7 Deadly Blog Writing Sins

This is a guest post by Frank Lee.

These days, many people have started a blog for hobby or business. The trouble is, with so much competition out there, your blog really has to stand out from the crowd. In fact, not only does your blog need to stand out from the average ones that are popping up every day, but you also need to compete with established blogs, with their loyal fan bases, that have been around for years. In short, in order to have any impact whatsoever, good is just not good enough. Your blog has to be excellent.

Your Blog Is Not Getting Traffic?

Maybe you’ve set up a blog to advertise your business. Maybe you’ve set up a blog to run AdSense and earn money from the search engines. Maybe you just have a message you want to share. Whatever your motivation, your blog needs traffic to achieve those goals, and to do that, you need great content.

Today I will share with you some blog writing tips from my own experience that are pure gold, and will have you building traffic, and repeat visitors, in no time!

Get Your Blog Read and Followed

When it comes to the internet, there’s one golden rule that stands head and shoulders above the others: content is king. Although there are other types of content out there that you could post on your blog, that usually means you need to write great blog posts. Here are those sins, and how you can avoid them:

Using Jargon or Technical Terms

If you think writing blog posts that require a degree or a post grad in nuclear physics to understand, you’re not going to get a big following. No one cares how smart you are, or how smart you think you are. What they want is concise, interesting, and most importantly, intelligible content. Always write in layman’s terms (unless you are really writing for nuclear physicists – in that case, you’re on your own!)

Using Complex, High Brow English

You might be interested to find that the average internet user reads at high school level. That means that that entire high brow English you think is impressive is actually a giant yawn fest. When it comes to the level of language, I follow the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep It Simple Stupid! That way, everyone can read and understand your posts.

Writing As If You’re Authoring a Textbook

Blogs are not designed to be highly technical pieces of literature. They’re designed to be chatty – as if you were having a conversation with a friend. Write your blog posts to be funny, interesting and most importantly, as if you were talking to an actual human.

Not Using Keywords

Okay, so your blog posts need to be people friendly. That doesn’t mean they can’t be search engine friendly too. A peppering of keywords here and there will help your blog be more visible to search engines. This is especially useful when your blog links to a site, or when you are using AdSense or another service to earn off your blog.

Keyword Stuffing

All right, so it seems contradictory, but if you’re going to use keywords as I mentioned before, you can’t just stuff them in everywhere! Slow down! Remember, your posts still have to make sense to actual humans, so save the keywords for places where they actually make sense, and where using them won’t confuse your reader.

Long, Unbroken Chunks of Text

People read blogs and other web content to get information. However, when faced with a screen dominated by a solid block of text, it’s very hard for them to follow your train of thought. Use headings, subheadings, bullets and lists to break up the monotony, and make your text easier to scan through. You’ll have far more chance that visitors will actually finish reading your posts!

Not Including Images

Okay, so I know I said that content is king, and it’s true that the text content of your blog is what people are visiting for. That having been said, well chosen images can add interest, and help to put what you are writing in context. Think of it as eye candy for your readers! Just make sure that the images are relevant and copyright free!

Avoid doing the above when doing your next blog post. Blogging is fun to do once you got the building blocks right. As you develop the habits to write great blog posts, you will see your readership increase. And it is such a reward to see when your blog post helping people to make breakthrough or to learn a new idea. Those comments on your blog are great way to hear the feedback and to improve your blog constantly.

It is vital to master writing great content on your blog. Next step you need to market your blog to reach your target audience. Social media marketing, SEO, and forum marketing are the great ways to expand your market coverage.

Develop a systematic way to achieve your goal by doing content creation and traffic generation regularly rather than a shotgun approach. Schedule those important activities in your weekly calendar.
Keep building more valuable content and engage in marketing this content. Your consistent effort will payoff quickly.

Frank Lee shares a Free Gift to guide you step-by-step to “Breakthrough Article Marketing” – simply visit his site today and discover how you too can generate loads of free buying traffic using a simple 5 step unique article writing method in his Internet Marketing Systems. Frank also runs a list building program that will easily help you build your email subscribers.

Photos by Shutterstock.

73 Comments

  • July 15, 2010

    David Siteman Garland

    A blog with no personality is no blog at all :)

  • July 15, 2010

    Lauren

    I was shocked to find out that the average internet user reads at a high school level. That is good to know. Sometimes large words are thrown into blogs to establish authority, but maybe that isn’t what the public is looking for

    • July 15, 2010

      Tamar Weinberg

      Yeah! One of my (former?) favorite bloggers loves using big words, but I realize that I spend 3-4 times longer on this blogger’s posts than I do on all other posts because of the verbosity and complexity of the prose. ;) Needless to say, I still really appreciate this blogger’s writing style, but I don’t read the posts very often anymore… there isn’t that much time in the day!

