Today, it’s a content-drive world. There is so much content in existence there’s simply no way any person could ever truly absorb all of the messages being thrown their way. Consumers have to get picky about what messages they choose to pay attention to and which to ignore. Frequently, that decision is made in seconds. So you don’t have a lot of time to grab the reader’s attention. And, it’s not enough to simply have the reader’s attention — nowadays you must be able to keep it.
Blogs are a great way to stay in touch with your audience and remain top-of-mind. But, just as quickly as you have attracted their attention, it only takes one or two false moves for the reader to decide to stop paying attention to you.
I therefore thought I would share 5 common blogging mistakes which can turn off readers. I hope you find them helpful!
- Being Promotional – Don’t make the mistake of using your blog as just another channel to market your products. Sure, there is a time and place for blogs targeted to customers about such topics as how to better use your products, new features they should know about, etc. But don’t do it so much that you scare off your readers. People pay attention to blogs because they find them interesting and valuable. That value could lie in the fact that they are educational, funny, or relevant to your industry. If you choose to push promotional content through your blog – or outside industry blogs – you may find that your blog gets ignored very quickly. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional piece discussing a new feature, product or service, if it’s limited to the company blog. However, in general find topics that your audience will find interesting and valuable. Use your blog to capture and keep their attention by creating unique content that is relevant.
- Too Long – While there is no real rule these days about length, and I have found that, in some cases, longer blog content can be quite successful, in general blogs that are short and to the point will get read by more people. In most cases, there’s no reason to write blogs that are excessively long. Readers simply don’t have time to consume all of that content at once. People have limited attention spans. While they may start reading your blog, if it’s too long you may lose them.
- Talking to A Wall – A great strategy when writing blogs is to write them in a conversational tone. Readers are much more engaged when the content seems as if it is speaking to them. Don’t be too detached in your writing style. Write as if the reader is sitting in front of you and you are verbally relaying the content in a conversation. You’ll find that people are more receptive and will relate to the content much better.
- Lack of Engagement – One of the best things about blogs is that, for the most part, your customers or audience can engage with you should they find a blog article particularly interesting, or have additional questions. However, all too often, comments are left to sit without any response. This is detrimental for a couple reasons. First, it makes the commenter feel as if you don’t value them, or that you’re ignoring them, which will discourage any future engagement from that person. Secondly, future visitors to the blog will see that, while someone attempted to engage with you, there was no reciprocal engagement. This could also discourage that future visitor from leaving a comment or question.
It’s also very important HOW you engage with your readers. Tone of voice, sarcasm or dismissal of different opinions can easily turn a great piece of content into one which simply showcases that your businesses may not be willing to look at things from another perspective. Just remember that not everyone is going to agree with your advice — and that’s alright. Keep producing content that brings value to your audience, pay attention and engage them when they engage you, and you’ll begin the process of building a loyal audience.
- Grammar and Spelling Mistakes – Think of blogs like clothes: How you look to your audience makes a difference. Have you ever come across a poorly written piece of content riddled with spelling or grammar errors? Did it distract you and put you off the content? You always want to ensure that each piece of content you produce looks and reads well and is a professional representation of your business. Grammar and spelling errors could make your readers feel that your business is not very good at paying attention to detail – and that is NOT good for business. The more attention you pay to detail with your blogs – in both content and form – the more likely your content will be syndicated.
Simply creating content isn’t enough. It needs to be content that your audience cares about if you want to attract and keep their attention. I hope these tips help you avoid the 5 common mistakes that many people make when blogging. You should then be less likely to be on the receiving end of a press “delete” button.
Author: Sara Callahan
Sara Callahan, Carter West Public Relations Founder & President
Sara Callahan is the Founder and President of Carter West Public Relations, one of the top agencies that specializes in retail automotive public relations.
Born in the United Kingdom, Sara Callahan re-located to the United States over twenty-five years ago and held executive positions in several marketing/communications firms before founding her own agency, Carter West Public Relations, in 1990.
Ms. Callahan’s particular strengths include community and media relations, content development, social media, campaign strategies, trade shows, special events, print and broadcast media placement.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org