Blog writing takes more strategy and planning than many people think. With just a couple steps in the wrong direction, your business blog article can lose tremendous value. But if you know what mistakes might lessen the impact of your message, you’ll know how to best channel your efforts. Here are 20 common blogging errors to avoid when writing blogs for your business.
- No target audience: Sure, it might seem like a good idea to write your blog for as many people as possible, but not having a well-defined target audience could easily work against you. Strategically narrowing your target audience to a specific group of visitors (based on your existing customer base or ideal customer) helps attract people’s interest and focus your writing to effectively speak to that audience.
- Lack of objective: Remember writing a term paper in college? You always needed a thesis statement to guide the information you included. A business blog can benefit from the same approach: think about the objective of your blog article like a thesis statement: having a purpose for your article will help your writing flow more easily without losing focus or going off on too many tangents. (For example, the objective of this blog is to provide a list of blogging errors that writers can work to avoid when blogging.)
- Poor organization: Important information should be positioned prominently in your blog structure. Make sure points that are central to your blog objective don’t get lost in the middle of a dense paragraph. Starting with a blog outline to ensure a clear structure for your article will help avoid poor organization.
- Stream-of-consciousness writing: Stream-of-consciousness writing is great if you’re channeling your favorite nineteenth-century novelist, but not if you’re going for reader-friendly blog content. Make sure to break up your content into small, easy-to-read chunks so your readers can easily digest your blog.
- Too much jargon: Unless you’re writing for a physics or medical journal, your word choice should follow the KISS rule (Keep it simple, silly). Keep in mind that your end customer may not understand industry-specific jargon or technical language, so make an effort to use language that will make sense to them, not just you.
- Being overly casual: We love a conversational blog as much as the next person, but please don’t write your article like an Instagram post. A business blog should effectively convey your knowledge and expertise, and writing too casually by using too much slang, inappropriate language, or too many acronyms can lead people to take you and your business less seriously.
- Keyword stuffing: Search engine optimization (SEO) remains pretty darn important for your blog articles to rank in search engine results, but keyword stuffing is no longer best practice. Google algorithms are much more complex these days, and one thing that they privilege is quality content. So, instead of trying to shove in as many keywords as possible, write naturally, link to credible sources, and try to provide answers to commonly asked/searched questions. Don’t turn your readers off with obvious repetition — and don’t risk getting ranked lower by Google.
- Too much promotion: Today’s savvy consumers don’t respond well to hard sales pitches or overly promotional language when they’re expecting to read an informative, useful article. Save the pitch for your call-to-action at the end of the article. This gives you enough time to impress your reader and make them want to engage with your business further, without seeming pushy.
- A blah headline: A headline determines whether someone is interested enough to click to open and read your article. Writing an engaging headline is an art, but it’s worth putting in the time to come up with compelling phrasing for your next blog headline.
- Poor grammar: Sloppy writing is pet peeve of ours — and unfortunately, it’s all too common in today’s sea of mediocre content. To many readers (especially professionals), writing that is full of grammatical errors is off-putting and can lead them to click away from your site. Always thoroughly check your work, or better yet, use a professional editing service to review your writing for clarity and grammatical accuracy.
The bottom line: well-developed, quality content is crucial to building a successful business blog and effectively engaging your audience. Start by avoiding these blogging errors and you’ll be well on your way.