Blogging: Are You Phoning It In?

7 Ways to Get Your Blog on Track

Blogging is a choice. It’s a commitment you make to your readers regardless of the type of blog you’re writing. Phoning your blog posts in means you’re creating your content quickly with minimal effort.

While this is acceptable once in a while, over the long run, too much of it will damage your blog’s quality and reputation. If you don’t have the time or energy to blog, there are other ways to communicate and distribute information, whether you’re an individual or a company.

Here are seven signs that you’re phoning in your blog content.

  1. Your posts are a superficial regurgitation of information found elsewhere with no new insights or perspective. At their core, blog posts provide a platform for presenting your point of view and new insights on a topic.
  2. Your blog mainly republishes the same content you use on other platforms and locations without any changes. While it’s a good idea to use the same content across platforms, it should be edited and focused on each one.
  3. Your posts are a collection of links. If you’re not contributing real content to the social media conversations, these links are better served on other social media platforms.
  4. Your guest posts have increased. Your blog has more guest contributors and they’re writing more frequently.
  5. Your posts are limited to republishing other people’s photographs or videos with a short comment. Once in a while this can be a great way to spotlight interesting work but it shouldn’t become your blog’s main course. You need to provide readers with useful information.
  6. Your posts contain annoying spelling and grammatical errors after publication. This reflects not only a lack of time but also a lack of attention to detail. While blogs are known for featuring timely content, it needs to be edited, preferably by another person. Remember this reflects on your brand.
  7. Your blog is filled with other people’s articles and posts that were originally published elsewhere. While this is a good way to highlight other people’s strong work, it doesn’t build your authority or show original thinking.

7 Ways to get your blog back on track

For some bloggers, these signs that you’re phoning your blogging in reveal a deeper problem, namely that you’ve lost your blogging mojo. To help you get your blog back on track here are seven suggestions.

  1. Create a writing habit. Like any other skill, it’s important to build the habit of writing regularly.
  2. Collect blog post ideas. Keep a notebook (or electronic file) with post ideas and hooks. When you have enough thoughts, outline the entire article to ensure that you don’ t loose your ideas.
  3. Write posts in advance. Have a few evergreen posts that you can use when you’re time crunched. I recommend that you have three to five posts in reserve.
  4. Cut back your publishing schedule. Change your editorial calendar so that you write less frequently. Instead of publishing content five or seven days a week, publish three times a week to still get most of the benefit.
  5. Expand your editorial staff. Share the blogging responsibility. This doesn’t mean having someone ghost write your blog, but rather having others to share the writing duties.
  6. Hire a copyeditor. It can be difficult to correct your own work since you’re too close to it. Have someone else read your posts to make sure that the English is correct and makes sense. If you’ve got a business-oriented blog, this is critical since sloppiness reflects badly on your brand.
  7. Get outside support for blog-related research and technical work. Research columns can be time consuming especially for long posts. Similarly, the technical aspects of posting your articles and the related linking and other work take time. Get help.

The bottom line is that, by starting your blog, you’ve created an expectation with your readers that you’ll publish useful content on a regular basis. If you can’t continue to do so, determine what changes to your content creation process are needed to enhance the value of your blog.

What other attributes of phoning in your blog posts can you add to this list and why? Also, how can bloggers create posts that go beyond phoning it in?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: Brandi Jordan via Flickr

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