Most people with a computer realize that content is the biggest marketing trend since TV commercials. Instead of blatant money-grabbing tactics, companies are creating valuable resources for their audiences. They’re building interest and loyalty with fun and useful images, videos, articles, and more.
Content marketing has been shown to increase awareness and sales, and it usually dramatically improves a brand’s equity. However, if no one is looking at the content you produce, you might as well be a tree in a forest for all the sound you’re making.
Though blogs seem incredibly permissive, your blog’s readers aren’t. There are a handful of strict rules content producers must follow to attract attention and develop fidelity from their audience.
Here are 10 common blogging mistakes you might be making:
1. Writing Poorly
Sure, Standard English grammar is becoming more flexible and inclusive, so you don’t need to know all those complex comma rules like the back of your hand. However, your blog’s success relies on your readers being able to comprehend what you write, and if your grammar is so poor that communication is impossible, most readers will turn and run.
2. Writing for Yourself
When the Internet was young, blogs were commonly online diaries for people to unleash their inner thoughts and feelings. Fortunately, very few of those blogs ever got popular, and today, blogs must provide readers valuable information, or they won’t show up. You should consider your target audience’s interests and desires with every new post.
3. Being Too Broad
You want the biggest audience possible, which means you should cover as many topics as possible to attract more people, right? Actually, because the Internet is so big, covering a wide range of topics can make your blog harder to find. Worse, the audience you do attract could be confused by your broad scope and leave before developing loyalty. Instead, you should carve out a niche with a handful of topics and stick to them.
4. Being Inconsistent
All humans — not just blog-reading humans — love routine, which means they want to know exactly when they can expect new content. Thus, you cannot limit yourself to writing when you feel like it. Your blog should have a strict, regular publishing schedule that your readers can follow. It doesn’t matter whether it is once per day or once per week, as long as your readers know exactly when to visit your site for updates.
5. Forgetting Keywords & SEO
Unfortunately, popular blogs don’t make it on merit alone. Usually, successful bloggers know exactly how the Internet works, and they include pertinent keywords in their posts and optimize search engine results to pull in more readers.
However, SEO strategies are becoming ever-more complex as search engines try to filter out useless content. With just a little help, you can get traffic to your website with the most up-to-date tactics.
6. Going It Alone
No blogger is alone on their own island. Eventually, you will run out of story ideas, and you will need help from fellow bloggers to keep up the quality and quantity of posts on your blog. Mercifully, the blogging community is massive and benevolent, and you can undoubtedly find some allies to fil gaps in your schedule and add new flavor to your current content.
7. Selling, Selling, Selling
A blog is a useful tool to help a business build a web presence, and many bloggers enjoy financial help from affiliate companies, but just because you are trying to make money with your blog doesn’t mean every post should try to sell something. Consumers are bombarded with advertising material as often as 3,000 times per day, and any obvious salesmanship on your blog will alienate readers.
8. Failing to Engage
Your job isn’t done when you hit “publish.” Unlike television and print, the Internet goes both ways, which means your readers will want to interact with the writers of their favorite blogs. You must be available to contact through social media, email or your blog’s comments section. This builds relationships with readers and earns their loyalty.
9. Failing to Promote
You’ll never have the opportunity to engage if your content is never found and read by your target audience. Don’t schedule a single social media post and consider that to be effective content promotion, either. Schedule your content to be shared at different hours of the day on different days of the week across multiple platforms—including, at a minimum, social media, and email.
10. Failing to Commit
The most egregious blogging mistake of all is refusing to recognize that your blog will take dedication and perseverance. You won’t have any readers the first day your blog is live, and you might not even have readers after six months of steady publishing. However, with time and energy, you may be able to garner a large, faithful audience — and that is what blogging is about.