Most people are quick to assume that blogging is an easy task that anyone can do. Then they actually sit down to write their first blog post and quickly discover that expressing yourself in writing is no small feat.
That’s why the majority of bloggers give up before they really even get started. Or if they do stick with it, they likely have no idea what they’re doing so they see little results from all their efforts.
This is unfortunate because blogging is an excellent (and free!) marketing tactic that all businesses can use. Blogging will help you bring more traffic to your website, establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry, and convert more leads into customers.
If you want to find success in blogging there are certain pitfalls you need to avoid along the way. Here are four blogging mistakes every beginner should avoid:
1. Not understanding your audience
The problem many bloggers encounter is that they are writing for themselves, not their readers. And really, who can blame them? Everyone enjoys talking about their own experiences, but not everyone knows who exactly their readers are.
You need to learn who your audience is and what problems they are facing in order to grow your online following. Then your blog posts can be geared toward helping them find solutions to those problems.
Thankfully, there are tons of different options for learning more about your audience. You can start with your own website’s analytics or Google Analytics. You can do market research using Survey Monkey or other online survey tools.
I recommend using the data you collect to create a reader persona. Your reader persona will guide your writing and help you become a more effective blogger.
2. Being inconsistent
As I have already stated, it takes a lot of energy and focus to start a blog. And as a new blogger, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is being inconsistent.
Consistency is everything in the blogging world. If you want to attract readers who will regularly engage with your blog posts then you need to produce content on a regular basis.
This doesn’t mean that you need to post all the time -- in fact, I would recommend focusing on quality over quantity. But it does mean that you need to find a schedule and stick to it.
So, if your plan is to post a new blog every Friday, then stick with that. Over time, your readers will begin to look forward to your blog posts and expect them.
The best way to maintain consistency as a blogger is by creating an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar helps you sustain your content marketing strategy. It will also save you from always stressing over what to post at the last minute.
3. Creating content that is poor quality
This point should be self-explanatory. No one will want to read your blog if it is full of run-on sentences and grammar errors. They can also spot a spun article quickly and will click away from your site.
I get it, not everyone is a great writer and it’s hard to edit your own work. However, the odds are, no matter how many times you proofread your work, the occasional error will keep in. Use tools like Grammarly to check your work.
Quality goes beyond just commas and paragraph length too. The other problem many bloggers run into is that their content just isn’t very interesting or useful.
As I stated earlier, every blog post you write should help your audience solve a problem somehow. In each blog post, you should outline and identify with their problem and provide actionable steps to help them solve it.
I recommend starting with post titles that are questions, like this one I wrote about excess charges in the Medicare insurance industry and how to avoid them. Your post title is the question and your content involves you answering that question and providing useful tips where applicable.
If you approach each post from this perspective of solving a reader’s problem, it’s easier to write quality actionable content.
4. Not promoting your blog posts
Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule in blogging? It states that you should spend 20 percent of your time writing content and then the other 80 percent of your time promoting it. I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but it doesn’t matter if you have great content is nobody ever finds it.
Promotion can look like many different things. Obviously, this includes sharing your blog posts on all your social media channels, but it also includes your overall online engagement. This means responding to every comment on social media and thoughtfully engaging with other people’s content as well.
Blogging is just as much about creating relationships with your readers as it is about the act of writing itself. There are millions of blogs online so why should your readers choose to read yours? They will choose to continue because of the relationship they build with you and because of the value that you offer them with your content.
Hopefully, these four tips have given you some good ideas for how you can improve your own blogging strategies. What are the biggest problems you have run into with blogging?