If you have a blog congratulations!
Whether you’re a lawyer, financial planner, doctor, motivational speaker, you’re on the right track.
Even in 2020, this is the easiest and most effective way to attract clients, build rapport, build a contact list, book appointments, and sell products.
But there are definitely blogging mistakes you want to avoid.
Some are obvious, like bad grammar, spelling mistakes or using tacky stock photography.
Here we’ll outline 9 blogging mistakes you might not know you are making that can hurt your results.
Let’s dive in…
Mistake #1: Not Solving a Problem
Imagine you’re meeting with a financial planner to decide if you want to hire them. And all they do is talk about themselves.
What you want is solutions—what do they know that will help you?
Your blog is no different. Every article has the potential to solve a problem for a reader. And the more specific the problem, the better.
Here are some examples of some bloggers that consistently offer valuable, useful content:
- Seth Godin’s blog teaches us how to think about marketing (and life and politics and…) differently.
- Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings delves into the minds of the greatest artists, authors, and thinkers of our time.
- Leo Babauta’s blog ZenHabits instructs us on how to lead a more mindful life.
One of the biggest blogging mistakes you can make is not making this problem obvious. So start at the top to grab attention.
It’s no different than a speaker on stage asking their audience “Has this ever happened to you?”
Right away, we are leaning in…waiting for the solution.
Mistake #2: Not Measuring Results
You wouldn’t drive a car without a speedometer or open a bank account if you couldn’t see your balances, so why would you invest in a website if you couldn’t see the results?
Examples of metrics you’ll want to pay attention to include:
- Social shares
- Bounce rates
- CTA clicks
- Traffic sources
Here’s more on how to measure your blog’s success.
A great place to start is by making sure you have Google Analytics installed correctly on your website. Here is how to check. Next, set it up so you get a simple PDF of your results emailed to you once a month. Now, you will be getting feedback on your site and can track the results of your blog posts and site traffic.
Mistake #3: No Call-To-Action
Every article you publish should help your readers take the next step.
It could be as simple as a related article on your site they can enjoy, or a link to your book or to learn about your services.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to do anything fancy here! Just make sure that you are offering some valuable content, product, or service that is relevant to the reader.
Here are some examples of Call-To-Action for your blog:
– read a related post (like this post all about adding a Call-To-Action to your blog)
– download a more in-depth ebook, report, or video on this topic
– complete a quick survey on this topic
– learn more about your book, courses, facility, staff, services…
– submit a comment
– share this post on social media
Mistake #4: Doing it All Yourself
You’re a busy professional. Your time is valuable.
One of the biggest blogging mistakes is trying to do it all when you could be delegating tasks to other professionals.
If you’re looking at your content and thinking “It’s no big deal, I’ll just do it myself” maybe it’s time to do a little self-reflection.
Next time you are about to log into WordPress to publish your blog, ask yourself: What does this time and inconvenience cost me?
Those 15-20 minutes are an interruption in your day and a big distraction from growing your business, enjoying a break or even reading a chapter in that book you bought last month.
Here are some blogging tasks that are easy to outsource:
- Research – wouldn’t it be great if someone was pulling together the perfect quotes, statistics, stories, and facts for your next post?
- Editing – once the writing is done, editing is a tedious task someone else can do.
- Publishing – there are at least 15 steps to publishing a blog (if you do it correctly and set up: tags, categories, meta descriptions, etc.). And they are repetitive – perfect for outsourcing.
- Video creation – you are the rock star, not the whole crew. There are lots of freelancers who love messing around with transitions, intro’s and sound.
- Slide decks for presentations – if the presentation is important enough, it’s worth have a pro check over your slides and adding final touches.
Upwork is a great place to find talent. If you’re using it, use filters to help you narrow down parameters like country, skill level, and rates. In this post, we walk you through how to set up a job and find freelancers.
At BlogWorks we pride ourselves on being able to deliver white-label, SEO rich blogposts to our clients. If this is something you are interested in, contact us for a free consultation to see how we can help you!
Mistake #5: Being Inconsistent
One of the biggest blogging mistakes that people tend to make is trying to publish randomly, when inspiration strikes, or even every day.
But, just like most things, quality is more important than quantity.
