Blogging Tips To Avoid Triskaidekaphobia: 13 Blogging Beliefs Busted

blogging beliefs bustedNeed 13 blogging beliefs busted because you suffer from triskaidekaphobia? 

Not sure because you don’t know what triskaidekaphobia is?

Triskaidekaphobia is a real word!

Unlike the words that my dad routinely made up  like “mosaic” is Sam Saic’s cousin when he drilled me nightly for the SATs.

  • Yes—I didn’t make that up and
  • No—his nightly vocabulary lessons didn’t improve my SAT results.

Since the Actionable Marketing Guide isn’t an SAT Prep Guide:
Triskaidekaphobia translates to a fear of the number 13.

So relax since you don’t need to run to your local 24/7 drugstore for an over-the-counter cure.

Instead, I’ll shatter 13 common blogging beliefs to help improve your blog marketing efforts.

While I can’t guarantee a full recovery from this numerical superstition, these actionable blogging tips will improve your blog’s results for your brand and your business.

 

13 Blogging Beliefs Busted To Avoid Triskaidekaphobia

To overcome blog triskaidekaphobia and help you improve your blog, see how to bust these 13 blogging beliefs. And use these actionable blogging tips to support your marketing

1. Blogging Belief Busted: Write Whatever You Want

Face it—even your mother doesn’t really want to read all of your online ramblings.

The reality:
Your blog should focus on the wants, needs and interests of your core audience.

Unless you’re Penelope Trunk whose journal-like blog includes rants, use your blog as a public media platform.

Actionable Blogging Tips:

 

2. Blogging Belief Busted: Your Blog Targets Everyone

“If you build it, they will come” only works in the movies.

“If your blog is for everyone, it's really for no one.” Heidi CohenClick To Tweet

 

Your blog must appeal very specifically to a target audience to provide the information they need and want based on their context, device and micro-moment.Micro Moments

Specifically, your blog content must answer the questions your readers have. Where appropriate associate the question with the content. Since this aids your search rankings.

Further, it must be in the format and delivered via the device of their choice on their timeframe.

To support your business and marketing, you must know your audience. (aka:#KYA)

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Create a blogging marketing persona. Understand your ideal reader. Your blogging persona informs your key topics. So you  write for a specific person.
  • Talk to or survey your readers. At a minimum, ask readers “What keeps you up at night?” I do this in my initial email.Sample Welcome Email
    BTW, would you please subscribe to my Actionable Marketing Guide Newsletter? #PrettyPlease!

 

3. Blogging Belief Busted: You Can Write When The Spirit Moves You

As a media entity, publish blog posts on a consistent schedule. So your audience builds a habit to look for and read your blog content on a regular basis.

A quarter of bloggers publish weekly (Orbit Media Research. By contrast, 37% of bloggers publish less often than once a week.

How Frequently are bloggers publishing?

Further, the average blog post takes about 4 hours to write and create. And 38% of bloggers spend 4+ hours per post.

How long does it take to write a typical post?

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Post at least weekly to remain visible and gain traction.
  • Publish content consistently.  Specifically, publish at the same time on the same days even if it is only the first and third Monday of every month at noon.

 

4. Blogging Belief Busted: Size Doesn’t Matter (Said no one!)

In one of the shortest blog posts Joe Pulizzi recommended the miniskirt approach to blog post length, “It has to be short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject.”

blogging belief busted

Mini-skirt approach to Blogging – Joe Pulizzi

Despite reduced attention spans, the length of a blog post has increased to 1,267 words. And 28% of bloggers write more than 1,500 words.

How long is a typical blog post?

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Choose quality over quantity. Write only what’s needed.  And then ruthlessly cut the excess words. But don’t hurt the meaning of the piece.

 

5. Blogging Belief Busted: Grammar Doesn’t Matter

If you use poor grammar and spelling, you risk losing readers. And not just your 8th grade English teacher. Also, poor grammar and usage hurts your content’s trustworthiness.

43% of UK consumers hated poor grammar and usage on social media according to Disruptive Communications research. 

Bloggers need an editor according to research

For help with grammar and usage, check out Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes.

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Use editorial products to improve your blog posts. Use spell checkers, Grammarly, Hemingway and others. While you may not catch words that sound alike such as: there, their or they’re, you reduce errors.
  • Get a formal copyeditor. They make your content shine. Over 3 in 10 bloggers use at least one editor. (Orbit Media)Use formal editor

 

6. Blogging Belief Busted: Publish Text-Only Blog Posts

Do you think text-only when you hear the word “blog”?

