Sunday, February 1, 2015

4 Major Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Blog Posts

By Karen Cioffi

Writing is a craft, a craft that needs to be learned. With that being said, there are many successful bloggers who had no writing training.

You might consider writing as being doubled sided. There are research papers, resumes, articles for medical and scientific use, business and health content, and even short stories, children’s books, and novels.

To write for these genres, you need to learn the craft of writing. Depending on the genre you write, you need to know how to write dialogue, how to reference quotes in a nonfiction article, and how to write POV (point of view). You should know the difference between a comma and a semi-colon, and how to use each. You get the idea.

On the flip side, there is web writing: blog posts and writing copy. In these niches there aren’t many rules, aside from grabbing the reader and making your content engaging and shareable.

While there aren’t many rules for blogging, there are four mistakes you should avoid:

1. Avoid aiming for perfection.

If you wait for the perfect time, the perfect circumstance, the perfect topic, the perfect anything, you’ll be forever waiting.

While you do need to be a responsible writer and respect your reader by providing quality content and doing the best you can, you shouldn’t wait for everything to be perfect. There’s nothing wrong with learning as you go along.

I love what George Fisher said about perfection: “When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target.”

2. Avoid confusing and unfocused content.

The quickest way to lose a reader is to make your content confusing. If you’re topic is ‘allergies,’ don’t go on a rant about the latest clothing styles.

Blogs posts should be in easily digestible pieces of information that are focused. From the title to the concluding paragraph, keep it on topic.

In addition, you want to lead the reader down your post. In the beginning let the reader know what to expect, what’s in it for him. This will motivate him to read on.

3. Don’t write long paragraphs.

We all lead hectic lives. We want to get targeted information as quickly as possible. For this reason, your content needs to be easy to read and written in short paragraphs. This is especially important for skim readers.

Keep your content clean and leave plenty of white space. White space is the space between paragraphs, between words, and such. It’s the blank space on the page.

4. Don’t use grandiloquent language.
Here we go back to the premise that people are in a rush and along with this, most people don’t want to have to look up words to get the gist of the article. This is another quick way to lose a reader.

Keep your writing simple. Write how you would normally speak.

In addition, choose your words with care. C.S. Lewis knew the importance of this when he said, “Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”

Following these ‘four mistakes to avoid’ will help you write blog posts that readers will appreciate and will want to share.

Get weekly must-know writing and marketing information and more, right to your inbox. Join Karen Cioffi in The Writing World. (It’s all free!)



  1. Infinitely good advice, Karen. Umm, Very good advice. :) Kidding aside. You make some good points. Posts should be brief and to the point.

  2. Beverly, glad you liked the post. As far as the length of posts, I think they should be as long as they need to be to get the point/idea across. Some writers/marketers say around 400 words, others say around 1000. The latest info from Google is it wants substantial content. Gheez. :)

  3. Excellent advice, Karen. I follow an economics blogger that limits himself to 70 words a day. I'm thinking of doing that at one of my blogs.

  4. Cheryl, Seth Godin averages around 100 words and he's one of the top bloggers. I'm not sure if everyone can get away with that.
    With the latest Google Penquin and Panda, I've lost some ranking so am trying to be super careful. I would like to do a short post at least once a week. I think I'll test it and see how if affects my ranking. Doing three full posts a week is time consuming.
    Glad you found the content helpful!

  5. The post you shared is really informative, writing is not at all easy, it needs mind to concentrate, environment to think and a place to relax.