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Here’s the thing about blogging: Because everyone can do it, it’s easy to get caught up in how everyone else is doing it. Bloggers find themselves compromising their topic, their content, and even their writers to make better marketing. The truth is it’s just better to be yourself.

Here are three ways people miss it:

1. Trying to be everything to everyone
2. Making it promotional
3. Taking the heart out of it

1. Trying to be everything to everyone

It seems like a good idea to make your blog interesting to as many people as possible — you’ll get more readers that way, right? Wrong. When you create content for everyone about everything, you can’t get into the passionate, deep-dive stuff that readers come back for. You can’t create that “written just for me” feeling people look for without making some readers feel like it isn’t written for them. Generic, vague, sweeping topics almost always lose to niche, unique, focused ones.

2. Making it promotional

The Clymb's amazing hiker stories.

Photo thanks to The Clymb.

While it’s tempting, nothing will make you lose readers faster than overly-promoting your products. That doesn’t mean your stuff can’t be a part of the story, just not the lead role. For example, The Clymb, an outdoor sporting gear company, shares stuff like stories about amazing climbers, tips for going on a canoe trip, and training guides for running trails. Their posts include some of their stuff — like blog posts about field-testing their equipment — but mostly they’re about their customers’ interests.

3. Taking the heart out of it

Your blog isn’t going to be good if it’s reluctant. That’s why it’s usually a bad idea to have a ghostwriter, unwilling executive, or marketing professional write blog posts they’re not excited about. Readers can tell when a post is half-hearted. Your best bloggers are the people who care about your stuff the most. Dow Chemical encourages their scientists to write about their expertise and get involved in social media. They’re not trained to be marketers, but they’ve got the knowledge and passion to write a blog that actually interests their customers.

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Comments

  1. Alfred Halvarson

    Very informative post! Following these tips will help me write content that readers will appreciate and will want to share, and content that Google will be happy to use in their search results. Thanks!

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