Common Blogging Mistakes that Small Businesses Make
According to The Nielsen Company, as of February 16, 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence. With numbers like that, it's easy to see why so many businesses are turning to blogs as a form of internet marketing. However, while a well thought-out blog can be entertaining, informative, and potentially deliver more visitors to your website, a blog that lacks direction and does not connect to your audience can ultimately cost you customers, credibility and time. The following is a compilation of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Poor Writing: While this may seem pretty
straightforward, bad writing occurs all too often. If the copy on your blog is
poorly written, riddled with grammatical errors or lacks focus and direction, your
customers won't come back.
If you find that you're having trouble writing blog posts yourself, one solution may be to open up the blog to your employees and allow them to write under their own name. Another option is to invite guest bloggers who are relevant to your brand or industry to post to your blog (which not only builds credibility, but may drive more traffic to your blog as well).
- Being Too Promotional/Failure to Position Yourself as an Expert: According to Inc.com, "often the best way to promote your business is to be seen as a [credible] resource and not a PR outlet." Focusing too much of your energy on selling your product or service will eventually scare customers off. Rather, put that energy into establishing a blog that provides consistently interesting, useful and relevant content that will make customers more comfortable with their decision to purchase from you.
- Dead-End Conversations: Good blog posts inspire conversation and drive readers to comment, share, or engage with the content. Rather than covering every angle of an issue, stick to one point of view and defend it. Once you've clearly articulated your opinion, open the floor for your readers to respond. Just be sure to respond to any comments or questions, as failure to do so can be seen as indifference towards your audience.
- Taking Advantage of Technology: Beyond looking good and reading well, your blog should be utilizing available technology to get your voice out there and track your posts performance. Integrate keywords into your copy just like you would on your website and be sure to use an analytics tool see what posts are drawing the most traffic, how users are finding you and more. Scheduling your posts to publish during peak online hours can also help maximize traffic to your blog.
There are many blog sites out there, so choosing the right one for you may prove to be a difficult task. Instead of using a free blog hosted separately from your own site, you may want to consider setting up a 360 PSG blog that is a part of your website. This way, your blog will have an address like www.something.com/blog instead of some other name you can't control. Other advantages of having your own blog on your website include: improved search engine optimization, custom graphic design that matches your website's look and feel, and access to a team of copywriting specialists (if needed).
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