Even if your content is generally top notch, have you ever wondered what else you can do to make it just a little more actionable? Unfortunately, it’s rather easy to kill your blog posts without you even realizing it. We often get carried away with certain habits that can quickly hurt the content’s overall usefulness.
Let’s look at some common mistakes that are undoubtedly doing your articles more harm than good.
Not Writing for People
Many years ago, blogs were treated more like a personal journal as opposed to user-driven, semi-commercial platforms. That trend has gone away for the most part, but you can still spot the occasional post that overly focuses on its author and not the target audience.
Talking about yourself is fine and dandy, but focus primarily on your readers. That means not going overboard with keywords, not being too “salesy,” and certainly not being all about you.
Not Writing for Search Engines
This might contradict what I just said above, but the key here is to find that perfect balance. Provide the essentials to help your audience while naturally injecting appropriate keywords and phrases throughout.
Even if search engines are not your main source of traffic, there’s no reason to abandon that venue altogether. After all, it is said that Google now handles over 2 trillion searches every year. Wouldn’t you want a small piece of that pie?
Relying on Cutesy Wording
Look, I get it. Online magazines do this all the time and they’re exploding with traffic. But keep in mind they have deep marketing pockets along with an established audience. Simply put, their way of operating isn’t the way that we (average Joes) operate.
That being said, the occasional cryptic headline actually works well and it might drive curiosity and views. Just ask the likes of Thought Catalog, which is constantly relying on odd, yet intriguing blog post titles.
Consider this an art and a science; feel free to use cute and clever wording when suitable, but don’t be too ambiguous and don’t rely on this exclusively. Unless, of course, you’re actively looking to kill your blog posts in the process.
Not Linking to Other Sources
Linking to other related content provides several benefits: Internal articles get a chance to receive more traffic, and linking externally allows you to connect with fellow bloggers.
While this in itself won’t directly kill your blog posts, in the end it’s all about providing a greater user experience. Why give your readers the bare minimum when you can always go for that extra mile? Readers remember your actions over time and react accordingly. Don’t mistreat them.
Consistently Picking the Wrong Topics
It’s difficult to come up with a winning formula every single time. Sometimes I think a subject will be a hit and it isn’t. The same goes for you and every other blogger you have ever known.
That said, you can minimize these mistakes by intimately familiarizing yourself with your target market. Virtually every product/service’s goal is to address a problem. What are your audience’s main concerns? And what about the subtle ones they may not even be aware of yet?
This is where proper market research comes a long way. Stay informed through online communities such as niche forums, Reddit, Quora, and the good old Google Search Engine Planner.
Lacking a Main Goal
While your blog post should regularly have certain basic attributes – including links and multimedia – it’s also important to practice moderation.
What is the goal of your blog post? Is it to drive engagement? Build a list? Or perhaps to get more social media followers?
Don’t encourage readers to buy an affiliate product, click an ad, sign up to your newsletter, and subscribe to your YouTube channel in one post. Always have a centralized goal in mind.
Not breaking down your content: Want to instantly kill your blog posts? Don’t divide your content and make it easy on the eyes. Rely on walls of text, ignore bullet points, sub-headings, and keep your font tiny.
Inconsistency: Imagine if a new fan visits your site, eager to read the next blog post, but finds nothing at all. Then he comes back next week only to be met with the same result. Do you think he will be around when you finally decide to publish a new article?
Websites and blog posts are easy to pick up, but hard to master. What other methods do you rely on to ensure you don’t kill your blog posts?