Let's say that a couple of months ago, you decided to really start drinking the inbound marketing Kool-Aid, and you took the plunge: you started a business blog. You put in the time to get it going, published a few posts, and waited for the leads to start rolling in.
So why haven't you noticed a difference? What happened to the results? WHERE ARE ALL THE LEADS?!
So many new bloggers adopt the simple "if you build it, they will come" mentality. But let's be honest -- there's a lot more work involved. So if you're suffering from a failing business blog, take a good, hard work at what you've been doing, and consider these 12 reasons why your blog is likely failing.
12 Reasons Your Blog is Failing
1. It's All About You: If you're writing all about your products and services, your recent award wins, and just how plain fabulous you are, you're doing it wrong. Feel free to create a completely separate company news and product blog and talk about yourself all you want. But if you want to generate leads and business from your blog, keep all that me-centric product talk away.
2. Your Content Isn't Actionable: One of the main reasons your prospects will want to read your blog is to learn something from you. They want to be educated. They want to obtain information. If your blog is all theory with no actionable, how-to type content, its performance will suffer. In business blogging, actionable content performs better.
3. It's Also Not Valuable: Not only should your content be actionable, but it should also be valuable to your readers. Make sure you're writing about the topics your target audience truly cares about. Create marketing personas for your products/services, identify the wants and needs of those personas, and create content that addresses those wants and needs.
4. You Don't Incorporate Data: If none of your writing is based on cold, hard facts, how are you going to establish any sort of credibility with your readers? We're not saying every post has to be littered with charts, graphs, and statistics, but incorporating data can be a great way to build authority as a trusted thought leader and industry expert. And people love data-driven content.
5. It Has No (or Few) Calls-to-Action: Here's the thing: in and of itself, your blog isn't a direct source of leads. The way to generate leads from your website is by convincing your site visitors to complete a lead-capture form, and the best places to put these forms are on dedicated landing pages that promote a specific offer. These offers can be for various things -- webinars, ebooks, whitepapers, free trials, etc. So in order to use your blog to generate leads, you need to be adding relevant calls-to-action (CTAs) for these offers to every blog article you create. CTAs can be text-based or in the form of buttons, and you should add them to your blog's sidebar, too.
6. You're Not Promoting It: Does your target audience even know your blog exists? Are you promoting and sharing your content via social media? Get the word out about your blog!
7. It's Not Optimized for Search Engines: If you're not optimizing your blog to get found in search engines, you're likely contributing to the "my audience doesn't know my blog exists" problem. Conduct keyword research to identify the keywords and terms your ideal prospects are using to find products and services like yours, and start optimizing your blog content with those terms. This will increase your ability to get found via organic search, increasing the visibility of your content and generating more traffic to your blog.
8. You're Never Controversial: Want a quick way to pump up traffic? Take a stand on a hot button industry issue. Has another blogger in your industry written about a topic with which you disagree? Blog about it. Or take a look at a commonly held belief from a different perspective. That said, don't be controversial for the sake of being controversial. Just don't be afraid to have an opinion either.
9. Your Titles Aren't Compelling, Clear, and Concise: A blog post's title is often the first thing a potential reader will see. If it isn't compelling enough to grab their attention and entice them to read the post, it's not doing its job. Furthermore, it needs to clearly and concisely convey what the post is about. If you're overlooking the value of the title, you're missing out on an important opportunity to attract more readers.
10. It's Not Social Media-Friendly: Make it as easy as pie for your readers to share your content with their networks by adding social media sharing buttons/links (i.e. "Share on Facebook," "Tweet This!" etc.) to every post you publish on your blog. Most people are lazy, even if they love your content. So give them an easy opportunity to share it, and you'll expand your content's reach beyond your direct network of subscribers and followers.
11. You're Not Updating it Frequently Enough: Businesses that blog more frequently generate more traffic and leads. Our research proves it. Businesses that blog at least 20 times per month generate 5 times more traffic than those that blog fewer than 4 times per month. They also generate 4 times more leads than businesses that don't blog. If you're not blogging consistently and frequently, you're not giving your readers much incentive to keep coming back to your blog.
12. You're the Only One Contributing to It: Is one of the reasons you're not blogging regularly because you have a tough time coming up with ideas or finding the time to blog? There's no rule that says you have to be the only one contributing to your business blog, so don't act like there is. Encourage other employees to contribute, invite guest bloggers to submit posts, and source content from other industry experts by conducting interviews. The result will be varied perspectives, new ideas, more content, and a more interesting blog.
Is your blog suffering from these failures? Clean up its act, and you'll start generating more traffic and leads from your business blog!
Image Credit: Divya Manian
Originally published Oct 12, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016
This is a guest post written by Janet Aronica. Janet is the head of marketing for Shareaholic, a company that creates content sharing tools for publishers. You can follow Shareaholic on Twitter @Shareaholic and get daily content tips on the...