      Someone made a comment to me that this blogger writes simply to look smarter than others but doesn’t have anything valuable to say — that’s the kind of reputation this type of complex writing actually gives off! It’s not worth it.

  • July 15, 2010

    dcromwell

    Large pictures and big graphics are a turn off. It’s nice to give the eyes a break within the text but when you’re skimming along and a massive picture rolls up on you, that can cause the eyes the flutter.

    Otherwise, great post. Thanks for the tips

    • July 15, 2010

      Tamar Weinberg

      I don’t agree at all, dcromwell, but to each their own. Keep in mind that in the social space, eye candy is critically important. With so many pieces of content vying for your attention, you need something to grab the attention.

      I’ve seen some blogs that have no eye candy and I just couldn’t bear it. And some of the images just don’t do other sites justice. Large images are actually a breath of fresh air and total change in scenery. Sometimes you need that.

  • July 15, 2010

    Troy Lilly

    Another post full of tips I’m just becoming aware of.

    I must admit, I struggled with my blog for more than 12 months before I found my voice. Now I’m realizing how to effectively get my “voice” out there.

    Everything I’m reading here makes perfect sense; I’ve just never thought of these things before. To be a great blogger you’ve got to think like a reader…Thanks!

    • July 18, 2010

      Frank Lee

      Hi Troy,

      I am glad you have found your VOICE. The readers will follow you for a long time simply because they like your persona. And that could be very ‘addictive’ :-)

      That could create your USP – unique special person (I know mostly USP is defined as Unique Selling Proposition, but Jay Abraham also teach to look at it as unique special person ).

      Can you share your path how to discover that?

      Cheers
      Frank

      • July 20, 2010

        Troy Lilly

        Frank,

        To be honest, the way I discovered my voice an unearthed my USP, was by writing to my readers and not above them. There’s a quote that says something like this: to be truly great a man must exist among people and not above them.

        What’s a good example of this? On my blog I talked about how time and money often elude us when those resources aren’t directly applied to our priorities. I wrote about how I evaluated my priorities and found that I had been wasting a lot of time and money on things that meant nothing to me.

        I think when you show your readers that you can do what you’re asking them to do – you can’t lose!

  • July 15, 2010

    Shana

    GREAT POST! As my company builds out our first blog- there are great tips in here, thank you.

    • July 18, 2010

      Frank Lee

      Thanks for your nice comment!

  • July 15, 2010

    Mark W Schaefer

    Well, I did not see what I expected to see — blogs that are too long!

    There are a few bloggers who are smart and great writers … like you for example, Tamar. Bit you are the exception! Most of the time long blog posts are self-indulgent or just not edited. I would say the length of the blog is one of the top three reasons I turn away.

    I don;t have data but i would say once you hit about 500-600 words you are entering a danger zone. Unless your post is really good, you’re going to start losing folks.

    Thanks for the great post!

    • July 16, 2010

      Heather Villa

      Mark,

      I agree with you. Not only do you lose people when the post is long, but who has time to read 5 – 6 long posts? I find that if I scroll down, and down, and down, and down… that I just click to another post. I have a block of time to read and catch up on topics and I’d rather read 8 – 10 posts than 2 -3.

      • July 18, 2010

        Frank Lee

        Hi Mark and Heather,

        Thanks for the nice comments.

        I think the quality out beat the quantity all the time. If the content is so valuable, entertaining, or inspiring, it does not matter it is a long or short post.

        I would say enticing is the KEY :-)

  • July 16, 2010

    Onibalusi Bamidele

    Wow! Really great post Frank!

    You are absolutely right and those are the sins most bloggers commit on a regular basis. I have also been neglecting the right use of keywords on my blog and I will begin to reconsider that now.

    Thanks so much for the great post,
    -Onibalusi

    • July 18, 2010

      Frank Lee

      Create great and valuable content for human as the priority, and use the keywords for SEO purpose. In the long run, you can achieve phenomenal readership and conversion.

      Most people would go for the easy path that is to stuff keywords in the writing for search engine and over look the importance to write great content for the readers. That will not only hurt the conversion but also gaming the search engine which will not survive in the long term SEO game.

