I’m mixed on customer personas.
On the one hand, creating them can be a valuable exercise to clearly define your target market.
On the other hand, however, persona exercises don’t hold a candle to actually talking to your members, leads and community about their challenges, needs and goals.
That being said, I love the silly names people put on personas (Startup Steve, Freelance Frida etc). So I decided to have some fun with names, but apply them to blog post fails that I see all too frequently.
Blog Post Fails
I hate to call people out on their blog posts, because I know it takes time and energy to create and publish them. But, it’s important to get them right, or you’re wasting that precious time and energy.
So I present to you nine blog post fails to avoid, dressed up in fun personas.
1. Ramble On Ralph
Oh, Ralph. We have no idea where you’re going with this post. I want to follow along, but it’s like riding a haunted house roller coaster through a stream of consciousness. What’s your point? What’s the promise of the post? Is it for readers or is it a writing exercise for you to shake loose random ideas? Have a clear intro, body and conclusion.
2. Wall o’ Words Wanda
Seriously, Wanda. No one can read your blog posts. You must break up those long sections of text. Especially when we’re reading on screens, long paragraphs simply don’t work. Help us out, mate, with a line break now and again—more frequently than you’re comfortable with.
3. Who Cares Carl
Dearest Carl, I’m afraid no one cares about your post. I know, it’s so harsh…but it’s true. Remember that people need a reason to read a post. What’s in it for them? A blog post needs to be informative, educational, entertaining or enlightening. Otherwise, why would people stick around to read it? The answer, my friend, is that they won’t/don’t.
4. Typos Trudy
Oof. One typo is human. But when the typos start piling up in a blog post (or any copy, for that matter), it reflects poorly on your space and business. It reflects a lack of attention to detail, which is the exact message you don’t want to send to people who are wondering if they can trust you with their business.
Clean text matters, so have someone proofread your posts before hitting publish. If you don’t have someone on-hand, at the very least, wait a day or two before publishing and read through the post slowly with fresh eyes.
5. Why Oh Why Willie
Um, Willie, this post has nothing to do with your space, coworking, your community or … anything else relevant to your target market or brand. It’s fantastic that you want to blog about your dog training endeavors, and your trip to Milwaukee last year, but you either need to find the tie-in to what you’re doing in your space, or start a personal blog where you can wax poetic about whatever your little heart desires.
6. Overshare Olly
I’ll admit, Olly, I’m guilty of doing this too. Sometimes I just can’t help myself—I’m an emotional, energetically sensitive person who is easily moved and inspired—and sometimes I overshare. So I’m coaching myself here, as well as you: not everyone is comfortable with overshares. In fact, for some, it can be a real turnoff.
This isn’t to say you (and I) shouldn’t be our feeling, human selves. By all means, we get to be who we are. But be careful about crossing too frequently (or deeply) into mushy territory. Being real is a great way to humanize your brand and connect authentically with people, but make sure you keep the focus on your market and community.
7. Rigid Randy
Goodness, Randy. No need to be soooo professional and academic in your writing. This is a blog post, mate, not a scientific paper on vaccination strategies. Let yourself out of your shell a bit. Share a few stories, use everyday language, write as though you’re talking to one person. This will help you be less rigid and, in doing so, connect more authentically with your readers, leads and community.
8. Sell, Sell Sally
No one reads a blog post to be sold to, Sally. We read blog posts to be informed, educated, entertained or inspired. Yes, you should include a call to action (CTA) in your post that gives people a clear way to take the next step with you—whether that’s to schedule a tour, purchase a day pass, book a meeting room, whatever. But if you want people to read all the way through to your CTA, you have to give them a reason to stick around, and selling isn’t it.
Content marketing is a long game where you help, support and serve people over and over and over again. Then, when it’s time to buy, you’re top-of-mind.
9. No Action Jackson
Jackson! That was an amazing blog post! So much value, such great insights. You caught and kept my attention from the first word through the last. Well done. But—and this is a huge but—you gave me no option at the end of the post other than to just bounce away from your site.
The CTA is a crucial part of content marketing and, therefore, blogging. When you have people’s attention, they want to learn more about how you can help them, to take a deeper dive, to see what else you offer. Please, include a CTA in every piece of content, even if it’s just a link to a related article.
Attention is a valuable commodity in the digital realm. Once you have someone’s attention, do your best to keep them engaged and coming back.
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