Learning How to Write for Blogs: 3 Major Mistakes I Made as a Blog Post Writer and How to Avoid Them

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blogging-mistakeThis is a guest post by Alex, who writes for Business Opportunities Expo.

If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

I have been writing for blogs for the last few months. I usually write about 10 articles a week, between my own blogs and guest posts. When I first began writing for blogs my approach was seriously flawed. But I quickly took note of the errors I made, and I will outline these mistakes to help you avoid making them.

The top 3 blogging mistakes I made are:

Mistake #1 – Not Writing Naturally

My blog posts as a beginner followed a rigid and formal style. I wrote as a professor addressing a group of Honor’s students. Blog readers do not want to be lectured, but rather, they want to be involved. That can only be accomplished by adopting a conversational writing style. I don’t know about you, but I switch off completely when I feel someone is lecturing to me.

The rigid style I adopted made the reader feel as though they were reading an academic textbook, and this basically strangled any hope of interacting with my readers and opening up the conversation through the comments area.

Your entire blog is a display of who you are. The topics covered, the tone you use, the writing style you choose, and even the theme you use to design your blog is a reflection of who you are. Your own unique voice should always make your reader feel comfortable. It is like having a few friends over for dinner: as their host you want them to feel at home!

Mistake #2 – Neglecting My Blog Post Headlines

The headline you choose can make or break your blog post! When I began blogging I spent more time fine-tuning my content and I neglected the title of the post. The headline is what attracts the reader to click through and read your article. But the title is not only important to increase the click through rate, it is also vital that it contains the main keyword of your topic to enable the search engines to rank your article for your chosen keyword. Organic traffic will increase your readership tremendously. Your headline should grab the attention of the reader as well as the search engines.

Mistake #3 – Wasting Time Over-Analyzing

This aspect is really important and this is why:

  1. If your ideas are limited on the subject matter don’t fluff up your article with irrelevant points. Research the topic further and save the new ideas you gain for another post.
  2. If you hope to gain natural backlinks to your post then offer value in your article. By over analyzing you can often come up with ideas that you believe are “brilliant” but your ideas might be of little value. Ask a fellow blogger for his/her opinion on your “brilliant” idea before posting it.
  3. Try not to waste time brooding over a post that did not receive any comments or views. Learn from your mistakes and accept the fact that you are not a novelist. You will write a poor post occasionally. It does not matter. The experience should be taken as a learning curve.

Alex writes for Business Opportunities Expo, a website that connects entrepreneurs to share ideas about new business opportunities. He is also writes about internet security and antivirus solutions in one of his blogs, where you can get the Norton renewal coupon.

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35 Responses to Learning How to Write for Blogs: 3 Major Mistakes I Made as a Blog Post Writer and How to Avoid Them

  1. tonyknuckles
    Twitter:
    November 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    How many thousands or possibly millions of tips tricks and articles like this abound over the internet? Writing tips should be a staple for anyone looking to espouse their own informational skills to the world.
    tonyknuckles recently posted..Funny Quotes Of The Ridiculous Type And More Comedic StuffMy Profile

    • Alex Papa November 30, 2010 at 10:51 am #

      Yes, the net is full of tricks and tips about blogging successfully. I wish I’d taken more time to study some. There is an abundance of information. The issue, however, is of that what is valid and genuine. There is too much over-information, mis-information, outdated information and para-information on the net re: blogging. One needs to be careful when they find online articles that are tagged as the “tips and tricks of blogging”.

  2. Vivek Parmar November 29, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    we’re human beings and only learn new things buy creating mistakes. No one is perfect. still i’m a newbie in blogging business.
    Vivek Parmar recently posted..Netfirms Cyber Monday Discount Offer- Domain Name At 195My Profile

    • Alex Papa November 30, 2010 at 11:10 am #

      With the blogging technology moving so fast and with the introduction of new tools and techniques, I always feel like newbie to some degree…

  3. Marnee Masales November 29, 2010 at 7:08 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. Everything new can be difficult and it takes time. ‘Practice makes Perfect’ We learn at our own pace!

    • Alex Papa November 30, 2010 at 10:54 am #

      Practice makes perfect and modeling others who are already successful. That can save us many mistakes…

  4. Keller Hawthorne November 29, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    Great point on not “fluffing up” your posts. I find I sometimes write too many words or use too many examples/reasons to make my points. I’m not sure why; guess I REALLY like to be clear on a subject. Problem is this habit can take what could have been a short and sweet post and turn it into a novel filled with excess information – makes an article boring. Nice guest post Alex!

    • Alex Papa November 30, 2010 at 11:04 am #

      Hi Keller, I know exactly what you mean. I have a tendency to do the same mistake, particularly, when I am really “hot” about the topic, or when I feel I have something important and urgent to tell the world! It’s like trying to get things off my chest. Usually, these posts have the least response. It gets better when I write having the reader in mind.

  5. Corinne Edwards
    Twitter:
    November 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm #

    Good guest post.

    I like the part about the headline best. Brian from Copyblogger had the greatest tip.

    Go to a news stand and look at Cosmopolitan Magazine. See how they get attention.

    It helps to be a little wild and provocative.

    • Alex Papa November 30, 2010 at 11:17 am #

      I actually do that too Corinne! I often read the papers to see how they write their headlines. It’s amazing how they choose their headlines based on their reader-base.

  6. TrafficColeman November 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    We all live and learn from our mistakes, and blogging is no exception. Once you get over the learning curve, then things start to come together and make sense.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”
    TrafficColeman recently posted..Funny and Sad ThanksGiving StoriesMy Profile

    • Alex Papa November 30, 2010 at 10:43 am #

      Antonio, I have learned more about blogging and internet marketing by actively doing things, than by reading any marketing book or going to any seminar; most of it was from mistakes!

