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As a content marketer, I write and edit blog posts every day. It’s fun work, but editing articles submitted by other writers can often be a challenge. While creating good blog content involves grammar and clarity, it’s extremely important to make sure that your storytelling aligns with your organization’s marketing goals.
Blogging is one of the most effective content marketing tools in the digital space. Through blogging, marketers can simultaneously improve their Google rankings, provide extra value to customers and build a cohesive brand. Most businesses have blogs to achieve these goals, but there are some pitfalls that many bloggers fall into. In this post, I will explain five of the most common blog mistakes that I’ve observed and how to avoid them.
1: Not Centering SEO
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of increasing traffic to a website by increasing its rank on a search engine. SEO is the single most valuable tool for organic marketing and should be the center of your blog strategy. Blogs that aren’t creating SEO content are missing out on a potential return from their blogging efforts, a mistake that most businesses cannot afford to make. Organizations should be using SEO best practices to guide content marketing efforts. If there isn’t enough bandwidth internally, then it may be worth investing in an outside agency to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your blog.
2: Obsessing Over Quality
A common issue on corporate blogs is obsessing so much over quality that the quantity of posts suffer. A good blog post is clear and readable, but editing a 500-word article for a full work day is a waste of time. It is of more value to produce a lot of reasonably good content than to produce two articles per quarter that are perfect. If you want to boost your website’s SEO, you should be producing articles on a weekly basis. Consistently publishing articles will also help build your readership, because it shows your readers that they will be able to find new content every time they go to your blog. No matter how much you edit, typos will sneak in. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from pushing the publish button.
3: Not Using Images
Articles with images get 94% more views on average. That statistic, along with many others, proves why including an image is important.. The most successful articles have one image per 350 words and should be a mixture of stock images, original screenshots and original designs. Make sure that the images you’re using are relevant to the text and aren’t too large that load time becomes slow. Slow loading speed will lead to your website being ranked lower on search engines.
4: Not Leveraging Storytelling
Articles that tell a story that also providing information get significantly higher levels of engagement. Whether it’s your personal narrative or one that describes a reader, always start your article with a clear direction. Use first person perspective and personal anecdotes to talk about the subjects in which you have expertise.
This article is a great example! I could have written the introduction by summarizing why blogging is important and warning you about the dangers of creating subpar content, but instead I shared why my blogging advice is useful through personal experiences.
5: Not Linking
The most high-ranking blog posts include a call to action. This could include linking, a “related articles” section or adding a clickable widget. Linking to other pages provides extra value to readers by giving them more educational resources. Also, linking outside sources adds more trust from readers, as it provides evidence to back up your claims. The most successful blog posts average about 10 links per article, and the context of those links matter! By linking phrases rather than “here” or “click,” your writing will naturally flow, while still giving your readers a good idea of where the link leads.
About the Author
Julia McCotter is a San Francisco-based Content Strategist, Marketer, and general Enthusiast. She works at Kapwing, a seed-stage startup in San Francisco that makes tools for casual creators. You can find her on LinkedIn, or at any bakery with a good cinnamon roll.