As a new blogger, nerd, and professional self-doubter, I constantly analyze what I am doing wrong. So of course, when I started this blog, I was immediately drawn into a black hole on the internet all about blogging mistakes. After a short amount of time (hours), I started to compile a checklist of the common mistakes that I am already guilty of. After all, the first step is to admit you have a problem, and only then can you move forward.
Stir til it gets to the correct consistency, no wait, that’s baking. If a blogger is consistent about which day and time he or she posts, then you know when to look at the blog.
Solution: Set a blogging schedule and stick to it. I am going to aim for Mondays and Wednesdays before Noon (EST). After today, because it’s already Friday afternoon.
2. Unstructured Writing
Stream of consciousness is out. Each post should have a clear structure and logic. Posts should also have headings, subheadings, list indicators, etc. for ease of reading.
Solution: Go back to drafting on paper so my thoughts are more organized. Create an outline template for different kinds of blog posts.
3. Not Inviting and Engaging In Participation
If you want to be the life of the party, you can’t be antisocial.
Solution: Comment on other blogs. Ask questions, build an email list, and get on social media and Pinterest (as well as redirect traffic to your blog).
4. Striving for Perfection
It’s better to have a blog imperfect and posted than never posted because it’s not perfect. I am posting, but I need to stop fiddling with the drafts I’m not happy about.
Solution: Keep writing and keep up the courage to post things, even if they aren’t perfect. One suggestion said to keep a timer nearby and get your blog post written and edited in about an hour.
5. Not Making the Content Accessible
When you visit a blog, what happens when you can’t find the post? Most people click away. And if your post is hard to read, the same thing happens.
Solution: Add subscription options. Make sure that your blog posts are easy to see or navigate to. Edit out excess verbiage & complicated jargon. Use subheadings and list indicators.
6. No Catchy Headlines
We have short attention spans – squirrel! So you have to catch the attention of the reader by the headline.
Solution: I went to www.copyblogger.com and got “How to Write Magnetic Headlines,” which has template headlines for all kinds of blog posts. I’ll be trying them out in the future.
7. Weak Intro Paragraph
Again, squirrelly attention spans. If the intro doesn’t sound interesting, people won’t read it.
Solution: Practice writing synopsis that don’t give away all the secrets and make that the intro. Also, think in terms of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). What would people google in order to find your post?
8. Topic is Off-Brand/ There is No Brand
“If you fall for everything, you won’t stand for anything.” If you want a loyal readership community, then you have to discover your “purpose” or your “brand” and stick to it.
Solution: Ask yourself if your ideal reader would be interested in it. Use the category tags to keep your posts organized, and if it doesn’t fit in your categories, chances are it might be off brand (or you need to create a new category).
9. Post is All About the Author with Nothing to Offer
Let’s face it, nobody cares about you unless you’re already famous. They want to know what’s in it for them. So make sure that the blog posts have something to offer to others.
Solution: Edit to make the points more concise, more useful, and less about me.
10. No Editing
Editing is a must. First drafts always suck. Editing allows you to fix typos and clean up excess verbiage.
Solution: Spend more time editing. Hand write and edit on paper, then edit while creating the digital draft. Create a draft the day or week before, then you will have time to do the “Oh, I should have said this instead!”
I’m currently making all of these mistakes. Looking into these has given me an opportunity to clean up my writing and my blogging process, so I’m pleased rather than frustrated.
Which of these mistakes was your hardest to overcome? Do you have a tip for me? I think mine will probably be consistency and discovering exactly what my “brand” will be.