Blogging is an excellent way to demonstrate your company’s value. It also enables you to give your brand a voice, allows you to differentiate your business from the competition, helps you attract customers, and increases your chances of generating qualified sales leads.
If you find yourself thinking, “I haven’t seen those results” then there’s a good chance you’re not blogging effectively for your organization. Now, now--this isn’t a finger pointing session but a splash of cold water!
If you’re committing one (or more) of the ten business blogging mistake listed below, it’s time to make a change.
1) You are inconsistent with your publishing
When was the last time you published an article? When is the next time? If you don’t know the answers off the top of your head, then this is your first problem.
Your publishing schedule should be a predetermined and consistent activity. Without structure, it is easy for your blogging activities to come to a screeching halt. Additionally, if your readers do not know when, or how often you are going to post, why would they return to your blog?
If you don’t have one already, it’s time to establish an editorial calendar for your blog. This will help you stay on a consistent publishing schedule.
2) You focus on you
Are your blog articles about your company, products, or services? You’re killin’ me smalls! Why would anyone care about your company, products, services (or even you)?
Your blog has to provide value to people that either are, or might someday be your customer (a.k.a. your buying personas). What do these people care about? What questions do they have? What can you help them do better? If you don’t know the answers to these, then it’s time to find out. Once you do, write about it.
3) Your blog titles are weak
No one’s going to read your blog posts if they aren’t intrigued by the title. Too many bloggers don’t spend enough time ensuring their titles will have the maximum impact.
Improving your headlines will not only bring you more readers, but will also usher in the specific readers you are targeting. Boring headlines, equals boring results.
4) You don’t include an image
If your blog articles don’t include a noticeable and relevant image, you’re most likely missing the attention of much of your target audience. Images catch the immediate attention of your potential readers and will help your audience determine if your post is worth reading.
Before you post an article, spend some time in Flickr’s creative commons area and see if you find a good image. If you do, be sure to give credit to the owner. You may also want to notify them that you have used their image.
If you do not find a suitable free image, use an inexpensive stock image instead. iStock and Veer are good options that will deliver the image you need without breaking the bank.
5) You don’t give a next step
There is an excellent chance that your blog readers are one of your buying personas. You offered them something of value and they consumed it. What now?
At this point, everyone knows that you need to have your target keywords included in your blog articles for SEO value. It’s this raw “knowledge” that’s causing an issue.
Business bloggers are now writing for search engines instead of writing for readers. When was the last time Google bought something from you? Keep keywords in mind, but make your primary focus around what your readers want and in the tone that they want to read it in. Impressing the reader is far more beneficial (even for SEO) than impressing search engines.
7) You ignore blog comments
Why did you write your article? I hope it was to engage with your audience. If they were engaged enough to leave a comment (good, or bad), then why are you ignoring them?
Even if you only have one comment on your post, the rest of the readers are waiting for a reaction. The interaction you provide will encourage further comments. If you want to keep your audience engaged, comment back.
8) You don’t share or participate on social channels
Do you share your posts on your social channels, or do you just post them on your blog and hope for the best? If you’re going to be a serious business blogger, you have to build relationships with other like-minded individuals that can help you spread your value based message.
When you publish a new post, be sure to share it on your channels. If you are involved in groups, don’t hesitate to share it in the relevant ones. Make sure you include some customized message with each post to display its value to the group.
9) You are not building relationships
Writing on your own blog is good, but why not build a road to great? As a business blogger, you need to find other bloggers that you can benefit from and can benefit from you in return. Over time you should build relationships with established bloggers so that you can offer to write a post on their blog, or for them to write one on yours.
Building these relationships take time and a sincere dedication to the process. Don’t just randomly send a blogger a “Hey, I wrote this article that I want you to post”, unless you feel like being blacklisted.
Instead, read their blog. Make meaningful comments. Share their posts that are relevant to your audience and engage with them on social media. Once you have real dialog, you can attempt an offer.
Hint: It’s in your best interest to make your offer more favorable to them. Give to receive.
10) You're outsourcing your blog content to sub-par writers
So you’re not a wordsmith and you’ve elected to outsource your marketing message to a “professional” writer. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you are involved in developing the value based topics and you’re sure that the end result is the same quality as the product, or service you provide.
Unfortunately, the majority of outsourced or ghost written posts do not meet the quality standards your blog deserves. They don’t know you, your product, or your audience. There’s no substitute for a well crafted blog by someone that truly understands your business.
If you’re going to outsource your blog writing, make sure that it’s outsourced to an agency, or individual that understands what you do, the value your business provides, and exactly what it means to your audience.
As a business blogger, your job is to make a significant impact on the marketing efforts and bottom line of your company. Letting silly mistakes get in the way is unacceptable. After reading this post, I’m confident that you will no longer commit these fouls.
Are there any other offenses that you’d like to add to the conversation?
Originally published Jan 14, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016