From years of my experience, I can say that blogging is one of the most in-demand skills in the marketing industry. Statistics have proved the power of blogs in the last few years.
In this day and age when content marketing rules, a blog is a centerpiece. Blogging is a huge career opportunity for those who want to be writers. However, although everyone can write, not everyone can blog.
People have an impression that blogging is as easy as writing. This feeling lasts until they sit down and try to develop an idea onto the word processor. For the most part, they’ll be staring at the monitor, unsure of how to start the blog. Even if they do get the blog running, they’ll find themselves weaving in and out of their content.
Blogging can be a challenge, and if you get ahead of yourself, you may end up asking more questions than finding answers for your readers.
This guide will show you the ten shocking mistakes that bloggers make when creating content.
1. Blogging without Purpose.
In some ways, bloggers are similar to artists. An idea hits them during a moment of inspiration. They can be in a grocery store, in the shower, or stuck in a bumper-to-bumper traffic when an idea starts to cultivate in their heads.
However, just because an idea has its roots in inspiration does not mean it can translate well for a blog. Inspiration can be triggered by any event that has a connection with our history. Your idea may seem like a good read, but if it has no relevance to the purpose of your blog, then what’s the point?
When you write, always keep your purpose in mind. The best content is one that is purpose driven. Keep in mind that 77% of people who go online read blogs to look for relevant information.
Thus, readers also have a purpose when they search for blogs. If their purpose is aligned with yours, the result is a very strong and powerful connection!
2. The Dreaded “3T” Syndrome.
Have you ever come across a content that made you want to download a dictionary? The majority of us experienced this scenario, and in fact, we’ve done our share in writing a content that falls to the dreaded 3T syndrome: Trying To be Technical.
This mistake is most often made by first-time bloggers who want to leave a good impression on their readers. They want their readers to know that they’ve come to the right blog site by showcasing their technical and fundamental competencies.
In the end, their blog contains classic symptoms of the 3T syndrome:
- Lack of keywords
- The first paragraph runs a series of statistics and figures
- Too many technical terms that can only be understood by someone who knows the jargon
- Long, droning sentences that cover five lines before we come across a punctuation mark
- Overly long paragraphs, which have either no main idea or more than one main idea
No one wants to have a nosebleed while reading a blog. You do not accomplish anything by trying to be technical when you write. You may even alienate your readers by writing this way. Readers want a material that they can digest, process, and apply.
My best advice: Write the same way you walk! Loosen up and don’t be stiff.
3. Failure to Write for Your Audience.
As an entrepreneur who is committed to the fitness lifestyle, I regularly search for contents that can help me achieve my health and wellness goals.
There was a time I was searching for new workout ideas and came across this website that promoted the best strength building programs. However, when I went through the contents, most of them alluded to recipes and meal plans.
I understand that nutrition is part of a health and wellness program, but I’m looking for strength building programs! One that would tell me which exercises I should use, the amount of weight I should carry, the total workload, and so on and so forth. It turned out that the writer was a restaurateur. Apparently, he tossed in his call-to-action with his main content.
Critical tip: As a blogger, your primary function is to deliver usable, relevant, and engaging contents that can compel readers to take action.
Always keep your audience in mind when you write. If you’re a restaurateur who is into fitness, then great! However, put away your chef’s hat when you write and put on your sweats instead.
4. Failure to Invest in Site Speed.
In a world that has gone mobile, speed and accessibility become crucial elements for your blog site. If your content cannot be accessed within 2 seconds, you may potentially lose a subscriber.
A study by Radware revealed the following statistics that validate the importance of site speed:
- 51% of online shoppers will not push through with the purchase
- 47% of Internet users expect a page to load within 2 seconds. Web pages that take 6 seconds to load suffer 50% loss in conversion rates.
- 75% of Internet users would rather visit another website than wait longer than 2 seconds for a web page to load.
The best solution is to use a content delivery network that specializes in delivering content quickly by addressing latency issues. One of the best service providers to enhance site speed is MaxCDN, a company based in Los Angeles, California.
MaxCDN has regional edge servers where customer files are replicated in various global locations. Its dynamic logic routing system transmits instructions to the end users’ browser to deliver a copy of MaxCDN user’s content from its location to the nearest proximity to the end user.
MaxCDN offers many exciting features, such as the following:
- Real-time reporting
- Ability to automate your workflow
- Instant provisioning on all required changes
- Instant SSL
- Guaranteed response time of under 2 minutes
If you want your blog page to be patronized, you have to ensure that its site speed conforms to the reader’s preference.
5. Ill-Advised Selection of Site Host.
Many website hosting services can be found online. However, not all of them function in the same way. You have your share of good ones and bad ones. As a blogger, you can ill afford to sign up with a web hosting service that leaves a lot of necessary things.
A good website host should provide you the following:
- Good uploading speed
- Reliable security and data protection protocols
- Dependable backup and restoration measures
- Professional e-mail addresses
- Top-notch customer service
One of the best and most reputable site hosting service providers is HostGator, a provider of shared and dedicated website hosting services from Houston, Texas. It’s also the hosting company I use to all of my websites and blogs.
In 2008, Inc. magazine included HostGator among its fastest growing companies. As of 2013, HostGator has hosted more than 9 million websites.
