6 Mistakes Most People Make When Starting a Blog (And How to Avoid Them)
Blogging — it’s a complex, diverse practice that offers mixed results.
Some people manage to keep leagues of dedicated supporters hanging on their every word. For others, it seems nearly impossible to break through and gain a steady following. So why do some people find blogging success?
Blogging is like anything else in that technique matters. Doing things wrong can handicap you, diminishing the quality of your work and stunting your progress
Even though creative endeavors are largely subjective in their appeal, there’s no arguing with success. The most popular bloggers know all the common blogging mistakes and how to avoid them.
Once you get a handle on the basics of writing, promotion, and content planning, it’s much easier to keep the ball rolling. Getting it started can be the hardest part of all, especially if your approach needs work. Here are six common mistakes most people make when starting a blog.
1. A Lack of Focus on the Basics
The best content creators put a lot of dedication into their craft before presenting it to an audience. You don’t want to be like the musician who starts a band right after buying their first instrument. If your writing isn’t on par, getting it there is step one.
Covering the latest topics and showing off your knowledge on a subject are both great for strengthening your blog and helping it gain viewers. But no matter how breaking the news or how informative the subject matter, good grammar matters. There’s also flow, sources and originality to consider.
Your first blog doesn’t have to be perfect, but you need to have the basics down before starting out. Read your work aloud after you write it once. If it sounds funny to read aloud, it will sound funny in the reader’s head.
You can also use tools, like Grammarly, to check your grammar and ensure your blog won’t be cited for plagiarism. If you don’t fully trust your skills when you start out, trust the task to algorithms.
2. Failure to Reread and Revise
This is a common blog mistake for beginners, particularly for those who are nervous about their big blogging debut. It can be easy to avoid checking over your own work. However, this is key for getting better at the fine art of blogging.
Bloggers have an advantage over other types of content creators in the fact that we get more than one shot when it comes to creating greatness. It’s like painting a picture with words — but it’s paint you can erase then apply differently.
A good, slow reading of your first draft will usually reveal a few areas where you can tighten things up. Even if your grammar is on point, the revision stage is about adding punchiness to your blog before it’s posted.
A final bit of polish is sometimes all it takes to take a decent blog to professional quality. If you’re going to become a great blogger, you’ll need to become a great editor as well. Read this great blog post checklist before you hit publish.
3. Using Poor Formatting
A common blogging mistake that many make is not putting enough focus on the formatting and structure of a blog post. Despite the old adage about inner beauty, the truth is, when it comes to blogging, sometimes appearances do matter.
TLDR – this is usually the response readers have when they stumble upon a massive text block. If it looks exhausting to read, most people won’t bother. If they click off your blog once, it’s unlikely they’ll come back.
Break things up with headers, subheaders, bullet points, numbered lists, images and other common tools found in Word and WordPress. If a blog looks nice at a glance, viewers are more likely to take a closer look.
Some topics and writing styles lend themselves better to some formats than others. Experiment and discover what style works for you and the type of blog you’re looking to start.
4. Failing to Hook the Reader
While a nice-looking blog can stop a viewer from clicking away, it doesn’t guarantee they’ll read the entire thing. That has a lot to do with whether you can keep their attention.
A good hook is important for the start of any blog. Just like the title and meta information, this bit of text sets the pace for the rest of the blog. They say first impressions are everything, and that’s definitely the case for blogs.
How do you write a good hook? Think of a creative way to state the point of your article without spoon-feeding the message to the reader. Use unique language, and be sure to think about what the reader is looking for.
Poor intros are among the most damaging blogging mistakes out there. If you want your blog to have an impact, start strong.
5. Relying on Fluff and Filler
It’s easy to lengthen your blog when you treat it like a school essay. Avoid contractions, say less with more words, we all know the drill.
While that’s a good way to increase your word-count, it’s also pretty exhausting to read through. It may not seem like it, but excessive wordiness can be one of the quickest ways to bore your audience straight to another blog.
There’s nothing wrong with sharing a lot of information. Just make sure you’re providing solid information, and cutting to the proverbial chase before the reader has a chance to lose interest.
If you can simplify things while still getting your point across, do so. Once you’ve got the reader interested, a meaty and well-written body section will keep them around until the end.
6. Coming to a Lackluster Conclusion
It’s the last song on the album, the final scene before the credits roll, and the season finale of that big TV hit. What do they all have in common? They need to send the audience away in the proper manner.
A strong conclusion should summarize the article, clearly state the point, and list this information in a memorable format. First-time bloggers can be in such a hurry to get their content out there that they don’t give a lot of thought to wrapping things up.
Powerful. Resonating. Satisfying. If you aim for all these things in your conclusion (and set it up properly), your reader will be more likely to come away waiting for the next blog you release.
Starting a blog can be exciting, thrilling, and in some cases (unfortunately) disappointing. But don’t lose hope — avoid those rookie mistakes and get your blog started the right way.
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