Writing a great blog post doesn’t need to overwhelm you, there are certainly some common potholes that you can easily swerve.
Here are five mistakes you should (*nearly) always avoid.
1. A boring headline
The biggest mistake I see bloggers make is treating the title as an afterthought and only spending a few minutes writing it. It’s such a shame because you’ve got to keep in mind that 80% of people will only ever see your blog title (or email subject or 140 character tweet for that matter). Then, on average, it’s only 20% who will actually click through to read what you’ve written.
Whether you know it or not, you might accidentally be hiding a brilliant article behind a mind-numbingly boring title. The solution?
In my opinion, you should spend 20% of your time crafting a compelling title. Write out 10 possible versions before you decide.
My favourite headline hack? Check out your favourite blogger’s ‘most popular posts’ and repurpose one of their headlines for your own post. For example, one of my favourite bloggers, Michael Hyatt, has a popular post called My Advice to First Time Authors.
Why not re-jig that to My Advice to First Time Plumbers, First Time Teachers, First Time Entrepreneurs… you get the idea!
2. No sub-headers
If Shakespeare were alive and blogging today I swear he would have sub-headers breaking up his posts nicely.
When you consider you’ve got readers who are viewing your blog post on their iPhone on the bus, on their iPad with a kid on their other arm, or an a laptop with 20 other windows open, you realise the importance of making your article easy to scan.
You should be able be able to get the key points across in a quick 15 second scan of your article.
3. No call to action
If you’ve attracted a new reader with your crafty headline, you’ve got your message across with neat sub-headers, for goodness’ sake; please let them know what you want them to do next.
At the end of your article your call to action could be “please leave a comment below”, or “for more information, download this e-book”. Just please don’t leave the reader hanging!
4. Not promoting your post
Even the best articles need a bit of a boost to kick things off. Share it on social networks, email it your subscribers and tell the world!
5. Not interacting with readers
If you’ve had the fortune of having a reader engage with you in the comments, make sure you are responding. It shows you are present, grateful and listening.
It’s also nice to thank the readers who share you post via social networks, but sometimes it is tricky to thank everyone. Always thank a few people though.
Final note: *I say you should nearly always avoid these mistakes, because with blogging you can break the mould and still have a successful post. These are not hard and fast rules, merely rules of thumb that have served me well over the years. Don’t be afraid to experiment and do your own thing. Most importantly, blog with passion and enthusiasm, and enjoy yourself!
Remember, blogging is the fuel that drives your content marketing and social media engine. If you’d like to download a useful free tool, try the Social Media Planning Template.