Anyone can blog.
I do believe though that blogging is way more difficult than it seems. As a matter of fact, I think blogging is one of those things that seem so easy, so effortless…
But the more you learn about blogging, the more you realize that getting it right is no easy feat, and that you are making a lot of mistakes that you weren’t even aware of before becoming a blogger.
The sad truth?
Probably you’re still not aware of (most) of these mistakes you’re making.
But luckily for you, this post is not only going to tell you what they are, but also how to fix them.
1. You never think about your readers.
The urge to write is pretty much universal.
Try finding someone who lives in Los Angeles and hasn’t gotten a script stashed somewhere.
When you start blogging, it’s easy to think that having your own blog is all about what you want to write…
It’s not. Not if you want a proper audience who reads your content and interacts with it.
How to fix this: your blog posts should always add value.
Blogging is all about:
- helping folks solve some of their problems
- adding value
- entertaining your readers
If your blog posts don’t achieve any of these things, you’re going to have a bad time here.
2. You don’t write like yourself.
When bloggers are just starting out, they usually write like someone else. Either like someone they admire (and they fail at this) or they write like a robot; one with a strange love-hate relationship with academic writing.
The bitter truth is that the cure for insomnia can be pretty easily found on people’s blogs.
How to fix this: Write like you talk.
You’ve got to write like yourself.
You’ve got to punch those damn keys. Try to feel the words, the emotion behind them. Don’t just write about facts, don’t just try to teach, but rather write about stories, try to inspire.
This is why this is called the art of blogging, not the physics of blogging.
3. You’re Captain Overshare.
If I had a penny for every blog post I read that eventually (or some times right from the start) got way too personal, I’d be richer than Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates combined.
No one cares about your cat, unless you help others do something useful for/with their own cats. The same applies to your dog, kid, life, career, or even passion.
Personal anecdotes and analogies are meant to inspire, motivate, educate, or help readers relate to your blog posts, not act as a way for you to vent.
Your readers are not your therapists, and you’re not paying them to read about all the aspects of your life.
How to fix this: A bit of self-awareness.
The truth is that most bloggers are delusional. They are also the kind of people who are so socially awkward that they do bore everyone to death with stories about their lives that make no sense, aren’t funny, and not even they themselves should care about them enough to tell them to someone else.
Then again, some bloggers say that a blog is like a journal. Oh, no. A journal isn’t something you’d want others to read. Unless you’re famous. Or dead. Or, even better, both.
4. Your formatting skills are non-existent.
A huge chunk of text is going to make even your most avid fans reluctant to read it.
Most people are going to scan your blog posts, not read them, so it needs to be properly formatted to stand any chance of making them want to read your post.
How to fix this: Format the damn thing.
The first thing you should do is read this post right here.
Now that you know how to format a blog post, you need to decide what kind of blog post are you going to write. A list-post? A how-to guide?
How can you best break large chunks of text? How can you edit your paragraphs for clarity?
5. You’re kind of writing “good enough” blog posts.
Good enough is the enemy of the great. I think Tony Robbins said that.
Thee days, good enough isn’t nearly good enough. Sorry, but it’s the truth. Good enough spends 2-3 years stuck at 57 followers and five likes per post.
Good enough is not worth a comment, a share, it’s not worth telling someone else about.
Are your blog posts good enough?
Would you show them to someone you had a crush on? Would you be proud to let them read your posts? All of them?
How to fix this: Only publish your best content.
And always give 110%.
Write your heart out. Write with passion. Yeah, yeah, punch those damn keys!
I mean it.
Write each and every single post as if it were your last.
Because some day you’ll be right.
Also because it makes for some phenomenal blog posts…
6. You don’t spend much time editing your posts.
Most bloggers make the huge, huge mistake of not editing their content.
They don’t even check for typos and stuff.
How to fix this: Spend at least the same amount of time editing your posts as you did writing them.
If Hemingway had to rewrite the ending to A Farewell to Arms 47 times, odds are you’re not going to write a brilliant first draft either.
So take the time you need to edit your posts. Fix typos, run-on sentences, and accidental mistakes.
Make sure your paragraphs make sense.
Read the post out loud, from finish to start, and do your best to get a feel for the emotional undertone.
7. You’re afraid of perfection.
To paraphrase Salvador Dali, have no fear of perfection, for you will never reach it.
There will always be more things you can do to make your posts better. More images. Better phrasing. Wittier jokes. The best writers I know, know when to stop obsessing and just hit “publish.”
How to fix this: At a certain point, just let it go.
While you obviously don’t want to publish a post filled with typos and grammatical errors, it’s not the end of the world if a typo slips through.
It most likely won’t affect how many views and leads it brings in.
Plus, if you (or your readers) find the mistake, all of you have to do is update the damn post.
8. You don’t blog consistently.
You probably noticed that the more you post, the more traffic you’ll get to your website.
But, actually, it’s more important to be consistent when you’re just getting started.
If you publish five posts in one week and then only one or two in the next few weeks, it’ll be hard to form a consistent habit.
And inconsistency really confuses your readers too.
Instead, commit to a certain schedule.
To help establish consistency, you’ll need a more concrete planning strategy.
How to fix this: Never, ever, ever publish all your output.
Just decide to publish less than you are capable of writing and editing on a monthly basis.
Write posts, edit them, schedule them for later. That’s how it works.
Do not wait for a deadline to start working on your posts. Make the time, and get to work.
I hope you’ll use this list of mistakes as fuel for the fire to step up your blogging game.
After all, this is a process, which you can always get better… as long as you figure out what it is that you are doing wrong.