Would you like to become a blogger? According to Google (our new best friend), a blog is a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or a small group that is written in an informal or conversational style. They are one of the most important content types in content marketing. Data by OKDork says that blog posts are among the most shared content online, and thus, blog content creation is the top priority for 53% of marketers, according to the State of Inbound report.
Those of you who have already started your blogs know that it isn’t as easy as it seems. It requires persistence and consistent effort to maintain credibility among readers.
Skim through this piece that will keep you on the straight and narrow path to good content writing.
To write something particularly well, it is important not to make any mistakes. Let’s go through the errors that trip up a lot of aspiring bloggers:
1. Everyone loves unicorns, right?
Don’t they? Well, we don’t know. The point is that one of the biggest mistakes aspiring bloggers make is to write only about what interests them. Don’t just regurgitate the first idea that comes into your head. You must plan your blogs according to your business’s requirements. If you are blogging for a company, focus on what the business goals are, long term and short term. If you are an individual blogger, plan for how you want your readers to perceive you after your 100th blog.
2. I am Drone
Keep in mind; you don’t want to become a drone. You don’t want to be the guy that soullessly sits hunched over your keyboard writing content for the boss. Find ways to keep yourself engaged with the topic. This will allow you to keep your ideas and tone fresh all the time.
3. Who am I?
You need to find a voice that your audience can hear. This means that you need to create a character or a presence that may not necessarily be your own but is the one that the reader sees you as. You may have to go as far as creating different moods or tones according to your client if you are a freelancer.
4. Super professional
Right, being professional has been the talk of the town for ages now. Dress sharp, talk clearly, and make your intentions clear! However, when it comes to most of your readers, you will find that they prefer a more relaxed, laid-back tone. No one really wants to feel like they are reading a thesis on the history of morticians. Relax, allow your readers to engage with your content, converse with them.
5. I am a Writer
We get it; you’re a writer. It feels cool to say that. Honestly, the guy sitting next to you in the subway doesn’t care who wrote the piece of information he is absorbing. He cares about the content. Be yourself, be unique and quirky. NEVER forget that your content is more important than who you are.
6. I already said that
Repetition is key. Just because you have mentioned your point once, it does not mean it has resonated with the reader. More importantly, it is unlikely that every reader will read the entirety of your content, so make sure you reinforce your point cleverly throughout the blog.
7. Behold, my work
Yes, you’ve got readers. Great… This doesn’t mean that they need to know every personal detail about how you and the topic are connected. Focus on your topic and keep personal stories to a minimum. No one really cares about your relationship with your goldfish.
8. Starting big, really big
Don’t. Choose very specific topics and start with them, and don’t hesitate to get to the point. You may want to solve the world’s problems. We applaud you. This doesn’t mean that someone wants to read 45,879 words on how to do it while they are on their way to work.
9. Is the devil in the details?
Yes, we guess that could be true. Although when it comes to content writing, make sure your specific blog connects to your or your company’s long-term goals.
10. Dropping ideas like its hot
It can be tempting to just jab away at your keyboard and splatter your imagination across the screen. Sometimes you just may spit out Beethoven; however, most of the time, only you will understand what you have written. It’s best to figure out what kind of post you want to do and then start laying out a plan. Once you have an outline, organize your thoughts and create a flow of ideas. Your writer’s instinct will take care of the rest. Have a look at an example on outlining your blog’s content:
11. They’re going to love this
Sure, your audience reads your work because they like it. This doesn’t mean that they have read every word you have written. Most readers skim through the content you have written and read the bits and pieces that interest them. Make sure you are aware of that and allow for that in your creative process. Knowing your audience is the key factor.
12. You’ll understand if you want to
That isn’t the case. It wasn’t the case in school, and it isn’t the case now. The most important aspect of content writing is passing information to your audience. Sounding smart and filling up a page is not enough. The reader should be able to walk away from your blog and be able to act upon the information you provided. It has to be useful.
13. I got this
Data, research. This cannot be underlined enough. Use relevant data to give foundation to the information you are putting out there. It will give readers confidence in your content and drive your point home. If you take a few minutes to read Pamela Bump’s blog on HubSpot, you will see how she uses data to drive her point home. You aren’t a verified source of information just yet. Back yourself up with real data and figures.
14. This is my point, okay?
Not adding enough roughage around your point can be a turn-off for many readers. Use examples and expand on your thoughts to allow the reader time and visual space in their minds to absorb your content. Look at point “9” in this blog. It is concise and, therefore, forgettable because there is not enough information around it to drive the point home. Thank you for re-reading that point.
15. Too short, too long
There is some conflict in terms of research; refer again to AJ Beltis’s article on hubspot.com. In general, when writing content or a blog, don’t be too wordy or too brief. Ideally, an article should be over 1000 words, and this article says the optimum word count is 1600 words per post. Please, don’t write for the sake of word count though, write as much as you need to so that you ensure information is delivered and absorbed well.
16.Thou shalt not pilfer
There is no harm in stating a fact or presenting information that someone else has put out there. We all know that copycatting isn’t cool. If you are going to use someone else’s hard work to bolster your content writing skills, the least you can do is give them credit for it. It may be difficult always to sound original; being honest about your content is important to keep your readers’ trust.
17. I’m done, send
Great, so you’ve thrashed out the work assigned to you and are busy with the next one. Awesome typing speed. Stop, spend as much time as you can proofreading. Check, double-check and then check again. If you don’t feel like reading your work a few times before sending it out there, how could you possibly expect someone else to read it?
18. On the other hand
Right, like we said. Read and read again before you submit your blog. Then again, there is a limit; you don’t have to be the best every time. You have to DO your best and once you’ve proofread it a few times and are happy with it, let it go. You cannot always put out the perfect blog that breaks the internet. Once you are sure that it’s the best you have at the moment, go ahead and publish it.
19. I don’t really feel like writing
The thing about information is that it is addictive. So what happens when you don’t get your info fixed on time? You look for it elsewhere. You don’t want your readers to forget about you. Make sure you blog regularly and consistently. If you have other things going on, use a calendar to map out your blog plans for the week or the month, or even the year.
20. Nobody loves me
Traffic, traffic, traffic. That seems to be what’s on everyone’s mind. That is completely normal. Instead of just using it as a yardstick to measure how good you are, learn how to use it to improve your articles and learn how to target specific demographics. Don’t let lack of traffic discourage you. It takes a while to get a steady flow of readers. You have to remember that people have a million things on their minds. A sudden drop in traffic or a lack of it could be due to many reasons, including world events. Keep at it; as long as what you are putting out there is relevant, they will come.
21. I’m much too modest for that
Don’t be. Make sure you ask your readers to subscribe and to let others know about your content writing if they like it. Get the word out, and don’t be shy. Give people options to subscribe to your blogs. What you want from them is to hit that button and keep coming back for more. Do not hesitate about marketing yourself or your work.