Ten Reasons Your Business Blog Might Suck
Blogging should now be a vital aspect of your online marketing presence. It allows you to reach out to your users when they are in research mode and position your firm as the expert in your industry. Yet so many businesses today are not allocating the time and resources needed to start and maintain a blog. So I have compiled a list of ten mistakes that I encounter on a regular basis when businesses start blogging.
Putting it on a Sub Domain
I see this mistake all too often. A company sets up a blog and they locate it at blog.mydomain.com or at WordPress, Blogger or Blogspot. While it is great that your company is starting to blog, even if it is on a sub domain, we must consider the SEO ramifications. Google and other search engines consider blog.mydomain.com and mydomain.com/blog as two completely separate websites. So the power and rankings that your home page has does not get passed along to your blog, and I'm sure the reason you started a blog was to help garner more traffic over time and share your expertise.
You also need to stay away from blogging websites such as Blogger and Blogspot for a few main reasons: If those companies ever shut down you just lost your entire blog for one, and two, all those incoming links that you have built up and worked for are now gone. So any value in terms of rankings and SEO that your blog had has vanished in an instant. Also, keep in mind that this holds true if you decide to move your blog off of Blogspot and to your main domain.
Not Being Consistent
You need to be consistent when blogging. This doesn't mean you have to write a blog post every day, but you need to figure out when you can make the time to research and write content for your website. If you can only do it once a month, great, but make sure you do it once a month and post a blog post consistently at the same time each month. If you find time to build two articles in a month save one of them for a month that you will not be able to post. Nothing is more frustrating then finding an inactive blog where the writer is currently taking an extended break. If your still in business then your blog needs to show it.
If you write a blog with information that I can get at a lot of other web sites, that is not thought leadership. Thought leadership is how you showcase that you are an expert in your field. True experts have no issues creating thought leadership content. Non-experts have issues coming up with one or two meaningful blog posts. If I can Google the title of your post and see multiple searches with very similar information then your content is nothing new or unique. Spend the time to research each topic you are writing about carefully, and then showcase your expertise within that post, making your blog more useful then the rest.
Not Making it Easy to Socialize
The reason we are using sites like Facebook and Twitter is to share the great content we find online. And most of that great content comes from blogs. If there is no easy way to share your content through social media then you are missing out on a key aspect of blogging. You need to actively engage users by regularly sharing your great content. Make sure your blog has embedded share buttons on each post making it easy for others to share it with their friends.
Proper Use of Headlines
When it comes to creating titles use proper writing etiquette. When using header tags use them as you would with an indentation structure of a bullet point list. For example, there is no reason to have multiple h1s on a page. This dilutes the overall semantics of the page and confuses your visitors. Use h1 tags as your headline and h2 - h6 as a component of lower level headings. In other words use Headings to make your page as user friendly as possible to the reader, don't try to over optimize it for SEO.
Focusing on Quantity Not Quality
This goes into creating thought leadership but I felt it deserved it's own section. A lot of companies try to create as much content as quickly as possible because there competition is doing it. Blogging is not a race where whoever creates the most content wins. Quality always wins over quantity online. If you create high quality content that people will find helpful, they will reward you with link backs and tweets all of which will help more people find your great content. While the business focusing on quantity isn't adding any value to their blog.
Making it All About You
Blogging requires some passion and a lot of time. If you are doing it to sell your products or services or just make money, then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Readers can tell if a blog is full of useful information or one giant sales pitch. Be genuine in what you have to say and develop a deep interest in what your readers will really want to get out of a blog. Never use your blog as a sales tool but an informational tool to create a more informed visitor.
When you take the approach of providing useful information your blog because about something so much more. Your visitors begin to see you not as a business but as a resource for quality information on a key topic in your industry. You are beginning to position your firm as the industry leader.
Keyword Stuffing for SEO
If your main focus with your blog is about stuffing keywords into each article, it will not work. Readers and bots can tell when you are keyword stuffing. Focus on writing each blog to showcase your expertise. True thought leadership blog posts will generate links on their own and will start to come up naturally for search terms. You should think about SEO when creating title tags and headlines, but never stuff any element of your blog with keywords. With a lot of practice you will not need to even think about SEO because you will become so in-tuned with your industry that you naturally fulfill SEO requirements.
Not Setting Realistic Goals
A blog can have several goals from getting more RSS subscribers, sign ups for your newsletter, or having someone tweet your blog post. It will be up to you to define what you want your users to do when using your blog. At the same time it can take a long time to develop any sort of following so do not get discouraged. If your blog generates ten subscribers after a few months don't look at it as only ten, one of those ten could be a well known journalist who finds your blog informative. That one journalist could make all the difference in your blog. Set honest and realistic goals. Your first few blog posts might not even get a single reader. Just keep slowly building up quality content and eventually they will find you. All it takes is that one great blog post that garners a high authoritative link to make a huge difference in your traffic.