  • July 16, 2010

    Naomi

    Thanks for the post, great tips and an easy style!

  • July 16, 2010

    sopran87

    I like it! Good advices…

  • July 17, 2010

    Tia - BizChickBlogs.com

    Really good tips for a solid, consistency blogging experience. It’s hard to say if any of these will bring traffic, but they will certainly keep whatever does come.

    I agree, in particular, about images. While not having images is a major problem for me, I just like to have them in my posts. I only choose one or two and not too large that they are distracting. But to me, a blog is similar to a magazine and most popular magazines have pictures. Something to be said, there.

  • July 17, 2010

    Tia

    OK. Tons of typos in that last comment, Tamar. lol Hopefully you can understand my seemingly broken English.

  • July 17, 2010

    Nicole

    I am trying to bring my blog back to life and get a freelancing business up and running at the same time. I try to teach or share a meaningful message in each of my posts. I have found myself rambling. My posts average 400-600 words.

    • July 18, 2010

      Frank Lee

      I use a journal to drop down the writing ideas that pop up in my mind during the days. That could help me to ‘dig the well before I am thirsty’. So I need to write the blog post, I can sit down write with speed. :-)

  • July 18, 2010

    doug hay

    Excellent post with practical advice. I train on social media marketing and blogging. I’ve found that bloggers tend to get too complex and not focus on their target audience in simple clear language that you detailed quite nicely.

    • July 18, 2010

      Frank Lee

      Nice sharing! Talking to your target audience in the way they speak inside their heads can build instant rapport. That is a very powerful copywriting technique. Check out the forum and amazon.com to see the customer’s feedback are the great ways to learn what language they speak.

  • July 18, 2010

    Victor Canada

    Great info and comments. Pictures are important, just don’t get carried away. Thank you to those who commented on short posts. I teach my clients to beware at 300 words. Some long posts could easily be a series of shorter posts. A guest post can actually be longer. Looking forward to seeing more your work Tamar.

  • July 18, 2010

    Sherryl Perry

    I love the pictures. I do incorporate stock photos especially in the headers to draw attentiion to my posts when I link to them in Facebook and LinkedIn. Lately, I’ve been creating graphics with screenshots to point out specific examples. I’ve received good feedback on those.

    I read that USA Today is written at a 10th grade level and Time is written at a 9th grade level. So, your post is right on.

    • July 18, 2010

      Frank Lee

      Thanks for your nice comments!

  • [...] 7 Deadly Blog Writing Sins [...]

  • July 18, 2010

    Richard Georges

    Great points. My blog is a bit dormant right now, and I think I may have committed a few of these errors as well. Great little article to get me focused.

    • July 19, 2010

      Frank Lee

      Hi Richard,

      In my experience, making progress is the beginning of reaching all goals. It is true even the progress is small at the beginning. So you may get your blog active again by creating little progress (e.g. make one blog post per 2 weeks) at a time. And then once you get it going, you can make a larger goal (perhaps 1 or 2 blog post per week, and make some guest post too :-)

  • July 18, 2010

    Monique Neeley

    Thanks for sharing the K.I.S.S. Principle…it makes sense to me!!

  • [...] 7 Deadly Blog Writing Sins [...]

  • July 19, 2010

    Kyle Lacy

    I think some people over analyze when they begin blogging. Don’t be complicated. Say your Peace and keep it simple. I think we should write for an educated audience but that doesn’t mean using the full extent of our vocabulary. I want to read a blog and not an essay. Good points in this post!

    • July 19, 2010

      Frank Lee

      Hi Kyle,

      Thanks for your sharing!

      It is always great to make blogging with fun and to create value for other people at the same time. This helps people to keep their interest in blogging as a business not just once in a while activity.

  • July 19, 2010

    Gareth Rees

    Hi guys, what sources do you usually use for image for your blogs?

    • July 19, 2010

      Tamar Weinberg

      FWIW I link to Shutterstock on all the posts where I use their images (which happened in this case) :) I also use Flickr.

      • December 13, 2012

        aditi

        i do the same tamar use the process..!!!

  • July 19, 2010

    gareth rees

    Thanks Tamar. I’ve been using Flickr but always curious what others do.

  • July 19, 2010

    Maciej Fita

    At the end of the day it has to be fun to read. I know I don’t want to feel like I am reading my 10th grade chemistry book when I visit someones blog. User experience should always be a main focus.

    • July 19, 2010

      Frank Lee

      Hi Maciej,

      Hey I resonate with your comment!

