Filling a blog with content means spending a great deal of time writing and creating. Skip the rewrites and stress of having to toss unusable or ineffective content by adhering to these strategies, and avoid these common mistakes that could be holding you back.
Sitting down to write content for your personal blog, lifestyle blog, or creating content to flesh out your company’s website with a blog may sound easy at first.
After all, how hard could it be to simply get some ideas put together, write a few paragraphs that appeal to your audience, and start getting clicks?
The truth is, it’s a bit more complicated than that. When first starting, it can be a bit frustrating. You may not know what to write about, what topics to cover, how to know what audience to appeal to or how to get them engaged.
In this article, we’ll address some common blogging mistakes that could be holding your blog back from success- and how to avoid them.
- Keyword Overstuffing Natural Keyword Integration
- Robotic or Overly Formal Writing Conversational Content
- Rambling Clear Assertions
- Self-Importance Writing for Your Audience
- No Clear Message Focused Content
Mistake 1: Keyword Overstuffing
Search engine optimization is important. Keywords that will allow your content to do well in internet searches and give legitimacy and relevancy to your blog are essential – but when writing content, it’s important that you’re writing for your audience, not the search engines.
Overstuffing your content with specific keywords can lead to posts and articles that sound unnatural, manufactured, and inauthentic. Readers may click on your website initially but aren’t likely to stay on your webpage or engage with your content.
Successful bloggers spend time learning how to use SEO as a tool, which requires skill. If your desired audience is someone interested in pets, for example, you wouldn’t expect them to read an article that simply says, “Pets are great. Pets are wonderful companions; people who love pets will likely have many pets at home.”
Sure, that frequency of the word “pets” may get some search engine traction, but that’s not valuable or useful content, which is what readers want.
Solution: Natural Keyword Integration
Spend some time researching and learning SEO optimization the right way, and expect to continue updating your knowledge on a regular basis. As a blogger, SEO is a skill set you’ll need to have.
How do you make certain you’re incorporating SEO keywords effectively?
Use natural keyword integration. Make sure you’re incorporating the keywords you need to appear in your target searches in a natural and informed way. Free resources such as start a blog will guide you in this process.
You will learn about narrowing down your topic scope, researching the keywords and adjacent search terms, and working and reworking your content so that it sounds natural and authentic.
Mistake 2: Your Writing Is Robotic, Unnatural, or Overly Formal
Writing blog posts that convey authority or expertise on a subject might tempt bloggers to write in a more formal style- but this isn’t a book report or college essay.
Even more professional businesses need to be aware that in order to engage readers, they’ll need to avoid using too much jargon, assuming that the reader is already knowledgeable about a subject themselves, or sounding too much like a Wikipedia entry.
Content that comes across as unnatural, stiff, or overly formal can end up causing readers to lose interest quickly. After all, few readers engage with blog content for a deep dive into industry specifics.
Solution: Conversational Content
Want to avoid sounding like the research article associated with someone’s doctoral dissertation?
Writing with conversational content is the key to avoiding a stiff, unnatural, or robotic blog post.
Conversational content is exactly what it sounds like: writing that flows more like a conversation. In other words, write the same way you speak, and you’ll come across much more natural and engaging.
After all, few people hit the internet with the desire to consume content that appears to have been written by a robot, someone who thinks they’re clearly smarter than them, or someone so deeply involved in their subject matter that they don’t explain anything clearly.
Conveying a sense of expertise and authority is a whole lot easier and more digestible when you approach your subject matter in a friendly, open, informal, and conversational way. It also avoids boring your readers and causing them to lose interest in your content quickly.
Mistake 3: Your Writing Is Rambling and Disorganized
We’ve all seen the meme content about one of the drawbacks of recipe blogs – a long, meandering story that the blog author includes prior to getting to the good stuff.
Typically, if your blog post has a clear topic, those who have decided to engage with it are going to expect that the topic is addressed in the post.
Infusing your personality through a conversational style narrative is great! However, what makes readers impatient and causes them to lose interest quickly, is clicking on the content they’re searching for (a recipe, for example) and getting something else entirely before they get there.
For instance, a story from your childhood, a description about the weather that day, what you were wearing while you thought about posting the recipe, and so on.
So how do you avoid the rambling disorganized narrative blog post?
Solution: Clear Assertions
Grabbing, holding, and maintaining the reader’s attention isn’t the easiest skill to master, but a simple cheat to avoid boring and losing your audience is age-old: repetition.
Make clear assertions about the driving topic of your blog post, and reassert them periodically throughout. This helps to clearly convey your message, what you’re trying to relay to your audience and brings your writing back to the topic throughout.
Commit to your overarching topic, theme, or message, restate it throughout your post, and break down the blog post’s basis in sections.
Mistake 4: Coming Across as Self-Important
Your personality as a blogger can be conveyed clearly through your writing- but
assuming that your audience is interested in very personal stories, details about your own experiences, etc., right at the beginning of your blogging career isn’t wise.
Focusing inward on your writing is a common blogger mistake. While audiences may be interested in your point of view, or a sprinkling of relatable anecdotes regarding how a topic is relative to your own life is fine, but readers are unlikely to stay engaged with endless details and stories from your personal life unless you’re a major celebrity and insider gossip is what they’re seeking.
Solution: Write With Your Audience in Mind
Think about the information and subjects you want to cover in your blog posts, and then think about who you imagine will read them—your audience.
What kinds of information will your audience find useful? What can you offer them of value through your writing? How can you relate to them, and how can they connect to you through your blogging?
Keeping these points in mind as you write will lead to useful, relatable content – key commodities in blogging. No one wants to be at a party talking to someone who only chats about themselves the entire time while ignoring engagement with their audience. The same holds in blogging.
Check out the styles and techniques other bloggers use to engage their audiences. 21 popular types of blogs feature successful blogs across a variety of blogging categories.
While reviewing the content in this list, see how each blog focuses on adding value to the reader’s time. Smart bloggers understand that relevant content equals increased engagement, reader loyalty, and audience organically.
Mistake 5: Your Blog Posts Have No Clear Message
One of the first things bloggers typically do when brainstorming for topics for their blog posts is to consider their niche and look at popular content or ideas they want to address within their category.
Smart! Using search engines to get an idea of broad topics to write about is clever- but possibly too broad. Not having a clear assertion to make on the topic, or simply rehashing content that already exists within that niche is a common mistake.
While tackling commonly addressed topics is a good way to start creating SEO-ready content, it does not make for good reading material if there’s no clear message in your writing.
Approaching too broad and generalized topics makes it difficult to write content that is useful to your audience. There are too many nuances and specifics that go unaddressed.
Solution: Create Focused Content
When you approach content from a specific, focused point of view, you’ll ultimately achieve a few aims.
Specific topics and content allow you to go into greater detail as a blogger, creating more useful content for your audiences.
More focused, specific content is also likely to attract more targeted audiences, ultimately more valuable to you as a blogger. Targeted audiences are of a higher quality and tend to convert to sales or lead more easily than broader, more general audiences.
More focused and specific content also allows for more concentrated and exact keywords, which will lead to better SEO integration in your content. So, to create readable, searchable, and engaging content, specific and focused, is the way to go.