Bloggers publish 7.5 million blog posts every day – and most bloggers are prolific and post at least once a week. That’s a lot of content to compete with!
Consumers are happy to abandon any web page if they do not like what they are reading in search of better content elsewhere. You do not want mindless and common blog writing mistakes to stop you from gaining readers and building a community.
You want to deliver useful and entertaining content that engages and helps your readers.
This guide will teach you what all the common blog writing mistakes are and how to avoid them so your blog can stand out from the crowd.
1. Using Bad or Sloppy Grammar
Table of Contents
- 1. Using Bad or Sloppy Grammar
- 2. Paragraphs Full of Complete Waffle
- 3. Having an Inconsistent Posting Schedule
- 4. Not Researching Target Keywords
- 5. Publishing Blog Posts Out of Your Niche
- 6. Not Reading Other Blog Posts
- 7. Writing With No Purpose
- 8. Paying No Attention to Format
- 9. Failing to Deliver the Headline’s Promise
- 10. Not Improving Your Writing Skills
Let’s start with a simple tip, but “simple” does not mean easy. So many writers and bloggers think their grammar must be great (or close to great) because they passed Grade 12 English.
News flash: That was likely to be many, many years ago.
And some think it does not matter if they are good at grammar because they run their work through an app first like Hemingway or Grammarly. Another news flash: apps are not human and do not read with a human mind.
Others think that grammar is not important. Your readers, or lack thereof, do not agree.
To fix bad grammar, start reading more. Set a goal of reading so many books or magazines per week/month to expose yourself to more vocabulary and correct grammar. Go back to figurative school and buy yourself a copy of Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman.
If bad grammar is still finding its way into your published blog posts, you may need to get better at editing. After you have finished writing, take a 15-minute break then re-read the piece with fresh eyes.
Consider asking a friend or hiring a professional to edit your work if you cannot spot grammar or spelling mistakes.
2. Paragraphs Full of Complete Waffle
Hey guys, sorry I have not posted in a while. I got super busy at work and then my dog got sick so I had to take care of her. She is fine now though!
Anyway, let me talk to you today about this recipe. I got it from my Grandma…
How many blog posts have you read that begin with something like the above? Too many. It is one of the most common blog writing mistakes and one of the most annoying.
People are not racing to their laptops each time you post something new. They do not care how often you post or that much about your personal life.
Chances are, the people reading one of your blog posts are only ever going to read that one post. They typed in a few words on Google, your post popped up and they thought it looked useful.
So, give the people what they want!
Stick to your topic. Take out any sentence which repeats statements or is a sidetrack. Make your posts entertaining and personable, but not to the extent that you dilute the value.
3. Having an Inconsistent Posting Schedule
Though the reality is that most internet users who visit your blog will only ever visit one post, others will come back. Some will vibe with your message and writing style so they want to keep consuming your content.
It is very difficult to build up a loyal following when you publish regular blog posts every week for six months and then… Crickets.
It’s one of the most common blog writing mistakes because a lot of bloggers are one-man-bands. Their lives get busy and they do not post for a while.
But if you run a brand or a company that has a blog as part of their digital marketing strategy, it is an inexcusable mistake. Regular website updates are important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and this is likely the main reason you have a blog in the first place.
Create a consistent content plan, whether that is once a week or three times a week, and stick to it.
4. Not Researching Target Keywords
Your blog posts might be a joy to read. But if no one ever finds your posts through Google search then your efforts will be meaningless.
Create blog posts that target specific search queries that people want to find answers to.
For example, if you run a real estate business in Philadelphia, you may want to write blog posts around the following topics:
- Neighborhoods in Philadelphia
- Things to do in Philadelphia
- Downsizing before a move
- Packing before a move
Then, you use a keyword research tool like KeySearch to see if anyone is searching for these topics. A keyword research tool can help you narrow down your initial keyword idea into something more focused, for example:
- Best suburbs in Philadelphia for families
- Things to do in Philadelphia on a budget
- How to downsize from a house to a condo
- How to pack glassware for a move
You are still writing blog posts you intended to write anyway, but they are now targeted at specific keywords people are searching for.
5. Publishing Blog Posts Out of Your Niche
If you run a company blog it will be quite obvious what your blog’s niche is. For example, if it is for a jewelry store, the blog’s niche will be jewelry.
It can be more difficult to stick to your blog’s niche when it is the focus of your business or hobby and you are in control of the content. But you should still decide on a niche and be consistent.
At best, publishing blog posts outside of your niche will confuse readers. But at worst, they will harm your brand, undermine your expertise and make you look like a sell-out.
Let’s say you run a vegetarian recipe blog and post about cooking steak. Your readers will either think your site got hacked, you lost your mind, or you got paid to post it.
When thinking of new topics for blogs, keep your integrity (and niche) intact.
6. Not Reading Other Blog Posts
All writers need to read! Stephen King says so in his memoir On Writing, so it must be good advice. Read high-quality work in high quantities.
And if you are a blog writer, you should be reading lots of blogs in different niches. Not only is this a good idea to check out the competition, but you can recycle good ideas for your blog posts, too.
If you write for a travel blog, you might want to check out a science post on John Arnold. Or if you run a fashion blog, check out travel blogs by Nomadic Matt or Adventurous Kate.
7. Writing With No Purpose
You can write what you like if you are not using your blog to aid your business ventures. But most blog readers are looking for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
You need to give your readers value.
This is easy with listicles and how-to posts where there are clear takeaways.
But let’s say you want to write a “travel diary” type of post. You could put your top travel tips in colored boxes between your text. And you could link to the restaurants you visited and hotels you stayed in as they come up.
If your blog posts are not in any way useful, they are useless.
8. Paying No Attention to Format
No one hikes a mountain without taking a few rest stops, and no one likes to read a mountain of text that way either.
Use H2 and H3 subheadings to break up your blog posts into sections. Use bullet points for short and snappy pieces of information, and add relevant photographs.
Create blog posts that are skimmable and digestible for your readers.
9. Failing to Deliver the Headline’s Promise
Everyone has caught on to clickbait. It is tacky, underhanded, and makes you and your company/blog look untrustworthy. Leave the clickbait titles back in 2010 where they belong.
Instead, write straight-to-the-point headlines that entice your readers. Then, the article’s job is to fulfill what the headline offers.
If your headline promises “7 Secrets to Longer, Stronger Hair” then there better be seven secrets in that article. Not generic tips that people know already. And if you are writing the “ultimate guide” to a topic, you better make sure it is better than any other “ultimate guide” on the internet.
10. Not Improving Your Writing Skills
Anyone new to anything cannot expect to be amazing straight away. That is the same with blog writing, too. Even if you write well, that does not mean you cannot get better.
You still have to make the efforts to practice, learn, and improve.
Try your hand at different mediums like short stories to exercise your writing muscles. And ask a knowledgeable friend or colleague for feedback and advice.
There are tons of online writing courses, too.
If you run a company blog, consider hiring a blog writing team. Writing may not be in your skillset. Or, at the very least, hire a professional editor to iron out the kinks.
Learn From These Common Blog Writing Mistakes
You might be able to write good blog posts but you can write great ones if you avoid these common blog writing mistakes. Take the time to plan, read, and edit and your blog posts will improve in an instant.
Plus, they will be sure to stand out in the crowded blogosphere.
Check out our other business and educational articles for more tips and advice!