Do You Make These 7 Blogging Mistakes?

blogging mistakesBlogging mistakes like writing too much and saying too little are easy to make.

We all want to write engaging blog posts.

It’s something that fills us with a sense of discovery and awakens the reader to a new insight.

Often we think that all we need is a good idea. Unfortunately, a good idea is not always enough. Nor is verbal fluency. You also need to create an invisible architecture to present your ideas.

Without realizing it, you may be making one of these 7 blogging mistakes:

Blogging Mistakes

Mistake #1. You’re not appealing to your reader’s primary emotions.

Why does somebody read a blog post?

They usually read it for one of three reasons:

  1. They are facing a problem.  They will read a blog post that explains how to resolve it. If, for instance, they have a sluggish computer, they want to find out how to speed up their slow computer.
  2. They are afraid of something. They will read a blog post about how to avoid danger. If, for instance, they are lactose intolerant, they want to know what to avoid when eating out.
  3. They desire something.  They will read a blog post on how to achieve what they want. If, for instance, they want to make money, they want to know how to create a home-based business.

So write a blog post that helps someone solve a problem, assuage a fear, or fulfill a desire.

Mistake #2: You have not selected your audience.

People have a wide variety of tastes and interests.

Some people love a good steak, others shun all flesh eating diets.

Some people believe in the power of religion to heal the soul, others think it’s the height of delusion.

And some people think that alien civilizations exist, others think human beings are the most evolved species in the universe.

Since you can’t write for everyone, you have to choose your audience.

If you’re not aware of your audience, you can find out.

Here are 6 ways to discover the characteristics of your ideal audience:

  1. Ask questions on social media
  2. Run a survey.
  3. Draw from your own experience.
  4. Check out forums.
  5. Check out Q&A websites.
  6. Ask Google.

Mistake #3: Your post is too abstract.

The key to writing engaging posts is to use plain English and talk about something your audience finds interesting.

Here are 8 ways to figure out what type of blog post people might want to read.

  1. Offer an answer to a common question. When you visit a website like Quora, you can spot things people want to learn.
  2. Offer a new benefit that people might want to get. When Steve Jobs came up with the iPhone, he offered people the benefit of a telephone that worked like a pocket computer.
  3. Read comments on popular blog posts to understand how people react to a topic.
  4. Hear what people have to say when you bring up a topic at a social event.
  5. Tie your idea to a topical event that’s in the news.
  6. Revisit blog posts that worked well in the past and expand on ideas that you did not develop.
  7. Trust your intuition, speak from your heart, and learn from the experience.
  8. Write down any ideas that intrigue you. These may come out of the blue. Or you may hear or read about them. Carry a notebook to write them down. Or record them on your smartphone.

Mistake #4: You have a dull headline.

How do you create headlines that grab a reader’s passing attention?

Here are 4 ideas:

  1. Write your headline after you’ve completed your post because you will have a much clearer idea about your topic.
  2. Make your headline suit the interests of your audience. What might appear to be a dull headline in one niche, might be fascinating in another.
  3. Hint at a benefit in your headline. Suggest something the reader will gain by reading the article.
  4. Appeal to core emotions like a sense of urgency, speed, ease, desirability, intrigue, controversy, or outlandishness. Here are some examples:
  • Facebook Tactics You Must Adopt Today! This headline creates a sense of urgency.
  • 5 Quick Ways to Burn 500 Calories. This headline suggests that you can get fast results.
  • How I Built a Successful Blog Without Breaking a Sweat. This headline suggests that its easy to do.
  • How to Become Hollywood Beautiful. This headline appeals to a core human need to be desirable.
  • From Broke to Millionaire in Six Months [Interview]. This headline stirs intrigues you.
  • Why Everything You Know About Exercise is Wrong. This headline hints at a controversial solution.
  • What Clowns Can Teach You About Entertaining Dinner Guests. This headline is so outlandish that you want to find out more.

Mistake #5: You have not structured your post well.

There are many ways to structure your post. You can structure your post based on your intuition on how the piece should flow or use a popular template.

Here are 6 popular templates to structure your blog post:

  1. If you want to describe a process, write a list post. This blog post is an example of a list post.
  2. If you want to explain how to do something, write a how-to post. This will outline the problem and then offer a step-by-step solution.
  3. If you have read a book or used a product, you can write a review. Discuss what you liked and did not like about it. Offer any suggestions on how to improve it.
  4. If you have a news topic, then you can use the journalistic outline of Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.
  5. If you have a strong opinion about something, describe the current situation then talk about how you feel. You should also explain the reason for your feelings.
  6. If you are describing how someone did something, you can use a case study. This is a journalistic description of how someone used a process and achieved results.

Mistake #6: You did not develop the anatomy of the post.

While blog posts can have different structures, they all share a basic anatomy.

It consists of three acts:

  1. Introduction: The introduction can be an outline about what you will explain in the post. You can also consider the headline that captures attention and a lead that hooks the reader as part of your introduction.
  2. Body: The body of the post can be a description of the solution to a problem, a list of pros and cons, or an outline of steps.
  3. Conclusion: This can be a summary of what you’ve said, a final thought, or a call to action.

Mistake #7: You don’t write like you talk.

The best way to talk to your audience is to simulate the way you speak.

Here are some ways you could write the way you talk while still writing well:

  1. Express your true personality and don’t be bland.
  2. Check your spelling and grammar after your writing.
  3. Read aloud to see if the words flow well.
  4. Use short words. Prefer words with an Anglo Saxon etymology rather than those with Latin roots.
  5. Writer shorter sentences, but vary your sentence length, too.
  6. Keep your paragraphs from one to three sentences.
  7. Make it easy to digest. Use provocative sub–heads. Use bolding and italics. Use enumerated lists or bulletpoints. And use graphical elements like images, blockquotes or tables.

Don’t Be Intimidated By These Blogging Mistakes

Although this list of 7 blogging mistakes to avoid may appear intimidating, chunk it down and learn a bit at a time.

One quick way to ensure your blog reads well is to read it aloud after you write it.

By speaking your words aloud, you slow your mind down and notice things you may have glossed over.

If you stumble on a sentence or pause at a word, you know what to revise.

This idea works because thinking is faster than speaking.

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