      The term ‘user experience’ should be used more in the IM world. Most of the time, we internet marketers overlook that and focus on the speed of knocking our tasks down. If we lose sight of what value and experience our audience get from us, we can’t make our business sustain in the long term.

  • July 21, 2010

    Susan

    Very nice article Tamar, The simplistic approach you mentioned for writing the blog articles is very good indeed. Connecting with the masses is the main idea, and simplifying communication is the strongest approach :)

    • July 21, 2010

      Tamar Weinberg

      I can’t take the credit. This was all Frank. ;)

      • July 21, 2010

        Susan

        ah missed that…nice article Frank :)

  • July 23, 2010

    Kathy Garolsky

    Great tips and info here…

  • July 23, 2010

    Frank Lee

    You guys(and gals) are wonderful! Thanks so much for every nice comment :-)

  • A blog with no personality is no blog at all

  • July 24, 2010

    Gordon Wood

    Frank,

    This is just terrific stuff. Humility and the K.I.S.S concept I find so easy to forget to test for when I get enthusiastic to publish each week.
    In a very competitive subject about business performance dynamics, I attempt to add my own views ideas and research rather than doing regurgitate business newsy stuff. That takes work and can fail.
    To moderate that possibility I try to used real cases and real experiences of interest where I can from colleagues, my clients and my own business consulting work (anonymously of course ). I also research trends and what others with much higher authority than me have to say as cited references.
    When I do this I also try to take care to include some real value adds of my own too. Being guilty of just adding motherhood stuff to someone else’s work to make it mine leaves me cold. My test on that is to re-read it back later or even the next day before I publish.
    This style can also be quite time consuming and can get quite complex especially when dealing with complex issues. So the re-read and even read aloud to cut the irrelevant eloquent stuff can be good thing to save me from embarrassments and certain flops.
    When I do that I find this sometimes self-a-facing step is enough to redeem a poor post and cut the worthless junk.
    As you say a lacking at being approachable or credible and failing to using simple language are the highest cases of failures to light up the switchboard and spell kiss of death to a blog.
    So getting the balance right to build a following is tough as is injecting interest into a conversation you create to get feedback and improve.
    Doing a regular blog does give me a discipline and chance to get things clear in my own head. So even when I get low figures or no-one acknowledges reading me, I persist.
    Thanks for all the great advice which I can sure use now to improve my game.

    Cheers
    Gordon Wood

  • July 25, 2010

    Frank Lee

    Hi Gordon,

    Wow! Thanks for your thoughtful and wonderful comment!

    You are right about we need to build the post with balance among speed and quality. Your suggestions about re-reading at a later time and read it out loud are the excellent tips to improve the writing piece.

    I find it is a good way to improve my writing over time. In copywriting, those are the necessary steps to create a masterpiece.

    Most of the time, we ‘try’ to make the writing perfect when start writing. It is easy to create so called ‘writing block’. Knowing we are not writing at the stone. We can always edit the writing whenever we like. Just keep writing can help to flow the idea better. If we write and edit AT THE SAME TIME just does not work :-)

  • July 26, 2010

    Christina

    Sound advice, you really made your point.

  • [...] prea specializat, eviti imaginile si cuvintele cheie, ai toate sansele sa dai gres cu blogul tau. Afla cateva sfaturi utile in [...]

  • July 26, 2010

    JustinAtSmile.ly

    Nice Post. Good advice to avoid technical writing – the reader wants to find a friend in a blogger- not a lecturer.

  • July 26, 2010

    Eddy Boppre

    Excellent posting, I like your web site, and If possible update it even more frequently.

  • I thought a deadly blog writing sin would be something like a blog without being updated for many months because it will have bad effects for not being regularly updating your blog! Though I felt, say bit tough to understand the relevance of the Title to the post, I felt good after I read the entire post!

  • August 1, 2010

    Frank Lee

    Hi Sean,

    Nice comment, thanks!

  • August 3, 2010

    Heather Rast

    Good tips, thank you. I’ve blogged for 2 years and still find myself on that slippery slope, caught between several of the focal points you caution against here. In an effort to write for readers, for example, one can get a little anxious about whether they’re coming off sufficiently experienced or skilled. Sometimes graphics or images can be subjective too, meaning one thing to the author and potentially lacking meaning to the reader. But we carry on, don’t we? :-) One tool I’ve recently discovered is Scribe SEO. I don’t profess to be able to fully use its capabilities yet, but it is keeping me in line for the right balance of keyword use, reading level, and a few other things mentioned here.

