Blogging is easy right? All you need to do is open up your word processing program or the dashboard of your blogging platform, create a new blog and go.
But writing is hard. It really is, especially because you should blog consistently. As in consistently: at least once a week. At absolute minimum. Twice a week is better and for inbound marketing purposes, blog three to four times a week and you’ll be gobsmacked at how much more traffic your website will receive. Seriously: potentially 3.5 times as much traffic compared to if you blogged only once a week.
Blogging Can be Easy, Until It Isn’t
Don’t misunderstand: as an inbound marketing agency and one that writes posts for ourselves as well as for our clients, we well know blogging isn’t toiling in a salt mine. After all, we’re sitting in a comfortable chair in our wonderful office, a cup of our favorite brand of coffee in front of us (and at this time of year the smell of pumpkin spice wafts through the air).
But it is work. We just want you to know that from the get-go. Not understanding the real effort that goes into writing well-researched and engaging blog that gives your prospects the information they’re looking for is perhaps the top mistake bloggers can make when they first start out.
Avoid These Common Blogging Mistakes
To help you make blogging consistently as easy as possible for you, take a look below for three more common blogging mistakes.
- Believing that any topic on your products or services is a good one.
When planning your blogging content, it’s too easy to figure that whatever you write, your readers will want to read. Hardly. Your readers want information. Specific information that solves their problems.
We really like what HubSpot says about this at the link above: when it comes to blogging, people don’t care about you, “they care about what you can teach them.” So give them information about how to overcome challenges you know they are facing and help them reach the goals you know they want to reach.
In other words, know your perfect customers inside out and sideways: create solid prospect personas before creating your content plan.
- Focusing on the perfect rather than the good enough.
As much as you need to write posts that provide the type of information your prospects crave, people believe they have to write the perfect post. A post that’s witty, engaging, great with solid information, and 1,000-words long.
We say you definitely need to provide good information, but forget the perfect: focus on the good enough because you want to get the content out there to both attract prospects to your website and to provide them the intelligence they need to make informed decisions.
Even though Google’s algorithm rewards long-form, in-depth content, these posts can take a long time to write, as much as three to four hours.
So focus on a middle ground. Post at least once a week, provide solid knowledge (backed by data and statistics, as applicable) and aim for 500-700 words. This post, for example, is 745 words, not the length Google prefers, but definitely “long enough.”
- You’re boring.
Face it: chances are your blog posts would only make an MBA professor smile. Unless you write often, unless you know grammar, syntax, etc. well enough that you know when it’s OK to break the rules, unless you’re willing to take a few chances, your writing probably is vanilla.
People read posts online by skimming them. If they’re really interested in a topic, they’ll read the whole thing no matter how long it is, so long as the writing moves them along. So break up your posts with subheads, bullet points, lists, and media (photos, infographics, video).
Doing so helps keep readers interested. Keeps them wanting more. In other words don’t be afraid to show a little personality.
While blogging definitely drives more traffic to your website, the considerable time it will take you to write those posts could be better spent elsewhere. That’s where our Michigan marketing agency can help. Contact us to learn more about our inbound marketing content creation and blogging services.
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