Every business needs a blog, you’re probably starting to get sick hearing about it. Maybe you’ve even given in and started a business blog. The question is, do you know how to blog? Most importantly, do you know how to blog for business?
Your online business blog is a representation of you, your business, and your target audience. Your blog is often part of the first impression a client forms of your business. It’s important you take it seriously and spend the required time, and resources to make it something you’re proud of.
It’s no secret, maintaining a business blog is hard, tedious, and time consuming work- but can be very rewarding. Before you get started, let’s take a look some mistakes you should avoid when you’re blogging for your business.
Not Blogging Regularly
You have a blog, but you don’t really publish posts often. Simply setting up a blog and publishing a post whenever you feel like it will not keep people engaged, and coming back for more. Blogs requires a lot of time, effort, and hard work, keeping on schedule is the foundation of any good blog.
To truly benefit from a business blog, you must blog consistently and regularly. Top reports on lead generation prove businesses that blog more often are more likely to generate quality traffic and leads. So blog often, and blog regularly.
If your blog is simply a platform to voice your ideas without encouraging your readers to join the conversation, then you’re missing out on engagement opportunities. If you find yourself stuck, and not sure what is the right way to blog, remember that blogging is meant to be social so don’t just talk, start listening too. The best ways to encourage engagement on your blog:
Don’t close off comments on your blog. Encourage your readers and customers to leave comments and be proactive about replying to them
- Sharing on social media Drive traffic to your latest blog posts by posting on your social media pages and inviting comments and feedback on the content of your post.
- Questions Ask questions in your blog and ask readers their thoughts on the topic of your post. Directly asking for interaction by inviting readers to share their thoughts is a good idea.
Going For The Hard Sell
Blogs are a good place to engage with existing and potential customers, but this does not mean you have a licence to sell. Blogs are not always the place to exploit the many virtues of your products and services (unless of course it is solely a product blog). Your business blog should be used to exhibit thought leadership, content sharing, and information your clients will find useful.
If your blog is too company centric, salesy, and not really sharing anything useful or interesting for your customers, it’s going to be tough to get any engagement out of them. So switch gears, and keep that sales pitch on the downlow.
A business blog must have a unifying theme, and focus. Without a clearly defined focus, your readers are not likely to stick around. Before you start pumping out content for your blog, take a step back and think about the goals for your blog. Who do you want to engage with? What does your audience expect? What sort of tone and persona should your blog have? Answering these questions will help you come closer to defining a focus, and theme for your business blog.
Not Optimizing For Lead Generation
While you want to be careful your blog doesn’t sound like a sales pitch, you shouldn’t forget to optimize it for lead generation. Blogs are great for “Top of the Funnel” lead generation. At the top of your sales funnel you’re gathering contact information from people who are interested in knowledge and information around your offerings, these are “warm leads”.
Here are some guidelines and tips around optimizing your articles for lead generation:
- SEO Don’t write blog posts that no one is interested in reading. Do your keyword research and be sure to appropriately optimize for search with smart use of relevant keyword. Your blog can have tremendous power in getting you found in search engine results. A good place to start your keyword research is Google’s keyword tool.
- Good Headlines A good headline can go a long way towards getting your blog posts read. Don’t write boring headlines that mean nothing to customers, write something that will encourage your readers click on your article and read the rest of your post.
Bad headline: iPhone5 Isn’t Much Better Than iPhone4s
Good headline: Is the iPhone5 Really Better Than iPhone4s?
- Call to Action You’re not selling your blog but you are asking for engagement. You must put a call to action at the bottom of every single blog post. A call to action here doesn’t necessarily mean you’re asking them to buy your product. But your call to action could include asking for a comment, encouraging them to share your post via social media, and of course getting them to subscribe to your blog. Every blog post might not convert your traffic to leads but it doesn’t mean you leave out the call to action.
- Linking Linking on-site and off-site is an important part of blogging. If you’ve blogged about something before, and it’s relevant to your current blog post – why not add a hyperlink so your readers know where to find more information? If you’re referencing some other content on another site, don’t be afraid to link to it as well. Your readers will be happy for the extra information. Also, good linking practices make for good SEO too.
Not Trying Hard Enough
Of course the biggest mistake you can make for your business blog is giving up too soon. You look at business blogs of competitors, of other companies and see how fun and interactive they are and want the same for your company. Then suddenly it’s three months later and you’re yet to get a single lead from your blog. So you despair, throw in the towel and think this blogging business is a waste of time.
But it’s not. Blogging is hard work. Blogging takes time. You have to regularly produce quality content before it can gain traction and you start reaping the benefits. Don’t expect too much too quickly but don’t give up hope. You will see the value of your business blog in time to come.
If you don’t have the time for it, the team at LocalOnSpot can help you out. Our team of professional writers can help you maintain your business blog so you don’t have to worry about it. You do what you do best i.e. run your business and let our writers do the blogging for you.
Are you making any of these mistakes on your business blog? Does your business have a blog or are you still unsure of it’s benefits? Tell us in the comments.