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Maintaining a website (with a blog) is a crucial component of your overall brand. It provides an evergreen place for your content and MagicLinks, and is a great way to show off your skills. There are, however, TONS of mistakes to be made when blogging. Here’s ___ of the biggest ones – and how to avoid & fix ‘em.
1. Craft a Great Hook
On average, people spend just 37 seconds reading a blog post. You need to hook them in the first 2 sentences with a good “hook and angle” – presenting a problem, and advocating a clear solution. Choose keywords that appeal to your audience.
Your content should be useful, compelling, and valuable while targeting specific keywords that encourage shareability.
2. Keep a Consistent Voice
Your fans follow you because they like YOU, not because you parrot what others say word-for-word. Blogs and social media are effective sales & marketing tools, because they come from a real person, not a marketing department. Stay true to you. At the same time, don’t let your anecdotes and analogies take over a post. Why? Keep reading.
3. Teach, Don’t Preach
Especially when you are starting out, your readers aren’t interested in your stories so much as what you can teach them. Focusing on tutorials at first is a great way to bank some evergreen content on your blog and position yourself as an expert in your content vertical.
4. Separate Posts Into Sections Using Headers & Images
A super long post is great (longer-form posts rank much higher in Google), but if there’s no visual cues that break the page up, users will lose interest quickly. Using headers and interspersing photos & graphics into your content helps guide a reader’s focus and drive your point home.
5. Editing Matters
On short form social media like Instagram & Twitter, spelling/link errors are more forgivable, but on long-form, evergreen content like blogs, it shouldn’t happen. Taking even 15-30 minutes to edit your posts makes all the difference in the world. Complete this checklist before you hit “publish”:
- Spelling & grammar check, obviously.
- Do all the hyperlinks go to the right site?
- Any images or quotes you need to cite? (We shouldn’t need to say it, but you should always credit the original creator of photos, graphics, statistics, etc)
- Does this post fit in with your existing content?
6. Don’t Post Every Day
Sure, Google prioritizes fresh content in its search algorithm. More often than not, though, if you’re pushing yourself to write a new blog post every day, you’re not putting your best work into it. The content won’t feel new and exciting, and it won’t get high engagement rates. This, in turn, effects your Google ranking. Set a publishing calendar for yourself to upload original posts at least once or twice a week, and take the time to make them shine.
7. Hard Sells DON’T Sell
Hate when someone is pushing you to buy something? So do your readers. Including CTAs (Call To Actions) in posts is great, especially if an item is on sale, but begging them to buy will have the opposite effect.
8. Google Trends Helps You Go Viral
How many people are writing about EXACTLY what you just published a blog post about, right now? Check Google Trends https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=US regularly to see what’s being searched for, see what your competition is writing about, and get inspiration for new posts.
9. Drill Down to a Specific Title
Content farm sites like Buzzfeed do well because most of their posts are listicles: ___ Products That Solve This Very Specific Problem. When you start writing a blog post, before you write, do your research and distill the subject into a click-worthy title that sums up the post as a whole.
10. Cross Promote Your Content
Display your other channels’ feeds on your sidebar, header, or footer, and always mention your blog on your other channels. After all, no one will know that you’re killing it over on IGTV if you don’t TELL them.
*cover image courtesy Digital Marketing Institute