The reality:
Your blog needs other content formats to attract and hold reader attention. 

Visuals also broaden your audience.

So include these non-text formats in your posts:

  • Photos,
  • Non-photographic visual images,
  • Charts,
  • Infographics,
  • GIFs,
  • Video,
  • Audio including voice, and
  • Presentations.

Remember:
Visual content attracts attention faster than text based on research!

Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina recommends using one image or other media per screen. So readers have visuals to break up the text. 

For example:
Social Media Examiner includes at least 1 image, screenshot or chart per point.

Blog Belief Busted

Social Media Examiner enhances news columns with examples, visuals and citations

Rand Fishkin went further with Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays. It includes a whiteboard, video and text.

Blog Belief Busted

Rand Fishkin Creates Moz’s Whiteboard Friday blog post with video and text.

And Chris Penn’s “You Ask, I Answer” starts as a video post. Then Chris changes it into audio and text.

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Include non-text content in your blog posts. Add non-text content to your editorial calendar.
  • Add voice-first and audio content to your blog as separate posts. Include non-voice notes to give listeners a reason to check your blog. Extends distribution and gets listeners to your blog.

 

7. Blogging Belief Busted: Blog Content Comes Formatted

With people consuming more information across devices, especially smartphones, it’s critical that your blog renders well on different screens.

Think mobile first!

Depending on how your blog theme is configured, readers may still be challenged by fat finger failure, the inability to use their fingers on a small touchpad.

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Start with a mobile version first. Since it’s where your audience spends their time. This includes feeds and emailings. Where appropriate incorporate responsive design (a website that adjusts to the size of the viewer’s screen) or use a plug-in like WP-Touch for WordPress blogs.
  • Make your call-to-action buttons big. Your readers shouldn’t have to zoom in to enter your funnel.
  • Offer different content versions. Includes podcasts and videos.

 

8. Blogging Belief Busted: Search Optimization Just Happens

Bust this blogging belief:
Blogs automatically improve your search results.

While the structure of blogging software improves your content’s findability. Search optimization requires on-going work and vigilance to gain traction and visibility for your key search terms. (See what 15 SEO experts say about optimizing your blog.)

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Develop a list of keywords associated with the core focus of your brand and business. Use this list to develop blog content to support your search authority. Create content silos and interlink related blog posts. (Hat tip: Bruce Clay!)

    Content silos - Heidi Cohen image-Bruce Clay idea

    This Content Silo Worksheet shows you how to align your content marketing topics and keywords as recommended by Bruce Clay.

  • Focus each post on a unique keyword phrase. Where possible, use the keyword phrase in the post title, URL and the first sentence of the post.
  • Use search plugins to improve search findability and ranking. For example, I use Yoast.
  • Take a library approach to your blog content to support search. (Hat tip:  Jimmy Daly) Here’s what a library approach looks like from a search perspective. This structure and data are key to creating sustainable content to survive the Seismic Content Marketing Shift now and into the future.

    Sustainable Content Structure and Data applied to Blogging Belief Busted

    Take a library approach to your blog by aligning posts with structure and content data by keywords. This will improve content findability.

  • Update existing content. To keep existing content visible over the long term, audit your  content regularly and reimagine and update your best performing posts. This improves your results.

    Updated Buffer Article Yields 2X Traffic

    This chart shows how updating a Buffer article doubled the traffic it attracted over time.

 

9. Blogging Belief Busted: No Need To Distribute Your Blog Posts

While you can distribute posts automatically with  feeds and emailings, use active promotion to get the most visibility and distribution for each post.

Take Derek Halpern’s 80-20 Rule of Content Distribution Spend 80% of your content resources and time to promote your blog content, NOT to create it!

80-20 rule of content distribution

Spend 80% of your time and resources promoting your blog and content marketing

To improve your blog reach:
Use the TIP Approach to Content Distribution for maximum results. (BTW, I first presented this at #CMWorld 2018 to an SRO crowd.)  

The TIP Approach to Blog Post Distribution consists of these 3 steps:

  • Test and track your blog post distribution results,
  • Improve and republish your blog content, and
  • Promote your repurposed blog posts.

