The engine of your content marketing effort is the blog. And if you’re new to content marketing, there’s no better, easier place to jump in than through creating a blog. For content marketing, we talk a LOT about the priority of top-notch content. But that high quality content is not the whole story! Another great article by Heidi Cohen lays out 7 blogging mistakes that you must avoid. If you don’t make the effort to avoid or fix these mistakes, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
Blogging Mistakes that Kill – And How to Avoid Them
Mistake #1. Don’t Sweat the Technical Aspects. Sure, you have to focus on your content, but you can’t blow off the technical side of SEO.
- Set your blog up properly on your own domain.
- Keep your software up-to-date and secure. Use the latest version of your blog host software, and be careful with passwords and security.
- Maximize your blog speed.
- Pay attention to dead links and other navigation issues. Fix ‘em!
Mistake #2. Don’t Worry About the Content Quality. Just post “whatever”!
- Understand your target persona. Write TO them, and FOR them.
- Cluster your content around the main theme.
- Minimize self-marketing. Don’t think of your blog as an extension of your promotional distribution. Bring a benefit to your reader.
- Write excellent headlines. They’ll never see your content if you didn’t attract them with your title.
Mistake #3. Forget to Lay Out the Content for Easy Reading. Don’t just type it in, and hit “publish”. Make sure it’s easy to skim and that the main points are obvious.
- Make content scannable. Most readers won’t read every word. Use bolding and outlining to guide them through your information quickly.
- Use photographs and other visual content to support comprehension.
- Streamline each post. The goal is to eliminate extraneous and flabby wording.
- Check your grammar, punctuation and spelling. Remember, you’re trying to make it EASY to read!
Mistake #4. Don’t Bother Optimizing the Post for Search.
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- Focus each post on a different keyword phrase.
- Use your keywords to tag images and videos.
- Use internal (cross) linking and outbound linking.
- Shape the url to use relevant keywords.
- Purchase your own domain. You want your main URL to support your search efforts.
Mistake #5. Don’t Encourage Readers to Take Action. Just posting content on a regular basis is insufficient to drive measurable activity. You must use a targeted call-to-action related to your business goals.
- Determine what you want readers to do. Then ask them!
- Promote your email list on your blog.
- By the way, please “like” or “Tweet” this article below!
Mistake #6. Keep your Blog Posts a Secret. Just publishing isn’t enough.
- Distribute your blog posts via email and RSS.
- Share your content on social media.
- Add your blog content to your other digital media.
Mistake #7. Just Let it Get Stale. Set it and forget it.
- Update your About page and design occasionally.
- Post on a regular basis.