fit for Your Child’s Shoe” and “Find out Your Child’s Style: Take the Test”). These more specific topics will allow your material to look more interesting and garner more interest. Creating a blog can be a good step toward building a more successful website, whether your goals are to improve search engine optimization, website traffic, leads, or some combination thereof. However, in order to build a successful blog, you must avoid certain mistakes. These include failing to write for your target audience, failing to establish a blogging schedule, failing to write with simplicity, and failing to write with specificity. By avoiding these mistakes, and by enlisting professional help when needed, you can build a blog that supports your overall web design and web development efforts.

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Posted in: Content Marketing, How To, SEO

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