3 Easily Fixable Blog Mistakes You’re Probably Making
If you have a high bounce rate on your blog, there’s a good chance you’re making one or more of these three blogging mistakes.
Fear not – these blogging mistakes are easily fixable. In this post, we’ll show you the “dos” and “don’ts” of blogging, so you can decrease your bounce rate. Additionally, we’ll give you several tips, so you can fix the mistakes as you’re reading this.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty, here are three reasons why you should address these blogging errors sooner rather than later…
- If you’re spending your time creating content, without taking care of these mistakes, you’re wasting your time. It’s like spending hours making dinner, then serving it to an empty table.
- Correcting these mistakes catapults your blog front and center to people that’ll read it (The trick to doing this is so simple, it’s shocking most aren’t doing it).
- If you fix these mistakes, you’ll appear like a professional instead of someone who blogs for no reason. Your blog affects the type of reader you attract – a quality blog gets less timewasters, and more action takers.
One more thing before we get into it: if you blog as a hobby, this post probably isn’t for you. This post is for people that want to make blogging a component of their larger content strategy.
Still with us? Good! Let’s get right into the first, easily fixable mistake.
1. You’re not sure whom your blog is for
Not knowing who your blog is for is mistake number one. It’s the most important step because if you don’t know your audience, you won’t know what to say or how to say it.
In 2009, I said a question we like to ask clients is, “Who is your target market and how do you serve them?” I know 2009 may seem like ages ago, but the thing about marketing is that the principles of human communication are timeless.
In fact…the idea of putting the listener first dates back as far as 4th century BC. During this time, Aristotle wrote The Art of Rhetoric, a book on the study of persuasion. In his writing, Aristotle stresses the importance of the audience when it comes to the message’s goal.
The rise of Greece’s interest in persuasion brought changes in their legal system. For the first time in their history, common people were able to defend themselves in a court of law. If you were not able to convince a jury and judge with your argument, you’d lose your case.
(“It is the hearer that determines the speech’s end and object.” –Aristotle)
People’s freedoms no longer depended on whom they knew, but how well they could make a presentation in court. In his book, Aristotle hammers the idea that the listener is the ultimate decision maker. The listener is the person you must understand if you want to get people to listen to you.
If you think the Internet age is any different from Ancient Greece, think again. Just as in the past, it’s again possible to talk to an audience that was once out of your reach. For Ancient Greece, it was a common person who could speak to others in the courtroom. Today, anyone with an internet connection is able to speak to the world his or her blog.
No matter what century it is, the point will never change: you must understand who you are talking to if you want them to listen to you. Most blogs don’t understand the target audience, so no one reads their blog.
Let’s fix that.
Easy fix for letting the right people know your blog is for them
The following format will define whom your blog targets. Think of this as your blog’s “whom my blog is for” statement. You can display this on your blog, or distribute it to your writers and content creators.
You’re going define your blog’s targeted readers in just one sentence. You could choose to display this sentence on your blog, or keep it internally for your team.
The formula for the sentence goes like this:
“Your Blog’s Name” For targeted readers that want to take beneficial activity without unwanted concept.
Here are some examples of what each of the three variables could be…
Targeted readers could be entrepreneurs, health coaches, or marketers.
Beneficial activity could be learning more a topic, becoming better at something, or achieving a specific result.
Unwanted concept could be worrying about an issue, avoiding something you know your market dislikes, or any other outcome that’s negative.
Here are some examples of this formula in action.
“Results Based Email Marketing Blog” For internet marketers who want to learn about what’s working in email marketing today, without wasting time talking about theory.
“Savvy Home Owners Blog” For low to middle income moms that want to learn how to save money, without spending a lot of time doing extra work.
“Natural Wellness and Fitness Blog” For young males, ages 18 – 26, that want to get in shape in under 60 minutes a day, without consuming supplements or vitamins.
See how simple it is?
In just one sentence, you’ve made it clear who your readers are. Once you do this, you can create the right content that fits their interests. People want to read things that speak exactly to them.
Additionally, you’re showing you’re an expert in talking to a specific person. And as I’m sure you know, experts get paid more.
Once you’ve identified who your readers are, you can start delivering value to them. Simple, right? Not quite. Read on to discover the second mistake we’d like to address.
