Whether you’re interested in becoming a professional nurse blogger or you just want to share your experience and knowledge with other people like you there are a number of common mistakes most bloggers make when they first begin writing online.
Being able to identify these mistakes so that you can be successful quicker is essential for keeping you motivated to continue blogging over the long run.
Building a successful blog takes a lot of time, energy, sweat and tears, however with the right focus and approach you’ll stand a much better chance of achieving your goals.
This article will provide you with a basic understanding of these common mistakes and help you improve your blog early on so that you can focus on what’s important while getting the most value out of your time.
Blogging Mistake #1: You use too many big words and complex explanations
When you first start trying to find your voice as a writer and begin creating articles for your blog you may feel that you need to use big words and complex explanations within your articles so that you sound intelligent or convincing to your readers.
After all you do want to sound like you know what you’re talking about, however this is a common mistake bloggers make early on.
The truth is (in most cases) the more you make your content easy to understand the more likely you are to attract readers and get your content read by more people.
Readers often value their time and want to be able to grasp your concepts quickly and easily without having to use a dictionary or thesaurus.
If you think back to when you were a kid (or even in college) the most popular and liked teacher was the one that made class interesting, easy to understand and fun; not the teacher that made everything a nightmare to study, especially when you found an easier way to solve a problem but your teacher made you use a more complex and confusing method.
As a blogger you are the teacher, entertainer or informant people want to go to and making it easy for them to view and understand your content is essential for keeping them around.
Blogging Mistake #2: You don’t add any value
A big part of being a successful blogger is making sure the reader gets value out of what you have created.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel or create content that has never been created before, you just have to look for ways to create new and unique value on the topics you talk about.
For example you may write an article on how to get your first job out of nursing school and notice that there are other articles online talking about the same topic.
Rather than just being another article about the same thing you can find a unique angle that hasn’t been covered.
Maybe you could do a phone or email interview with a recruiter and find out what they look for when hiring new nurses or maybe you could go into more depth about a topic the other articles barely covered such as how to dress, how to answer interview questions or the body language you should use in the interview.
Find what’s missing and fill that gap for your readers so they don’t have to leave your website and go somewhere else to find what’s missing.
Aside from finding and writing about the things other bloggers haven’t you could also find a way to make your blog entertaining.
Taking a piece of content that would be considered bland and boring and making it into something that entertains your readers is an excellent way to stand out in front of the crowed.
Remember, your content doesn’t have to be 100% original but it does need add value to your readers whether its through entertainment, education, self improvement, storytelling or a mixture of several different things.
Blogging Mistake #3: You think more is better
While adding value is extremely important for giving your readers what they want it is also important to understand when you’ve writing something that doesn’t belong on your article or blog.
Adding more words to an article just for the sake of making it longer will not improve the value of your article, it will only make it longer.
If you realize that you’re creating a lot of fluff, constantly repeating things you’ve already talked about or repeatedly going off topic in your writing then you should remove or edit unnecessary content.
A big part of keeping your readers attention and focus is being able to keep things interesting and moving forward.
Don’t write long articles simply for word count or for search engine benefits if it doesn’t add value to the reader.
Blogging Mistake #4: You’re blog is constantly off topic or confusing
As a blogger knowing what your primary topics and subtopics will be is vital for attracting the right readers.
In many cases popular blogs will often focus on a particular topic with several subtopics because they know that’s what their readers are interested in.
If you’re constantly changing the main topics of your blog you may attract new readers, but you’ll find it difficult to keep the ones that were interested in what you originally had to say.
Tips for deciding what topics you should focus on:
- Start with what you’re good at – Make a list of the areas of nursing you feel you understand the best and focus on those topics.
- Research your target audience – Use Google, Bing and other online search engines to do some research online and find out what your target audience would like to read and what’s popular about that topic.
- If you’re goal is to grow a big audience avoid writing about topics that you’re interested in, but few others are.
- Choose topics that are evergreen – Choose topics that will remain relevant for the next 2, 5 or 10 years and avoid writing only about the latest news, unless that’s the purpose of your blog. By writing evergreen content you’ll be able to attract more readers and keep them on your website longer since your content will still be relevant months or years later.
