Are You Making These 7 Writing Mistakes That Cripple Your Blog?

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.

blogging mistakes

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?

Unfortunately, not.

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:

  1. 7 Ways to Improve Your Writing
  2. 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.

Comments

  1. says

    [ Smiles ] Your colleague, Pall Back, really knows his stuff.

    A lot of people are known to make falter at number seven.

    Another great guest article, Sue.
    Renard Moreau recently posted…My Dog Is A Lizard MurdererMy Profile

  2. says

    Great blog post–kudos to Pall Back. Mistake #1–can’t tell you how many times I’d scan. say, “and I’d car about this because….?”–then press delete.

    Renard Moreau–“My Dog is a Lizard Murderer” was hysterical!

    Sue–agree about Marie Forleo’s quirky style.

  3. says

    Hi Paul and Sue!

    I’ll admit, I had a huge issue with number one for a long time. I still love to tell personal stories and definitely think they have their place, but you’re absolutely right – the focus of the article shouldn’t be on the blogger, it should be on the person reading it. I try to tie all stories of mine into actionable advice or avoid telling them these days.

    Number 7 was also a huge issue of mine. I used to only edit once before I published. I noticed when I was editing my first book that once is definitely not enough, and obvious mistakes will go straight over your head. These days I edit a bit more excessively than I probably should, but I suppose it’s for the better.

    • says

      Hi, James,

      I believe personal stories have a place in your blog but readers are more into “What’s in it for me?”.

      Thanks for commenting!
      Sue

    • says

      Hey James

      Those two are common mistakes for nearly all bloggers. I find that editing still takes me much longer than I’d like.

      There are times where you think you wrote something very clever, but it just doesn’t quite fit into the article, and even thought you might not want to you have to cut it. Or you go off on a tangent and you have to reel yourself back on topic.

      My apologies for the delay in replying – we are on different time zones 😉

      Paul

  4. says

    Great post, Paul. The one about making promises you can’t keep is critical. Nothing is more disappointing than a an article and especially a bribe to subscribe that turns up a dud. You want them to be eager to open every post from that point on after what you’ve given them.

    The complement to this is not to add things to your to-do list that you can’t (or won’t) complete.

    • says

      Hi, Anthony,

      I like the idea of not adding things to my to-do list that won’t get completed!

      Thanks for commenting,
      Sue

    • says

      Spot on Anthony. I do my best to deliver on my headline, and if I can’t then I simply have to change the focus of the article.

      Good to see you around! Thanks for stopping by

      Paul

  5. says

    Nice Tips there. Here is what i feel about writing posts:

    1. Do Not Hesitate to Learn (Learn as much as you can on the topic u are about to write)

    2. Do not fool your visitors (as paul mentions it on mistake 3)

    3. Write Real articles (Don’t copy, Add experiences,Use Statistics)

    4. Have a Diary & Pen (map your article on diary before you write)

    5. Review your words (Careful that you don’t sound boasting of your knowledge)

    6. Write Posts Using Points

    Points Helps visitor quickly scan a post.
    Post looks organized and clean.
    Post gets easier to read & understood.

    7. Draft and review your post

    8. Write post only & strictly related to your blog topic

    9. Research and Write
    kaushik recently posted…How To Start A Blog That Gets Results Fast – An Interview With Adam Connell Of Blogging WizardMy Profile

    • says

      Great ideas, Kaushik! Everyone is a little different, but the basic steps are usually the same.

      Thanks for commenting,
      Sue

    • Paul Back says

      That is a pretty good blueprint for writing a blog-post Kaushik. Thank you for stopping by and reading

  6. says

    Hi Sue
    Great tips here. Trying not to be boring is a biggie. As a personal development blogger, I always try to offer unique perspectives as best I can, and really just write as authentically as possible, to make sure my posts are not just some boring rehash of the obvious and simple keys to living a better life. I do feel that my niche offers a bit of an advantage in doing that with greater ease because it is very easy to get personal…after all, everything I write is based on my own journey of growth.

