We have all heard about how to use the right keywords and how to keep an editorial calendar enough times to know the blogging basics, but that’s not all that goes into it. And as a result, many bloggers are making easily avoided mistakes on a daily basis.
So here they are, the five things you’re doing wrong with your blogs:
1.) You’re Thinking of Your Blog as a Way to Drive Sales
Your blog is not a sales tool, and if you are constantly using that space to promote your own products you are not going to retain readers. Who would voluntarily read advertisements on a regular basis?
You should consider it to be only part of your full content marketing strategy to gain visitors to your site; that’s the purpose of the blog. Establish your company as an industry leader that is knowledgeable on current events and changes in your field. You want to be seen as a thought leader.
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Putting out interesting, thought-provoking content will encourage others to return to see what else you have to say and to share your posts via social media or email. That will enhance your leads, and thereby your sales. Blogs are an indirect way to drive the sales process through good content; don’t use your blog only to plug your own products and services.
2.) You’re Not Listening to Your Audience
You’re busy. And with a content calendar full of blogs that have to be written it can be hard to find time to anything other than research and write on your designated topics and dates. But you have to do more.
Listen to what your audience is talking about, what is trending, and, most importantly, how the audience reacts to other content out there. If you see a lot of questions out on social media channels about a certain topic, write a blog about it. That will earn you lots of readers.
If you stick only to your schedule without living in the here and now, you will fall behind the blogging curve and lose the credibility of being on the cutting edge of your industry. That is easily avoided by reading audience comments and questions on blogs and social media outlets. (Bonus: reading more makes you a better writer!)
3.) You’re Trying Too Hard
Writers want to be the first ones to report on a certain trend or new technology, but with a digital space that is full of bloggers in every niche imaginable it is hard to find topics that haven’t already been covered. The thing is, that’s ok.
Do you know how many articles have been written intravel magazines about taking a trip to Paris? I don’t, but I guarantee that it’s an awful lot. That’s because trips to Paris are common and frequent, so there is always a need for them. The same applies to blogs.
Even though emails about how to use email for marketing already exist, it’s ok to write one as long as you find either a new way to present the information or a value that your specific audience can appreciate. Don’t stress over finding a one-of-a-kind topic no one has heard of for every single blog you write. Find a classic topic and improve it.
4.) You’re Not Learning From Your Past
Don’t let your marketing strategy fall into a rut by sticking to your old content routines. Even if you have a good strategy you should always be looking at how to improve it.
If a campaign didn’t have the success you thought it would or a blog title got a huge, unexpected visitor reaction, what does that tell you? You should maybe arrange a series of blogs, or at least more posts on the successful topic, and figure out what went wrong with the one that failed.
You can blog 100 times a month and get the leads you are hoping for (and no sleep), or you can blog about the topics that get results 10 times a month for same number of leads. The choice is yours, but I know I love sleep.
5.) You’re Not Giving Yourself Enough Credit
As a lifelong writer, I know all too well the woes and struggles involved with writing blogs every day. Mainly, what you write is just never quite good enough to meet your own expectations.
Those self-inflicted pains do not deserve even a second of your attention. Blogging is not easy; it takes skills in research and the finesse of putting together a well-crafted sentence. If nothing else, at least you can avoid the Internet shame of using the wrong version of “your.” (You know the endless ridicule you’ll face if your you’re wrong.)
Try not to scrutinize your own work so harshly. Even if you didn’t have the time you wanted, the research you wanted, or the exact words you wanted, no one who reads it will know that. I am not saying you shouldn’t put in time and effort to make great posts, because you should. Just recognize the point where it goes from editing to nit picking. And once that deadline arrives, turn it in (or post it) and move on. And be proud of the work you put in.
Don’t keep making the same mistakes while developing your content strategy and writing your blogs. (Seriously, one of the mistakes is not learning…)
Consider your blogging strategy to be a way to bring in new visitors and turn them into returning visitors willing to share your content with others, listen to what matters to your audience, don’t try too hard to write original topics for every post, learn from your past analytics, and value what you do for what it is.
If I missed something, let me know in the comments below!