Writing for a blog is fantastic for those who like to experiment and find creative solutions to problems. It’s your very own sandbox where you can try out new stuff and test what works, and what doesn’t. The last part — figuring out what doesn’t work is an integral part of the blogging process. Except that some mistakes are so common, you’re better off learning them from others’ experiences than making them on your own.
Your Writing is too Complex
A good blog post should be interesting to both novices and professionals. It’s a difficult balance to strike, for sure, but this applies to most successful blogs. So don’t try to give yourself more authority by using big words or terms you don’t fully grasp. For one thing, it’s going to be transparent to most readers.
For another thing, successful author’s blogs are more like personal brands, and those brands are nothing without two things: the appearance of authenticity and relatability.
For a third thing, blogs are popular in the first place and look like what they look like because, in their ideal form, they’re easy to consume.
You Focus too Much on SEO
Look, SEO and other kinds of promotion are obviously important, but a successful blog they don’t make. If you’re sacrificing potentially interesting and enticing titles and paragraphs of text to keywords, you’re doing it wrong. Firstly, that’s the most blunt method of building good Google juju. Second, say you’re top-ranked for the keywords you want. What then? A reader comes to your blog, judges it to be spam after a quick glance, and leaves. Forever. That’s it. You get an AdSense penny, sure, but that’s nothing compared to getting a loyal reader.
You Believe in Quantity Over Quality
You heard that posting every day is good, and took it to heart. Why wouldn’t it be true? More content = more chances to get noticed, right? Wrong. If you’re a one-blogger team, and if you keep pushing yourself to generate a post a day, here’s what’s going to happen: you’re going to burn yourself out very quickly.
Focus on quality, and then on consistency. If a week is how long you need to write a nice, high-quality post, then once per week is the schedule from now on. Every blog post is supposed to have something the reader can potentially sink their teeth into, and that’s not something you can just produce on a whim, at least when you’re starting.
You Have Bad Design
It’s 2016, and all us internet users have a prejudice mechanism developed when it comes to bad design. Whether it’s an ugly color scheme, dumb font choice or a cluttered sidebar, we’re making a judgment right then and there: “This looks unprofessional” or “I can’t take this person seriously until they stop using the Papyrus font”.
First impressions matter, so check and make sure you’re making a good one.
You’re Not a Very Good Writer
Hey, look. Don’t take this personally, but you might be a bad writer. Don’t let it get you down, though — there’s lots of bad writing out there that’s successful, and popularity obviously doesn’t come from talent alone. However, if you’re sacrificing quality for anything else, you should reconsider.
There’s nothing that will make you an unequivocally bad blogger quite so fast as writing bad content. Never give up quality research, writing or editing for anything.
Having said all this, don’t feel too bogged down by supposed “rules” presented by self-styled gurus. You’re not working an assembly line, and your blog isn’t a by-the-numbers project where if you’re not following instructions to a tee, you’re doing it wrong. Presumably, you got in this game because you wanted some semblance of freedom and self-ownership. So why concern yourself with “best practices”? Try stuff. Some of it will work, and most of it won’t. That’s how life works.
Read this article published via Write!