    Great tips!
    kelli recently posted…Law of Attraction: 3 Tips for Getting Your Brain on BoardMy Profile

    • says

      I love your blog posts, Kelli, because you offer your own opinions and your own journey. That’s what makes you unique and easy to read.

      I find it’s also easy to take action after you explain one of your tips/ideas.

      Thanks for commenting!
      Sue

  7. says

    Great post.

    Writing unconventional wisdom, showing up the personality are key components to connect. It allows bloggers instantly come across as someone who has a mind of his own and thoughtful.

    Nice one, Sue!

    • says

      You are so right, Syed!

      Thanks for commenting.
      Sue

  8. says

    Great post, as they all are! I’m definitely guilty of a few (all) of these things, but appreciate what Paul said about learning and mistakes.

    Keeping this one for future reference, literally going to measure each new draft post against these 7 mistakes until the good practices become habit.
    Moni Barrette recently posted…5 Steps for Creating a Successful Blogging ScheduleMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Moni,

      That’s a great idea to print it out. When I was a beginning blogger, I had a list of things I did while writing a post and afterwards to promote the post and I still follow it to this day.

      Thanks for commenting!
      Sue

    • Paul Back says

      Hi Moni

      I have not yet met a blogger ( or anyone else for that matter) that has not made mistakes. It’s great to see you want to learn from yours, and best of luck with your blog.

      Paul

  9. says

    Hi Sue Anne and Paul

    Excellent post and something all writers should run a copy of and hang it near their computer desk of creation. Then read it often, even when you are successful. The learning process never never ends.

    • says

      I’m glad you enjoyed Paul’s post!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment,
      Sue

  10. says

    Hey Paul and Sue …

    Erhmergerd, there are a ton of awesome tips in your post, Paul! THANK YOU for the ahhhmazing advice!

    As a blogger, I found it took about 2 years to really get into the groove of epic blogging. Even then, I’m still a pro at making mistakes (they are just bigger, LOL)

    The great thing about all of that, is this:

    A top notch sailor isn’t made from calm seas. Or something like that 🙂

    All kinds of great stuff comes from making mistakes, learning and growing.

    Your tips were amazeballs. THANK YOU for sharing them.

    My fave tip: write with the word “YOU”, rather than “I.” That was a game changer for me.

    Cheers!!
    Lynne

    • says

      Hi, Lynne,

      The “I” thing is very common when we were newbies, right?

      Thanks for commenting today!
      Sue

    • says

      Hey Lynne 🙂

      I’m fairly new to blogging – but I already feel like a pro at making mistakes.

      But as the article says – they are only a bad thing if you fail to learn from them.

      Haha love the sailor analogy/quote thing – very true.

      Thank you for stopping by 🙂

      Paul

    • says

      Wow thank you for the compliment Julie, glad you liked the article 🙂

  11. says

    Hi Paul,

    I like Einstein’s saying about explaining it simply. The word explain itself means, to make plain. If you make it more complex, you sure didn’t understand it yourself.

    Two writing tips I learned early and started applying since then were: 1. Write short sentences. 2. Use active voice.

    I think this is the least we should to, to explain what we want to explain.

    I have seen this on a lot many blog posts — not covering the basics or missing something important, making the post kind f useless or confusing for beginners.

    I love the 7 editing tips’ post from BBT and have it printed and spiral bound. This is something which I need to practise more.

    Great post, saving it and will read again, later. Thanks. 🙂
    Raspal Seni recently posted…Your Domain Registrar Sucks — and What can You do About ThemMy Profile

    • Paul Back says

      Hey Raspal

      I think its a great concept as well.

      Real clarity comes from knowing exactly what you want to say and as you mention this is a real struggle for many beginner bloggers.

      I find myself making many writing mistakes – more than I’d like to admit to.

      Hope you found the post useful and thank you for stopping by to comment.

      Paul

  12. Zarayna says

    Thank you Sue and Paul,

    Only seven writing mistakes? I can trump that!

    I will re-read and refer to your list before I put up another post – just began on Copyblogger to get used to the discipline and to support my little ebook.

