I encourage anybody with a curiosity about blogging to give it a try. That’s true for those thinking about starting a personal blog. Give it a shot. Don’t put too many restrictions on the topics. Do set a schedule and try to stick with it. Just like a gym routine.
That also goes for business owners and operators. A blog may not be the amazing marketing tool that drives incredible business for you. But it could become something really valuable to you and your readers. It can be something that brings in new business for your company in ways that you probably don’t even realize. Such as reader referrals.
But there are a few things to avoid. These are some fo the common things I see that tend to reduce blog post success. Especially with new bloggers.
1. The Need To Be “Smart”
Something I find often in the blogging world is the need to come across as smart. I’m sure it occurs in other areas of life and business. There is a need to feel like you’re good enough. Good enough for the topic you’re writing about. Not even for the target reader, but for your peers.
Yet some of the best blogs you find will have writers that are the most humble. They ask questions. They show their vulnerabilities on certain aspects of the topic. They know that they don’t know everything so they’re willing to continue learning and they treat their blog as a ay to learn more.
Trying to be the smartest blogger on the Internet comes through in the quality of the content. It’s a mindset thing that can be overcome if you acknowledge that you’re learning. And the cool thing is that you can still create great content that educates and offers value when you do this.
2. Perfectionism (Quality/Quantity)
The idea of creating quality content sometimes paralyzes good bloggers from creating new content. I actually think it’s a form of procrastination. Or maybe it’s just perfections. You stop publishing and tell yourself that you’re only going to publish “quality posts”. Well, if you start deeming everything as being below quality then your blog isn’t going to be full of any content. And what you do publish may not be quality to some.
Blogging is subjective. What one person finds amazing, another person will find just kind of okay. And there is really no way to learn what works if you’re not publishing consistently. There is no way to improve your craft if you’re not posting consistently.
This is more for the business blogs. I would actually take the approach of not doing any selling in your blog posts. No mention of your business or products. No calls to action for services. The moment sales start getting into your posts you’re going to turn people away.
Sales content belongs on product and service pages. Leave it there. It’s good to have sales content where it belongs. It doesn’t belong in blog posts (or podcasts and videos for that matter).
Blogging is about education and entertainment. It’s about attracting readers. With that attention you build incoming business through other venues. As your blog builds authority, your homepage ranks for more sales-type terms and new business comes that way.
4. Poor Formatting
Design is important. We judge books by their covers. If someone comes to your blog post and they see one giant paragraph that has about 600 words in it they’re going to click the back button faster than they delete a bad photo of themselves.
Break up your content. Go with a friendly design that doesn’t have lots of distractions popping up all over the place. Neat and clean is a good way to go. Think of your blog as an Apple product. Clean and pleasing to the eye.
5. Let It Go
Once the post is live, move on to the next one and let this one live in the wild. Let go of your expectations for it. One thing I’ve learned about blogging is that you never really know what posts will be home runs. You just have to keep plugging away and you’ll run into some of those home runs.
If you start falling in love with certain posts and chasing engagement it’s going to lead to disappointment. You may think a post is great. And that’s enough. Don’t get frustrated if others don’t love it as much as you do. Because the opposite will also happen.
And there will still be plenty of times when you love a post and others love it too. But don’t force that issue.
You can do a lot of different things to create great blog posts. There are multiple right answers for how to create a great blog posts that connects with a lot of people. But there are also things that we all do that can lead to an under-performing post. Hopefully these tips can help you avoid the most common issues.