SEO? Check! Images? Check! Audience? Um…
Blogging is an essential way of building your brand and making your internet presence felt. It is also a strategy that is being used by virtually every business in existence.
So, how do you stand out? Sure, the technical essentials such as Search Engine Optimization and good image features are important, but they are not enough. Like every written content – newspapers, books, and print ads – blogging too, boils down to one single essence – just how engaging your narratives are.
This is where a lot of brands and personalities struggle. Many consider blogging as simply churning out highly mechanized content that meets all the standards, but doesn’t really talk to customers and clients. So while you may get an audience, they are likely to be transient and uninterested.
Poor blogging also cuts word-of-mouth and sharing of your content, which are two very important, low-cost and organic methods of marketing.
So take a look at these 5 blogging mistakes, and see if you are still making them…
There is No Coherence in Your Content
By far the biggest issue that plagues even the best of blogs is the lack of cohesion in content. In their quest to get good keyword rankings and cover everything possible under the sun, many brands try to churn out blogs on tons of different topics. What starts out as a meditation blog thus soon turns into a whole lifestyle channel.
Sure, there is nothing wrong with being expansive. But this should not come at the expense of your content’s coherence. Juggling too many topics can make your blog look messy, unfocused, and generic. To resolve this issue, you need limited horizontal expansion and extensive vertical expansion.
Instead of touching a relevant topic only at the surface level, go deep into it. Explain the basics, the advantages and disadvantages, the history, the usage, the controversies. There is so much to explore. Going in depth means that a person can start at your blog knowing nothing, and come out with a depth of knowledge.
This ensures continuous engagement with your content. And if you want to explore more topics, make sure that they have some relevance to your key topic – don’t introduce something out of the blue.
There’s No Engagement Element
Blogging is mainly a one sided process. You write, they read. But does it really have to be that way? Think about Buzzfeed, who have mastered the art of keeping their audiences hooked to their content. People like doing things, even something as simple as leaving a comment or participating in a poll or quiz.
Engagement elements help people to come back to your blog again and again, and spread the word to their family and friends so that they can join the fun. You can do something as simple as a poll, or something as complex as asking them to write a fiction story with you.
Such engagements are also an excellent way to market your products and introduce new launches – tie them up to a sort of competition and let the winners take the platform and share their experience.
The only thing more valuable than informative content is informative content that values feedback.
You’re Not in Touch with What’s Happening
Another common problem a lot of blogs have is that they do not keep up to date with what’s happening in their topic niche. This can make the blog look out of date and uninformative. And if a visitor sees through these facts, they are very unlikely to come back.
It is thus a good idea to keep a separate section that gives your audience an up to date understanding on what’s happening in your topic niche.
If keeping in touch with everything constantly is too tedious, you always have the option to give a short update as soon as the story breaks, and then come back to it with a detailed blog post a while later.
No matter what your strategy, being abreast of the important happenings in your niche is essential to ensure audience trust and respect.
You’re Not Taking Risks
Courting controversy can backfire very easily and very quickly, but calculated risks can have a huge payoff. For every topic, there are millions of blogs operating and trying to gain audience attention.
A common complaint audience have is that every single platform peddles the same content, and there is nothing new for them to engage with.
Taking up controversial aspects of a topic for your blogging matter can thus be a way of standing out. This however, has to be done very carefully. First, everything that you say needs to be backed up by facts and research. Second, this is a strategy that is to be used occasionally, and not as a permanent blogging strategy.
Too much of ‘edgy’ content might just end up pushing you off the cliff. In moderation however, risker and controversial content can help spark debates and discussion, and gives your platform an attention boost.
You’re Assuming You Know Your Audience
A common blogging (and marketing) mistake that many platforms make is to assume that their audience is a homogenous group whose characteristics are well known to them. However, the internet is a very dynamic place.
New people come to your blog daily, old people leave, and the composition of your audience constantly changes.
You thus need to be continuously researching the demographics of your audience, and collecting their data (in legal and ethical ways) so that you can appropriately produce and upload blogging content. A blind approach creates far more misses than hits.
Today, it is ridiculously easy to add plug-ins and analytics to measure your blog’s engagement, so not using them is a very poor strategy indeed.
Have you been making these common but fatal mistakes? How do you plan to change your ways then? And what are the other blogging mistakes that irk you as a reader? Let us know in the comments below!