    As an aside, my little nominally priced ebook of quirky short stories seems to have brought out the worst in people I thought were my friends (I asked them to read and perhaps offer a review).

    Wow! Always expect the unexpected.

    Back to the sane world, thank you again for the reminders.

    Kindest regards,
    Zara (I, I, I, bore, bore, bore)

    • says

      Hi, Zara,

      I would ask your ideal audience to read your writing and not your friends! Ask someone you know on social media that would be a perfect visitor to your site or ask someone on your email list. Friends can hate stuff that your audience will love 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!
      Sue

      • Zarayna says

        Thank you, Sue.

        I live. I lick my wounds and I learn!

        Kindest

  13. says

    Paul good points! I for one love getting clearer on my reason WHY I’m blogging. The reason, or the driver, pushes me in the direction of happy, free, successful blogging. I have made each mistake and I’ve corrected them all too. Freeing yourself and freeing your audience, through purifying your intent, allows the Higher Self Blogger to emerge from within. Yeah I said it. You’re a god 😉

    Keep on inspiring Paul and thanks for sharing!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…13 Tips for Becoming a Full Time Travel BloggerMy Profile

    • Paul Back says

      Hey Ryan

      I still catch myself making these mistakes.. probably a lot more than I’d like to admit.

      I’ve never been a naturally talented writer and, I’m with you on this one, about clarity being very important. I think its one of the most underrated aspects of a really good post, and its the one thing I struggle with the most.

      Just as a side note – you must have one of the coolest ideas behind your blog 😀 I wish I thought of it first 😛

      Thanks Ryan, really appreciate your comment

  14. says

    Hey Sue Ann and Paul,

    Great to see Paul here on your blog Sue Ann and what a great topic to share.

    Now I can definitely guarantee that I don’t have the ego issue but I’ll also admit probably not doing everything 100% correctly. Let’s see, where do I start…

    I don’t really do a lot of research when I’m writing mainly because I mostly share from my own experience. Now I will search out some things when I’m trying to share like statistics or something but for the most part I stick with more simple topics.

    Not delivering what you promise is just a big no no for all bloggers. If you can’t deliver then you shouldn’t write about the topic. I’ve read way too many posts that make this mistake.

    I will admit it’s very hard for me to read a post that I find extremely boring. It’s like I’m back in school reading something I have no clue what they’re trying to tell me just because I want to support a certain blogger. I’m to the point now that I just can’t stick with it. Put some personality into the posts and let me get to know who you are. That’s the most enjoyable post I believe.

    I’m not an overly conscious editing nut either which is why I’m not 100% correct with everything I do either. I think we all have our own styles and some work while others bomb. I always just say test test test.

    Another good share and you did good Paul. Thanks for having him Sue Ann and you two enjoy your week.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…Magical Monday: Traffic, Passion, Twitter, SSL Cert, GiveawayMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Adrienne,

      I enjoyed having Paul as a guest blogger. Both of us are in Jon Morrow’s mentoring group and met through Kevin Duncan’s blog, Be A Better Blogger, when Paul guest posted there.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
      Sue

    • Paul Back says

      Hey Adrienne

      Really glad you had the time to read an comment in between house renovations 😛

      I’m with you – there are some bloggers that break the rules, and have huge success.
      But for the rest of us, I think these guidelines are a good starting point, kind of like training wheels.

      Like you said its about trying things and testing the reaction. There are no hard and fast rules, and I know for a fact, what you’re doing at your blog is working like crazy 🙂

      I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment Adrienne – thank you.

      See you around 🙂

  15. says

    Thank you Paul Back . Reading your advices ,you can feel you will write with more simplicity , humility, clarity , true facts. Memory Palace will hold it.

    • Paul Back says

      Thank you David – I really appreciate you saying that.

      I hope you got something out of it!

  16. says

    This is a really useful piece of advice here, Paul. No 1 is so important for hooking readers and pulling them into the post. So many people just concentrate on Headings or Titles for grabbing attention. But then lose them because they forget about raising interest by answering readers questions (and removing their self- doubt about their own ability by offering reassurance).

