Like most writers, I’ve attempted the whole blogging thing. And, like most writers, I learned that blogging was a lot harder than I expected it to be. I found myself asking:
- How do I come up with ideas?
- How do I write at least every week?
- How do I get people to read my blog?
Blogging is a labor intensive hobby. But when I started blogging professionally, I was taught some information that I wish I’d known when I was trying to get my own blog up and running. Lucky for you, I’m going to pass what I know along to all of you aspiring bloggers.
So, let’s talk about the three mistakes beginner bloggers make – Plus, how you can avoid them.
#1: They Succumb to Procrastination Disguised as Perfectionism
You don’t need to go through 50 WordPress layouts before you can launch your blog, promise. Seriously, just choose one. It’s so easy to spend all of your time finding the right layout, the right name and reading all of the tips. Then you look up at the clock and realize you’re not going to have enough time to get any actual writing done.
Just dive on in. It can be frustrating when you’re first starting out to see that no one is reading your blog, but it’s also a blessing. This is your time to experiment and figure things out. Few bloggers come out the gate perfect. Pull up some of your favorite blogs. Take a look at the earlier posts. Unless they’ve taken the time to rebrand those posts, you’ll probably notice that the quality isn’t as great as their most recent posts.
Like any other kind of writing, you will get better at blogging with time. But you can’t get better if you don’t get started.
#2: They Don’t Write Like Their Readers Read
People don’t read blogs the way they read books. They skim. There’s so much content readily available on the Internet that most people are trying to read things in a way that gets them to the good part as quickly as possible. So, structure your blog posts with that in mind:
- Keep your paragraphs short and tight
- Put the most relevant information first
- Use subtitles to break you piece into sections
If a sentence is too long, a paragraph too dense or a point buried too deep, you can guarantee your reader will click the back button and move onto the next link to find what they’re looking for. How can I be so certain? Because it’s exactly the same way you read things on the Internet.
#3: They Don’t Edit
Yes, blog writing is more casual than writing a paper for school, but that doesn’t mean you should just dash off a post. After you finish writing your post, don’t hit publish right away – let it breathe. Give yourself a day or more before returning to the post. Then, revisit it to make revisions. Run it through a grammar checker and tweak any clunky sentences.
If this post is of particular importance, our crew of Penmob editors are here to do your editorial bidding. As a beginner blogger, you will benefit from having a group of readers looking over your work. You can direct your editors to not only give you feedback about things like grammar and sentence structure, but also ask them for their thoughts on aspects of the post like readability.
Image Credit: Kelly Brito