Blogging is an effective way to build your web presence, connect with customers and help new customers discover you. But all is not perfect in the land of blogs. Here are 7 common business blogging mistakes that you need to avoid.
1. Bizarre Design and Layout
It won’t matter how good your posts are if your blog is tacky or confusing. Make sure the colors, style and layout fit with your target market. Also watch out for off-putting features such as distracting flashing graphics, pop-ups and loads of ads. Make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.
Take a look at websites and blogs in your niche to get ideas. Look at the colors and design features that they employ. Use the type of design that your readers will expect to see.
2. Lack of Focus
Stay true to your purpose and what your readers expect. While the occasional off-topic post is fine, focus on giving your readers more of what they want from you.
3. It’s All About ME!
The best marketing is not about you, it is about your customers. That is also true for your blog. Don’t post only self-promotional things about you, your products, your events, etc. Share tips, information, industry news, resources and other things that will be interesting and useful to your customers.
4. Not Telling Readers What to Do
Conclude your blog posts with a clear call to action. Tell them what they need to do with the information you’ve given them. You could outline specific action steps that will help them, ask them to sign up for your newsletter, or urge them to contact your business about their challenges. The call to action could even be as simple as asking them to share the post. What do you want them to do? Don’t make them guess—tell them!
5. Failing to Promote
Your blog can promote your business, but only if you promote your blog. Put the URL on printed materials, and encourage people to visit and subscribe.
Don’t forget social media. One recent tweet sent about 1000 new people to a post on my blog. I tweeted, others retweeted, they got retweeted, etc. (And that was just the beginning. I am not done promoting that post—not by a long shot.) What if you did that every day? Would 1000 more people finding your site every day make a difference in your business?
6. Neglecting Your Blog
You need to make time to blog regularly. It’s hard and I will admit that I don’t always do it. But it is important, so I am making time to blog regularly. Your readers and the search engines want you to post as often as you can. Make it your goal to post at least once a week, but post more often if you can.
Can’t keep up? Write a few posts ahead and schedule them to publish in the future, or hold them or the week when you just can’t make time to post. Get some guest bloggers to post for you. I use a lot of guest posts on SellingBooks.com. It adds a lot of useful content for my readers without me having to write all of it. And consider using a ghostwriter now and then. I resisted this for a long time, but I now use ghostwriters for some posts. Usually I make a few changes to make sure the post is in my voice, but I let them do the heavy lifting of writing it.
7. Not Monitoring Comments
Comments are where the rubber meets the road on a blog. Readers want to know that you are paying attention. Don’t let a bunch of spam comments fill your blog, and don’t ignore comments from readers. Moderate comments and respond when readers leave comments or ask questions. This is a conversation—hold up your end of it.
Your blog can be a fantastic marketing tool, if you use it and use it correctly.
What are the problems you face with blogging? Leave a comment and let me know!