Building a blog can be a difficult task, but certainly not an impossible one.
In fact, a successful site or blog is an attainable goal as long as you are using the right tools and strategies for the job.
With millions of people using blogs every day to learn new methods of solving their problems, learning about the best products in the market, and feeling more connected with the world around them; the internet has space for your website provided you’re willing to make it.
Yet there are also things you can do (or not do) that can have a severe negative impact on the success of your business blog.
While you certainly make your blog an extension of your business intentions, some practices are viewed poorly and like many things, your business blog requires maintenance and best practices to reach its full potential.
We’re here to warn you about these pitfalls.
Here are 5 common mistakes businesses make with their blog:
1) Having a poorly kept and out of date blog
Right from its conception to its evolution over the last few decades, there are a couple of key factors that have remained the same when it comes to blogging.
The first is: to find success with your blog, you need to keep blogging.
The second is: you need to adapt to new tools, aesthetics, and user experiences to get the most out of it.
Remember, blogging is a long-term game that takes at least a couple of months to kick in.
Presenting the world with a poor blog puts your business in a bad light. Not maintaining a regular flow makes it even worse.
What your business gets out of its blog is proportional to what you put into it.
With that in mind, try to keep a schedule to ensure you are regular with your blog posts.
And regularly check to see if the site needs maintenance.
Your website (including your blog) is synonymous to your physical shop: you need to ensure it’s attractive and stocked enough to capture visitor attention.
How do we do it?
At OnPage Champ, we have a well-defined schedule of the blogs that we need to publish.
We maintain our schedule in a Google Sheet with all stakeholders knowing their role.
We started with 1-2 blog posts a week and are right now at 3-4 posts a week. There’s no right or wrong posting frequency. The idea is to balance your resources to maintain a well-defined output.
Remember, consistency is more important than pace when it comes to business blogging.
2) Write beyond sales pitches
About 30 percent of consumers list quality content as their number one factor when considering a blog’s credibility.
With thousands of other blogs to choose from in your industry or niche, it can be hard enough to keep readers from bouncing right off your page (or even ranking in Google search results).
You need something that serves your readers first, and then your business.
All the content your business puts out should be relevant and informative. Otherwise, why would anyone read it, given all the choices available out there?
Provide valuable information to your readers first.
Readers and consumers are smarter than ever and are jaded with the common sales tactics and product pages they’ve seen a thousand times before.
If you take the time to create content that you know your readers will care about, they’ll be much more likely to stick around and listen to what your business has to say.
How do we do it?
At OnPage Champ, we are serving an audience that include technical people (SEOs) as well as business people (founders, marketing managers etc.).
For the first set of audience, we tend to write exhaustive yet actionable guides based on our SEO experiments (as shown below).
For the second set of audience, we write content around digital marketing, growth hacks, business best practices etc.
3) Not understanding your audience
Unlike a couple of decades ago, businesses now have a vast amount of information about who visits their site, who is interested in their site, and how people view their blog.
It would be a terrible mistake not to use this information to your advantage.
Gearing posts and conversations towards topics and facts you know your audience (or potential audience) in particular would be interested in is a keyway to get ahead, as is using a tone and style in your posts that your audience would appreciate.
Time spent researching and better understanding your audience is a worthwhile investment, whereas ignoring it might lead to your business blog spinning its wheels for years.
How do we do it?
As I said we at OnPage Champ write about multiple topics apart from SEO (like digital marketing growth hacks, SaaS, social media etc.).
That’s because we serve an audience that is interested in these topics as well, despite the fact that we are an SEO tool.
4) Not working on your Brand
Blog posts and social media profiles are the perfect places to give your brand a voice, personality, and unique authenticity.
If your content is too dry, inauthentic, or lacking a clear voice, it won’t keep your readers engaged long enough. You may lose a sale or a new follower just because you didn’t pay attention to your brand.
Building a brand and a consistent tone or voice is one of the most important tips for effective blogging.
If you’re still finding your brand’s voice or want to do more, there are a few simple steps you can take to improve matters in the meantime:
- Add pictures to your blog posts (articles with images get an average of 94 percent more views).
- Respond to comments and questions from your readers.
- Create attention-grabbing headlines to pull the readers in, while not resorting to clickbait titles.
Understand that brand is a culmination of multiple activities (mostly minor) done repeatedly over the years.
Your color schemes, your conversational tone, your particular usage of illustration and a lot more; anything and everything that gives your blog reader a sense of association and recall is part of your brand.
That’s why we call it brand building (because it’s not a single day effort).
How do we do it?
To start with, our ‘/blog’ page has a unique layout. This is a custom code and not a template that we picked.
When it comes to individual blog pieces, we write in second person, and maintain a conversational tone. All our blog posts are exhaustive, actionable and mostly based on our personal experience.
From a design perspective, we follow a least clutter model wherein we don’t inundate you with UX breaking click bait options. We have just 1 CTA on our blog, and that is “Subscribe Now”.
That’s how we differentiate ourselves from others.
5) Failing to promote great content
Your business must be acutely aware by now that without marketing in some form, success becomes nearly impossible.
Simply creating content is not just enough anymore, you must come up with an effective system for promoting it, too.
Whatever be your channels, create a plan for what you’ll share and how often you’ll share it. Have it in writing, unless your team will soon forget what are the guidelines for them.
Blogs and pages that post daily get much more traffic than others who post sporadically, so the same rule should apply to promoting your content, too.
Remember that human connection is at the base of every business decision, and many new customers can originally be casual blog readers.
How do we do it?
Twitter is a critical part of our content dissemination strategy. Here’s a quick glimpse of the guidelines we have for the social media management team: –
Writing content is not enough, you need to promote it as well.
Explore a couple of channels, build and understand and then choose channels based on the resources at your disposal.
By the way, do follow us on Twitter.
Monitor your competitors blog for ideas
If you are not sure what to write in your blog posts, start writing on topics that your competitors are covering.
Remember, you don’t have to be unique in content, you have to be unique in your voice, style, branding and overall content coverage.
You can use OnPage Champ’s Track URL functionality to monitor new pages that your competitors are publishing every week (plus much more).
Here’s a snapshot for our website: –
More than anything else, consumers want a solution to their problems, and they’ll remember the company that helped them do that.
Approach each day as an opportunity to develop your brand’s voice, add value to the lives of others, and strategically promote your content.
By keeping your blog up to date, providing relevant content, and gearing it all toward your target audience, your business can be the one voice that your readers hear above all the other noise.
And you never know when your blog readers become your most valued customers.