Five blunders that will bury your blog

Nov 11, 2014 by
Five blunders that will bury your blog

In a previous article, we covered some of the most common SEO mistakes that bloggers can make. With this in mind, you’ll be glad to know that even if your blog is perfectly optimised for SEO, there are still plenty of mistakes you can make in terms of the content to ensure that your readership plummets and your blog posts remain unread!

war and loveSo here are 5 of the most common content mistakes that will kill your blog.

1 – Only talking about yourself

Everyone has met someone at a party who only wants to talk about themselves – it’s not a pleasant experience. Starting a blog for the long-term goal of selling your products and services is perfectly acceptable, provided you take the indirect route of marketing yourself. What this means is that your blog must provide value to people, which in turn makes them fans of your brand, which in turn enables them to make the conscious decision to purchase from you. Many bloggers are tempted to skip this process and use their blog to market directly to their audience, often pushing them away in the process. While there’s nothing wrong with mentioning a new product or service you’re offering if you feel it will benefit your audience, the vast majority of your posts must be non-commercial and content-rich if you want to build your brand.

2 – Bad and inappropriate writing

You don’t need to be a literary genius to write a blog. In fact, using too many complicated words, metaphors and other masterful literary techniques is often overkill for blog posts, particularly if it’s inappropriate for the niche you’re writing about. Conveying the right message with precision should be paramount, so don’t be tempted to sacrifice simplicity in the pursuit of artistic appeal. In this day and age when spell checkers are a feature of most word processors, there really are no excuses for badly written blog posts, full of typos – yet the net is rich with them! It’s always best to proofread your post before uploading, preferably at least 24 hours after you finish writing it. Better still is to get an additional person to proofread your post, as oftentimes it can be difficult to spot our own mistakes.

As professional blogger Melissa Culbertson says:

“People on the Internet have short attention spans so the fewer grammar errors or misspellings you have, the more likely someone will enjoy that phenomenal blog post of yours.”

3 – Failing to stick to your niche

Aside from writing SEO-related blog posts, I’m also passionate about fitness and strength training. Clever allegories aside, the audience of this blog is probably not going to be overly interested in hearing about the correct form for deadlifting or the advantages of training in a higher rep range when seeking to attain a leaner body composition! While defining a specific niche and sticking to it can be a daunting task because it isolates so many people, it’s important to remember that the internet is still an enormous place. Provided your niche is well researched and there is a receptive audience out there, it’s far easier to establish a loyal readership by writing about a narrower range of topics than it is spreading your resources thinly and trying to please everyone.

Thumbs down4 – Failing to stick to an upload schedule

While search engines love regularly updated content and your audience will come to expect articles at a certain time of the week, the real advantage of sticking to a schedule is that it prevents you from slacking off and ultimately allowing your blog to fade into obscurity. Just as any gym-goer will tell you, a single missed workout can rapidly turn into two missed workouts, which can turn into a week, and then a month, and then a gym subscription cancellation (I knew I could fit in a gym reference somewhere). One caveat to this rule is that you should never sacrifice quality in order to stick dogmatically to your upload schedule. If you really can’t come up with something high-quality in time for the deadline then cut yourself some slack, but don’t use this as an excuse to be lazy.

 5 – Ineffective and long-winded headlines

As we covered in a previous article, poorly constructed headlines can completely kill the chances of people clicking in to read your content. The headline of your post is the first thing a person will see on Twitter tweets and search engine results, so writing one that is compelling and clickable is just as important as creating quality article content. Whether you want to aim for the list approach, the ‘how to’ approach or just appeal to visceral emotions, don’t settle on something unless you’re entirely convinced of its efficacy to generate clicks.

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