So if you want to stick with a schedule of weekly or bimonthly, that’s fine! But stick to it.
Consistency builds loyalty, and readers will look forward to your next post.
At BlogWorks, we publish weekly. And we can see a nice spike in our traffic every time we publish.
Start by blocking out a little time for writing out some drafts or ideas, and then outsourcing (see #3, above) where you can.
TIP: Check out Cal Newport’s argument for time-blocking in his book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.
Mistake #6: Skipping Your Mailing List
If you are a service professional (doctor, lawyer, professional speaker, medical professional, coach, etc.), then your blog is the ideal way to attract more clients. You get to showcase your best solutions and your clients get to “test drive” your services.
Your blog is also a great way to build your mailing list.
Having a mail list is a simple way to stay in touch with your audience, keep them informed of what you’re up to, and advertise your latest products and services. It also adds value to your business.
Unlike, advertising that you have to constantly feed, your mailing list can reach your followers for free. And unlike advertising that is pushing your products and services on people, your blog is welcomed by readers and attracts them to your solutions.
Not having a mailing list is one of the biggest blogging mistakes you can make. So, even if you only have 200 people on a list now, it’s not too late to start growing that list. Before you start, though, check out these 5 questions to ask before you build your mailing list.
Mistake #7: Not using an Template
You wouldn’t start a business or go on a vacation without a plan. Similarly, you shouldn’t write a blog without a template. Your template, or blueprint, or outline, is a guide for what comes first and what follows.
For example, all blog articles need to start by getting your readers’ attention. That’s pretty obvious, right? After all, your reader needs to stop scrolling long enough to pay attention to your post. But, did you know that the next part is all about a problem?
The whole idea is to create a reading experience just like a conversation. You start by getting your listener’s attention, then you present a problem you think they would be interested in solving and then tell them what you know about that.
Often, just by reorganizing your content you can turn a ho-hum blog post into a viral machine that attracts thousands of readers.
Here’s a quick overview of the exact template we use at BlogWorks.
Opening – always start by getting your reader’s attention and get them to stop scrolling on their phone or tablet or lean in if this is a presentation. Start with a story, a bold claim or a statistic/fact.
Problem – next, you need to make it obvious what the problem you are solving. It could be to save time, rescue a marriage, or delegate better – whatever it is, make it clear that you understand their problem.
Personal – why are you writing/speaking about this? What is your personal experience or client’s story, or research you’ve completed?
Promise – what will you share? What will they get from reading further or listening to you?
Solutions – what do they need to do or change? Can you give examples of how this has worked for others? Is there anything they need to avoid?
Next Steps – remind them of the problem and why this is important.
The Offer – how they can go further with you (products, services, courses, etc)
Close – motivational message, call-to-action, or challenge
Download your copy of the complete template here.
Mistake #8: Forgetting Social Media
At BlogWorks we love to bring you more love.
We don’t use mindless automation, instead, we have a team of wonderful, local writers who get to know your writing style and craft each update for your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
It’s important to have a clear picture of what’s working, but wading through a sea of metrics can be time-consuming and even confusing.
Here are some tips to help you simplify
- Get clear on how to use social media analytics
- Choose only one or two key channels which are most relevant to your audience
- Hire a dedicated social media professional to manage and monitor posts
- Develop a content plan which encompasses social posting and all marketing activities
Learn more about why social media scheduling tools might be a bad idea.
Mistake #9: Getting Discouraged and Giving Up
Finally, we are at the biggest of all the blogging mistakes: giving up!
Here’s the thing:
Your blog will never be as sexy as paid advertising or as daring as hosting a webinar or renting a hotel room and inviting people to a free seminar.
Instead, it will be something that adds value to your company slowly over time.
Every day, readers are giving you their attention. They come back over and over for advice and guidance.
And all it costs you is some planning and a bit of your time.
You will want to quit. After all, it’s not like you see the readers marching into your office waiting room or lining up at your home office. But they’re there.
When you get discouraged and want to give up, remember this…
You’re building an audience and if you serve them well that audience will become fans and those fans will become clients. Your blog is an investment in your business that will keep paying rewards for years to come.
Now all you have to do is keep investing in your blog!
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