4 Blog Content Mistakes to Avoid
We all want to develop EPIC content, right? As you probably know, though, the sort of content that makes your blog a better place doesn’t just “happen.” You have to create it. Unfortunately, there are pitfalls that are easy to fall prey to. As you prepare your next blog post, think about the following content mistakes, and try to avoid them:
1. Hitting “Publish” After Writing Your First Draft
Sometimes, I make this mistake. I finish a post, and then submit it almost immediately. In truth, there are probably plenty of situations that could have resulted in better content had I simply re-read the post, corrected typos, and tinkered with sentences to improve flow. Even if all you do is clean up the post a little bit, it’s worth it to spend an extra five minutes reading through your draft before you allow the post to go live. While you don’t want to agonize over every word, and exhaust your sanity in the quest for perfection, there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to improve your posts.
2. Doing What Everyone Else Is Doing
It can be a good idea to blog about the big news that everyone else is blogging about. However, it doesn’t mean that you always need to offering the same advice, or even doing it in the same way, as others do. If you want to stand out, you need to look for a way to be unique. Two of my favorite bloggers are Len Penzo and Financial Uproar. They do things a little differently than other financial bloggers, and sometimes present information in ways that can take you out of your comfort zone.
Find your own way in the blogosphere. This can mean allowing payday lenders to advertise on your web site, or it can mean creating your own interesting widgets to enhance the look of your site. Sometimes it means offering special blog posts, or writing huge op-eds, even though other bloggers may try to limit their word counts. Think about what can make you stand out, but also consider what might work for you. While it can help to follow good advice, and adopt the best practices of other bloggers, don’t do something with your blog just because it works for someone else. Do what works for you.
3. Squashing Opposing Viewpoints
Don’t agree with someone? Let him or her guest post on your blog. Squashing opposing viewpoints, whether in your content or in your comments section, can be a fast way to lose community members. Take the time to understand the other side, and don’t be afraid to present it.
There’s nothing wrong with respectfully disagreeing once the opposing viewpoint has been stated, either. What you do want to avoid, though, is encouraging personal attacks, trolls and other undesirable behavior. Allow other viewpoints on your blog; this encourages interest, and will enhance your content — while forcing you to really think through your position and open your mind to new possibilities.
4. Always Giving in to Your Audience
Yes, you need to provide your audience with what they want. But that doesn’t mean that all of your content has to be audience-driven. Think about your goal for your blog, and why you are writing. Make sure you stay true that goal. Keep your audience in mind, but don’t always pander. You’ll have a better blog if you occasionally provide your readers with what then need — even if it’s not what they think they want.
What do you think are the biggest content mistakes? How do you avoid them?