I’m researching examples of bad blog posts for a training session I’m delivering next week and stumbled across this obligatory ‘top 10′ on Hubspot.
The list is geared towards those blogging within a professional or digital marketing capacity (particularly point 9), but points 2, 5 and 5 seem to be the most common issues in my own experience:
10 Tips for Writing the Worst Blog Post Ever
1. Write a boring, non-descript headline. Instead, what your headline should do is three things: capture potential readers’ attention, entice them to want to read more, and concisely explain what they’ll get in return from reading it.
2. Talk all about your products and services (and how awesome they are). Making your blog posts overly promotional and product-centric is a great way to turn off your readers. Focus your efforts on writing educational content relative to your industry that helps your readers solve problems they have or explains how to do something they don’t know how to do.
3. Write for someone other than your target audience. You should have a sense of who your blog’s target audience is. (Hint: It should align with the target audience for the products/services you offer.) If those people wouldn’t find your blog content interesting and valuable, or if you’re writing for someone other than your target audience, you definitely have a problem.
4. Have nothing remarkable or helpful to say. Creating remarkable content means people will want to remark , or talk, about it. If your content is boring, unhelpful, or nothing to write home about, you might need to spice up your writing style or choose a different topic.
5. Format it as one big block of text. There’s nothing more daunting to a reader than a big chunk of copy. In fact, a first glance at a big block of text is enough to make a reader leave the page before they’ve consumed even one line of text. Break up blocks of text with formatting devices such as headers, bullet points, and images to make your content more pleasing to the eye and easier for readers to consume.
6. Include zero in-text links. Blog posts can be a great outlet for linking to other content. Improve blogger relations by giving other bloggers’ content some link love, or increase chances for lead generation by linking to relevant, downloadable content like ebooks and webinars on your own site.
7. Forget to attribute your sources. You don’t need to go all term paper-style and add footnotes to your blog posts, but failing to attribute data or other content sources you cite in your own articles is a blogger no-no. Something as simple as mentioning the source and linking to its website is a good practice. Same goes for photo sources. (Note: Did I mention the title for this blog post was inspired by a very popular children’s book ?)
8. Fail to include a call-to-action. As we said before, a blog can be a very helpful lead generation tool. Be sure each post includes a relevant call-to-action that enables readers to access additional content acquired by completing a lead gen form on an optimized landing page .
9. Make a ton of spelling and grammatical errors. You could have expressed some killer ideas, but if you fail to spell-check your blog article or have a colleague proofread it before you publish, you’re setting yourself up for a lack of credibility and some nasty comments from your readers.
10. Disable social media sharing links and comments. Or maybe you won’t even receive feedback on your post since you’ve disabled the ability for readers to comment and never added social media sharing buttons for sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn to your blog. Don’t limit commentary, engagement, or your article’s potential to get shared online.
So, be honest, how many of these rules do you break on a regular basis?