Every successful blogger has experienced some hiccups in learning how to create a standout content marketing campaign and many of them have written about their experiences. Smart novice bloggers should learn from the mistakes of others and start their first keystrokes making a great impression. New writers, take heed to avoid the most common mistakes.
#1. Cardboard Writing
Mistake: Beginners tend to treat their blogs like a college term paper or news article. Blogging is not that style. Writing with the personality of flat cardboard will turn away readers.
How to Avoid: As you write, imagine talking to a friend or colleague. Don’t be afraid to be informal. Make silly jokes, twist puns, use contractions, or throw in an anecdote. No one will red line your blog for a fragment here and there. Connect with readers using your real voice.
#2. Broad topics
Mistake: Generalized, open-ended topics have too many details for a blog. Readers are interested in quick and to the point material, not something that spans pages and pages. Think about when you need to research a topic. Do you search, “new york restaurants” or do you search, “best new york Chinese take out?” Readers want specifics.
How to Avoid: Brainstorm very specific working titles to keep your writing focused. The actual title can be modified later into a more engaging header. Think about topics that would be SEO-friendly and have a reader takeaway. For instance, a reader knows when they click on “25 Examples of Real Estate Content Marketing Done Right” they will exit the article with strategies they can use to improve their campaigns.
#3. Unorganized Writing
Mistake: Readers don’t have time to sort through a stream-of-consciousness writing that leads nowhere. They want to scan, get the relevant information and move on.
How to Avoid: Create “types” of posts you will compose: lists, how-to, news, etc. Design a template for each style and stick with the format. Include headers to break up sections and keep the writing focused.
#4. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
Mistake: New bloggers think that once they’re finished with the first draft they’re done. No matter how skilled, all writers make typos, spelling errors, and grammatical mistakes. Readers do notice. Blogs represent your brand; keep it professional and fix basic errors.
How to Avoid: Make time between initial drafting and revising in order to see the blog with fresh eyes. Fix run-ons and accidental mistakes. Run the blog through a spell and grammar checker to be safe.
#5. Irregular Blogging
Mistake: Consistency matters when driving traffic to your website. If readers see months tend to pass between postings, they are less likely to revisit and check for new content. Search engines pick up on the site as active and are more likely to assign a higher ranking.
How to Avoid: Use a content calendar to schedule post topics and deadlines ahead of time. Set aside time each week dedicated to the drafting, revising, and uploading of blog topics. Feel free to get ahead if time allows.
#6. Not Growing Your Following
Mistake: Blogging attracts new visitors and helps with search engine ranking, but much of that work is not organic. Blogging should be used to attract and retain visitors, growing a list of subscribers and contacts that provide an initial traffic bump and continue curating customers.
How to Avoid: Make a clear call to action on your blog. Tell them what you want: share this post, sign-up for a newsletter, or download this guide. Use an email opt-in form to notify subscribers of new posts.
Now that you are armed with what not to do, start planning to write. Brainstorm topic ideas and get a content calendar started. See examples from real blogs to gain insight and ideas. Blogging is an essential component of an effective content marketing strategy; remember to share your publication across your owned platforms for optimal success!