You’ve been writing your blog for a while now, and working hard to create content that will catapult your business to new heights and get you noticed by the world. Just like those experts suggested.
Yet you’re still not seeing the results you expected.
Your audience and your business haven’t grown.
You haven’t seen a sudden spike in social media shares.
Your email box hasn’t become a flurry of activity, your online courses haven’t suddenly sold out and you haven’t yet grown your website and blog to a level that you’re happy with.
So what went wrong?
Are you just completely rubbish at writing and would be better off going back to your old job?
Are the experts wrong and blogging isn’t as good as it claims? Or do you need some kind of crazily talented brain to make blogging work for your business and help grow your income?
To answer these in turn: I doubt it. No. And definitely not. 🙂
Absolutely everyone can use blogging to help solve their readers’ problems, add extra value to their clients, boost their public visibility and move forward in their goals to make money from their passion. And it can be quite simple, once you know how.
In this post, I’m going to help you avoid making those horrible blogging mistakes that jeopardise your chances of success and grow a blog that you can be proud of.
1. Forgetting to listen to your audience
When you write your blog post, your mission is to solve your clients’ needs. But you know that already, don’t you?
The trouble is, it’s far too easy to slip into writing about stuff that you think your audience wants or needs to know. Or perhaps worst of all, just create anything that comes to the top of your head, simply to fill up the space. It’s a big no-no, even if you make this mistake completely unintentionally.
Because all your hard work goes to waste and the result of all your hard work is simply that horrible deafening silence.
A lack of shares. An absence of comments. Nada.
So how come these posts don’t get you the results you deserve?
It’s because you didn’t do your research before you created the post.
You didn’t get your audience’s ‘pain point’.
You didn’t really know what they are desperate to find out about or how they need your help, support and guidance to help you solve their problems.
You didn’t dive into those keywords, get feedback from your existing clients, or simply ask what problems they’re suffering from before you went ahead and created your content.
But don’t worry- this is a very fixable problem, but you need to do your homework.
Next time you write a post, find out this information, use the clues and resources you have to solve real problems that your audience and clients are actually suffering from and use them to fuel your awesome content.
Your blog post is a place for you to share your wisdom, solve your audience’s problems, position yourself as an expert in your field, grow your business and make a difference to the world.
It’s not a platform from which you can rant and rave and complain about every problem in the world, every person you hate and throw a pile of negativity out there.
So please keep your blog posts a positive place filled with guidance and love. If you really have issues with something, there are other healthier ways to express this dissatisfaction. Start writing a journal. Start another blog that you can use to rant. Direct your energies somewhere else.
If you don’t do that you stand a high chance of causing offence, creating a bad impression, losing your audience and ultimately causing your business to suffer too. Just don’t do it!
Plagiarism is a big fancy word that means copying other people’s work.
Never, ever, EVER copy other people’s work. EVER.
Even those tiny sentences or short paragraphs that you’re just borrowing to use for your blog post. Even if you change a couple of words here and there and shift the sentences around so it looks better.
It’s stealing someone else’s creative work and it sucks. Have I made my point here? Good. 😊
4. Having big, long, boring chunks of text
If you want your audience to take the time to read your posts, to listen to your guidance and to engage with what you’ve written, you need to make your post as reader-friendly as possible.
This is really easy to do. Just include plenty of white space around what you’re writing. Slice up your words into smaller pieces that are easier to ‘hold’ and easier to digest.
Write short paragraphs with just a sentence or two in them. Hell, write just a word or two in some paragraphs if it helps you to get your point across.
Don’t worry- the writing police aren’t going to throw you into jail. You’re not writing a book, a magazine or an academic text. You’re free to do as you please.
5. Writing too much jargon
It’s also vitally important that you speak to your audience in words that they understand.
Even if you’re an expert in your field and know everything about the ins and outs of the HPA (hypothalamic pituitary adrenal) axis or understand the microbiome of the gut perfectly, it’s unlikely to mean anything to a regular person who doesn’t work in your field.
Of course, they might be a pro-active type of person and take the time to Google that word and expand their knowledge or figure the whole thing out.
But either way, unless you break things down and use more everyday language to communicate your ideas, you’ll completely lose them.
We’ve all had that horrible experience when you start talking to someone and the conversation flows onto that topic that they’re extremely passionate about. Before you know it, they’ve started spewing everything they know; complicated jargon and information that you’ve never heard of before and probably don’t understand either.
And we all know what happens. You switch off, even if you really don’t mean to.
You keep nodding along, trying to be polite and acting like you understand when inside you’re desperate for the conversation to be over.
Don’t be that person.
Don’t tell them about the brain-gut axis, tell them about the way their brain works with their gut to keep them healthy.
Don’t refer to the HPA axis- tell them that their hormones work in balance to keep them healthy.
Break it down for them, use words they’ll be familiar with and help them to understand easily.
