Sometimes you wonder, “Am I really cut out for this?”
You write content and you know your ideas are good.
But it’s not quite getting the reaction you want.
You’re smart – so you know you can probably improve.
But you just can’t figure it out. You must be missing something.
And chances are, you’re probably making tons of writing mistakes that are crippling your posts – and not even realizing it.
Even experienced bloggers get caught, time and time again.
Why Every Blogger Makes Writing Mistakes
The good news is – every blogger makes mistakes.
Blogging is different from other forms of writing. It’s part education, entertainment, motivation, step-by-step instruction, opinion piece, and personal journal – and that’s just scratching the surface.
With this much writing freedom, many variables can go wrong – and they often do.
But it’s okay.
Because mistakes are opportunities to learn and improve.
Here are the seven most common writing mistakes that can cripple your blogging efforts, and how to improve upon each one.
Mistake 1: Being an Ego Maniac
When you write, it’s tempting to talk about yourself– topics that make you sound good. And in theory it makes sense; the better you sound, the more authority, influence, and popularity you’ll gain. Right?
If you’re always the focus, most people won’t be interested, unless your life’s incredible, you’re famous, or you’re a genius.
People are busy. When you don’t hook them from the jump, they’re gone.
It’s tough to make visitors stick around. Higher expectations, shorter attention spans, and increasing competition means you have to work harder than ever.
If you want to make your posts worth your reader’s time, you must:
- Stop using “I” and start using “you.”
- Make the benefit clear, straight away – use the headline, introduction, and sub headlines to set the scene.
- Use empathy. Write for the audience’s wants – not yours.
- Create case studies, and turn your accomplishments into lessons that apply to everyone.
Mistake 2: Failing to Do Your Homework
It’s difficult work creating a quality post – it’s even harder adding real-life examples to back your claims.
Few bloggers put in the effort. But research is often the difference between a good post and an outstanding one.
There is more to writing than being good with words – bloggers are experts in their fields – and experts don’t just rely on opinion alone – they use facts, data, and examples to illustrate their points.
After all, you want people to act on your advice – do you really think a stranger will “take your word for it” and leap into action just because you said to?
If you want to be more persuasive and build a strong case, you must:
- Make research an integral part of your writing process, not an afterthought.
- Find solid examples that back what you say, especially for major claims or recommendations.
- Use facts, as well as emotion to persuade.
- When presenting information, structure and sort it in a way that is entertaining and educational.
Mistake 3: Making Promises You Can’t Keep
A headline is an eye-catching promise – the bolder and more exciting the promise, the more attention it receives.
Everyone knows it’s crucial to have a winning headline – but few consider how important it is to deliver on it. Nothing disgusts a reader faster than a misleading headline. So make sure your post delivers what your headline promises.
A good writer determines the direction a post will go by using the headline as a guide; this gives you a precise goal to aim for.
For example, compare these two headlines:
- 7 Ways to Improve Your Writing
- 7 Ways to Write Unforgettable Blog Posts.
Same topic – but the ideas would be applied differently.
If you wrote one article, you could not change the headline later without a significant re-write.
If you want your post to live up to a good headline, you must:
- Decide the headline first – then write the post.
- Ensure every paragraph links back to the ideas in the headline.
- Make your introduction and conclusion reinforce the ideas in your headline.
- Never make a promise you can’t deliver.
- Make sure “How to” posts describe How to do something.
- Make sure to include actionable instructions, especially if you’re writing a “Case Study.”
Mistake 4: Being a Bore
Your audience is looking for solutions.
The recycled content that average bloggers churn out bores them to tears – their eyes glaze over, and they mindlessly click from page-to-page looking for answers.
Your job is to wake them up – hook them and keep them engaged, and then, when they least expect it, teach them something new.
Check out Marie Forleo’s down to earth and quirky style. Without her personal touch – this otherwise good advice could fall on deaf ears.
Be creative, be wacky, apply yourself, and go above and beyond other bloggers’ efforts. Inject some life into your work.
If you don’t want your posts to put your audience to sleep, you must:
- Avoid “common sense” advice – its’ been done to death; look for unconventional wisdom, and challenge the norm.
- Lighten the mood by using a conversational tone.
- Use humor, emotions, intrigue, or curiosity.
- Turn up your personality – slightly over the top is better than flying under the radar.
