Today is blogger day so I’m here with a blog that I hope you will find helpful … 8 blogging fails to avoid. There are 600 million active blogs globally in 2020. That’s a huge number with 70% of marketers actively investing in content marketing. Blogging is one of the most popular elements of a business content strategy alongside e-books and video.
So, it must be easy. Right? Well actually, done properly, blogging is an art that requires meticulous care and attention if you want to maximise results. With this in mind, I’m checking out 8 blogging fails to avoid.
Mistake #1 – Not catering to the skimmer
43% of people admit to skimming blog posts. So, writing long, tedious blogs with a lack of imagery or subtitles is a big no-no. Nobody – and I mean nobody – wants to see long blocks of text.
In order to increase impressions and engagement, you need to optimise your blog content for people that skim. This includes.
- Using descriptive headers and sub headers. These will help people jump to the sections that interest them the most.
- Keep paragraphs short and sweet. A couple of sentences is enough for each section. Use easy to understand language and don’t waffle.
- Start each paragraph with a clickable link. This will push people along the sales funnel quickly and get them where you need to be to make your blog profitable. Click here for an example.
- Offer a problem and a solution. This will outline what your content is about and prompt people to read on if they’re looking for specific answers.
- Include a table of contents with clickable hyperlinks. Sure, you want people to read your whole article, but they probably won’t. So, meet their expectations with exceptional blog organisation. This is particularly important if your blog is long form.
Mistake #2 – Your Writing is Too Stiff
Blogs are not like whitepapers. They don’t have to be all ironed shirts and straight ties. So, try to let your hair down a little. If you’re new to the blogging world if can be difficult to relax but a conversational tone will resonate more with your audience.
The Solution – Be Personable
People want to feel like they’re doing business with people, not robots. So, try to be personable. The more innovative your blog, the more people will enjoy reading it. Try to think of industry-related topics that will wow your specific audience and keep them coming back for more.
Top tip for marketers: Feature guest blogs from significant team members, super fans and collaborators as this will help personalise your blog and provide content from different perspectives. The below snippet is from the PlayStation blog and was written by the Associate Art Director of Crystal Dynamics regarding a collaborative project with Marvel.
Note how the writer includes a personal back history to give the blog context.
Mistake #3 – Your Blog Doesn’t Have Images
Including images with your blog posts make them more attractive to the average web reader. It breaks up blocks of text and helps hold your reader’s interest. Without colourful images your blog can look dull and mundane.
Solution – Add Exciting Visuals
Blogging is all about keeping people engaged with your brand. So, try to:
- Break up text with images. Including clickable internal links related to each image encourages people to explore your site. Internal links also connect your content and give Google an idea of the structure of your website. They can establish a hierarchy on your site, allowing you to give the most important pages and posts more link value than other, less valuable pages. So, the right internal linking strategy can boost your SEO. And at the very least, keep people exploring.
The below snippet is from LEGO’s blog and includes links leading to more detailed information about each model as well as the creator’s account. To access the detailed information, you must create a LEGO account, which is a great way to grow your marketing network through super content.
- Include video to enhance the experience of those reading your blog. Remember, blogging isn’t about in-your-face sales messages or flashy ads. It’s instead about entertaining with unique content. Disney’s time-lapse video of the sun rising over Aulani Resort is attention grabbing while a link in the content directs consumers to the blogging page.
Top tip for marketers: Use branded hashtags in your blogging strategy as this will help you to organise themed content and make your posts searchable. You can also use the hashtags to promote your blogs on social media.
Mistake #4 – You Have No Strategy
Knowing you want to write a blog is a good start. But what’s your strategy? Is it to boost engagement? Or is it to improve ROI? Perhaps you want content to fuel your social pages. Whatever the case, you need to think strategy.
The Solution – Set Very Firm Goals
When it comes to your blog, set firm goals. If you want to increase sales of a specific line of stock, create a series of related blog posts. That way, you can include clickable links that direct people through the sales funnel.
