Is Your Blog Unreadable?: The two mistakes you're making
I like to read blogs. Business, personal, whatever they are! I just like to read 'em.
But as a hungry reader, there are obvious mistakes I notice when trying to get into someone's blog. I've seen their social media, I resonated with their brand, and I decided I wanted to hear more of what they had to say. But more often than not I ended up frustrated and just quit on them because I find their writing too difficult to digest. I want your blog to energise me, not drain me!
There are two common writing mistakes that can completely turn off an interested reader and lose an engaged follower.
1. No personality
Nobody wants to click into your blog only to read somebody else's words. One of your biggest mistakes could be failing to make your personality turn up in your own work. The harder we try to play it safe and replicate our idols' voices, the more forced and generic we sound. Do you want to sound like a textbook? Avoid clichéd copy-and-paste phrases just because you've read them one hundred times before and think that must be what works.
If you want to connect with your reader, have you tried speaking like a normal human being? You're just a human talking to other humans who want to feel your human-ness. So keep it real! Use words and phrases you usually use. Add personal anecdotes. Have opinions. Break some grammar rules. Forget about perfection and treat your blog posts more like a conversation. Be completely and authentically you!!
2. Too clever and not clear
The purpose of your writing should not be to convince people that you're a great writer or that you know lots of long words. The purpose should simply be to convey your argument or opinion clearly. Make sure your writing isn't so abstract or excessively witty that it goes over the head of the majority of readers, and that the language is aimed at a high-school level education. Being able to explain your concept in simple language is actually a top sign of being a good writer.
How can you achieve this? Keep your sentences short (up to 17 words), and your words shorter. The bigger the words and the longer the sentence, the more confusing the writing. Get straight to the core of the issue and stay on topic! And don't forget to break up your paragraphs, use subheadings if you can, and while length is valuable please don't make it any longer than it needs to be to get your point across!
These are two of the most common mistakes made by amateur bloggers. Sounding too generic or writing something so convoluted I couldn't even tell you if it sounded generic or not. If these are mistakes you recognise in your own work, no dramas, they're a cinch to fix. Simply relax and stop trying so hard to impress everyone! Do less, not more.
Brew yourself a coffee, settle into your comfy chair, and just sit down and write as if you're emailing a friend. Don't worry about trying to sound smart, just focus on the message you want to send overall. At any point in this blog post did I try to sound super smart? Hahahaha, obviously no! But hopefully, I've clearly outlined two mistakes to look out for while blogging so you can implement some practical changes in your own writing and maintain your reader base.
What other mistakes do you notice otherwise great content creators make? What mistakes have you made yourself but overcome with practice?