Blogging is meant to be a rewarding experience for both the blogger and the reader. Readers get to learn something new, and the blogger benefits either by landing new leads or establishing credibility. Whether you’re making money off your blog posts directly, or just building a name for your business through your blogging efforts, it’s easy to obliviously commit some of the mistakes that bloggers are making on a daily basis – and cost your business sales, conversions or credibility.
Here’s an overview of the top 5 potential pitfalls for bloggers and how you can avoid them:
Nothing is likely to turn off your visitors more quickly than over-promoting your business. Many business owners see blogging solely as a promotional platform for their businesses. They do not realize that readers do not visit their blogs just to see how amazing their products or services are, or how their team is fairing on. Blogs, like social media platforms, aren’t there for you to only talk about yourself, they are supposed to be two-way communication platforms – at least for the most part.
You’re probably now wondering, “So it’s wrong to promote my stuff in my blog?” Of course not, it’s absolutely okay, as long as you establish the right balance. The bulk of your posts need not be on why your product launch is going to be so awesome, why your company is the best in the industry, how your sales team is just out of this world… people are looking for information so give them what they want. And the more resourceful you are, the more people would be receptive your occasional sales pitch.
Some experts recommend that you should only blog about yourself in `10 – 25% of the posts. The rest should be educational content. That’s because your audiences’ interests should come first. Keep them happy and you’ll be sure about reaping the rewards.
Having A Poor Layout That Makes For Hard Reading:
Some bloggers still have the audacity to type in a 10-paragraph prose and hit the “publish” button right away. That may not be much of a problem if your blog is about personal experiences or stories, but the post would look so much less appealing in, say, a tech blog. Your aim is to grab and hold the audiences’ attention, not to intimidate them.
So keep in mind that readers are always looking for an easy ready. If you can’t offer that, there’re always going to be plenty of options. So how do you avoid the plain, unattractive blocks of text and make your content more stimulating to look at? Here’s how:
- Use to break up your post into small chunks and make the content scannable
- Use lists to highlight key points and break the monotony of paragraphs
- Write attractive titles and subtitles that draw attention
- Use images and other illustrative graphics that aid comprehension
On the last point about images: you’ve probably heard about the creative commons licensing, so it should not be difficult to find images that can go with your post. Just make sure you use them in the right way. Images are not absolutely necessary, so it’s best to avoid them especially when you’re not aware of the legal implications of using on.
Failing To Engage Your Readers:
Your readers are the life of your blog. If you are not listening to them and getting involved in the conversations on the comments section, then you’re losing out big time. This is an opportunity for you to listen to what appeals to your audience, respond to their questions, provide more details, or just thank them for their input. You want to know how your readers and clarify any issues they might have.
Begin by encouraging readers to share your post and have their say on it. A simple call-to action like this can produce more results that not saying anything at all. It’ll also help if you take your time to respond to every relevant comment, so that your readers will know that you care about them. And while you want to keep spam at bay, avoid complicated captcha forms and login systems that make it difficult for the average reader to leave a comment.
Not Integrating Your Blog With Your Website:
Have you ever visited a company blog that is completely detached from the company website? Some webmasters make this awkward mistake of running a ‘standalone’ blog that resides on a different URL from the main business website (in many instances, the free WordPress.com or Blogger blog). That just looks cheap.
Of course, it’s likely that the blog was started way before the company website, but why would it be such a difficult task importing those posts into a new blog section of the website? Anyone can learn how to create a blog – there’s no rocket science involved, and your business could use some consistency in the design and branding of your website and blog. There are two main options for implementing a blog section on your company website:
- Sub-Domain – blog.yourcompany.com
- Page – yourcompany.com/blog
Both options work fine because they reside on the same base domain, making it easier for your audience to switch between the blog and the main site.
Consistency should be the number one rule for the business of blogging. It’s not alright – as you might think – to just blast out a post once every two months as this report by HubSpot reveals. Blogging on a regular basis is rewarding simply because your get more people to read your content, which translates to more leads for your business. To achieve this, you have to commit more resources (time, money) so that your blog doesn’t end up failing.
It’s a nice idea to look around the web to see how your competitors are blogging and learn what you can from them. Find out how many times per week they post on their blogs, so you can come up with your own blogging frequency that does not deviate too far from the industry standard. A typical business blog should be updated once or twice a week to keep it fresh. If you find this a challenge, try having a handful of time-insensitive posts waiting in line to be published whenever you can’t come up with a post as scheduled.
This article is written by Tom Jones who also writes as an expert blogger and writer for Make a Website.