Ever wonder if some of the blogging advice out there is just plain wrong?
Maybe you are discouraged. You are working hard on your blog but it seems that the stadium is empty, except for those few ‘season ticket holders.’
You have some fans. But you’d like to have more.
You’ve read lots of advice about what makes a good blog. What gets people to click that subscribe button. To leave a comment.
To come back.
And then there are the ‘experts’ who tell you what you are never supposed to do.
Aren’t you sick of all that advice that makes you afraid to even face the keyboard and that scary blank screen?
Well, here’s some more.
I work with bloggers to make their blogs better. It’s my job.
I follow a lot of blogs—to keep up with the conversations, to weigh in on the issues.
And I’ve run across a lot of ‘bloggerisms.’
Some ring true. And some of are just plain goofy.
Here are 5 blog content tips I think you should ignore:
1. Five quick and dirty blog posts a week are better than one kick-ass one.
My daughter bought a used Miata once. She called it her ‘kick-ass’ car. I’ve always wanted to use that word in a blog post and it just seemed to fit here.
Hope no one was offended.
My point is this: If I had to choose between five 3-paragraph, so-so blog posts—one a day, Monday through Friday—or one longer, incredibly useful and entertaining post one day a week, well, you get the picture.
Because keywords and frequent posts may get you in the search engines, but if Google Analytics (you do have this set up for your blog, don’t you?) shows that your visitors leave in less than two minutes, you have lost the game.
So take the time to write, rewrite and edit one really good post a week and watch your time-on-page explode.
Put your best content out there.
It’s worth the effort because that is how you attract and keep a loyal fan base.
2. The numbered post is dead.
I hear this one a lot. And from people who should know better.
“People are tired of lists: 5 ways to do this. 7 tips for doing that.”
The trap we get in as writers and marketers is creating our content based on what we like, what
appeals to us.
You may be sick of the list post. But your readers are not.
Yes, numbered posts are everywhere. They are easy to read, scannable and memorable. And that is precisely why everyone writes them.
Because they work.
One A-list blogger who now writes for Copyblogger looked at scads of her past posts and found that the ones with numbers in the title got 4 to 8 times more traffic than the ones without.
3. People are turned off by negative headlines.
I wrote a post a while back on why negative headlines work, so I won’t go on and on here.
Just to say this: One of my most viewed posts ever was titled 5 Writing Mistakes That Make You Look Stupid.
Why do negative headlines pull your readers in?
Social scientists have proven a theory called ”negativity bias,” which means that we remember—and give more weight to—negative experiences than positive ones.
For the purpose of self-preservation, our brains are hard-wired to respond to—and remember—the things that cause a negative reaction (fear, pain, anger, etc.).
But be careful. Negative headlines work best when you use them sparingly. If every title you write shouts to the reader, or if you cross the line from provocative to insulting, game’s over.
4. You will alienate your readers if you write an ‘opinion post.’
I have found this to be so not true. Taking a stand—on a writing or marketing issue—usually gets my post:
• increased page views
• engaged readers
• more comments
And who doesn’t want those things?
I wrote a post on my opinion of a charming, ”anti-marketer” surfer dude—an online marketer who is reaping millions with what I think are manipulative tactics.
Not everyone agreed with me but that was what I wanted to
do: start a lively discussion.
In another post, I wrote about why I think the social media bashers are wrong. Same result.
The top bloggers do this all the time. And with great success.
One word of caution: Stay away from political opinions. If you must do a political rant, do it on your personal blog—not on your business blog. because politics have a way of dividing us.
5. Stay away from humor.
I think the reason people say don’t use humor is because you risk someone not getting your particular style (especially if it is dry and sarcastic). There will also be people who take what you said literally, which I have seen sometimes in a blog’s comment section.
I’ll admit. Humor can be tricky.
For me, it isn’t about telling jokes. It is rather looking at common situations and finding the things that make us laugh—that unite us.
One strategy I use, making fun of myself, has been one of the best ways to get a point across and build closer relationships with my readers. They may see some of themselves in me, but it is safer because I am not using them in my stories.
There are many ways to use humor in a blog post. Explore. Experiment. See what happens.
Take these ‘anti-tips’ and see how you can turn them around to improve your next post.
Better yet, tell us if you’ve proven this blogging advice to be bad.
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Thanks for reading. See you next week.