Back when I was in school, discussions about statistics and randomness often turned to what’s known as the “infinite monkey theorem”. This basically stated that if you were to take an infinite number of monkeys and sit them down in front of typewriters, given enough time, they would eventually produce the entire text of Hamlet, or maybe even the complete works of Shakespeare. In the 1990’s, I often would see this again, but turned into a joke, along the lines of, “We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.”
Twenty years or so later, the joke still holds true, and can be applied to much of what we see in blogspace. On this site, we’re always talking about the importance of blogging. But it’s not enough to just bang out content a few times a week. In fact, poor blog posts can even do more harm than good. If you don’t provide engaging posts, visitors won’t return to your site and become customers, which is what we want.
Let’s look at some common mistakes you may be making on your blog posts.
Your writing is too academic.
Don’t forget that this is a blog, not a term paper. Depending on where you are in your career, the last writing you’ve done before you started blogging may very well have been term papers. But people expect something different when they read a blog, something looser and more conversational. Write more like you speak. I often read my posts out loud to see how they sound before finalizing them.
You’re not writing to your audience.
It’s easy to get carried away with the sound of your own voice, so to speak, and forget that you’re writing for a specific audience. In inbound marketing we talk about the buyer persona: the profile of the type of buyer to whom you’re targeting your marketing efforts. Don’t just write what sounds good to you. Instead, try to think of how your words will sound to your audience, and how that will make them feel.
Your headlines are confusing instead of compelling.
Your headlines or titles are going to be what catches your readers’ attention and draws them to your site. Don’t make the mistake of making your headlines too clever and witty. Instead, use compelling titles that will make a reader want to stop surfing and read what you have to say. Make your headlines specific, and even create a sense of urgency, as in “4 Services an Inbound Marketing Agency Provides that you Cannot Ignore” or “4 Ugly Truths About Inbound Marketing”.
You assume your audience wants to read about you.
If your name is Ashton Kutcher, then it’s reasonable to expect that a million people will want to read your tweets about yourself (at the time of writing of this article, he was up to 17.1 million followers). Not so for most of us, though, so it’s a mistake to focus too much on yourself and your story. Your audience wants to see your personality and read about your life experiences in your blog posts, but only if helps them understand the information they came to learn about.