Content is king; we’ve heard it time and again. So why is there still a plethora of crap content not only available online, but sometimes ranking? You don’t want to be a one-shot wonder, ranking high in search (until you’re found out) but losing readers once they realize you really don’t have much to offer in the quality department. Here are five mistakes webmasters make in content creation:
1. Hosting Amateur Hour. The old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true here...sort of. There are blogs that can attract amazing writers and industry experts, usually based on their exposure and backlink potential, to submit guest blog posts. These are typically unpaid posts in exchange for a link back to the author’s website. You can get great guest bloggers, if you have a popular blog yourself, or have a network of really awesome, popular people with high-ranking sites in a similar genre who want to do you favors. The rest of us will probably have to pick and choose, dedicating time to selecting those bloggers who have something of value to offer readers, and a site they want to link to that won’t suck the Google Juice out of ours. Then we spend more time editing (and editing some more).
2. Outsourcing with Abandon. It’s so much easier to have someone else do the legwork, and it’s really no secret that many bloggers outsource writing to freelancers. You have to maintain a measure of quality control. That no one should have the ability to post to your site without first passing through an edit or quality control process sounds like common sense, but it happens. Worse still are those who have content emailed and copy and paste it to their blog without a proper edit or (gasp) even reading it themselves. If you are outsourcing writing because you don’t fancy yourself a great writer, put an editor between yourself (posting) and the writer so the content on your blog is an accurate reflection of you or your company, free of embarrassing spelling or grammar mistakes (or worse).
3. You’re Here, You’re There, You’re Everywhere. You’re ranking well, and you’re getting decent traffic, but you can’t seem to draw comments or build a following. When people hit your blog, do they find what they thought they would when they were drawn to it in the first place? Even within a single blog post, does the title deliver throughout the body of the post? Ads, titles, and summaries build an expectation in the reader and it’s your job to deliver without going off on a tangent. Your blog must have a purpose and although that purpose is sometimes quite broad, your job is to meet the needs of your reader based on what you offered to get them there in the first place.
4. I’m Bored. No, seriously. Wake me up when it’s over. Nevermind, I’ve already clicked away on to something more interesting. I don’t want regurgitated news that I’ve read somewhere else, nor a dense and dry account of your take on the world debt crisis. Give me something new! I want to know what you think: your particular experience, or what you have to offer that might be more interesting than the 15 things I’ve read on this topic before. This can be tough for a lot of people; this is all about developing a written voice and is largely the reason some bloggers succeed and others fail, regardless of the topic. If writing really isn’t your thing, find someone who can convey in writing what it is that you want the world to know.
5. You Really Don’t Know What You’re Talking About. It sounds harsh, but if you’re blogging for money on a topic you really don’t care about, you already know who you are. I get it...the ad revenue is attractive. But you’re trying to attract a passionate audience, one so intrigued they will keep coming back again and again or subscribe for updates so they can hang on your every word. These people already know what you’re talking about. If you don’t, what’s the point?
The days of stuffing your blog posts with keywords and hoping for the best are over, and it’s been quite a long time since you could buy a decent post for $5. Are you offering your readers something of value, or turning them off? A long-term strategy means keeping readers coming back. Don’t drive them away by making rookie blogging mistakes.