This article is a sequel to ‘How to Write a Blog Post‘. It highlights the 3 most common mistakes in blog post writing that you should avoid making.
Your blog post should be your original work and should be of good quality. Blog post writing is a competitive activity and quality is very important if you want to get a good spot in search engine results pages (SERPs). When you write a blog post, you should be able to say to yourself that this is the best blog post on this subject (the topic of your post). If you can’t, then your blog post is probably not worth publishing.
Below are 3 most common mistakes in blog post writing that you should avoid making:
1: Copying ideas from others and presenting them as yours
The number one issue on the list of common mistakes in blog post writing you would find in many articles on the subject is plagiarism. This is the first thing you must avoid when writing a blog post and it cannot be overemphasized.
Some people copy from other blog posts verbatim and then publish the ideas as their own. Others copy ideas and edit by paraphrasing to evade detection by plagiarism checkers. Regardless of how you do it, it’s completely wrong to copy someone else’s idea and present it as your own. It’s plagiarism and it’s tantamount to stealing. You won’t only damage your own reputation when you plagiarise, you would also damage the reputation of the platform where you are publishing the content.
When you copy ideas from others, you can never produce content that is better than the original piece you copied from. In the end, you would only end up creating a bastardized version of the blog post that you are copying from.
Use links in your blog post to acknowledge other people’s ideas
If you really need to borrow an idea from someone’s blog post, use a link to show where you got the idea from. Whether you are allowed to borrow the idea is another issue that you need to figure out under the applicable copyright law. Also note, that the substantial part of your blog post should not contain ideas borrowed from others. Your blog post should substantially reflect your own idea and/or analysis otherwise it would lack originality.
When you write a blog post, you should be able to say to yourself that this is the best blog post on the subject (the topic you are writing about). If you can’t say that to yourself, then your blog post is not worth publishing.
2. Finalizing blog post title quickly
The title is one of the most important aspects of blog post writing. I wrote a forum topic on this point recently but I will expand on it here a little bit more for the sake of emphasis.
You should take your time when formulating the title of your blog post because this is what will determine whether your post gets clicks or not in search engine result pages (SERPs). For instance, let’s say you thought of the blog post title: ‘4 Seasons of the Year’. Before finalizing, go to google search engine and put the title in double-quotes (eg. “4 Seasons of the Year”).
You would notice that you are presented with several results with the same title. This is why you need to be specific by formulating a title that says precisely what your post is about. Perhaps you wanted to write about activities that one could do in different seasons of the year, let your title reflect this. By using the appropriate title, an internet user would be able to tell what your post is about precisely. Otherwise, users might click on your post, glance for a few seconds, and go back to SERPs because they were hoping for something else.
Below is another illustrative example from a personal experience:
Recently, I was looking for DIY videos on how to change a car headlight. I found several results on Youtube about how to take out the headlight. Many of those instructions had titles along the lines of ‘how to take out your car headlight’. They also have in common a thumbnail, showing a removed bumper.
I didn’t feel like taking out the bumper just to change one little bulb so I kept searching. Eventually, one title caught my eye. Can’t remember the exact title, but it was something along the lines of ‘How to take out your headlight without removing the bumper’. Sounded like what I was looking for so I clicked and watched, and the instruction was useful.
3. Making false statements in blog post
One of the most common mistakes in blog post writing is an unintended ‘false statement’. One of the worse things you could do as a writer is to mislead your readers. People who copy from other people’s blog posts, as well as original content writers, sometimes make this mistake.
Never be too confident about your knowledge. Always do fact-checks on assertions that you make. Something that you knew as a fact might have changed. For instance, you are writing about banks in Nigeria and you mention Savannah Bank because you believe there is a bank with such a name. However, a quick fact-check would have revealed to you that Savannah bank was declared bankrupt in 2002.
To round up, below are some questions you should ask yourself about your blog post:
- Would a reader learn something from this post beyond the obvious?
- Is this post so interesting to make the reader want to share with someone?
- Is the post of such good quality that would make other writers want to borrow an idea from it and link back to it in acknowledgment?
If you cannot answer at least 2 of the above questions in the affirmative, then the blog post is probably not worth publishing. Avoiding the 3 most common mistakes in blog post writing highlighted above is a preliminary step towards writing a blog post. Next, you should focus on the quality of your post content and write authoritatively.