Common Mistakes All Bloggers Make
Although most bloggers view themselves as a creative force unto themselves, most blogs are actually pretty similar. They are similar in their layouts, they are similar in targeting a specific group of people and, most of all, they are similar in the mistakes they make. There are a number of key mistakes that are common to most blogs which, once corrected, can greatly improve the standard of your blog and in turn generate greater site traffic! So what are the most common mistakes bloggers make?
Not Targeting a Specific Audience
Not targeting a specific audience is perhaps the biggest mistake. The simple fact of the matter is that your blog will quickly lose its identity if your content is aimed at too large of an audience. When writing a blog, one should aim to establish a group of consistent readers who are all interested in the single subject of your blog. For example, if you’re running a finance blog then your readers are simply there because they are interested in finance, ipso facto, these readers will stop reading your blog if every second post has nothing to do with finance. Therefore, it is very important to write with a certain audience in mind. All bloggers should identify their blog’s vision and philosophy soon after its creation and then write solely towards it. Bloggers should bear in mind that people would much rather read an in-depth blog that fully explores all the finer nuances of a single subject as compared to a blog that has a series of shallow posts over a variety of subjects. For relatively new blogs, there is simply no way to build up a consistent readership without specialising in a single subject. Its generally unadvisable to expand your blog to include new subjects and should only really be done once your blog is undeniably popular.
Not Allowing User Interaction
Far too many bloggers grow frustrated that their blog doesn’t take off even though their content is really good. However, when it comes to blogging, there are certain facts of life that need to be acknowledged. Chief among these is that blogging should always be a social experience. To be more specific, a blogger should always engage with his readers through a well organised comments section. If readers are able to establish an actual personal connection with the writer then the chances of them returning to the blog and becoming a regular reader increase exponentially. Another absolutely catastrophic mistake many bloggers make (particularly those getting on in years) is to totally neglect social media. It cannot be emphasised enough how crucial this point is. Social media is akin to a super power among bloggers as it gives their content the potential to bounce around the world in seconds if people continuously share it. Each and every self respecting blogger should connect their blogs to social media. Seriously, this piece of advice is non-negotiable! Social media does so much good for your blog through so little work of your own, in short: a dream situation.
Thinking That Readers Care About You Personally
This common mistake can only be stated bluntly: people care only about how your content can benefit them and really don’t care about you as a writer at all. Many bloggers splice really informative, competent content with personal stories and interests rendering their once good article subpar. People just simply don’t care, especially if your ‘funny story from breakfast’ doesn’t have anything to with the subject of the post. Bloggers should always keep their posts short, concise and, above all, focused. This is not to say that bloggers shouldn’t write with personality and flair; more just that writers should lend only their voice to an article rather than making it about them personally.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Yes, it’s wearisome, boring and not at all how you would like to spend your time, but editing is something that every blogger must do. Nothing ruins a triumphant conclusion quite like a careless typo which really can detract from the post’s overall quality. However, editing extends beyond correcting simple spelling mistakes. Bloggers have the tendency to be sucked into a bubble when writing, carried away on their ceaseless stream of thoughts as they try to jot down everything in one passion filled attempt. This state of being is great for creating creative content but inevitably leads to a lot of mistakes (and nonsensicle sentences!). Therefore, the editing process is absolutely crucial in stream lining the creative conscious of the writer into something intelligible. The actual editing should be done at a different time to the writing as a clear, objective stand point needs to be taken. The editing process is vital to any blogger and over looking it always constitutes a major mistake.
Shackling Your Creativity
The best bloggers are those who write with creativity and flair, the talented few who have the power to draw their readers in through a succinct writing style and free flowing metaphors. The key to emulating these bloggers is to both unleash your creativity and discover your own writing ‘voice’. It’s almost painful to read something devoid of emotion. Furthermore, it’s excruciatingly boring and writers really should avoid putting their readers through such mental torture. It’s easy for bloggers to mundanely state facts, it really is, but they also need to put their fears aside and step out of their writing comfort zones! Metaphors that make abstract concepts clear are always appreciated by readers and can be honed through simple repetitive practice.
However, perhaps one of the biggest constraints on a writer’s creativity is punctuation. To be clear, punctuation is necessary, but many bloggers make the mistake of elevating it to an art form. Bloggers should treat the rules of punctuation as flexible, while complicated punctuation such as semi-colons should be avoided outright. Punctuation should be used to promote the conversational tone of your blog, nothing more.
There are many other common mistakes that bloggers make, however, even if just the above stated steps are taken, you should see your blog’s readership gradually increase. The people reading your blog are actual people with emotions, write with this in mind. Always be clear, always be concise and, above all, always be interesting.