Wondering whether it is time to think about blog writing? Company blogs are a great tool that offers many benefits. Blog posts help your website get found in the search engine results. They can be shared on your social media pages and even used in newsletters. In many ways, blog writing is a win-win situation for you and your audience. For you, the benefits include traffic and conversion among others. For readers, the benefits include useful information and helpful content that is fun and interesting to read.
The Biggest Blog Writing Mistakes to Avoid
Starting a blog is without a doubt one of the best decisions you could take for your business. Blogging is a great way to bring in traffic to your website in an organic way, while also providing content that adds value to your audience. It helps you share company news, promote key products or services and even connect to your customers on a deeper level. With that said, rushing into blogging without a plan can end up doing more harm than good.
If you are serious about getting the most from your blog writing efforts, look out for these mistakes.
Blogging without an SEO strategy.
As blogging is closely linked to SEO, you cannot afford to start without having some sort of SEO strategy in place. You do not need to get too technical. Don’t worry if you have limited or even no understanding of SEO, either. You can either outsource your blog posts to an experienced freelance writer who understands how to find and use keywords, meta descriptions, links, headers, and other optimisation or you can teach yourself as you go, starting with keyword research. Moz has a great beginner’s guide to keyword research. HubSpot also has some useful tips in their article on how to do basic keyword research.
Keywords are essential as these help your blog and website get found online in relevant searches. Once you have a list of potential keywords, you will be able to move on to the next step – creating a content strategy for your blog.
Blogging without a content strategy.
Although content and SEO strategies are closely linked, there are a few key differences between these two strategies. Your SEO plan focuses on the keywords you will use for your blog posts. Blogging without a bigger plan will result in unfocused content that is hit and miss. Your content strategy will focus on the blog post topics you choose. These topics will include the keywords but they will also take other factors into account as well. For example, you may have products that you want to promote during a certain time of year. You may want to have posts on gifting around Christmas, for example. Or you may want to feature date ideas around Valentine’s Day. Basically, your content plan looks at the bigger picture of your blog content to help you decide which topics to post each month.
You could follow a basic event-type calendar that is designed around major seasonal events. You could look at products that have a lower selling rate or services that you have recently launched. You could aim to include evergreen posts that can be read anytime without becoming stale. The best plan is to take all of these into account along with your keywords. Ideally, you want a good percentage of evergreen blog posts along with a few seasonal posts that can be promoted around events or product promotions.
Blogging without a conversational tone.
If you are trying too hard to write, you may end up sounding stilted and awkward. Conversational tone is another way of saying write as you would speak. It sounds simpler than it is, like many things. But, once you start to get used to writing for your blog, it becomes easier and easier to develop a style that is easy and relaxed. It is also worth noting that your tone should also be suitable for your audience and industry. You would likely feel a bit uncomfortable reading very relaxed slang on a financial institution blog. At the same time, it would be weird reading formal language on a kids’ clothing blog.
Copyblogger has some good tips on how to write conversationally. Another way to get into the habit is to simply practice as much as you can. Write in your journal, write posts just for fun in drafts, write short stories for your kids to read, and play around as much as possible. This will all help you get used to writing, which, in turn, helps you become a better writer as well.
Blogging without thinking.
Finally, it is also worth noting that blogging without thinking about what you are writing is also a huge mistake. The biggest risk with this approach is that you end up either writing about something that is not relevant to your business or writing something that may end up offending or putting people off your business. Blogging regularly is good. Blogging to vent is not. Do not ever blog about personal issues on your company blog. Do not blog to vent about customers, complain about anything, try and weigh in on any political issues, talk about your kids or pets, share unrelated content or write about anything else that may result in regret.
A good way to stay on track is to keep a speadsheet that has your set topic ideas, either for each month or just in general. Use this list religiously and do not veer from it unless you have taken the time to research keywords and topic ideas in advance. This will make it harder to post in haste and also ensure that you do not go off on a tangent.
Almost all new bloggers will make at least one of these mistakes at some point. That is ok. Everyone has to start somewhere. As you get used to blogging and begin to improve your writing skills, it will become a lot easier. If all of this still seems like a huge effort on top of all the other things you have to do each month, the best plan is to think about outsourcing your blog writing to an expert. Working with a freelancer who has all the skill and experience to grow your blog will take off the pressure while allowing your blog to grow. Contact me today if you’d like to know more about professional blog writing.