Did you know that websites with blogs tend to have 434% more indexed pages? Additionally, 47% of consumers will view 3-5 pieces of content from a brand before they begin the sales process.

In other words, blogging can do incredible things, both for your search engine ranking as well as your lead nurturing strategy. But only if you do it right. In fact, if you’re making any of the common mistakes below, you could be hindering your blog’s performance. Let’s take a look.

Not having a plan.

Are you blogging with a purpose or are you just writing for the sake of getting something published? If it’s the latter, you’re missing the mark. To be effective, every blog you write should have a purpose – an end goal, whether it’s to educate your readers, increase engagement, generate brand awareness or capture more leads. After all, you can’t measure your results if you don’t know what you’re striving for in the first place.

Before taking to your keyboard, figure out what your overarching objectives are and then create a list of topic ideas that will support and help you work toward those goals.

Forgetting who you’re writing to.

Your readers aren’t robots. Yet, a surprising number of marketers forget this when writing blog posts. The result? Stiff, rigid and boring content that doesn’t hold the attention of the reader (and therefore won’t help you achieve your goals).

To avoid this, try and write as though you’re speaking verbally to your audience. Be conversational. Let the human element shine through. This will engage your readers and help you better connect with and nurture your leads.

Making it about you.

A lot of beginner bloggers (and even some seasoned ones) make the critical error of thinking that readers are coming to their blogs solely to learn about their brand, product or service. But if you take a step back and think about why you personally read a blog post, you’ll discover this is rarely the case.

The truth is, people want to read content that addresses their needs, answers their questions and adds value to their lives in some way. They aren’t interested in a constant stream of promotional posts. To address this, always approach blog writing from the perspective of your audience, not yourself.

Being too broad or general.

In most cases, people take to the web with relatively specific questions. For instance, a business owner looking to improve online advertising would be more likely to type: “how to get better results from Facebook ads” into the search bar rather than “how to do online marketing.”

The more specific you are with your topics, titles and keywords, the more likely you’ll be to attract traffic and also convert those visitors into customers. If you’re not sure where to start, try making a list of frequently asked questions that you receive from your customers and then write a blog post about each.

Not being consistent.

Simply put, the more frequently you blog, the more traffic you’ll attract and the more leads you’ll generate. But as important as it is to post regularly, it’s equally important that you do so consistently. You want your audience to come to know, expect and trust that you’ll continually provide them with quality content that adds value.

To help achieve a good level of consistency, try using an editorial calendar. By getting into the habit of planning your blog posts in advance and scheduling out their publishing dates, you’ll be better able to stay on top of your content production and give your readers what they want.

Without question, blogging is one of the most important marketing activities a business owner can do. By knowing which mistakes to avoid and how to approach blog writing properly, you’ll achieve consistent results, both in terms of traffic and leads.