6. Forgetting to include a CTA (call to action)
Every single blog post you create (or newsletter or social media post, for that matter!) needs to contain a CTA.
This allows the person who has read and enjoyed your post to get even more value from what they read.
It will give them easier access to your future blog posts, podcasts, newsletter and other content and further support. It will empower them to make the life changes they’re looking for.
They will be the first to know if you launch any online programmes, host any webinars or even offer face-to-face retreats or coaching and can grab a spot before they sell out.
And of course, you get to build your audience and community, develop your business and make a living from what you love.
Now, you might have noticed how I started by talking about how including a CTA benefits your audience before I mentioned how it benefits your business. This was for a very good reason.
It’s because this is how you have to think about your marketing.
You can’t fall into the trap of believing that it’s spammy or too salesy or even taking advantage when you add a call-to-action or mention your products or service. You’re not.
You’re not forcing anyone to sign up (people are too clever for that, even if you were completely unscrupulous and tried!). You’re offering extra value to your clients and giving the world a greater chance of accessing your wisdom, experience and expertise.
Your CTA doesn’t need to be long or fancy. You can just add something like this at the bottom of your blog post:
“Want to know more about working with essential oils? Check out my Essential Oils Therapist course by clicking here.”
Then add a link to the correct content and you’ve done it.
7. Not writing blog posts consistently enough
The trouble with Google is that they’re like a grumpy relative who wants you to call on a regular basis just so they know that you’re OK.
It’s no good calling one week on a Thursday at tea time then leaving it for a couple of weeks and calling on a Sunday morning at 8am then phoning the next day, then leaving it for a week or so again.
It’s irregular. It’s inconsistent. And it looks like you don’t care.
The same goes for Google.
Google needs to know you care. It needs to know you’re serious about producing high-quality content that will benefit your audience. And just like that grumpy relative, it will reward you finely for making the effort (but there probably won’t be any homemade fruitcake involved, sorry!)
The way you keep Google happy is simple. You post on a regular basis.
Although I’d recommend that you publish a keyword-rich blog post on your website at least once per week, you don’t have to do it this often.
If you know that your schedule is super-busy and you can only manage to post once a fortnight or even once a month, then that’s OK too. It’s not ideal, but it’s OK.
The key is to post it on the same day at the same time.
Remember, keep that grumpy relative happy.
8. Not adding social media sharing options
You could triple your audience and grow your business massively if you simply add social media sharing buttons to your website.
Yes, it’s that simple.
You’re making it much easier for your audience to share what they love with friends and family by including these buttons, so they’re much more likely to do so.
Otherwise, even if they do think their Great Aunt Jessie would benefit from reading your post, it will take an extra effort to get it to her, so the idea might just fade and they won’t bother at all.
Something similar happened to me earlier today on my morning run.
I was enjoying a fantastic podcast and thinking about how much a friend of mine would love to hear the very interesting discussion that was going on. So when I arrived back home, I just clicked on the ‘share’ button on the podcast app and he was listening to it within minutes. Brilliant! Extra love for my friend and an extra listener for the podcast.
It’s usually very easy to add social share buttons to your website if you don’t already have something there via a plugin. If you’re not sure how to do this, speak to your website technician or techy friend.
9. Not including images
Gone are the days when you’d call up a website (on dial-up?) and gasp as a text-only article magically appeared on your screen.
These days, the internet is just as much about high-quality images, both photographs and video, as the words themselves.
So, make sure you’re including at least one relevant, high-quality image with every blog post you create.
Images help break your text up into smaller chunks and add more white space (see point 4 above). They make the blog post more visually appealing. They help illustrate your point and they also help the reader connect better with the content of your blog post.
10. Not including hyperlinks
Hyperlinks provide a great opportunity to lead your audience onto more useful information, help solve their problems and in turn help build your business.
But that’s not their only superpower. Google will actually pay you more attention and push you higher up the search results if you include hyperlinks in your blogs.
It’s always a good idea to include at least one link to a non-competitive authority site in your niche if you can, as well as including links to other useful and relevant blogs on your own website whenever you can.
Be careful though. Don’t go overboard with the links as there comes a certain point when they stop becoming useful and just look spammy. Remember those old websites in the 1990s and early 2000s? Yeah…you know what I mean.
Use at least one hyperlink, preferable about 3-4 if you can.
So, if you’ve just realised that you’re making these cardinal blogging sins, then it’s time to head to your blog and start fixing it!
With just a small amount of effort, you can transform the positive effect that your blog posts are having on your business, add extra value to your audience, build your brand, position yourself as an expert in your field and a whole lot more.
If you need help figuring out what you’re doing wrong and want to use blogging to help your crush your business goals and earn a living from your passion, please reach out and contact me. I’d love to work my magic on your website.
Now it’s over to you. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made on your blog? Join the discussion in the comments below.
AUTHOR: CHARLOTTE WITTS