When I first started blogging, I thought this is so easy. I thought I was writing words out in a black hole but I was so wrong. There is so much to blogging than just posting content. I kept making mistakes which proved detrimental for my career and blog. That’s why I thought I will put those down in a blog so others or beginners to blogging don’t end up repeating the same mistakes. Most bloggers aren’t even aware that they might be committing these errors. It is so helpful to have such handy hints and techniques to ensure you are on the right path.
BE GOAL ORIENTED
Many bloggers tend to make the mistake of forgetting the reason behind a blog. Your blog is not just a virtual diary of your thoughts, it is about connecting to your readers and the world. If you started a blog to share your ideas and opinions, then its okay to be generic and not goal oriented. But for people who start a blog to earn money, support their business or build a portfolio, you have to remember your goals. Every post you publish should be a step towards that goal. Is it supporting your goal? Does it take closer to your result? Does this blog help you achieve your quarterly or annual goal?
The goals can be as simple as ‘I want a 1000 followers‘ or ‘I need to earn X in sales‘ by the end of the year. It is really important that you stick to that goal and keep working on it. Blogs are an amazing way of connecting your audiences and data has proven that businesses that invest in quality blogs get a higher ROI than businesses which don’t. Align your blog goals with your brand or company. Discuss it with your team and focus on shaping them so you can give 100% to the blogging process.
HAVE A STRATEGY
This is the next step to being goal oriented. How will you achieve that goal through blogging?
Many bloggers including me don’t have any content strategy in mind at the beginning. We write about what we like *in that particular moment* without considering the long-term implications. That limits you and causes your reader and audience to feel disinvested. They don’t know if they can rely on you because sometimes you post once a day, while other times you post once a week. Where is the sustainability?
Creating a strategy is essential here. Have a content calendar, where you draw up plans about posting and stick to it. You can always add or subtract something if the situation demands. But having a strategy and a content calendar gives you a direction, it also offers concise topics and ideas. The more specific questions you answer, the more interested your audience gets. For example, instead of selecting topics like ‘Writing Romance’, you can write ‘How to Write Romance Scenes‘ or ‘How to Write Contemporary Romance.’ The former is so broad and nuanced that audiences feel cheated when you can’t answer all their questions. With the latter title, they know that you are going in a particular direction and are only interested in that. The targeted your audiences are, the higher the chance of quality following, and the ability to convert it into leads.
Your readers are not here for stilted, formal writing. Unless it’s an academic blog or paper. They want realistic, practical answers in simple words. It’s fun to use difficult words once in a while but it can also confuse and distract your readers.
One of the most common blogging mistakes is when bloggers forget that readers value authenticity. Engage your audiences by being real and realistic. Infuse your personality, involve yourself in the story, and let the readers see there is a real person behind the blog. Some bloggers (mainly food bloggers) take it to the extreme by writing 4 paragraphs of their childhood memories about the lemon tree in their grandma’s home before diving into the recipe. That can also be frustrating.
The trick is to walk the line between real and too real. I have found that writing how you talk or speak is a good way to keep your blogs relatable. You also have to credit your audience. If your blog is about ‘A Beginner’s Guide to SEO’ then you need to explain certain terms. But when writing blogs about topics such as ‘Using Hubspot SEO for your business‘ then it’s safe to assume your reader has some knowledge about technical jargon and terms.
It is a good idea to have a structure or an outline of your blog before you start writing it. Having a rough structure allows you to understand what to talk about, how to spread the content, and if there is enough material to make it a series or maybe even a guide or a book.
Practice writing your blog post before you publish it, structure it in various ways that put across the message without diluting it. There should also be emphasis on your message without making it overwhelming. A blog is completely different than an article, copy, essay, or review so familiarize yourself with various blogs before you consider writing your blog.
When thinking about structure, think especially about your blog title or topic. As I mentioned before, having a concise idea can engage more audiences and work wonderfully instead of having vague, generic topics. The more niche your idea is, the better it works. There are several tools available to generate blog topics and ideas which you can use when stuck for ideas and inspiration.
BE AN AUTHORITY
Why should I read your blog?
Are you an authority in your field? Do you have experience working in the industry you are talking about? People trust bloggers and writers who know what they are talking about. When I share writing tips, blogging ideas, it is because I have 10 years of experience in the media industry. If I started talking about physics, then nobody will believe me and listen to what I say.
This is not to say that beginners can’t consider blogging. Beginners should openly admit their inexperience or knowledge. For example, you don’t need to be an author to review books. But you do need to be a reader. Your authority is that you have read enough books to voice an opinion. Authority also comes from other factors such as your knowledge, your style of speaking, your background, and your understanding. Tie in those things to your blogs to indicate that readers can trust you.
A way of showing authority (and being real) is not plagiarizing content. Inspiration is for you to provide your personal take on it, not duplicate the content and material as is. Thousands of blogs exist so your plagiarism may go unnoticed unless Google takes note. Is it worth taking the risk for? Companies and businesses who struggle with blogging and content writing rely on plagiarized content by copy pasting material. Eventually their material suffers as readers are smart enough to know there is no value addition in such blogs. Focus on becoming an authority and expanding on your knowledge and experience.
Blogging isn’t an easy job, there is multi-tasking involved, you need to research, read, write, edit, proofread, and engage constantly. It can take its toll and people can end up making these mistakes regularly. That’s why I wrote this post so you can assess your strategy and work on it if you feel you end up making these errors. It is also another reason behind creating this website and blog, to support the community of writers and bloggers and help them reach their goals.
Do leave a comment or suggestion if you like the post.