There is no doubt that a blog adds immense value to a business website. A business blog provides a platform for you to share your expertise with readers, post news about your business, and bring more traffic to your website. And what could be simpler than writing a few articles a month on such a familiar topic?
Well, blogging on a business website is not quite as simple as it first may seem. Indeed, there are many traps that the unwary can fall into with a business blog. Here are ten mistakes you will want to avoid making on your business blog.
1. Being Way Too Formal
One of the most common mistakes people make with business blogs is that the content is far too formal. Demonstrating how knowledgeable you are in your field will indeed help you generate trust in your brand. However, it would be best not to let your attempts to shine out as an authority in your industry turn your blog into a long-winded textbook. The crucial thing to remember is that a blog of any kind should not be hard work to read. One or two authoritative posts will be OK, but you will also need some light reading on your business blog as well.
2. Too Many Sales Pitches
A blog should be informative and entertaining. There is no harm in directing readers of your blog to your sales pages via hyperlinks. However, it would be advisable not to make every blog post a sales pitch. Think of your business blog as being a part of your sales funnel rather than a hard-sell tool. The purpose of your blog is to engage readers, attract new visitors, and get them interested in your brand. The selling comes later when visitors to your blog take the next step by visiting your product or service description pages.
3. Not Proofreading Content
It can be easy to make spelling and grammatical errors when rushing to get new content posted. But even the smallest mistake will be noticed and will reflect on the quality of your brand. So, it is advisable to take the time to proofread all your blog articles before posting. It can also be helpful to use a grammar checking tool, like Grammarly.
4. Forgetting Brand Personality
While some business blogs are too formal, others try to be too cute. And, in trying to appeal to a broad audience, they lose the personality of the brand. Some sectors lend themselves to a light-hearted tone, but some do not. Posting comical or flippant content on an accountant’s blog, for example, would not do much for the image of a professional financial advisor. When writing a blog post, don’t forget what your customers expect from a business like yours. Consistency of brand personality is as crucial in blogging as it is in any other communication format.
5. Not Posting Regularly
Not posting often enough is a mistake that you want to avoid on any blog. If a business blog looks like it has been abandoned, it will reflect poorly on the company. If there are no new posts on your business blog, it will look like your business is stagnating. Some visitors might even see a lack of recent posts as a sign that your business is failing. You don’t need to post daily or weekly to keep a blog fresh. Once a month will do if you don’t have the time for more frequent posting. If you regularly give visitors something new to read, people will be more likely to return to your site periodically. And every time someone returns to your blog, it is another opportunity to convert that person into a customer.
6. Failing to Include Keywords
Before you write a post for your business blog, you should consider what keywords your target audience might be using in their online searches. Then, include those keywords in your text so that people can find your post in search engines. If you use the right keywords, your business blog will play a crucial role in elevating your entire website’s ranking. However, it is best not to over-optimize posts for keywords, or your content will become unreadable, and you may incur Google penalties.
7. Too Much Information
It is important to remember that internet users are generally looking for a quick read. So, keep your blog posts relatively short. The optimum length of a blog post is in the region of one to two thousand words. If you go over two thousand words, you run the risk of people not reading any of your content because the page looks too daunting. If a topic demands a lengthy post, it would be best to split the content by sub-topics over different pages. Or, for in-depth technical articles, you could offer a free PDF download, which would also provide an opportunity to collect email addresses.
8. Lack of Images and Video
Using visuals to illustrate the points you make in blog posts will make the content far more appealing. Images, graphics, and videos will break up the text and get your message across far better than only words. There have been many studies that have proven that visual content gets more click-throughs and lower bounce rates. Blog posts containing images and videos are also far more likely to be shared.
9. Not Sharing Blog Posts
Posting content on your business blog is not enough. You will get more visitors to your blog if you share your new content on social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. It will also help to generate more traffic if you send your blog posts to email subscribers. The sharing of blog posts can be automated. The Jetpack plugin for WordPress sites, for example, has a social media sharing tool that automatically sends new posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. You can pin content on your Pinterest business boards via your blog’s RSS feed. And you can automatically email blog posts to subscribers using email marketing apps like Mailchimp.
10. Not Monitoring Progress
If you do not track the visitors, leads, and conversions that your blog posts generate, you will never know what types of posts work. So, install an analytics tool, like Google Analytics, so that you can track the interactions with your blog. Track the bounce rate for your blog posts, as well as the visitor numbers, to discover what types of posts hold your reader’s interest. And monitor the shares of content to learn what kind of content is most likely to get shared. Then, use your findings to guide your choice of the topics and types of posts for future content.
Using your business blog for content marketing is an inexpensive way of reaching a broad but relevant audience. However, as you can see from the above, if your blogging efforts are to yield results, you must take your blog seriously. Think about what topics will interest your target audience. Research the keywords and write content that is not too formal but is consistent with your brand. Then, monitor the results and publish more content of the type that generates the most interest. If you keep posting content that people want to read, you will see a steady increase in visitor numbers to your site. Hopefully, an increase in sales leads will follow.