The best bloggers on the web do 6 things very well.
They start by keeping their focus on their reader and engaging the reader. These things are actually fairly easy once you understand what it is that appeals to your reader.
Secondly, write great content. This is what will set you apart from all the other, let’s say, ordinary bloggers.
But what does it take to write great content?
There’s lots of advice out there, but it starts with avoiding the content mistakes that many blog writers commonly make.
Here are 6 critical content mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
Mistake #1. Focusing more on You and less on Your Reader
Most of us that blog for a living do it to make money. Naturally; that’s the goal, but if you put a greater focus on making money with less focus on your reader and how you can benefit them, you’re not likely to make any money at all.
Because your focus is on you and not on your visitor.
When someone comes to your blog or website, they’re looking for information, ideas or help. If you can’t give them what they want, provide useful answers to their questions or demonstrate how a product or service is capable of offering the the benefits they require, they’ll leave.
People look for value first, whether it’s in the form of information, products or services, and you can’t provide value if your primary goal is your own personal gain.
Keep your eye on what benefits your visitor, and they’ll keep their eye on you
Mistake #2. Not Creating Your Blogging Voice
You’ll naturally be able to create your blogging voice by understanding yourself and your blog visitors.
For example, who are your visitors? Where do they come from? What are their likes and dislikes. Understanding those things will help you relate and connect with your visitors on a level they can appreciate.
But even more importantly you need to understand who you are.
Who are you as a blogger? What is your competitive edge? What do you want to be known for? Is there a hole your trying to fill?
Understanding yourself, your talents and your skill set will help you know where to concentrate your focus.
Certainly don’t be someone you’re not, but do let your true personality surface. But above all be caring, honest and friendly. Capture your reader’s interest by connecting and sharing with them on a level they can appreciate while also helping them truly feel that they are the focus of your interest.
Mistake #3. Crafting Poorly Written Headlines
A well crafted headline has to do more than simply make a statement.
Great headlines have three ingredients, they…
- Pique interest or create curiosity
- Deliver on a promise
- Are Easy to understand
Once you know your audience well enough to know what will interest them you’ll need to expand on that with a headline that piques interest or creates curiosity.
A headline like:
“How to lose weight” isn’t going to create much interest or generate much curiosity but
“How to lose 10 pounds without dieting or exercise” will definitely get some immediate attention.
Secondly, a successful headline will offer a promise, and a successful piece of content will deliver on that promise. Don’t make the mistake of making a promise in your headline and then disappointing your reader by not following through on your promise.
Finally, a good headline will be easy to understand and direct to the point. Read your headline for clarity and weed out the words that are vague or add confusion.
Mistake #4. Delivering Content That Focuses on Quantity and Not Quality.
Is it important to Post Every day? Not at all!
Maybe this was the trend a few years ago, but not now. Back then, content, and lots of it, was what you needed to rank well in the search engines.
Today, quality trumps quantity. Your content has to be much more focused, relevant and useful. That means your blog posts must offer value and need to appeal to your reader first.
If your focus is primarily on the search engines, that will reflect in your writing. Your readers can tell where your focus is. Incidentally, so can the search engines. Not sure about that? Just ask anyone who’s lost search engine ranking after Google algorithm changes, especially the more recent updates.
Mistake #5. Neglecting Social Encouragement
Love it or hate it, social media is a necessary resource for creating interaction and spreading your valued content to others that will value from reading it.
Post social medial buttons on your blog and encourage your readers to share your content on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
But remember, the key to getting readers to share your content is by publishing content worth sharing.
Mistake #6. Neglecting Your Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact the simpler and more natural your optimization is, the better. But your SEO should be consistent and practical.
Use this basic SEO checklist when writing your blog posts:
One you know what your post focus keywords are, use this checklist to make sure your keywords are included in the appropriate areas of your web page:
- As part of the URL, for example www.yoursitename.com/keywordphrase.html
- In the page Title Tag
- In the page Description tag
- In the first paragraph
- In at least one Header tag (<h1>)
- In the alt text of the graphic if there is one
- In the body of the copy
- In the summary or last paragraph of the page
So what’s left to do now?
Take action by knowing what your visitors care about, and what they want to know along with avoiding the content mistakes that will hamper your creative, SEO and social execution. This is how you will create content that is useful, valuable, and will be a lot more likely to inspire your specific outcome.