Have you ever been on a company’s blog and found spelling and grammar mistakes? Links that don’t work? Formatting that made the article difficult to read? Not only does this create a negative image in the eyes’ of readers, but it often deters them from ever returning to your blog. Some of these errors are so easy to catch, but businesses can become so overwhelmed in their content marketing efforts that these mistakes are often overlooked.
Use this list of 8 common blogging mistakes as a checklist of things to avoid and check when publishing a new article.
Proofread for Spelling/Grammar Errors
This may be the easiest mistake to avoid. Not only do our computer programs have a spelling corrector, but so do many blogging platforms. They alert you when a word is spelled wrong for a purpose. However, they do not pick up when the wrong “there,” “its,” “your”, etc. are used. Take the time to read through your post carefully to make sure that all spelling and grammatical errors are corrected. Posting a blog article with numerous spelling and grammatical errors can lead to your business losing credibility.
A fresh pair of eyes can be extremely helpful, as well. Write the post and go through it once/twice and then have someone else go through it, too. A new pair of eyes can help to catch some of the errors you may have missed.
Post Regularly, But Not Too Regularly
A blog post is not needed everyday. Consider posting 1 or 2 a week at most, but not everyday. Write when you have something to say instead of publishing an article that you whipped together because you HAD to publish. Your readers will appreciate their inboxes not being filled with RSS feed notifications that your company has posted yet another article. Be strategic in when you post!
What number of words is the proper number of words in a blog post? Stop revolving your blog articles around how many words you need to publish in order to be valuable and picked up by search engines. Instead, stop writing when you have finished what you have to say regarding a specific topic. 750 may be optimal, but if you can say what you need to say in less, that’s OK too!
You are a professional in your industry and understand the terminology that comes with it. However, your readers may not be as well-versed. Write your blogs in layman’s terms and avoid writing in jargon. Although some may understand industry specific terms, others don’t. Write your article as if you are going to be sharing it with a novice. If you are looking to explain terminology of your industry to your readers through your blog, that’s OK! Just make sure that this description can also be understood by that same novice.
Editing Takes Time
This is different than proofreading your article. Check the flow of your article and move around paragraphs as needed. Does the article make sense? Did you go off topic or on a rant? Can something be removed and the blog still make sense? Have you used repetitive words or industry jargon? Make the post easy to read! Even try reading the article out loud. Reading aloud will help you to catch awkward wording and help you to identify changes that need to be made.
If your blog article sounds robotic, you’re doing something wrong. Your blog articles should allow you to have some personality, voice your opinions and be creative! Remember, your readers have chosen to read what you write because you are different than the rest. Others are writing about the same topic you are, but they chose you! Let your personality come through your writing. Share your own experiences, opinions, and perspectives on topics; incorporate your sense of humor; create a unique voice. Whatever makes you “you”, incorporate it!
Blog on the Same Site
If you use a completely different website to host your blog, reconsider. You may be trying to save money or think that having two websites is better than one. Think about it this way… If your blog is on the same website as all of your services and content, your blog readers have easier access to your website. Go for the “all-in-one-place” approach.
Images are a great way to strengthen your blog posts if used correctly. The images need to be of quality and relative to what you are writing about. If a blog visitor sees an image, but can’t identify what the image is of or how it relates to the topic, they are more apt to stop reading. Smartphones and tablets have high quality cameras that can produce the images you need for your blog. Try using your own photos not only so you can customize the image to your topic, but to avoid copyright infringement by using another persons’ images.
Although blogging is oftentimes described as an easy and affordable content marketing tool, posting the perfect blog post can be difficult and overwhelming to some. From coming up with a topic to discuss to posting the blog with proper formatting and various elements, there is a lot to consider. Remember these common blogging mistakes as you progress in your blogging efforts. By eliminating these, you can improve your following and gain credibility.