- Don’t focus on too many topics at once – When you first start out blogging online you may feel like you want/have to write about anything and everything, however by doing this you may end up confusing your readers, which might cause them to go to a blog that focuses more specifically on the few topics they are interested in. It’s O.K. to focus on several topics, just don’t spread yourself too thin.
Blogging Mistake #5: Your blog doesn’t have a purpose or goals
What’s the purpose of your blog?
Are you trying to make money, spread the word about a topic that is important to you, cater to a small niche of nurses, create more job opportunities for yourself, entertain your audience or simply share your story with those closest to you?
Determining your goals early on can help you decide what you’re going to focus on for the next several weeks, months or years.
And don’t worry you can always change your goals and topics if you find out they don’t work for you.
Experiment until you find your stride and grow from their.
Just make sure you give yourself some time to focus on your goals and make sure it isn’t right the right fit for your blog before you change the focus of your blog.
If you keep changing the focus of your blog too quickly you may never allow it to reach maturity and figure out whether or not that topic would be successful.
Blogging Mistake #6: You don’t proofread and edit your articles
This is an easy, but often overlooked issue for new (and even experience) bloggers.
After you’ve finished writing your article it’s extremely important that you proofread it at least once to check for grammar mistakes, confusing sentences and content that doesn’t match the purpose of your article.
You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to make sure your content is clean and easy to understand.
Even the best bloggers make grammar mistakes so don’t expect to catch everything, but you also don’t want your blog to be full of them.
You also don’t want your articles to start off well and end up completely off topic, repetitive or overwritten, so make sure you proofread your articles and use spell check before you hit publish.
Blogging Mistake 7: You think you have to be perfect, before you hit the publish button
Believing you have to write the perfect article before you publish it can be a huge crutch in your ability to grow your blog.
It can also lead to procrastination.
After all it’s easy to give up when you believe that your blog or article will never be perfect.
You don’t have to write the perfect article or have the best designed website in the world to attract readers, you just have to add value, make it easy to understand and write about the things your readers want you to write about.
Giving your blog a sense of personality can go a long way in helping you be more successful over time.
Focus on being human, not being perfect.
Not everything you write has to resonate with everyone and every article doesn’t have to be a blockbuster success.
In the real world of blogging most of what you do isn’t going to go viral or get read by a large number of people, so don’t worry if its not perfect.
Blogging Mistake #8: You have false expectations of how big your audience is
Understanding the size and interests of your audience before you spend months or years trying to grow your blog can make all the difference in helping you determine whether or not you can reach your expectations.
If you’re writing for a small niche or group of people then it’s important to realize that your blog may never get 50,000, 100,000 or a bajillion monthly readers.
If you’re goal is to make money or get hired as an expert in a certain field and you’re writing for a small, but highly successful niche then you may be able to achieve your goals with a small, dedicated group of people, assuming you provide them with what they want and they become loyal fans.
However, if your goal is to spread your ideas to a wider audience or influence the general nursing field then focusing on a small niche may not be the right fit for that goal.
Whatever your expectations and goals are make sure they’re something you can achieve before you poor your blood, sweat and tears into it.
Just because a goal is possible doesn’t meant it will be easy, it just means that with hard work you might be able to achieve your goals.
Blogging Mistake #9: If you build it they will come
I don’t know if this is the number one reason why most bloggers fail, but it’s definitely one of the top reasons.
One of the biggest misconceptions new bloggers make about being successful online is the thought that if you put something out there everyone in the world or nursing community will see it.
This is extremely unlikely because no one will know about you when you first start out online.
If you don’t have a way to attract people to your blog or the content you put out doesn’t resonate with those who have found your website it can be very disparaging, very quickly.
Most bloggers aren’t an overnight success.
If often takes months or even years to grow an audience and you’ll have to hustle in order to get there.
If you’re goal is just to provide a place for discussion among your close friends and family than that’s great, but if you want to reach a broader audience you’ll have to put some elbow grease in and realize that you may have to put in months of hard work before you start to see the fruits of your labor.
In order to build an audience when you first start out you should develop a writing schedule and stick with it so that your eventual readers will be able to expect new content on a certain day or several days a week, depending on your writing frequency.
