I love blogging.
Blogging and networking are my two favourite ways to market myself and my business.
Writing and chatting – Brilliant.
As a writer, blogging is the most intuitive way to communicate my message, but it doesn’t always come easily, especially when you are writing about something close to your heart – Your business.
It’s easy to get into bad habits, however, and these are six of the most common blogging mistakes I see, (and what to do about them):
Six Common Blogging Mistakes
1) Spelling, grammar, and bad writing
In your haste to ‘just get it done’, it’s easy to overlook blogging mistakes or bash something out and post it there and then. I often find myself saying ‘the real writing happens in the edit’.
Too often I see content where someone has clearly drafted it and put it immediately out there without editing or taking stock.
If you are going to blog, do it properly. There is enough crap published every second online already, don’t be part of the problem.
Draft it, save it, then walk away. Do something else for a while, give your brain time to reset then come back with a critical eye.
When we read something immediately after writing it, our brain reads what it thinks it’s written, by coming back to it, even just a few minutes later, your brain has already reset itself and you are more likely to spot silly little mistakes or typos.
2) “Buy my thing” – A sales pitch
The job of your blog is not to ‘sell’ what you do.
The job of your blog is to build that ‘know-like-trust’ factor.
To tell your story.
Share your passion.
Educate your audience.
Be helpful just for the sheer pleasure of it.
Show us what it feels like to work with you.
Avoid this blogging mistake by writing creative and informative content, not sales copy.
3) Once in a blue moon
If you are going to blog, you need to commit to it.
Aim to publish at least one blog a month, that way, when someone goes to your website it’s current – Google also likes fresh content and active websites.
Make space in your diary to write, and show up with a positive attitude. It’s easier to build a healthy writing routine if you write little and often then publish at least once a month.
A good quality piece of writing will take at least a couple of hours to write, craft and edit.
4) No theme
We are all interested in lots of things, but that’s not the point of your business blog.
Write with relevance to your business and your audience. Stay consistent. Have a theme that threads through your content (and the theme is never ‘what’ you do.)
5) Too short
From a Google point of view, anything less than about 300 words will barely register in search engines. From a readability point of view, it’s hard to say anything of depth or value in less than 500 words. By the time you’ve written an introduction and a conclusion, the main body would ony be a paragraph or so.
Add value with depth.
Save your soundbites for Twitter.
Keep your writing to the point and edited tightly. Don’t tackle too many topics in one piece. Instead, focus on depth. Take one element and add value by exploring it in depth and structuring it coherently. Less is more in writing, but it still needs to say enough to be worth reading.
6) Too Long
Again, a symptom of publishing without editing effectively is writing too much. Avoid the waffle and the jargon, and producing something so long and wordy the audience clicks off.
The first draft is where you let all the words come out. Go for it. Write it all down, then take stock and edit.
Once a blog post exceeds the 1,000-word mark, ask yourself these fundamental questions:
What to look for if you think you’ve written too much
Have you repeated statements and points too much?
Is it really one blog post, or have you gone off on a tangent?
Is it structured, or did you waffle?
Are your sentences long and wordy?
Have you repeated words in a sentence?
Have you used unnecessary words such as: Really. Some. That. Actually. Purely. Simply?
Can you play with tenses to tighten it and shorten your sentences?
Are you making these common mistakes on your blog?
If you’re not sure whether your writing is any good, get in touch.
I’m happy to chat for free and give you some sample feedback on your writing.