Writing blog posts is something many people enjoy, while others just don’t know how to get started and would rather do anything but write a blog post.
When it’s done well, blogging is a great way to build your profile and be seen as an expert in your industry. However, you can so easily detract from the way your business is perceived if you get it wrong – and that’s not the outcome anyone wants.
If writing blog posts is challenging for you, it may be because you’re making some classic mistakes. Below, you’ll find an outline of the most common mistakes – and how to fix them.
The top 10 mistakes people make when writing blog posts are:
1. Failing to plan and outline before writing
Rather than staring at a blank screen, waiting for inspiration, it’s a good idea to plan out your topic and the main points you want to make before you start writing. Some people find this easier to do with pen and paper, rather than on a screen – just do what works for you.
Not sure where to start with your outline? Once you have a topic in mind, try writing it in the middle of the page, then draw 6 lines coming out from the central topic and write one of the following headings on each line: Who, what, where, when, why and how. Then explore each of these and write notes next to the headings. This will give you an outline.
2. Not thinking about your reader
The most important thing for you to consider is – who is my reader? This is one of the first things to think about when planning your blog post. After all, you’re writing the post for them, aren’t you? What level of understanding of the topic does the reader have? What questions do you need to answer for them?
3. Using jargon or buzz words
Readers may not be familiar with your industry terms and the jargon you use. Unless your article will only be read by those working in your industry, don’t use jargon or buzz words unless you explain them. Use language the everyday person will understand.
4. Not correcting spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes
While spelling, punctuation and grammar might seem like boring topics, they’re important if you want to make a good impression on your reader. Mistakes not only make a blog post difficult to read, they can make you look unprofessional and inefficient. It’s often difficult to see your own errors, so be sure to ask another person to read your blog post before you submit it or hit the publish button.
5. Not correcting typos
Typographical errors, or typos, as they are more commonly known, are another avoidable issue which can make you look unprofessional. Again, it can be difficult to see your own typos, so ask a colleague to check your work before sending it out.
6. Posting paragraph after paragraph of text
- Keep paragraphs short, sharp and straight to the point
- Use headings, bullet points or numbered lists to break up text
- Insert images where appropriate
- Use numbering or bullet points to break up big chunks of text
7. Using too many different fonts
Using a larger font for headings and sub-headings is fine, but try not to use more than two different fonts throughout your blog post if you want to make a good impression on your reader.
8. Rambling on
Everyone is time-poor. If you can convey your message in fewer words, do it! Your readers will thank you for it. If you think readers will have further questions at the end of the blog post, add a link or your email address. A call to action at the bottom of your post invites readers to contact you and provides a further opportunity to engage them in a conversation and potentially do business together.
9. Forgetting to use images or diagrams
Some readers are visual, so images and diagrams can enhance the reader’s understanding of your topic. Visuals also help to break up large chunks of text. It’s a good idea to use at least one image or diagram per blog post.
10. Not tying into your brand
Every blog post is an opportunity to reinforce your brand by portraying your company’s approach to business or your “brand essence”. Be sure the topic and your post are in alignment with the way you do business.
I hope these tips are helpful to those struggling with writing blog posts. You may also enjoy – 5 ways to generate blog post ideas – How to set up a simple blogging schedule – 21 blog post ideas for small business owners
Hi, I’m Lyndall Guinery-Smith, The Professional Writer. I write copy dedicated to attracting and engaging your ideal clients … and improving your bottom line. I happily work with clients all over Australia. Email me to arrange an obligation-free discussion about your latest project. Or if you’d like to learn how to connect with your audience and build your business, why not input your email address and receive my regular marketing updates in your mailbox? You can sign up for our mailing list at the base of the Home Page on www.ProfessionalWriter.com.au.