Blogging would be the simplest of content marketing techniques anyone could use, right?
Blogging, though simple, has to be done the right way to get the results you desire. Getting it right, if anything is far from easy. The moment you think it’s too easy; you set yourself up for failure. Unfortunately, blogging is such an easy endeavor, that most small businesses take it for granted.
This means they lose out on some really precious opportunities and waste their time and effort in maintaining blogs that are not doing much in their favor. Small businesses often underestimate the power of blogging and therefore lose out on important business opportunities.
Here’s what they do wrong, and what they could be doing instead:
Mistake #1: Not Integrating the Blog with Your Main Site
This is one of the most common mistakes small businesses make. If you have a blogging site and you run it on a completely different domain, unconnected with your main website, you are wasting all your efforts.
How to Avoid: Your blog should be integrated with your main website even if you are using a free blogging CMS such as WordPress, it is best to create the blog as a sub domain or in a folder of your main website. This helps your business website get all the search engine benefits of your blog.
Stay away from publishing blog on a free blogging platform’s domain such as Blogger.com, WordPress.com or TypePad.com. Using free services tells the world that you are a freeloader. If you mean business, you should invest.
Mistake #2: Not Having a Schedule
This is common mistake most small business makes. They often failed to blog on regular basis because first of all blogging is not easy task as it demands lots of time and research. Second most of
small business always finds themselves busy with their core business tasks.
How to Avoid: Having a schedule is important for maintaining a good blog. You cannot have erratic blogging on your website. Blogging too much or too little can be really detrimental for your marketing efforts. Ideally, you should have a regular schedule where you create a disciplined approach to blogging. You can create own editorial calendar (use Google calendar) to decide frequency of blog posting.
Blog regularly and avoid going off for long periods of time. If you do have to take off for a few days, schedule auto posting of your blog posts on the blog.
Mistake #3: Losing Focus
Retaining your focus is extremely important when you are blogging. If you are blogging all too often, it is tempting to lose your focus and write about whatever comes to your mind.
How to Avoid: However, like all content marketing channels, blogging too needs a strategy and goals. When you keep those in mind, you are able to focus on the exact thing that you want without losing your focus. This also makes churning out content much easier in the long term.
Mistake #4: Bragging Too Much
Marcus Sheridan correctly said; a blog is not a place for you to brag about yourself and your services,
your company’s website is batter place to write about that. Your blog readers don’t want to read posts entirely about company or product. Of Course you can write blog about make announcement of new product development, it is also important to ensure you do not overdo it.
If you talk a lot about yourself, you end up losing the attention of your audiences. Keep self-defined limits on how much you talk about yourself.
How to Avoid: Instead of boasting about your company or product, think about what your audiences want and deliver that. The wise thing would be to first understand your audiences’ need and learn what they are really looking for.
You should consider the common questions they ask and then craft your posts as replies to them. Your company’s blog is best place to provide solutions to the problems faced by your customers. You can write tips, answer questions related to your industry, and give extra information related to the utility of the product or service, because your readers want information which they can use.
Mistake #5: Your Titles are Better than Your Posts
A lot of small businesses spend a lot of time thinking up of interesting titles. Where they lack is in doing justice to the inventive titles in the content that follows. However, when you titillate the readers with a great title and follow it up with uninspiring content, they are most likely to feel as they are tricked and will certainly not get back to your blog.
How to Avoid: Your content should be able to convey what you promised on Title. Boring, repetitive and uninteresting content can kill the flow of the blog.
Mistake #6: Not Using Multimedia
Your blog does not have to have just boring text. It is so boring to read through a blog where there is nothing other than long, monotonous and continuous text on your blog pages.
How to Avoid: Make your blog interesting by adding some creative relief. Add some interesting pictures, videos and other media. You can even add links to interesting information elsewhere on the web, which you know you audiences will appreciate.
Mistake #7: Not Engaging
Blogging is not about just posting the information, but it is rather an opportunity of engaging with your
audience, and many business owners fail to understand this. You might have uploaded a genuinely informative and useful blog which also receives social media sensation, but will not be of complete benefit if the blog is not enabled for commenting. When you allow commenting on your blog you also need to be prepared to respond to the negative comments with poise.
How to Avoid: Avoiding this mistake is easy. All you have to do is making it easy for the readers, viewers and patrons to comment on your blog. However, your task doesn’t just end here, along with letting your customers post their thoughts and feedback on the blog; you should also make mindful efforts to respond to the comments. If your blog is too big to respond to every comment, then offering gratitude once or twice in the comment thread will make your customers happy, build long lasting relationships, and most of all – assure them that their comments are being read.
Mistake #8: Not Promoting in Social Media
This is also one of the biggest mistakes small business makes because even your high quality posts are not going to reach target audience if you are not leveraging social media power.
How to Avoid: You can start with promoting your content using company’s official social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can even simplify this process by adding plug-ins which will automatically post your latest blog posts on social sites.
You can also encourage your entire team to promote blog posts using their social media accounts. Additionally you can integrate social share buttons on your blog so your readers can easily share them on social sites.
Sharing your posts on social network will helps you build a larger audience and it will also improve your visibility in search engine as now search engines consider social signals as ranking factor.
Mistake #9: Not Optimizing for Lead Generation
Since you are putting so much intellect, time and energy into creating an exciting and engaging blog, please do not make a mistake of missing out a call-to-action (CTA) on your blog. It is a disappointment to see many good business and informative blogs missing much needed call-to-action. Zero or feeble words of call-to-action will fail to probe potential customers to take necessary actions.
How to Avoid: Having a CTA on the top of your website or on the side bars is not enough, you need to have appropriate call-to-action in all your blogs if you are looking for lead generation. Moreover, if you think your older blogs also need call-to-action, then visit them and add CTAs today, because it is possible that your quality blogs are being visited, read, shared and valued even today.
Mistake #10: Neglecting blog SEO
Blog demands its own SEO importance and ignoring or neglecting blog’s SEO significance is the biggest mistake. When you post a blog, many people read it and this naturally means each blog uses Search Engine Optimization practices to rank higher for the search result of the subject matter, when Googled.
How to Avoid: There are a few things that need to be taken care of to have Search Engine Optimized blog post:
- Have a descriptive and keyword-rich title
- Keep keyword-rich URL
- Include descriptive and keyword specific section headers
- Include anchor text that contains relevant keywords
Small businesses need to broaden their horizons and take their blogging efforts more seriously. Blogging is the easiest of all the available content marketing tools and if you are not able to be successful at that, you would find it very difficult to navigate through some of the other, more complicated methods of marketing.
Use social media to promote your blog, pay attention to your content, use the right language, blog regularly and use your site metrics to analyze your traffic and plan your content. You will soon see results that you would not have even envisaged.
Are their any other blogging mistakes you have personally come across?