Guest Post By: Aubrey Phelps
Blogging is serious in a world where content reigns supreme. Companies stake their reputations and their customers on the strength of their content. It’s easy to make mistakes, and some of them are more common than others. Do you make any of these three common blogging mistakes?
1. Making Your Blog Posts Too Dense
Less than a quarter of blog readers read word by word. The vast majority will skim through an article, pulling out the relevant points and skipping the other content. This means you need to keep your blocks of content short to avoid losing your readers.
- Use bulleted or numbered lists to keep your content organized, especially so the promise (i.e., the hook) stand out
- Bold important terms or key sentences so the eye can pick them out easily
- Avoid words the reader might not understand, unless you’re writing about something technical
2. Trying to Push Sales Through Blog Posts
Your blog is for content, lead generation, passive information and SEO relevancy. It is not a sales pitch. If your readers feel like they’re being sold something, they’ll back off. They don’t like being the subject of a pitch.
The purpose of your blog is to establish your business as an authority in your area. This means you’re using it to post relevant information your readers will find useful. In essence, you become a trust agent. Once you’re an authority, the readers will come to you when they want a product you offer. They trust you with their money and their information. If you spend too much effort trying to sell, you don’t build up that trust.
A good way to avoid this is to look at what the other industry blogs are writing about, and make sure you have that information on your site. Users want to read real reviews, product specs, and what to look for in a product – not just all about what makes yours so great. If you try to be unbiased and informative, you’re more likely to have a blog reader convert into a sale than if you try to shove a promotional piece in front of them.
If you really want to convert from blog posts, try encouraging readers to reach out to you with any questions. Sometimes just knowing there is a real person on the other end of the computer helps reassure the potential client that they are buying from a genuine business who truly cares about its customers.
3. Not Using Images in Your Blog Posts
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. When you’re trying to save space, cut down on unnecessary words and still make a detailed point, a picture is an ideal inclusion. Having one or two pictures to accompany a 700-word blog post is ideal. The key is using them in a way that strongly ties in with your blog post itself.
You have to be careful with the images you choose. Don’t simply search for an image online, download it, post it and think you’re in the clear. Most images online are owned by someone, and that someone can file copyright claims if they didn’t give you permission. The way around this is to: create your own images; search for creative commons images; or pay someone for the use of theirs.
In terms of pricing usability and selection, here are a few of the better royalty-free stock photography sites:
4. Publishing without Promoting
There was an old saying in SEO, “if you build it, they will come.” Because of the boom in social media, this is no longer true. People want you to come to them. This is why Facebook advertising is so effective – because then you are getting in front of your audience without them having to search for you and dig through your site for what the information they want.
If you publish without having social sharing buttons such as Facebook or Twitter, or if you publish without promoting your post on Google+ and other social media sites, you are missing a huge opportunity to reach out and connect regularly with your target market. And you are forfeiting an opportunity for others to share your content with their contacts.
Avoiding these four mistakes puts you a long way towards running a successful blog. Keep up a constant flow of content and you can establish your company in no time.