If you ever watched the TLC show What Not to Wear, you know some people choose to wear cringe-inducing outfits when left to their own devices. It generally takes an ambush by the show’s hosts, disapprovalof the person’s loved ones, and a look in the three-way mirror for the fashion-challenged individual to consider changing his/her look. In other words, sometimes you need an outside perspective.
Here’s my outside perspective on what you should not be doing on your blog:
Pulling a bait and switch. You tell readers you have five tips for doing something but in reality you want them to buy your e-book or webinar. Not cool.
Selling. You can funnel your readers to something you are selling, after you have given them value. In other words, your blog post is not advertising copy.
Letting down your readers. If your headline promises the ten best ways to do something, then you should deliver those ten tips.
Making readers cringe at your inability to use spell-check (or understand grammar). We all make mistakes, and we all forgive one or two typos and grammatical slip-ups, but there’s a limit.
Not understanding how people read on the web (or on mobile). Your post consists of a single paragraph, no breaks, no bolding, no graphics, no bullet points, nothing. And it is really long. The web makes people scan content (so make your content scannable!).
Closing off comments. Why be social if you don’t want people to interact with you? You can and should have a comment policy, and you don’t have to approve every comment, but do have a way for people to interact with your blog post.
Being jargon and buzzword crazy. Few things make me want to scream as much as a blog post filled to the brim with buzzy phrases and cliched jargon (“try to find your sweet spot by selling the c-suite on the low hanging fruit…”).
What would you add? Tell me in the comments, which I moderate but always check and respond to!
Want to have an effective blog? Attend the next How to Write Your Blog workshop on November 12 in Washington, DC. Get more details and register today! Early registration prices available until Friday.