Here's what I have learned from blogging over the past two years. I am going to make this post short and sweet.
Blogging first came about as a way to express yourself and tell stories. The problem is that people are way to self indulgent and that adds little value to the reader...if any. So what do you write about? Some people blog to get something from others. Human nature is the other way around. People reading want to know what's in it for them.
First ask yourself why you are writing, and then ask yourself what do you want readers to take away from the piece. If you are blogging for your business, then you might want to ask what information would my customers like to have? What would make them remember my brand or name when they are ready to buy something?
I spent some time on linked In this holiday season. I began to see flaws in my own and other people's blog posts. Yes...blogging is a process, and you learn as you get more practice. We are inundated with loads of advice. Who is really qualified to give advice?
Having said that, I have found some excellent posts out there, but I have also found that some well published bloggers are doing exactly what I have been taught not to do. It's not that they don't have great information to present, but it's how they do it. You can get information on any subject on the internet, so it's hard to engage readers period.
Here is a short list of things you should consider Not doing
The two big ones for me are, the negative and harsh language (even if you mean well). An example would be "You'll never succeed at blogging if you..."
Remember your purpose for writing is to increase awareness, entertain, and give the reader a takeaway. Tone is something that has to be considered with the target audience in mind. Tone is very important unless you are talking to a 12 year old audience.
If You want to attract a business audience you need to use a certain amount of formal language, but at the same time keeping it conversational. You can do this without abandoning all language skills. If you aren't sure, check out the linked In course by Shani Raja, an editor with the Wall Street Journal. He teaches a really good editing course. You will learn a great system.
Writing has changed over the past ten years. Less formal is more popular. But try not to get sloppy with language, you will insult your reader. Don't make yourself superior to the reader. Make them want to read your next blog.