- Show new information, or find unique or unexpected ways to apply old methods.
- Create your own images.
Mistake 5: Trying to Be a Know-it-All
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” – Albert Einstein
You may have the world’s best advice, but if it’s written in a dry academic style, no one will endure it long enough to find out.
People don’t read blogs for straight dry facts or to expand their vocabulary – they want solutions, entertainment, or inspiration. If you’re using more jargon than you’d hear at a nuclear physicist convention – you’re doing it wrong.
Your topic might be extremely complex – but that’s no excuse.
A real genius looks to make complex issues brutally simple. If you can achieve that, you’ll stand out in your niche.
Even complex topics are engaging and digestible with the right approach – look how Brian Dean tackles link building. Instead of using jargon or being needlessly complicated, Brian makes it dead simple – and he makes it fun. With over 1000 comments, it’s obvious he nailed it.
If you want to give actionable advice, you must:
- Cut out jargon, acronyms or complex terminology and replace with easy to follow language.
- Limit your scope – choose one topic and go detailed. Brian Dean calls it going “an inch wide but a mile deep.”
- Understand the topic to write about it.
- Always cover the basics first– often your audience does not know as much as you do.
Mistake 6: Writing Without a Roadmap
Most bloggers can’t see the forest for the trees – they focus on inconsequential details of their posts and lose sight of the big picture.
Know what you want to achieve before you write.
Create a structure to follow for your post. Without it, you’ll lose track of what you’re trying to say, and you’ll get sloppy, disjointed, and off track. Structure does not kill creativity – it sharpens it. With a solid structure, you have clarity, and clarity is a blogger’s best friend.
Blogging is about sharing your ideas effectively. A clear and focused post benefits your audience more than a tangled mishmash of beautiful prose.
Because you can’t share what you can’t clearly define.
Look at this article on MOZ – its scope is huge. It could have easily turned into a giant mess, if the author hadn’t focused on structure and clarity.
If you want to write crystal-clear posts, you must:
- Ensure the posts flows from point to point in a logical fashion.
- Divide long list posts into categories, and group similar points together.
- Share only what’s necessary to get your point across.
- Be able to explain the purpose of your post in one sentence. For example: “My post shows seven common writing mistakes and how to fix them.”
- Clearly define the big takeaway you want your readers to get from your post.
Mistake number 7: Thinking You’re Done When You Finish Writing
If you don’t edit – your posts will be flabby, messy, and weaker than they should be.
If you want to write well, you must learn to edit – and do it ruthlessly.
The world’s best bloggers edit their work multiple times – it’s integral to their writing routine. As a beginner, it should be the most important aspect of your writing.
Looking critically at your work is tough. Sometimes you must drop whole paragraphs or sacrifice a clever quote or metaphor – but brevity is key.
Your work isn’t done when you’ve said everything you wanted to say – it’s just beginning! Go back and make sure you’ve said it with clarity and simplicity.
If you want to have lean, taut posts, you must:
- Avoid using two words when one will do. If something is really good – it’s great.
- Trim excessive expressions – Every single blogger = every blogger.
- Resist padding your sentences with filler words; There are some bloggers who think editing is not necessary = Some bloggers think editing is unnecessary.
- Write how people speak.
- Stay accountable to your word count – be ruthless.
- Make multiple passes.
- Use a service, like cheapessay.net to write for you.
Acceptance – the First Step to Greatness
There is no such thing as writing the perfect post.
Like everyone, you’ll make mistakes – but you can choose to learn from them.
You’re smart, motivated, and driven. Success is waiting for you, at the end of a path lined with mistakes.
Embrace them – let them make you a better blogger. Don’t feel overwhelmed – it’s all part of the journey.
Writing is an evolutionary process, and it might not feel comfortable at first.
But if you begin now, you’ll make incremental improvements over time. Even small changes add up to make big differences.
The most popular bloggers in the world have made countless errors.
Instead of quitting – they accepted it and kept pushing forward.
If you can do the same, you’ll make it.
Now is your time.
Are you ready for greatness?
Paul Back will help you grow your blog and make a living from it. If you’re serious about your blogging, want to make a good living online and you’re fed up with frustratingly slow progress then head on over to Earnalivingblogging, subscribe and grab your free copy of Topic Hacks.