With a quick Google search, anyone can access more blogging advice than is humanly possible to sort through. Talk about heaps upon heaps of conflicting advice out there in cyberspace. If you are new to blogging it can be very confusing. At The Bloom Workshop we spend the entire morning portion of our time together talking about blogging, giving you both Michaela and my tips on why you should be blogging and exactly how to do it successfully. Instead of telling you the best practices for blogging, today I am going to give you the worst advice I have ever gotten so you can avoid making the same mistakes.
1. Blog as often as possible & blog about whatever you can.
This was one of the first pieces of advice I received, and boy was it misguided! I began blogging every day, regardless of whether or not I had anything relevant to say. Sometimes my posts would recount what I had eaten the night before, what I planned to do during the weekend or maybe even how bored I was. Talk about a snooze-fest! The fact that I gained a small readership is beyond me; sure I was blogging some fun travel posts in between my boring stuff, but honestly, blogging "just" to blog isn't the answer.
These days, content is KING. If you don't have something meaningful to say, challenge yourself a little more. At Bloom, we give our attendees a useful handout that helps them brainstorm new blog post topics, so when they blog, the content is unique, memorable and insightful. If you're going to succumb to subpar content, perhaps you need a day or two off blogging. I am not saying blogging frequently isn't a good thing-- it most certainly is! Readers want fresh content and by blogging consistently, you're giving them a reason to make a return visit to your corner of the internet. But if those readers come back and find content unrelated to your brand, business, or just something they aren't interested in, I promise they will find what they're looking for somewhere else. Everyone is blogging these days, and the competition is fierce! Make yourself stand out by producing rich content that means something or teaches your readers something (and leaves out what you might want for dinner that night!)
2. Make sure you use lots of keywords in your post.
When you start writing for the sole purpose of ranking higher on Google or trying to improve your SEO results, you might start losing sight of what your initial goal in blogging was, as well as turning off readers in the process. Followers look for genuine voices behind blogs; people they can connect with. If you are writing, but not staying true to yourself and your voice, it will without a doubt, show to your readers.
I avoid doing this by writing freely, without giving a second thought to keywords or SEO. When I'm done with my post's first draft, I read it again and see if there are any relevant keywords I can sneak in naturally. The language and sequence of words and phrases has to make sense. Just like I said in my first point, good content will bring the readers in without you needing to produce cheesy, lackluster, or contrived blog posts.
3. Blogging is easy.
If you are a seasoned blogger, you probably just spit out half of your morning coffee reading that line. You and I both know that this blog thing is no joke. Coming up with your editorial calendar, curating content, producing and executing original ideas and photographing the visuals takes so much time. This blog thing is a full time job if you are doing it well. In the beginning, I would blog on a whim without any plan of what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. These days (even though I find it much harder to find the time with a toddler and baby on the way), I try and schedule out my posts ahead of time, re-reading what I am publishing. As professionals in our own creative fields, we want to make darn sure that what we're saying is quality each and every time. That takes time. Lots and lots of time!
It's also worth mentioning the time aspect and hard work it takes to actually grow your blog. Don't think that you can simply hit publish and the readers will come. You may even have the best content on the Internet, but without successful promotion like social media, utilizing SEO correctly, and commenting on others blogs, no one is going to know you are there. The amount of hours Michaela and I have put into our own blogs over the years is beyond crazy, but it has been worth it because of the way it compliments and promotes our businesses!
So, there you have it: some of the worst blogging advice I've ever received. Avoid these mistakes and you're already two steps ahead of the game! What's some of the worst blogging advice YOU have received?