2. Your blog has content no one cares about
Readers will likely visit your blog for two reasons. Either your readers want to find out more about what’s going on at your company, or they want to see what you’re saying about your area of expertise. If you’re not making these things clear, you run the risk of confusing them.
To determine what content to give your audience, think about what types of content they want to experience. Think about the problems they go through on a daily basis, and what types of thoughts they may have.
Once you know what’s on their minds, you can start delivering what they want. Then, do it repeatedly; only each time you use a different approach.
Here’s an example of how the magazine industry does this.
(Without looking at the date, can you see any differences in these covers?)
Again, month after month of the same type of content.
Magazines have been doing this for decades… because it works. Yes, it’s kind of repetitive, but you have to keep one thing in mind: this is what their audience wants.
You can adopt this highly effective and profitable publication strategy and give your readers what they want, too. When you do, readers aren’t going to say they’re confused about what you’re offering. They’ll be able to read your posts and understand right away if it’s right for them or not.
Easy fix for coming up with blog content your readers want
Your market might not have the sexy appeal of Cosmo, but you can still create content that’s attractive. The easy way to create attractive content is to answer questions.
Here’s how to do it.
- Address any questions your readers might have about you, your product, or service.
- Think about the day to day of your ideal person – what are they thinking about? What can you write about that helps them out?
- Ask your team what questions your customers or clients ask – get all the questions out in the open.
- Got a customer service department? Perfect! Get them to give you a list of questions your customers are asking.
Once you have a list of 52 questions, stop. Now answer them.
Here are the reasons why we suggest 52:
- There are 52 weeks in a year. If you release a blog post that answers a question, once a week, you’ve got a year’s worth of content.
- People google their questions. Imagine what it’d be like if you’re the person that can answer them. Wouldn’t that improve the traffic on your blog?
- Answering questions is what experts do. When you go to a doctor, she will ask you questions. Doctors get paid a lot of money to provide answers. The money is in answering the questions better than anyone else.
Once you have your 52 questions and answers, you can easily repurpose the content in many formats. Videos for YouTube. Slides for SlideShare. Pins for Pinterest. And so on.
If you do this, you’re offering something people want.
Liking this actionable advice? If you are, share this post on your favorite social network to let your friends know.
And now, for the final mistake.
3. Your readers don’t know where to go to take action
If you’ve ever been to an IKEA, you know how frustrating it can be to find your way around the store.
According to The Daily Mail, IKEA is designed to get you lost. By trapping you in a maze, IKEA expects you to see something you like and buy on impulse. IKEA denies these allegations, but by looking at the nearby image, it’s obviously not easy to get around their store.
Whatever IKEA is doing, it works for them. But this strategy won’t work for your blog.
Here’s why: people can exit your blog whenever they want – and in an instant. They aren’t physically trapped in your blog like at a department store.
This is why you have to make it clear where they should go to take action.
Easy fix for making sure your readers can take action
If you know who your readers are, great. If you’re making it clear what your blog is offering them, even better.
Now let’s fix the last mistake most blogs make: making sure your readers know how to take action.
To do so, you need three things: the right copy, the right design, and the right strategy.
Here’s what we mean.
- The right copy. The right copy directs your readers where you want them to go. It uses clarity over cleverness, so you don’t risk a reader not taking action due to confusion. The right copy uses the words that your readers use.
- The right design. The right design doesn’t use obscure fonts. Or color combinations that disrupt the comprehension of your content. Clarity over presentation. Make your design easy to navigate, so taking action is simple.
- The right strategy. Blogging is a lot of fun once you get into it, but it’s important not to forget your vision. This is why you should write blog posts with intention over everything else. You know who you readers are. You know what they like. Give them a way to take action – connect your posts to what you offer as a product or a service.
You’re now ready to “serve” your market.
Blogging is more than creating content. It’s about aligning the content with your offers.
After fixing these mistakes outlined above, you’ll…
- KNOW who your readers are, so you can deliver your “dinner” to a table of hungry guests.
- KNOW what types of “meals” they like by listening to them, so you can serve them the things that they want.
- KNOW how to set your “table”, so your guests have easy access to what you offer.
Creating content on your blog can be fun and profitable, as long as you are going about it the right way. Fixing these three common mistakes will get you started on the right foot, or fix any problems you’re having.
If you have any questions for us about this post, drop a comment below. And if you like this post, please share it!