“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from” – Al Franken
I have advocated the benefits of business blogging many times in the past. Not only does your blog help project your company as a thought leader in your field, it also helps you generate leads, increase brand value, and build a loyal following.
It’s great to see many businesses adopt content marketing as part of their marketing strategy. However, that does not mean all of them are doing it right!
Top 10 Business Blogging Mistakes
Mistake #1: You are not talking to the right audience
Have you ever thought that your blog is not working out for you after months or years of blogging?
Even if you are just starting out, you may feel that the traffic that comes to your blog is not the people you want.
Before proclaiming that blogging is dead, think about your messaging and the kind of articles you have been writing about. Do you think it was supposed to attract the right audience?
Many business bloggers make the mistake of blogging about the wrong topics. If you are blogging about the wrong topics, how can you expect to reach the “right” audience?
Let us assume that you run a SEO consulting business and your target audience is small business owners. Now, if you start blogging about SEO, the audiences you are going to attract are the peers in your industry and DIY small business owners.
Now, do you think you have a chance to convert these visitors into paying customers? Sure, you will be a thought leader in your field. However, would you get customers out of your blogging efforts?
In most cases- No!
Mistake #2: There is no call to actions on every blog post
Every blog post you write on your blog must serve a purpose.
If you are running a business, chances are, page views don’t matter to you. All that matters is how many people buy your product or hire you for some service.
Therefore, every blog post you write should be aimed at making the reader do something that could, in the long term, turn into a business opportunity.
Your call to action could be to download your free e-book, leave a comment, subscribe to your updates, check out your services, and so on.
Make sure that at the end of the blog post, you insert a call to action.
Now, you shouldn’t get the idea that every blog post must aim at selling something. The aim should be to get them into your funnel or interact with you so that your audience begins to trust you.
Trust, is the key to increasing sales online.
Mistake #3: You think that a blog is some kind of magic tool to increase sales
Ah, don’t you love push button tools that you simply have to turn on and does all the work for you?
I do. And I know you like it too.
However, the problem is, a blog is not a magic tool. It doesn’t help you increase sales magically without you putting serious amount of effort into it.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all your sales and marketing problems will be solved shortly once you install and start blogging.
No, it doesn’t work that way.
It takes time to see the results. So be prepared to work extra hard and spend extra time on top of what you are already doing to promote your business.
Once your blog starts gaining traction and builds up a loyal following, it should do the work for you. Even then, you should continue producing high quality content to sustain the momentum.
Mistake #4: Your business blog is all about “your business”
One day I was going through a company blog who had requested my service. Their problem: “Even though we blog, it’s not giving us results!”
It so happened that the business owner came to know that blogging was very powerful to generate leads and so he started a blog for his business. He regularly posted content on the blog, promoted it everywhere he could, and yet, not a single sale happened.
So, what was the real problem?
The blog was all about the company services, how they source raw materials, company outings, birthday celebrations of staff, how the company grew to a 50+ member team in 3 years, and so on.
Do you see the problem here?
The blog posts are mostly about the company. It’s not solving any problems that their customer was facing.
People don’t subscribe to your business blog to find out how you run your company or whether your employees are happy. They come for solving their problems. If you don’t provide it, they are going to move to someone else who does.
When you do business blogging, never make your company the focus of your blog. It should always be about your consumers. It’s fine if you put some posts about new products or services. It’s even fun to at times inject a dose of personality into the blog by posting company celebration pictures. Most of the time, your business blog should focus on answering your customer inquiries. It should help solve the problems they have- even if it means not buying your products instantly.
Mistake #5: You don’t have a goal in mind
If you are blogging, you should have a goal in mind.
Imagine you are running a race and you have no clue as to where the end is or which way you should go.
If you start a blog without a clear goal in your mind, it’s going to be very difficult to gain traction and stay focused. If you are a content marketer, make sure you have a content marketing roadmap.
When you start blogging, set S.M.A.R.T goals. Keep track of the progress and keep optimizing. Once you achieve your goals, set bigger targets, and strive to achieve those.
Mistake #6: Your business blog does not have a posting schedule
People like it when things are predictable. While surprises may be good at times, most of us prefer to know what to expect and when to expect.
Same is the case with your blog audience.
Instead of posting whenever you feel like, set a schedule, and stick with it. You don’t have to post daily. Even once in a week is fine.
Once you fix a schedule, post consistently according to the schedule. If you are posting on Mondays and Wednesdays, always try to keep that schedule.
If you are using platforms like wordpress, you can schedule posts even if you write them in advance. This very post is scheduled. You’ll see this post only on Monday. However, I am writing this on Sunday!
Mistake #7: SEO takes a backseat
It’s great to solve real problems your customers are having via your blog. You could write highly useful content day in and day out on your blog.
Nevertheless, what’s the use if no one can find it?
If you are running a brick and mortar store, the location of your business is all that matters. On the internet, the rules change. Even if you are located in a small town in the US, your prospective customers can come from your same town or from as far as India.
Technology has removed the distance barrier. So the best way to reach a global audience (unless your product/service is applicable to a particular area), is to be on top of the search result pages of search engines (also called as SERP or search engine ranking pages).
SEO is not rocket science. Commit yourself to learning the basics of SEO and keyword research. Follow guidelines laid out by search engines and don’t do shady link building. If you’d rather focus your efforts on building your business rather than learning SEO and trying to rank your website, hire a professional to do it for you.
Mistake #8: You expect too much too soon
All of us want results. That too fast.
Blogging is a slow process. Once you hit the inflection point, things will start moving faster than your expected.
The journey until there is slow and painful. You see little or no results for your hard work.
Remember: It’s easy to give up. The people who keep pushing it are the ones who succeed.
Give your business blog time. And it will give you the result you want.
Mistake #9: Your blog is not part of your main website
The ideal place for your blog is either on a sub domain (blog.website.com) or as a subfolder (website.com/blog/). If you are a consultant, chances are your blog will be your home page (like in the case of conversionchamp).
It’s not a good idea to host your blog on a separate domain. Not only do you have to maintain two properties, you’d also have to spend a lot of time building up both properties. It’s also bad from a branding point of view.
Even worse if when you decide to host your business blog on a free platform like blogspot or wordpress.com (different from wordpress.org which is a self-hosted software).
Mistake #10: You blog when you don’t need to
It might sound a bit weird to you when I suggest that not all business needs to blog. That’s the truth.
Not all businesses needs to blog. It all depends on your audience demographics. If your audience does not have a content consuming culture, chance of you making it big with your blog is less.
However, that shouldn’t stop you from creating high quality evergreen content. You could get many links if your content is good enough. In addition, when your audience becomes more open to the content consuming culture, you’d be the thought leader in this field.
Over to You:
What other mistakes do you think businesses make when they venture into blogging? Let me know your thoughts via the comment section.