Content Distribution TIP Method - Heidi Cohen

Use the TIP Approach during the 3 phases of content distribution:

  • Ignite,
  • Fuel and
  • Spread.

The TIP Approach will yield these blog results:

  • Addressable audience interested in your content,
  • Qualified leads for your offering, and
  • Profitable sales as well as customer lifetime value.

Ignite, Fuel and Spread Content Marketing

 

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Make blog posts easy-to-share without leaving your blog. Use  social sharing icons, pinnable images and Clicks-To-Tweet.
  • Plan and keep blog post distribution going over time. Use owned, social and third party media. (For more detail: Best Content Distribution Platforms To Get Results.) Content Distribution Platforms for customer information and inspiration-2018 PwC Chart

 

Improve Content by Platform and lenght

Use this chart to improve and update your existing content across platforms.

 

10. Blogging Belief Busted: Blog Creation Resources Are Free

While you may want to tap employees in other departments for their expertise to support your blog:
They consider blog post creation and distribution work. 

In addition, they may not have the right skill set to help you!  So provide the content creation support they need to make them into super stars in their subject area.

Also allow them to create content in whatever content format is easy for them to use. Then make their work shine with editorial, optimization and distribution.Additionally leverage the power of user-generated content (or UGC). But remember UGC content requires user permission and paid support to provide editorial context and quality appearance.

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Tap into company related resources. Accept that this content requires support and resources. Here are 14 resources every business can use.
  • Reduce blog post creation costs with reuse and renovation. The key is to keep existing content up-to-date and visible.

 

11. Blogging Belief Busted: No Blog Technology Support Needed

Oh—If this were only so!

While blogs simplify the related technology, there’s still plenty of technical work. (Personally, my webmaster, Larry Aronson, takes care of this – it’s way more time efficient for me.)

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Minimize blog load time. This is critical because (1) search engines track how long it takes for websites to load and factors this into its rankings, and (2) visitors have limited patience especially when they’re on a smartphone and may not have WiFi.
  • Use appropriate plug-ins. These small bits of code help facilitate different activities on your blog with limited, if any, support needed. 

 

12. Blogging Belief Busted: Readers Know What To Do After They Read Your Blog Post

Readers aren’t clairvoyant.
Don’t assume that readers stay on your blog when they’re finished with your post.

Instead:
Guide readers to take the next step
.

Don’t leave this to chance after you’ve created your blog post.

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Include  tailored calls-to-action in each post. Options include email sign ups, content downloads and?or purchase.
  • Use connected content to keep potential customers on your website.
  • Curate related stories in each blog post. Content Marketing Institute does a great job of this.

    24 'Baller' tactical plays that will up your content marketing game

    Related blog post for curated content

 

13. Blogging Belief Busted: Blogs Generate Sales By Magic

This is one of my favorites. If your only reason for blogging is to make money, then stop now. (More importantly, read my Newbie Guide To Blogging, What The Experts Don’t Tell You.)

There are easier and faster ways to generate income than blogging.

While some bloggers make a good living from their blog:
Blogs often provide and support thought leadership. In turn, this creates other success metrics.

Instead, a blog is a valuable element of your owned media and broader content marketing offering.

It provides key content and answers customers actively seek before they’re in market. Also it helps build an email list.

5 Types of Content Customers Actively Seek & Need – Chart

Actionable Blogging Tips:

  • Use your blog to build your business. Marcus Sheridan’s blog about his pool company is the poster child. The blog turned his business around during the 2008 recession when people weren’t able to pay for their mortgages, let alone an in-ground pool.Answer your customers questions--basic content type
  • Build your house email file. A list of people who are interested in your product and company is an important corporate asset (regardless of how big your business is.) It enables you to continue to sell to these people by providing quality content.

 

Blogging Beliefs Busted Conclusion

Don’t let Triskaidekaphobia hurt your blog.

Instead examine how to bust these 13 blogging beliefs.

Use these actionable blogging tips and examples to improve your blog’s ability to support your business and marketing.

Blogging takes strong focus and commitment to attract people to engage with you and your business.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

 

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Photos:
Cat:  https://pixabay.com/en/amazing-beautiful-breathtaking-736877/ cc zero
Skirt: https://pixabay.com/en/countrygirl-girl-legs-woman-female-349923/ cc zero

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on December 13, 2013. It was extensively revised and updated with new content and examples on April 13, 2018. And has been updated again on Friday, November 13, 2020.

 

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