  7. Vickie November 30, 2010 at 1:56 am #

    Hello Alex

    Thank you for the post. I am always reminded that I can improve on content and especially around the headlines. It is such and incredible skill set to have underneath your belt. I write about 6 to 7 blog posts a week and for me practice makes perfect. I just keep improving over time. I am glad to know that others have the learning curve I do. On the internet, the learning curve is fast and furious. It is also fun and exciting…I love it. Thanx for sharing your skill set wisdoms with us

    Vickie
    Vickie recently posted..Inflation Worries Economists- NABE Finally SpeaksMy Profile

    • Alex Papa November 30, 2010 at 11:29 am #

      You are very welcome Vickie. It took a bit of courage to write about my mistakes. But the fact is that I don’t see these mistakes as failure; On the contrary, they have contributed to my success.

  8. Rahul November 29, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    i always believe that it will take a lot of time for every single blogger to learn all the detail he/she has to know and figure out ! i do agree totally that wasting time is one of the worst mistakes and learning how to avoide this is very needed , and i think finding ideas before starting is important so you can write quickly and successfully !
    loved your 3 points and i found them very interesting 🙂 Thank you !

    • Alex Papa November 30, 2010 at 10:55 am #

      Thank you Rahul for appreciating this post. Alex

  9. Debbie
    Twitter:
    November 30, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    Great ideas to remember when writing a blog article. I have found that thing to work much better when you write like to talk. And stop trying to be something or someone else. Thanks for the reminder.
    Debbie
    Debbie recently posted..Build a Blog Network You can be proud of and find more happinessMy Profile

    • Alex Papa November 30, 2010 at 11:22 am #

      Thanks Debbie! In the blogging business, I find that simple is good and, many times, less is better!

  10. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach November 30, 2010 at 9:41 am #

    Count me in on agreeing that headlines rock!

    You can have the most stellar content around…but if it’s never read, your growth will stagnate past all mortal comprehension.
    Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach recently posted..My Personally Awesome Cyber Monday Goodness For YOU final cost 0!My Profile

    • Alex Papa November 30, 2010 at 11:32 am #

      Hi Barbara, you not that for sure! I had a quick look at your site and have seen that your headlines rock! You must have learned the “headline” lesson long time ago!

  11. Richard November 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    One thing I learned how to do was to actually write out my blog posts separately without thinking about SEO. Then I’ll edit and move the post over to wordpress and incorporate the SEO as needed before I publish. I think it helps me write better.
    Richard recently posted..How to Promote Your Blog ArticleMy Profile

  12. Justin November 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    All wonderful tips, but I especially understand #3. There’s no room for over-analyzing. And I think that just comes with confidence… the more you write the easier it will come. Anywho, great tips for any blogger.

  13. Dave Till November 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    Learning from your mistakes is a must. The internet (and search algorithms) are changing all the time. It’s better to experiment with new things than to over analyze and do nothing.

  14. Steve "lucky" Pfarnsworth Jr November 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Writing is obviously one of the key skills for a successful blogger. Ironically, the kind of writing they teach as “correct” in English class is not the kind that keeps readers of most blogs coming back as loyal followers. You need something with a bit more zing; as you said, conversational.

    People want to feel at home when they visit their favorite blog, they want to be inspired, and sometimes they want to be provoked. If you can achieve that, those loyal followers you crave will be yours.

  15. Dean Saliba November 30, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

    It is not just beginners that make basic mistakes, I have been writing online since 2001 and I am still making easy mistakes. 🙂
    Dean Saliba recently posted..Add Pacman Game To Your BlogMy Profile

  16. Kathryn December 2, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Agree with the first one in particular… it is much easier to read a blog that is written in a conversational style – even the serious ones!

  17. Latief December 3, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Love the first, we must make everything natural Andrew even when we are writing an article 😉

  18. Rob McCance December 5, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    The headline is definitely a huge one. If people don’t click through, they will never know if it’s good or bad.

    Also, I personally prefer posts that are fairly short and to the point and written in a entertaining style that reveals the writers personality.

    Not some boiler plate sounding fact transfer.
    Rob McCance recently posted..Atlanta Real Estate and Atlanta HomesMy Profile

  19. Kok Siong December 5, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

    I think over-analyzing is one of the main problem for most of the bloggers especially for the new bloggers. Sometimes, I will over focus on SEO for the blog post too. This is not correct. We should focus on the quality of the content but not for the ranking.
    Kok Siong recently posted..Renal Carcinoma Survival Rate StatisticsMy Profile

  20. Felicia December 9, 2010 at 6:59 am #

    This is a kind of post I like, one that speaks from experience. We all learn from our mistakes, but most of us do not progress because we still brood over what went wrong before. I agree with you that you have to go on writing other posts and not sulk over one previous post that did not garner any comments as you would have expected. Thanks for sharing, Andrew!
    Felicia recently posted..Durrr wins 357kMy Profile

  21. Jesica Wills December 9, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    Thanks Andrew for showing the mistakes while blogging. I am also writing blogs. But, I learn from your blog a lot. Some mistakes I am doing that you have posted here.
    Jesica Wills recently posted..Android Tablet Application Development- Make Unique and World Class ApplicationsMy Profile

  22. Eren Mckay
    Twitter:
    December 17, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    The over analyzing part is what many times gets me stuck. I sometimes take many many hours to write an article simply because I keep thinking it’s not “perfect” yet. Though I am getting better at it. Congrats on writing 10 articles a week- that’s great!
    All the best,
    Eren
    Eren Mckay recently posted..Ladybug baby shower decorationsMy Profile

  23. Paul Blackburn June 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Thanks for the ideas that you have shared to us this will be a great help for bloggers.

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