    You also hit the nail with No.7. Hitting Publish is only just the start of every post because, unless you have a ton of readers already, you need to promote each post.

    It surprises me how many people stop at just publishing posts and maybe sharing links. You need to let as many people as possible know about your post. And there are more ways than link sharing to get the word out.

    • Paul Back says

      Hey Tom

      Thank you for saying that.

      Like you said – headlines are great at grabbing attention, but then the rest of the piece has to hold it and deliver on expectations.

      There is no point just having flashy headlines with nothing to back it up with.

      Thanks for dropping in and I hope you got something out of the post.

  17. says

    These are good points. I think it takes time to master all these points you mentioned. For me is it the mistake 4 that I had (and still working on) to improve. To write really engaging post so that people can’t wait until you publish the next one.
    Bruno Buergi recently posted…Six Commandments Of The Laptop LifestyleMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Bruno,

      You are totally right on having people anticipate your next post!

      Thanks for commenting,
      Sue

  18. Dr. Nicolas Rao says

    Excellent advice. I am saving this one. It goes on my Safari reading list.
    Just one read will not do.
    So many points that are very essential for good blogging and I need to learn them all.
    Thank you ever so much.
    Nicolas

    • says

      Good for you! I’m glad it helped.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Sue

  19. Hope Gorman says

    Thank you for the post! I especially liked reading the editing blog post section.
    I will take that advice to heart, and try to be ruthless!
    -Hope

    • says

      Hi, Hope,

      Ruthless editing is what the great writers do. I’m not totally ruthless yet, but I try to be each day with my writing.

      Thanks for stopping be and commenting,
      Sue

  20. says

    This is a great article shared. But I Think for my side if you have lots of articles then you don’t want to post everyday. rather you can edit your old articles and make them searchable on Google. This is also one type of SEO.

    Again Thanks for the great article.
    Swapnil Kharche recently posted…Sunny Leone Ek Paheli Leela Movie Hot PhotosMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Swapnil,

      I know that I can republish an article but not change the permalink and it’s OK for SEO. I did that over the holidays – I published a popular post from 2 years ago. So that can work.

      Thanks for commenting!
      Sue

  21. says

    Hey Sue, among your list points 3-5 are the most common mistakes I see (often times I am guilty as well). Some of the bloggers or writers are so focused on keywords, they tend to forget what’s important. They make titles too misleading as it does not really correspond to the content. Some makes the post longer, thinking that longer post looks great as compared to where you actually seen it first (spinner issues). Then some pretends that they knew what they’re saying but the truth they’ve only spun an existing article with no further researching done. I mean, spinning article is not something new to all of us. But I just wish that the writer is responsible enough to conduct some researching too.

    • says

      Hi, Arsie,

      We are all guilty sometimes of these errors 🙂

      Thanks for your take on focusing just on keywords – never makes for a good article, right?
      Sue

      • says

        RE: Keywords, well in most irresponsible bloggers they tend to neglect grammar for just the purpose of inserting the keywords (most cases flood their content with keywords).

  22. says

    Great post here Paul! You did an awesome job.

    Knowing these 7 mistakes is not only a time saver, but it save you a lot of headaches as to why things aren’t working. After all, they’re called mistakes because we’re meant to learn from it.

    Based from personal experience, one can succeed at literally anything especially blogging once they know their WHY or what we can call their purpose. Once you post with a purpose and a conviction that’s not aimed at yourself, things will always continue to get better.

    Like you said, there is no perfect blog post and that’s perfectly ok. That’s what makes us human. We live, we learn and we grow.

    I appreciate you for sharing this! Thank you Sue for allowing Paul to share this on your beautiful blog.

    Once again, awesome post! Keep it up!

    • says

      Hi, PJ,

      I agree – Paul did an outstanding job on this article. I like you idea of success with a big enough ‘Why’ keeps a blogger going. And growth is what keeps us from getting stale.

      Thanks for commenting!
      Sue

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