  • August 4, 2010

    Frank Lee

    Hi Heather,

    Sometime I have resistance to create a blog post too. Usually, that happened when I do it as a chore rather than a passion.

    The time I really get into flow to pour great stuff is the time when I really have some great ideas that I could not help but to share them.

    My tactics is ‘Dig the well before I am thirsty.’ I drop down the ideas in a notebook or my iPod touch whenever the light bulb went on.

    You are right about using image. It is hard to pick a great one. No it is great to have one because it is more eye catching :-)

    Nice to hear you are using the Scribe SEO. Thanks for your sharing!

  • August 4, 2010

    veronica romm

    Great article. Lots of food for thought.

  • August 6, 2010

    Michael

    Great article Frank! I’ve been blogging for a little over 6 months and it is refreshing to see blog tips here and there. I’m still fresh to the blogging scene and running into these articles gives me the encouragement to continue writing.

    Thanks again for sharing the beautiful wealth that is knowledge.

  • August 6, 2010

    Frank Lee

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your comments!

    Keep it going buddy. I see you have a excellent blog with very attention grabbing picture. Nice work!

    Your passion is the fuel to keep you in the business long term :-)

  • August 10, 2010

    Rachel

    I must agree with your post. To add, font is also a factor. Nobody wants to read a post that is hard to read.

  • August 13, 2010

    Ava Taylor

    Based on my experience, blog with images attract more visitors compared non-images. Or maybe because I can’t write pretty good articles.

    • August 13, 2010

      Tamar Weinberg

      No, you’re right. They do. Eye candy is almost a requirement, especially in this world that we call social media. :)

      Images are better for Facebook sharing too!

  • August 14, 2010

    harly

    Selfishness is the big one.You give away information of value. Maybe it solves an important problem. Maybe it makes people laugh. Maybe it makes life a little less boring to millions who are getting through a day of cubicle hell. Whatever.You give. And then tomorrow, you give some more. And the next day, you give more. Thanks for the nice post.

    • September 6, 2010

      Frank Lee

      Hi Harly,

      Yes, that is true.

      I heard a saying “We can’t out give the universe.”

      So the more we give, the more the universe comes back to us.

  • August 20, 2010

    Zunaira Karim

    Great post, Frank! That point on keyword stuffing – I’m still astonished to see it nowadays! I’ve also noticed two things that tend to drive people away from your blog…being inconsistent with writing your blog posts and also, not sticking to the same area of topic. Awesome ideas!

    • September 6, 2010

      Frank Lee

      Nice comment!

      My mentor taught me to write the blog post for human first then to the search engine. :-)

  • August 30, 2010

    Bittu

    Some points, i agree with you. But, i have something to ask you. Where the traffic comes to your blog or site? and how much traffic do you get from Search Engine? I agree content is the king, but Keyword is as important as Content, describe it (example: in Techipedia “Tech” is a keyword). About Images, these are very important in the content. One tip i can tell you about the Domain Name, Choose a Keyword and select .COM, .ORG, .NET. These are the most searched in the Internet, but less for .Info, .US etc.

    Editor’s note: Somehow I don’t think your name is BITTU. And I think there’s a typo in the header of your site. “Updates” should be spelled with a p. Sorry, you must have not read my blog policy. I reserve the right to edit your comment when you don’t use your real name and I did. :)

  • [...] 7 Deadly Blog Writing Sins is a advertise written by Tamar Weinberg. [...]

  • [...] 7 Deadly Blog Writing Sins (techipedia.com) [...]

  • October 2, 2010

    Johnny

    And most of all…don’t be boring. It’s crime.

    And nothing will help you–if your are.

    Editor’s note: Thanks for your comments. However, as stated in my blog policy, I have asked you to use your real name. I do not think your name is “How to Attract New Customers” and have edited your comment and URL as explained in the blog policy.

  • November 18, 2010

    Jeff McRitchie

    Great post! It’s helpful to know what NOT to do when blogging.

    Thanks!

  • October 22, 2011

    Donald Schneider

    Everything Mr. Lee advises is absolutely correct. It’s a gem of an article for those seeking to increase traffic at their blogs, but at a price. I just can’t do it. I can’t “dumb down” my writing or work to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I’m a hobbyist and passionate about the message of my website, primarily school bullying. If I were trying to sell something or make money through paid ads (and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that), then perhaps I might have a different point of view.