If you blog for your business or provide content for other businesses, you are playing a critical role in helping these blogs attract and retain a following. By regularly adding quality content to a blog, you can help that business draw in new customers and at a far lower cost than would be paid through traditional advertising means. Business bloggers, however, need to be careful that they avoid committing mistakes that can undermine their efforts including the following:
- Blogging without purpose. Certainly, when you write an article you expect to have it published, adding something of value to that blog. You must go beyond the mere writing by establishing definable and attainable goals, including drawing in more traffic and converting visitors to a sale. Work with your management team to develop a variety of articles with clear, measurable outcomes to determine your blogging effectiveness.
- Blogging without a schedule. If you contribute content haphazardly, then how do you expect people to follow your business blog? Develop a schedule that people will recognize. For instance, if you blog three times per week, then schedule your posts to appear on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays or by some other arrangement. Don’t wait a week or two to blog and then suddenly dump a bunch of articles on your site. Show consistency and you’ll “train” your readers to expect your excellent work at the appointed time.
- Repurposing your content. Yes, you can certainly take a story and write it in several ways and still come away with content that is unique, perhaps interesting. Most repurposed work is a light rehash, a thinly-veiled glop of soupy substance that your readers will hate. If you cannot make the effort, then don’t make the article. Be original, interesting and above all else thoughtful that your readers want to read only your best work.
- Failing to promote. You’ve posted your best work, but now it just sits there. What is up with that?! Sure, your loyal readers may find your article through their RSS feed or your email notification, but you need to take the next step and reach out to potential readers (and customers) by sharing your link via social media. Tweet your articles, like it on Facebook, share it on LinkedIn and do what you can to promote it. Reciprocate too by promoting other people’s work — that’s the “social” part of the social media equation.
- Not optimizing every page. Every article you write should include fabulous content. That content, however, will not get read if it fails to inspire your blog’s visitors. Write a memorable headline and make use of the keywords and phrases that are important. Use photos and include image tags. Make use of header attributes and use the right anchor text. Link to your articles and link out to relevant articles on authority websites.
- Staying in the same old rut. Are you in a rut? You just might be if you haven’t changed your writing approach in years. You have an idea of the type of articles that work and these seem to bring in the traffic. But, you’ve been hesitant about exploring other options including podcasts, guest posts, photo articles and more. Take a look at what your competitors are doing and adopt some of those ideas for your own website.
- No clear call to action. Business bloggers can’t expect their material to simply stay online. It must do something, such as compel people to take an action. A clear call to action such as, “you can buy this product by clicking here…” or “for more information call our toll-free number here….” You get the picture — you’ve told your readers all about a product and service. Now you need to sell them on it. If it takes a big red “click here” button to motivate your readers, then just do it.
Most business blogging errors can be quickly fixed, but old habits will creep back in if you are not diligent. Your competitors have a tight system in place to ensure that their blogs succeed and so should you. Evaluate your business blog on a regular basis and tweak it as needed.