Pick several topics that your primary audience is interested in learning about and focus on that.
You’ll also want to leverage existing audiences that are on other blogs, social networks, forums and communities, but don’t be overly promotional, especially on another bloggers website.
- Find out what social networks (facebook, twitter, youtube) your audience uses frequently and reach out to them by creating content for the social network, socializing with the community and networking with other nurses.
- Join nursing communities and forums, and provide them with genuine help, but don’t be promotional.
- Network with other bloggers in your field. Networking can be a powerful way to grow your blog when you are first starting out. By growing your relationship with other bloggers you’ll be one step ahead of the many other bloggers in your field.
- Take advantage of guest posting. If a high quality website in your field has a blog and offers guest posting opportunities take advantage of it. By creating excellent content for their website you can be the expert in your topic, attain links to your own website and attract the eyes of some of their readers, which can help you boost your own websites traffic.
Most importantly make sure that you give the readers that do visit your website a reason to keep coming back.
Create an email list so that you can keep in contact with your readers, create a writing schedule so that they can expect to find new content on certain days and tell them about it, and if you’re up to it join a social network such as facebook or twitter so that you can communicate with your readers and them know when you’re about to post a new article.
The more you can put yourself out there the better you will be at growing your audience early on.
Choose one or two strategies for getting readers to you blog:
- Social Media
- Guest blogging
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
And then master that strategy before moving on to the next one.
You won’t get anywhere just by blogging.
You have to find the people that are interested in your topic and let them know about you.
If you build it they won’t come, but if you work your butt off, connect with others and make sure they know about you eventually they’ll start to show up and you can grow your blog from there.
Blogging Mistake #10: You spread yourself too thin
While reaching out to potential readers using different strategies such as social media, video, guest posting and networking can be very effective when done right you don’t want to spread yourself out too thin when you’re first starting out.
Understanding how your website works and writing content can be very time consuming when you’re first starting out.
You don’t want to over complicate things by trying to do too much too quickly.
As mentioned previously pick a few methods that you want to work on and get good at those first, and then you can try other ways to grow your blog even further.
Blogging Mistake #11: You’re not having any fun
As with most things in life if you aren’t enjoying your experience you’ll find it hard to continue blogging on a regular basis.
Finding a way to keep your writing entertaining and pleasurable will go a long way towards your long term efforts as a blogger.
If writing all the time isn’t your thing you can make videos, do a podcast (audio), hire writers or offer guest posting opportunities.
Most importantly find a way to enjoy yourself as much as you can.
On the other hand you won’t always want to write or work on your blog; in fact most successful bloggers at some point struggle to keep writing either because they’re tired of their topic or they need to take a break and clear their mind.
Chances are at some point no matter how much you love what you’re doing you may feel that you just need to take a break and get away from it all.
Being able to push on and keep going, even when you don’t want to will be essential at times, especially when you are first starting out.
And remember just because you don’t want to write at that moment it doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it just means you want to take a break.
Being able to push through and maintain momentum allows your to grow your blog even further and keep the readers that are dedicated to you happy.
If you really need to take a break and you’ve created extra content than you can schedule it to automatically post at certain times so that your website still looks like it has life, while you take a break.
You can also hire a writer, collaborate with someone or allow “the right” people to guest post on your website.
Just make sure you don’t abandon it when there are readers depending on you.
Blogging Mistake #12: You don’t know when to quit
Last, but not least you don’t know when to quit.
If your writing about a topic or niche that doesn’t match your goals or won’t bring you the audience you need then there is a good chance you’ll never get to where you want to go.
If your goal is to help new students pass nursing school, but all of your content is on helping nurse practitioners open their own clinic then you’ll end up far from what your goals are.
Likewise if your goal is to reach thousands or millions of people, but your main topic focuses on something only a handful of people care about you’ll also find it nearly impossible to reach your goals.
Whatever you goals are make sure they are aligned with what you’re doing on your website, otherwise you might find yourself spending more time than you need to focusing on things that will never happen.
Learn when to quit and move on, but don’t give up.
Change the focus of your blog or follow a similar niche/topic with a bigger audience that fits your vision so that you can achieve your goals.