By writing a blog you broaden your knowledge, acquire new skills, develop your imagination and enhance vocabulary. You also become a better writer, interlocutor, an expert in your field, improve your own concentration and memory. These are advantages that nobody questions.
If you do it just for yourself, your own pleasure and satisfaction of your ego, you can now finish reading this text.
However, if you are running a company blog, editing content for customers or your blog is meant to gather leads, sell products or services, or at least enlarge your audience, you will admit that the above advantages and personal benefits from blogging are not so crucial, isn’t that true?
I’m going to show you common blogging mistakes, that happens very often, regardless of whether you are writing your own blog or running a corporate content hub. This is not a guidebook for beginners, but rather a collection of observations from long-term content creation.
1. Lack of a mission or strategy, either detachment from them in time
Have you been blogging for a long time? A year, three, five or maybe longer? Do you remember the mission or goal for which your blog was originally intended? Or maybe you just chase for current Google topics and trends, forgetting why you’ve started a blog?
Written well at the beginning, your blogging strategy is now covered by a thick layer of dust? Has your blog become a habit? Or, what’s even worse, it’s going so well, that you no longer make periodic (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) assumptions or summaries? You are doing it wrong.
Remember the goals you set at the beginning of your blogging. What was its mission at that time, what strategy did you adopt back then? If you still don’t have it, it’s high time to write it down!
If it is already written, return to it, read it again. Maybe it needs to be modified? Do you come back to it regularly, at least once a quarter, verifying its implementation?
Back to the beginning, back to the basics.
If your blog is boring you, you can be sure that it has bored your readers too. If that is your case, or if the main blog topic has already run out, launch a new, parallel project. Put all your efforts into this new blog. Maybe it will take the place of your former blog sometime?
Start again with an empty sheet of paper. Design a new mission, prepare a written-down content strategy and publication plan. An editorial calendar not only increases your chances of success, but it also saves you hours of time. Hours you would have wasted writing about the wrong topics. Make sure that each new blog post is 100% mission-compatible and serves fully the purpose of the strategy.
Place a mission on the top of blog main page. This way it will be visible to readers, not just to you. It will become a public commitment, a promise to your blog users. You will have to keep your promise with every blog post.
2. Using simple, obvious keywords instead of long-tail phrases
I’m sure you know a lot about keywords, keyword research, Google keywords planner or other similar tools and methods of search engine optimization. But do you simply control the length and number of keywords and frequency of use?
Search engines like Google and Bing are indexing blog entries really well, especially if they are properly promoted on the homepage of your blog or company webpage. Thanks to the posts on the blog, it’s very easy to build so-called “long phrases”. In other words, include inquiries which your users – potential customers – can enter in the search engines and which differ from the main phrases for a given website.
Make your content not only keyword-rich but also rich in long-tail phrases. Such an example may be the phrase “effective dental chew-sticks for old dogs”, instead of a simple and short “dental chews”.
Don’t ignore power of long-tail SEO.
In every industry branch, there is a catalog of long-tail phrases, whose potential is so great, that it’s not worth ignoring. Appropriate optimization of entries allows building a large stock of keywords from the long-tail.
Search engine optimization is about people. Write down a branch-specific list of such phrases and use it every time with every new piece of content. Use natural phrases, relevant to your readers. This will move your content to the front and increase the visibility of your blog posts.
By the way: such long-tail phrases are also cheaper in paid promotion. For instance, with Google Adwords, the costs of PPC campaigns are notably lower with long phrases. Content is the king, but without proper promotion, this king does not have his own kingdom.
3. No real relationship with audience
Do you plan, write often, publish regularly, promote intensively in social media, measure effects? You usually respond to comments in a minute, and ready-made formulas come to your mind in seconds, but will you not lose the authentic relationship with users? Where is the bond with the audience?
Think about whether your blogging – done without effort today – has not become just a daily routine? Do you not write too mechanically by focusing on the topic rather than on the audience and their needs?
Do you ask your readers sometimes for their opinion? Do you make surveys, quizzes and recommend valuable publications from other blogs? Give readers a choice about what the next post should be – let them vote. It could turn out that they visit your blog only from habit, but for authentic news, novelties and best content, they go elsewhere.
Looking only at the screen, Excel tables, publication calendar and Google’s statistics give you knowledge but does not bring you closer to your readers. Here are some points that are worth to use in the relationship with users:
• Talk, argue, quote, give examples and data, invite readers to discuss.
• Meet people, establish touchpoints, react truly to their comments and remarks.
• Share knowledge, inspire others, but also reveal your own inspirations.
Go outside, go offline.
Take a break from the screen, go out to your readers. Meet other authorities and bloggers – maybe it is worth looking for inspiration not only on the web? Go offline. Speak publicly on stage as a lecturer with a new blog post, or as a panelist – for free or even pay yourself for the cost of such a public performance.
Speak publicly on stage with a new blog post as a lecturer or as a panelist. Do it even for free or pay yourself for the cost of such a public performance. This one-time investment will pay off with new fans, readers, and followers.
It is high time to promote blog off-line. Inform about it. Share knowledge from your outside the network! Do you have blog URL on your business card? If why should you not tell the newly met people about it yourself?
You can order a T-shirt or a cap with name and URL address of your blog. Prepare a set of stickers with URL and QR code. Add a blog address to all printed materials: leaflets, folders, brochures, white papers and annual reports.
Attend a real-life blogger or industry events – conferences, workshops, TEDx summits, etc. Arrange a TweetUp day or an Instameet with your followers. Announce your blog at the company’s sales meeting or during the annual distributors’ conference. Organize a coffee with the readers, invite them to an open day at your company, factory or shop.
In conclusion, I can advise you: read the old blog posts again. Then ask yourself 3 questions:
Is it easy for the readers to navigate the blog?
Your website CMS or your WordPress template comes from a few years ago. It looks poorly on the display of a new smartphone. Or maybe it’s so busy with graphics and ads, that even on a large monitor it’s impossible to read anything comfortably. Maybe you would like to share an article with friends or paste it on Facebook, but unfortunately – this is also impossible to do with your current design. If that is your case, change it as soon as possible.
Do you write something worth reading?
People dig the net in search of specific information, entertainment or emotions. If they don’t get it right, it won’t be helpful to publish 5 entries a day. In short, people need a reason to enter the blog regularly and read it. Give them the reason why they should come back to you!
Do you solve problems?
Industry or branch-specific blogs are usually subscribed only because they may solve some of our problems in the future. So it is crucial that, first of all, you solve the problem with which they come to your blog.
There are many, many other things to keep in mind when blogging, running content hubs or publishing newsletters. Neil Patel, entrepreneur, marketer and blogger, mentions 5 other topics:
1. Not capturing leads on your blog
2. Not consistently writing
3. Thinking that every blog post will go viral
4. Not writing in a clear style
5. Not writing long-form content
For an in-depth look at these topics, see: