You have made the decision to start a blog for your association. You probably already know the many benefits of blogging include establishing yourself as a leader in your field and greatly improving your website’s SEO. We have discussed some reasons for blogging in further depth in a previous article, and we have given some tips on how to start your blog in this article.
Hopefully, your association’s blogs are doing fairly well that members and volunteers are enjoying both writing and reading them. However, it can sometimes be difficult to write the blogs your audience is looking for. In this article, I will go over some blogging mistakes and how you can rectify them.
Problem #1: Underestimating the Necessary Effort to Blog Regularly
Blogging only really works if you do it regularly and consistently. Have you been on a site and they have a blog on their front page that is years out of date? It doesn’t give a great impression of the company; it also doesn’t do anything for your SEO.
Solution: Make a Plan
One post a week is the general standard for gaining the benefits of blogging. That means 52 blogs a year, which is hardly a small number. If you can split it amongst your team, you can easily reduce the workload.
Create a calendar that outlines deadlines and authors. Blogs are very easy to put on the back burner, but you need to make time for them. Your staff communications manager or volunteer committee chair should be responsible for tracking, editing, and posting all blogs. Depending on an association’s resources, this role will vary but it is very important to have someone overlooking the entire process.
Problem #2: Blogs are Hard to Write
Blog posts feel like term papers or technical documents, but they don’t have to be that way.
Solution: Try to Write Blogs that Feel Personal
Be casual in your writing. Make it easy to read, use simple language, and appeal to your reader. Your readers aren’t looking for a technical manual, they want to read a well-written blog on an interesting subject that can help their association grow.
Don’t try to write your blog in one go, even if you are the type of person that works better under pressure. It will take the fun out of blog writing, and if you are not enjoying it, it will be that much harder to keep it up.
Problem #3: Your Blogs Are Hard to Read
Most people won’t read your whole blog, no matter how well written it is. This is especially true if it’s just a long, complex block of text.
Solution: Readability Tips & Tricks
There are a few common tactics to increase the readability of your blog. Of course, you know to keep your sentences clear and structured. But you can also boost your blog’s placement in search algorithms by following these four tips:
- Keep sentences under 20 words.
- For the most part, use active sentences. Read this article to learn more about active and passive sentences.
- Use transition words and phrases like “additionally” and “in conclusion.”
- There should be no more than 300 words between subheadings to break up the visual aesthetic of the article.
Problem #4: Your Topics Are Too Broad
When you start blogging, you’ll have some great ideas for blogs. However, without narrowing down your topic, it can get away from you. If you keep your blog to a shorter, more reader-friendly length, you may barely scratch the surface of the content you want to cover. This is a problem because people will often come across your blog while searching for information, and they are likely looking for specific information, rather than a general overview.
Solution: Start with a Clear Idea
Have a clear goal and path for your blog. It should answer a specific question and give specific information. Your reader should have something to walk away with.
Problem #5: Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
You make the mistake of hitting publish as soon as you’re done writing.
Editors will be the unsung hero of your blog. It could be you or someone else within your association, just make sure it gets another set of eyes before publishing.
Problem #6: Not Utilizing Blogs to Their Full Potential
If you simply write a blog, post it on your website and expect more leads and improved SEO, you will be disappointed.
Solution: Understand Blogging
Keywords, tags, meta descriptions, and permalinks are just a few of the terms you need to know that should be considered while writing every blog. People will often stumble upon your blog if their Google search closely resembles your permalink or meta description. This is a very in-depth topic and will be the topic of my next blog.
Blogging can be fun and rewarding, both for you as a writer and for your association. It’s a way to share knowledge and experience as well as establish a closer relationship to your members. Keeping these few common pitfalls in mind can help make your associations blog more successful.