In the same way that you would not want to move into an apartment with an unresponsive landlord and in an unsafe neighborhood, you have to make sure that your web host can deliver on its promises.
Your blogs are your intellectual property. Having a reliable website hosting services assures you the integrity of your content.
6. Lack of Organization.
As a blogger, you may experience times when ideas seem to pour out of you like a busted dam. You have so many ideas, concepts, and viewpoints that organizing everything into a seamless content becomes difficult.
The feeling you get when you read convoluted content is being strung up like a yoyo; your mind struggles to process the message of the content. However, the good news is that a simple solution exists.
Create an outline.
In English class, this solution was one of the primary tips our teachers gave us in composing our literary pieces. Develop an outline that houses all of your ideas in an organized manner.
Some bloggers think that creating an outline is time-consuming. However, the real issue is that these bloggers don’t think that it’s cool to have an outline! Creating an outline may take some time. However, in general, it saves you time by giving your writing a sense of structure and flow path for your ideas.
Sometimes going old school is cool!
7. Greater Focus on Quantity and not Quality.
Bloggers know that to enhance online presence, you must post contents frequently. Many studies show a direct correlation between the frequency of blogging and sale conversions.
Also, some studies support the advantage of long blog posts over short ones. These studies recommend a blog-length of 1,600 words on average.
Thus, some bloggers set themselves out on a mission to write 1,600-word blogs every day. Maybe some can sustain this volume for a time.
But I believe that it may result in a rapid case of burnout for the majority.
It takes time to create a high-quality blog. You cannot post a content with which you are not comfortable. If your focus shifts from quality to quantity, you may end up compromising content for the sake of visibility.
In blogging, content is king. If your quality suffers, your blog is only visible and can be noted for producing poor content.
Always focus on quality over quantity. In the end, the final product speaks for itself. By withholding the frequency of your content, your readers will be left wanting more!
8. Not Optimizing Blogs via Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
You can create the most amazing blogs in the world. However, if it can’t be found, then your effort may go to waste. Crafting consistently great contents is not enough. You must also optimize your web pages for SEO so it can be found on the Internet.
For WordPress users like me, a plug-in that you can use to improve your on-site SEO and to write good contents is Yoast SEO, which you can install completely free.
SEO helps your blog be found by improving its organic search ranking in the SERP. SEO does this through various techniques. Here are three of them:
- Keywords. These words are the most frequently used words by Internet users when they do a search query. SEO professionals do keyword research and create a list of the most popular search words. Your blog must contain a keyword in the title, within the first 100 words of the first paragraph, and sporadically throughout the content. A good rule of thumb to follow is to use the main keyword no more than five to six times within an 800-word content.
- Link Building. SEO professionals also build links to your site from other blogging communities to increase your visibility and the size of target audience. These links must be related to the proposition of your website. You can also reach out and invite other like-minded bloggers to guest post on your website. This strategy works to increase your visibility and to reach out to a wide audience.
- Social Media. There are 2 billion people on social media every day. A social media platform is a great avenue to distribute your content. You should distribute your keyword-rich contents via social media networks that suit your purpose. Remember that not all social media communities function the same way. Each community has its own set of nuances. Be mindful of your purpose and be strategic in your choice of social media channel. You may use Sprout Social or Hootsuite to schedule your posts at the right time when most of your audiences are online.
9. Failure to Give Citations.
The majority of blogs require research, thereby necessitating you to use references. One of the riskiest mistakes that a blogger can make is to fail to cite the reference. Failure to do so may put your blog at risk for being suspected of plagiarism.
Being found guilty of plagiarism is a virtual death sentence for bloggers. Even if it was unintentional, the implication is you “stole” someone’s intellectual property. This incident can definitely tarnish your reputation and put to question the wealth of material you may have already put out there.
When you use a reference, always make it a point to cite it as a footnote, in a separate “References” page, or via a hyperlink. The saying in business holds true in blogging, “You have to give credit where credit is due.”
10. Lack of Quality Control Measures.
Creating a blog can be tiring. A 1,600-word, well-researched, fully informed, and tightly structured content can take an entire day to complete.
Some bloggers make the basic mistake of not proofreading their contents before submitting them for posting.
Errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation can leave a bad impression on your readers. As a blogger, I cringe like I would in a dentist’s chair whenever I see a poorly written content that is riddled with spelling errors and incorrect grammar.
These mistakes are big turnoffs for readers.
This mistake usually occurs not because the blogger forgets to implement quality control measures. This problem can arise if a blogger frequently checks quality before he/she completes the content.
An ideal approach is to fill out the content first in its entirety, and then proofread it. Don’t stop at one pass. Read it twice or thrice if needed. Another effective technique is to read your content out loud. “Hearing” your mistakes is sometimes easier than seeing them.
Finally, if you are still unsure of the quality of your content, have someone else read it.
Be a successful blogger
Every blogger, even the best and most experienced ones, makes mistakes. Even though you’ve learned from these mistakes, there is no assurance that they will not happen again. So don’t be afraid of making mistakes!
In all my years of blogging, I’ve done my fair share of these mistakes plus one! However, these mistakes did not stop me from pursuing a career in blogging. Learning from your mistakes is a way to improve as a blogger.
Keep on writing, keep on blogging and keep on learning. Do not fear to make mistakes. Embrace the possibility of their occurrence and stay focused on your writing. You will progress by learning from these mistakes!