I have written many blog posts and articles in my three years being a copywriter and during this time, I have made many blogging mistakes.
While I wish that I can re-write and edit some of the blog posts I have published, instead, I have just learnt from them and I wanted to share those lessons with you.
In this post, I have compiled and explained these 7 blogging mistakes that I have already made so that you don’t have to.
1. Not Having a Clear Direction
How many blog posts have you read where the first few paragraphs have left you with no clue as to what the author is going on about? How many times have you exited the page because you were just so confused?
A blog post should have such a clear direction that readers know about the post is about in the introduction. In fact, they should know what is it about even before they start reading it, (from the heading of course!).
For example, this post is a list of blogging mistakes that I have made so far in my experience of being a copywriter.
That was clearly articulated in the heading as well as the first paragraph. When you clicked on the URL, this is what you would have expected, and rightly so.
If you write your blog post not knowing where it is going, this will be very clear to your readers. So make sure that before you even start writing the first word of the post, you know the outline, what the topic is and what you want to say.
For example, instead of just sitting down to write a random post about blogging, I specifically defined the topic. Just this little step made it so much easier for me to write, and it will be so much easier for you to read it as well.
2. Not Having a Clear Purpose
Blog posts should not be written for the sake of being written.
You shouldn’t be making the blogging mistake of publishing posts because you heard that it was good for SEO and your business.
Each post should be written with a clearly-defined reason.
Here, I am trying to help writers avoid making the blogging mistakes that I have made before.
I am not just writing about blogging mistakes for the fun of it. I want you, as my readers, to get something out of this, which is improved blogging skills.
So when you plan your post for the day, make sure that you know what the purpose is. If you are questioning why you are writing the post in the first place, your readers will question why they are reading it.
This is pretty much a given but it is such a critical point that I couldn’t leave it out.
Spelling and grammar mistakes are simple and easy ways to be seen as unprofessional.
I get it, mistakes happen to everyone and even the most observant and diligent of us can miss typos.
People have differing perspectives on this but in my personal opinion, one or two typos is not going to make me blacklist a blog. Like I said, mistakes happen.
In saying that though, anything more a couple of mistakes just shows that you are not taking the time and effort to really check over your work and put your best foot forward.
Imagine this scenario. You have just finished a great post that you have been working on for a couple of hours and you just want to get it out there. After a quick final skim, you hit the publish button only to re-read it a while later and realise that there were so many mistakes in it.
Or imagine this scenario. You have thoroughly checked your work and hit publish thinking that it is perfect. Then, you realise later on that there were such obvious mistakes you didn’t see in that final edit.
Are any of these scenarios common experiences to you? I know they have both happened to me multiple times.
When you finish a blog post, it is understandable that you are excited that the work is done and want to get it out there. It is also understandable that if you have spent so much time staring at the screen working on the same post for a while, it is easy to miss even simple mistakes.
Even after realising that I needed to spend more time editing my work before hitting publish, I found out that I still kept missing obvious mistakes if I have been working on something for a long time.
My way fixing this?
I now use a free online tool that checks my spelling and grammar called Grammarly. I actually really love it because it highlights mistakes immediately and tells you the reason why. So not only is it just checking your work but you are learning so that you don’t make the same mistakes again.
Unfortunately, Grammarly doesn’t work on some tools like Evernote or Google Docs so you may have to do some copy-and-pasting.
Of course, if you don’t use Grammarly, some online word documents already have spell check integrated into the system such as Microsoft Word. Yoast SEO plugin in WordPress also measures readability and highlights the text in question to bring to your attention.
For some heavy-duty proofreading, I use a couple of tools. I check on Grammarly first and then use the Yoast SEO plugin. I also re-read my posts out loud.
If you have ever written and presented a speech, I am sure you would have realised that nothing emphasises the mistakes in your work more than reading out loud. It also assists in showing you how your post flows so I recommend reading your posts to yourself every time.
Another way to avoid making typos and errors in your post is by taking a break between the writing and editing stage.
It could be a day, a week, or if you are short on time then even a few hours. Get away from your computer, go for a walk or work on other tasks to give yourself a break. Then come back to the post with fresh eyes.
4. Large Paragraphs
Nothing will increase your bounce rate faster than writing a post that consists of one huge massive chunk of text.
The big lesson to learn here is that you need to use paragraphs.
Break up your text into headings, subheadings and paragraphs for better readability and content structure. Each paragraph should encompass a different point.
Readers want to experience an easy, seamless read.
This doesn’t come naturally to me because I tend to keep writing until I have a massive chunk of text in front of me, so I started experimenting with different paragraph lengths.
Now as you can probably tell, I only use 2-3 sentences or lines per paragraph before I move on.
5. Messy text
One of the blogging mistakes that really stand out to me is that I maaaay have been a little bit too experimental.
Big headings, small headings, different colours, various fonts, italicised words, bolded words, CAPITALISED BOLDED WORDS.
See how messy that sentence looks?
I really wish that I can go back and edit those posts and keep it simple, neat and organised.
So be mindful with how you format your blog posts. Use big headings when necessary, sub-headings when relevant, and emphasise only the important points.
Don’t overdo it because it can really ruin the reader’s experience.
In this case, less is more.
6. Messy Images
It is not just text that makes up your blog posts but the images as well.
When you use more than one image in your post, try to make them the same size.
I understand that sometimes you need different sized images for different purposes (such as portrait for Pinterest and landscape for Twitter) but this is not always the case. Some people, like me back in the day, just don’t pay attention to how the image formatting can affect your post.
So you may have an image that takes up the entire width of the page and then the photo in the next paragraph is a small thumbnail.
Likewise, with the experimental text and formatting issues in my previous point, this makes the post look really messy.
Try to keep the image sizes consistent when applicable.
I do this is by using Canva. It is a free business tool that lets you choose the image size that you want.
Then you can duplicate that image size and add images to each copy.
And viola, same sized images for your blog post, and a neater and more professional post.
It can take a while but it is well worth the effort, believe me.
7. Too Short or Too Long
The best blog post length has been widely debated by copywriters and marketers for a while now.
SEO states that anything over 300 words is good, some believe that 500-words is the optimal length while others like Neil Patel advocates for long blog posts that are well over 1000-words.
Whatever the length, your priority should be writing a well-informed and detailed post.
When you don’t put in the effort to really research a topic, you will end up with a sub-par post that skims the subject. Alternatively, you may end up trying to drag out a topic just to hit 2000 words to its detriment.
This will leave them finding other sources to get the knowledge they are looking for.
Take the time to write a well-informed blog post, whether it is a 500 or 1000+ word blog.
Blogging can position you as the authority in your industry but only if you are publishing detailed and compelling posts. The key words here being detailed and compelling.
Remember, each one should be offering your readers value and that should be your main goal, not word count.
What blogging mistakes have you made?
These are just a few of the blogging mistakes that I have made during my time as a copywriter and I am sure that I will make many, many more.
But like everything, there is always a lesson to be learnt, or in this case 7.
So make sure that you avoid these blogging mistakes when you are updating your company blog. It can really make a difference in publishing a good post and a great one.
What blogging mistakes have you made? What lessons did you learn from them? Please let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear about them!
P.S. If you are having trouble finding the time and effort to write great blog posts and would like professional assistance, then please shoot me a quick message here.