In a short time, blogging went from little more than online diaries to a fundamental part of digital life. We’ll look at some of the common flaws in blogging and what we can learn from them to take your blog to the next level.
There’s a lot to celebrate about blogging, but there are pitfalls too. If you want to take a good look at blogging, looking at the most common flaws – and the lessons they can teach us – is a great start.
With that in mind, here are ten common mistakes bloggers make and the light they can shed on good blogging.
Blogging can be a demanding affair, especially at the start. Trying to grow your blog and nudge in on established sites is tough. Putting out a similar amount of content is basically impossible.
Quality over quantity; the cliché fits blogging to a tee. Make your blogs well researched, well written, and well edited instead of trying to rush things out to meet an unreasonable quota. Quality will keep people coming back, even if it only comes around once in a blue moon.
On that note, blogs can be erratic. They’ll come in waves, they’ll hitch onto a spur of inspiration, two or three in a week, and then, suddenly – nothing.
If you’re putting content out there haphazardly, it’ll be an impediment to developing a readership. Set a schedule, develop a production process, and stick to it as best you can. With consistency, readers will pick up when to expect content from you and that will act as a trigger for them to return to your site.
Bloggers are creative people, and creative people often have a wide range of interests. While this is amazing (and a trait that some of the world’s most successful people share) it’s also one of the places a blog can come unstuck.
If you’re writing about five different things, you’ll likely only gain real traction with people who are looking for those five things in one place. If you focus on one, in an almost counterintuitive way, you’ll resonate with more people.
Sometimes you’ll find blogs have rich and well-researched pieces one day and something completely different the next. They might vary in tone, style, and format to an extent that readers won’t be able to establish a clear idea for what the blog offers.
If you’re altering your delivery too much you may be turning readers away. Develop and stick to a tone of voice, don’t shift format too often or in too radical a way. Being identifiable, taking steps to set an identity for your blog, will give people something to latch onto.
Embrace the Competition
Blogs sometimes set up as though they need to muscle into an audience share. Chances are, no matter what your blog is about, there’s someone else covering the same thing. But this isn’t necessarily a drawback. More activity and more quality content on a subject will draw more readers.
Don’t set up as though you’re selling a product on high street. Find your blogging community, embed your blog within it, and make connections. It’s a sure-fire way to access more readers and can help you put your blog in a position of authority on a subject.
Blogging is, no matter what you’re covering, an intellectual exercise. And it’s only human that people who bank on their expertise might feel the urge to guard that expertise at times. Our ideas, our insight, is precious, it’s valuable to us, so why give it all away for free?
That reticence is self-defeating. The more comprehensively you share what you know, the more people will be drawn to your site. Being open, honest, helpful helps you give real value to your readers and will establish the reliability readers are looking for.
Don’t Let People Slip Away
One of the hardest parts of blogging is getting people to come to you. But often blogs miss opportunities to keep people onsite and make a lasting impression.
Your site should be geared up to retain traffic. Give people a reason to stay there. Publicise your social media presence through your posts, link to your own content within your own content. Don’t be shy about highlighting what you have to offer.
Know Your Audience
A lot of blogs offer content without making a real effort to understand who’s consuming it. How did people find you? Why are they visiting? What do they like, what don’t they like?
Making a basic effort to understand who your audience is can transform your perspective on what you’re producing. If you can answer some basic questions about them, you’ll greatly improve the experience you can offer your readers.
Engaging with your readers is vital for any blog. But often blogs lack inclusive language, missing triggers that make people feel as though they’re part of what they’re reading.
Start conversations, show people who you are and connect with them on a human level. If you can properly engage with your audience, your blog will grow. Most importantly, it will grow a solid base of readers who value you as much as you do them.
Don’t Ignore the Foundation
Blogs are writing. Writing is an art. But any art needs a canvas that fits what it’s trying to do. There are countless examples of excellent writing hidden on dull or cluttered websites, their value being obscured by poor design.
Successful websites function well. They prioritise user experience. Try to offer people a good overall experience and your blog will be better off for it.
Stick to those Core Principles
Good blogs maintain consistency, offer high quality content, and keep readers at the heart of what they’re doing. Avoiding mistakes is one thing, but if you can focus on these principles, you’ll produce better blogs.