When done right, blogging is the most effective marketing tool for a small business owner. It builds your email list, demonstrates authority, creates trust and even help you rank better in search engines. So yes, blogging works. But why is it not working for you?
“Business blogs are boring.”
“Nobody ever reads or shares their content, much less subscribe to them.”
“I should spend my time doing something constructive rather than wasting on activities that give no return on investment.”
Tell me, have you ever caught yourself thinking like that?
Be honest. How many times have you thought about giving up, once and for all?
I don’t blame you.
Blogging is hard work, and it is specially no fun when you don’t get anything in return. You work your tail off and you get – nothing.
‘What’s the point of it all?’ The thought never leaves your head.
Well, there is a point. There is a reason why people blog for business.
Let’s look at the biggest mistakes people make on their business blogs and see if you are guilty of any, shall we?
1. Publishing promotional content all the time
Your business blog is NOT a place to advertise your products or services.
You need to publish interesting, useful, entertaining content on your blog. Content that will make people’s lives easier in some way.
Let’s say you are a company that offers career coaching and recruitment advice.
I might sign up to your blog if I am looking for a job, or it might be that I am always on the lookout for advice on how to nail my dream job interview. But if I see that every time I visit your blog, you are pushing your resume writing services or ace that interview coaching package, I might stop visiting altogether.
You have a website, right? You also have all your products and services listed there. If I need to look you’re your latest catalogue, I know where to find it.
I can see your promotional offers clearly on your site. This is not why I subscribe to your blog. I subscribe to get information that will help me in some way. In case, you need to remind me about upcoming specials or subscriber only deals, I’d be delighted to hear from you – in the email.
2. Speaking in ‘corporate’
While you are a business blog, there is absolutely no need for you to be boring.
And this is the biggest downfall of most of the business blogs – they are utterly boring.
Please stop talking in a language that nobody understands – better yet, speak your target market’s language.
You are talking to people – living breathing human beings. You can be personal, engaging, and friendly and still appear professional. In fact, you need for people to like you first. When they like you, they slowly begin to trust you. (K – L- T: Know, like, trust, you know?). And then, they are ready to do business with you.
Skip the industry jargon and technical language (unless you are a B2B blog). Show your personality, share strong opinions, tell stories. That’s how you write on a blog.
3. Being a faceless entity
When you start a blog, you also put yourself out there.
You become accessible, you respond to comments and take note of what your readers are saying. This way you are clearly showing that what your readers say matters to you.
By responding to your readers and being present, you also encourage others to participate in the discussions happening.
I have seen too many blogs that look like ghost towns.
When you look closely, not only the blogger is guilty of being overly promotional, speaking in jargon but also being out of the picture completely.
They don’t seem to reply to any comments or take any interest in what’s going on.
As a result, pretty soon, nothing is going on. The blogger doesn’t care, the readers don’t, either. Come on, you are human, right? So show us!
4. Making your content very difficult to read
Is your content screen friendly? Meaning how easy (or hard) it is to read your blog on the computer, tablet or a laptop? Make sure your width is 600 pixels of less or otherwise you’ll get your readers fatigued by just trying to read one long sentence.
Don’t use tiny fonts. Use short paragraphs.
Use images, sub-headlines, bullet points, numbered lists and lots of white space to break up the text and make it easy on the eyes. Don’t discourage your web visitors from reading.
5. Having a highly irregular publishing schedule
People often assume they have to publish on a daily basis, or even multiple times a day (you are thinking of magazine style, multi author blogs – stop.)
You don’t need to blog daily. It is perfectly ok to publish weekly, or every fortnight.
What you do need to decide is the frequency you can cope with and be consistent. If you have a highly sporadic schedule, people will stop looking.
Remember, quality content beats quantity – every single time.
6. Not promoting your blog at all
So you might not be making typical corporate blog type mistakes but you still aren’t seeing any traction. Well, have you tried letting people know that you have a blog and they should check it out?
If you tell nobody, how do you expect people to find it? This is similar to publishing a magazine but telling no one about it.
Include a link in your email signature in newsletter. Put a ‘blog’ tab and show off your latest headlines on your home page. Share your posts on social media and comment on other blogs. And don’t forget to do some guest posting.
7. Not collecting email addresses
This has to be the biggest mistake any business can make on their blog – not offering a sign up. Remember how I said not to publish too much promotional material. Well, this is a solution – email marketing. Capture people’s email addresses and send them offers (but don’t go overboard).
Remember, your blog page is not the place to sell.
It is a place to publish content that your target market finds highly irresistible.
Get your head around the fact that people do not sign up to blogs to receive updates on company news.
This is not why they are there.
And when you truly get that, you would never have to question why you blog, ever again!
Which tip did you find most useful? Is there anything you would like to share with other business blog owners?