Content Writing

Common Blog Mistakes to Avoid

CopyPress

Published: January 11, 2018 (Updated: November 1, 2022)

Blogging can be easy for the first few posts. You’re highly motivated to write, and you work to create impressive content. Then work gets in the way. You might miss a few posts or publish something in a hurry—realizing too late that it’s riddled with factual and grammatical errors. Then blogging becomes a burden. You struggle to create content and worry when you don’t see the results you want. This is the point at which marketers often turn to us for help.

Many of these problems can be solved with a little organization and added time to your editorial process. Check out these common blog mistakes we help our clients avoid so they see the results that drive their marketing goals.

Making Frequent Errors

Paper and pencil with glowing light bulb among the crumpled rubbish for writing concept and concept of common blog mistakes to avoid.

Image via iStock by patpitchaya

Spelling and grammatical errors are typically the first sign that a blogger is overwhelmed. They’re in such a rush to publish that they don’t have time to review their content, or they lack the editorial resources to review the piece before it goes live. While spell check or Grammarly can catch a few errors, there are sometimes grammar mistakes that fly under the radar. Here are some of the most common:

  •  Confusing words like “then”/”than” and “it” and “your”/”you’re”
  •  Improperly formatting quotes
  •  Passive voice sentences
  •  Using the plural “they” for singular entities

While most readers can be forgiving of the occasional typo, your audience will likely tune out if you repeatedly make spelling and grammar mistakes. These errors are sloppy and reflect carelessness, so you should make sure you’re working with a skilled copyeditor who knows how to catch these more nuanced errors.

Posting Inconsistently

Another common blog mistake to avoid is inconsistent posting. Check through a blog’s archives and see if you can notice a pattern of ups and downs. A brand might publish four pieces in a month and then go six months without posting again. This shows that blogging temporarily became a priority for the brand, but then something more important came up and it fell off the to-do list.

Inconsistent posting can reduce the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. Your audiences will forget about you during these dark periods, and you will need more time to lure them back when you start posting again. With consistent copywriting and posting, you can keep your audience’s attention and even build it over time.

Our advice is to choose a frequency you can handle. If you feel overwhelmed posting weekly, reduce the posting schedule to twice monthly or even monthly. It’s better to post consistently than sporadically.

Failing to Fact Check

Your blogging success hangs in the balance of being able to reliably check and share accurate information. Even if you’re not reporting on current events or taking controversial stances, your audiences won’t trust your blog if they can’t trust the information.

Before you publish anything, your team needs to review everything you link to and check for reliable sources. Is the information up-to-date? Is it accurate? Are there other reliable sources that can back up the claims? Thorough editing goes beyond checking spelling and grammar to checking facts and sources. It’s better to publish something a little later than planned than to publish inaccurate news that discredits your brand.

Inconsistent Writing Styles

When you visit different pages across the web, you expect certain tones of voice, certain writing styles, and even certain content lengths. An opinion think-piece in The Atlantic will differ from a mining industry white paper and a Twitter post. All of these outlets have a specific voice and writing style. Yes, Twitter posts can be highly entertaining, but that doesn’t mean they’re not carefully planned with strong guidelines.

Before you scale out your blog, consider creating a style guide that explains your brand voice and dictates how you publish. Use it to onboard guest writers, help new hires understand the company, and make sure all content is representative of your brand’s voice and mission. Here are a few rules that you might add to your style guide:

  •  The average length of posts and paragraphs
  •  Tone and expected reading level
  •  Sources for images and how to add them
  •  Topics that are allowed or forbidden

A simple guide can prevent someone from creating a three-paragraph, entry-level post for your blog when you expect in-depth, professional pieces. Having your requirements in writing makes it easy to filter out unqualified content that turns off readers.

Creating Content Without the Reader in Mind

One crucial blogging mistake to avoid is creating content with no focus on the reader. This means the blogs you publish should focus on where your customer is in the buying process and what their goals are. For example, a tour company might create content about traveling to its region or the various cultural activities around it. The intent of the reader is to learn about a region before booking a ticket and signing up for tours. Writing with this intent in mind meets the customer at the top of the sales funnel and moves them closer to buying the company’s products.

Even if you’re blogging for fun or without the goal to drive sales, you can still create content based on intent. A travel blogger might create a post containing an affiliate ad for a tour company or create travel guides to increase their email subscriptions and audience.

Within your editorial calendar, make sure every piece you publish has a goal. This could be as simple as labeling content as “traffic driving” or “link building,” or as advanced as setting numerical goals for traffic and email subscriptions. This process will help you measure your success while creating content your customers actually want.

Blogging seems easy until you find yourself wrapped up in these mistakes. It’s common for clients to come to us frustrated because their blog isn’t meeting their goals. Audiences aren’t responding, they can’t get guest contributors to create good pieces, and they struggle to meet a calendar. If you’re looking to avoid these common blogging mistakes, consider a strategy call with the team at CopyPress. We’ll focus on consistency and accuracy, while you focus on your vision.

CopyPress

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