For example, this skincare blog includes a clickable image, which takes you directly through to a skincare sales page.
Top tip for marketers: To see how well your blog is performing and contributing to overall sales, you must analyse the data. Google Analytics will give you a whole host of metrics to help streamline your strategy.
Mistake #5 – Your Blog Isn’t SEO Optimised
Blogging is easy right? Doesn’t require much thought? Wrong! There’s a whole lot to think about when creating each and every blog post including Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. Without SEO, it will be difficult for your blog to rank for any specific search terms related to your industry. And considering search is the number one traffic source to blogs across all industries, this is not good news.
The Solution – Have an SEO strategy
If you don’t have the time or energy to suss out an SEO strategy for your blog, contact the experts. At my agency Contentworks we can help you rank for specific keywords. You can also do some SEO research for yourself. Think of common words and phrases people are likely to type into Google to find your product or service. Then, look at terms your competitors seem to be optimising for. You can also use keyword research tools such as Soovle, Google Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer.
Once you have a keyword list, you should pick out a few and start developing a blogging strategy around those words, coming up with a list of exciting blog titles that will incorporate those words. Once you’ve covered one theme, expand out so that you’re creating bubbles of content around a specific keyword.
Mistake #6 – You’re Not Sharing Your Blogs to Social Media
If you’re not sharing your blogs to social media accounts, you’re missing out. And sharing them once isn’t enough either. Blogs can be reshared with different images and captions over a period of time depending on how evergreen they are. Content you fail to share, isn’t working as hard as it should.
The Solution – Boost Your Social Appeal Through Blogging
Blogs and social media go hand-in-hand. If you take the time to create a well-researched, interesting blog that’s relevant to your audience, then be proud and share it with your fans. After all, data illustrates the influence that social media has on a business’ bottom line. Eighty-nine percent of people say they’ll buy from a brand they follow on social media, while 84% of people will choose that brand over a competitor. But this means having interesting content.
To make your social accounts pop through blogging, it’s important to:
- Post with great captions that intrigue readers
- Turn your blog information into an eye-catching infographic, short video or interesting GIF. A study of 3.7 million users shows that Tweets with a GIF gained 55% more engagement than those without.
- Keep your followers informed with up-to-date, useful content. The snippet below is from forex company Orbex who tweet market updates linking to their blog.
Mistake #7 – Your Content Isn’t Relevant
As discussed, blogging for business purposes requires fixed goals. So, posting content that’s not relevant to your brand is a big mistake. 45% of people unfollow brands on social media for posting irrelevant content. So, keep this in mind when you’re writing your new blog.
Solution – Ask the Audience
To help fuel your blogging strategy, why not put the power back in the hands of your followers? Place a poll on social media asking them what kind of topics they’d like to see you cover or if they have any questions that need answering. Their responses could fuel your next line of blog content. For example, if lots of fans want to learn about ranking for position zero then that should be your next blog post. You can also check the comments section of your blog or forum to see what questions keep popping up.
If you have a customer support team, ask them which questions keep recurring. By creating helpful FAQ blogs you will be helping customers and taking the heat off support.
If you want to branch out, think of industry news, latest industry research and so on. Blogging styles include lists, how-to instructions, top ten suggestions and so on.
Mistake #8 – You Keep Going Off Brand
Consumers love consistency. It helps them feel reassured. So, if you keep falling off brand with your blogging tone of voice, you’re likely to put people off. Especially if they’ve followed you for DIY tips but here you are blogging about politics. Sigh.
The Solution – Be Consistent
Know your demographic and why they are following you. And stick to your content strategy. As a brand, you should have a specific content tone of voice document complete with examples and guidelines. While blogging should be fun, you can’t go from fun and upbeat one moment to serious and subdued the next. Or from using complicated jargon to suddenly being street and down with the kids. Before you even consider posting, you must agree what your tone of voice will be and keep it inline with the rest of your brand.
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