Tuesday, May 24, 2011

10 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Writing tips from the Ascentive team

As one of the most important Social Media tools available to you, your blog allows you to boost brand awareness, or attract and retain customers. Unfortunately, bad blogging can also cost you customers and impact your reputation. Here are ten blogging mistakes to avoid at all cost.

1) Bad Headlines
A good headline is crucial. It hooks the reader’s attention and entices them to read your blog post. A headline should always make a promise to deliver something to the reader, such as the answer to a problem. Your post then follows through on that promise.

2) Bad Blog Posts
Bad Grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors are notorious for turning off readers. Unlike a text message, a blog post should always use proper English. If you can’t write proper English, hire someone who can.

3) Bad Blog Photos
When it comes to a blog for a business, there’s no excuse for bad photography. If you can’t find the photos you need legally online, avoid using photos altogether.

4) Not Provoking Conversation
Strong content inspires conversation and drive readers to comment, share, or engage. Always provide content that provokes readers to respond in some way.

5) Bad About Page
People scan About pages to decide whether they will continue reading your blog. Good About pages prove that you are an expert when it comes to your niche, and can be trusted to provide valuable information.

6) Being Too Salesy
Your blog is an information resource about your niche, not a soapbox to hawk you wares. If you try to sell a reader a product or a service too early in your relationship, you'll scare them off. What you need to do instead is create a blog that provides interesting and useful content will make customers more likely to buy from you.

7) Lack of Accessibility
Although you must present yourself as an expert to your readers, never communicate in a way that everyone cannot relate to. Avoid using unnecessary jargon, and speak plainly when making your point.

8) No Strategy
Always have a goal for your blog, whether it is a minimum number of followers or minimum amount of sales. And be sure to determine where your target audience is, where you plan to reach them, and how long it will take to achieve your goals.

9) Not Using Your Experience
In order to write compelling content, you need to have a unique perspective in your field. When you blog, tap into your experience, and offer a unique perspective. And don’t be afraid to be controversial. Controversy often inspires response.

10) No Variety
Always vary your types of content, whether it's a standard text blog, video interviews, podcasts or an infographic. Never stick for the same type of Social Media post for too long. If you’ve been running text updates for a while, give video a try, or maybe a podcast.

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