Blogging is the new black—it’s become a business standard. From Fortune 500 companies to non-profits, marketing departments everywhere are jumping on the blogging bandwagon, and with good reason. According to Hubspot.com, 79% of American adults use the internet, and the average of those users views 2,750 webpages per month. With such great potential for exposure, it’s easy to see why company blogs are now considered an integral part of a social media platform. But as anyone who has started a blog knows, simply writing blog posts is not enough to keep subscribers—irregular content, neglecting to publicize posts, and other common mistakes can leave your company blog with poor readership and little chance for business or product exposure. To help reach your highest potential for exposure, here are 10 common mistakes that business blogs make, and how to avoid them.
1. Neglecting to Promote Blog Posts in Social Media
Since not every piece of content on your blog will apply every customer’s interests, promote all of your posts on your social media platform to get maximum visibility for every topic. Additionally, using Twitter hashtags, retweets, and Facebook shares can increase your post’s exposure, as it is shared within your current customers’ social networks. Make mention of a new blog post in all of your social media outlets—you can even simplify this process further by automatically linking your blog to your Facebook wall and Twitter feed, so that posts are automatically advertised to your followers.
2. Separating the Blog From Your Business’ Website
Although seemingly intuitive, this can be especially difficult to remember if you offer a variety of services or products, and feel the need to appeal to multiple online communities. However, to maximize your company SEO, you should keep your blog as an extension of your company website. On a less technical note, keeping your blog on your company page is another way for new readers to find your business—if you’re putting out engaging content, it will be shared.
3. Neglecting to Use Opportunities for Engagement
The web is a beloved public forum, so use that social appeal to ask for subscriber feedback. It will not only help you build customer relationships, but also give you valuable feedback on the content that readers want to see on your blog. As in all business relationships, customers need to feel appreciated—listening to them online (and showing it), is an easy way to give them support. Reply to reader comments and have customer-centered content to boost your blog’s appeal.
4. Posting Infrequently or Inconsistently
This is one of the most devastating mistakes that a business can make with its blog. Consistent formatting and a regular posting schedule are essential to maintaining a professional, engaging company blog. For most blogs, one post a week is sufficient to keep readers hooked—more than that and you may lose interest, fewer than that and subscribers may forget about you. Keeping this schedule is essential, even if that means your company has “blog days” marked on the calendar. If you can’t maintain consistency in your blog schedule, how do customers know you’ll be consistent in your business dealings?
5. Neglecting SEO
Actively working to keep your blog in search engine results is essential to gaining new readers. There are many ways to do this, from putting certain words in post titles, to including relevant tags in your posts—try to include words that people likely to be your customers would search for. Additionally, many blog platforms have SEO plug-ins that can easily help with keyword placement to increase the mileage on your organic search traffic.
6. Using Generic Branding
Your blog is not your company webpage, so it is expected that the language will be more casual and personable. If you look at the blogs of large corporations—like Marriott hotels, for example—the posts are written by the CEO himself, Bill Marriott. Readers want a face to the company, so give the employee that runs your blog the opportunity to use their real name, picture, or an avatar. Using generic photos, disembodied authors, and very formal language will alienate readers and paint your company as superficial, and even untrustworthy.
7. Not Having A Content Strategy
It can be difficult to think of engaging content when business deadlines are looming—lack of content strategy, or a clear plan for the blog content, can leave a business blog with posts unrelated to their customers and differing greatly from their original marketing team’s intentions. Take time in the initial planning stages to write down your creative vision for the blog, then make a rough calendar of what you intend to post. Are there seasonal topics you may want to cover? Are there holidays that will force your posting schedule to change? Considering such questions ahead of time will guarantee that your posting remains consistent when the going gets tough.
8. Treating Your Blog Like a Press Page
Remember, no one wants to read blog posts entirely about your company or product. Press releases have no place on a blog, but rather on the “Press” page of your website. Exclusively-company content will make the rest of your posts appear untrustworthy and uninteresting to the average reader. If you have a new development you want to promote, instead of giving a generic press release, try exploring the news from a new angle, such as a “behind the scenes” story.
9. Talking Only About Your Business, Product, or Service
Imagine that every time a reader clicks on your blog, they are being exposed to the company for the first time. If a potential customer was reading your blog, they likely wouldn’t be interested in articles pertaining only to your current customers. Posts with company-centric content won’t help you gain subscribers, and therefore will never result in sales. Try posting about things relatable to potential customers, such as “tips” relevant to your field, or answering common questions about a procedure related to a service you offer. Posts like this will not only appeal to more readers, but also build your credibility in your field.
10. Misusing Blog Analytics
Starting a blog will almost never result in overnight sales increases—so obsessively checking your blog analytics from day 1 will only result in wasted time and unnecessary anxiety. However, completely avoiding your blog analytics may result in you missing valuable information about your readership. What social media sites are getting you the most blog traffic? What topics seem to result in the most shares or clicks? Are certain types of posts getting more comments than others? Asking such questions and examining your analytics weekly or monthly will result in more effective, targeted posting and a happier readership.
- “Top 5 Business Blogging Mistakes and How to Avoid Them” by Josh Catone
- “21 Dangerous Blogging Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)” by Cindy King
- “Top 10 Worst Blogging Mistakes You Need To Avoid” by Pat Ownings
- “20 Cringe-Worthy Business Blogging Mistakes” by Stanford
- “8 Common Mistakes of Company Blogs” by Hollis Thomases
- “7 Fatal Business Blogging Mistakes (And Easy Fixes!)” by Pamela Vaughan