Blogging has become a popular way to reach consumers. But before you dash off and write your first blog, be sure that you don’t make these common blogging mistakes.
Copying Used Content
When writing a blog, one of the most important considerations is to be original. In other words, don’t copy other writers’ content. Besides stealing someone else’s ideas, it’s also illegal to copy another writer’s content. This is not to say you can never use information from other sources. Just be sure to cite your sources, giving credit where credit is due.
Often, new writers are confused as to what constitutes plagiarism. They assume that if they reword content, they’re not guilty of plagiarism. But this is still considered to be plagiarism.
Failing to Break Up Paragraphs
If you want to turn your readers off, write long paragraphs. Writing for the web is different from print writing. In fact, it’s been said that the average attention span is considerably short. Today’s internet readers want quick fixes and instant results. This means you have to make your content more readable. To do this, use:
- Bullet points—This helps our content to stand out more.
- Subheadings—Breaking up your content into subheadings is also more eye-catching than long blocks of text and continuous content.
- Short paragraphs—If your paragraphs contain more than three or four sentences, most people won’t finish reading your blog.
Not Carrying Through On Your Title and First Paragraph
The title of your blog should tell your readers what you plan to discuss. What’s more, your first paragraph needs to state the promise of the blog, with the rest of the article carrying through on this promise.
For example, let’s say that your blog is entitled, “Common Symptoms of Shingles.” Therefore, your opening paragraph needs to state something such as, “If you suspect you may have shingles, here are some of the common signs.” In other words, get to the point, make a promise and deliver what you have promised.
Having Too General of an Audience
Before you begin writing your blog, think about your audience. To whom are you writing? Is your audience mainly women? Are you writing to teenagers or seniors? It’s always best to have a specific audience in mind when writing a blog.
Placing Key Data at the End of a Blog
Don’t wait to insert your most significant information at the end of your blog. Your most critical data should be up front. If readers are satisfied and get the information they need in the initial few paragraphs, they’re more likely to keep reading your blog.
Failing to Set Specific Goals for a Blog
Finally, a mistake that many bloggers make is not having specific goals when writing a blog. In order to a blog to be effective, you need to outline definite goals that you wish to accomplish. For instance, include a “call to action" at the end of your blog. If you're writing about an eye disorder, end your blog with something such as, “don’t hesitate to see an optometrist if you’re concerned about your vision."
Considerations and Warnings
- Be sure your site isn't slow to load. According to studies, 32 percent of content readers start to abandon a slow site between one and five seconds of a page loading (source: The Guardian). Be focused by not covering too many topics.
- Sometimes bloggers write about a variety of topics to attract more readers. However, this can cause an audience to become disengaged, losing the purpose of the blog. It’s best to fine tune your content and develop a reputation as an expert in a specific area of knowledge rather trying to reach a lot of people.
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