Blogging is now a widespread practice among entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. Today most people understand the value of creating useful content for their visitors. However, blogging is not as easy as setting up a WordPress account and pushing random content. We have noticed that many businesses are unfortunately blogging the wrong way, loosing key opportunities to attract prospective clients and to retain and nurture existing clients.
We conducted a study of a broad range of business blogs and evaluated them in terms of how they establish authority, stay relevant for their client’s needs, and the consistency of their posting schedule. Based on the results of the study, here are the Top 10 mistakes that most businesses are making when it comes to blogging…
1 – Poor Content Quality
This is the #1 issue with most business blogs. The whole point of blogging is to deliver useful content that your visitors can share and link to. You miss out on the whole SEO/SMM value of the blog if your content is not worth reading or sharing. Focus on quality, not quantity! Posting 1 quality blog post per week is much better than 5 average ones.
2 – Duplicate Content
This is a widespread disease! To discourage people from doing this, Google recently launched 2 major updates (Panda Update) that severely penalized all websites who plagiarize content. Let’s get one thing straight, if you find interesting content on another website that you believe your readers will benefit from, it is OKAY to copy parts of it, as long as you add a link to the source somewhere in the article.
3 – Lack of SMM Capabilities
You could have the highest quality content out there, people are most likely to “Like”/”Tweet” it if you give them an easy way to do it. Look at the left side of this blog post for instance, we display a dynamic sharing bar that makes it easy for our visitors to share our content in 1 click. Can’t get any easier! Also, our posts are automatically shared on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn through the use of some highly efficient WordPress plugins. By having SMM capabilities within your blog, you help your content spread and go viral!
4 – Poor Formatting
A lot of blogs out there are tough to read because of poor formatting and CSS styling. Make your blog content light and easy to read by splitting your content into short paragraphs. Add headers/sub-headers within your blog post. Add images/videos/quotes/colors! Make sure your font is clear and large enough to read. All these factors influence the interest of your readers.
5 – Scarce Blogging
This is quite a popular mistake. Posting once or twice a year simply doesn’t cut it. People get excited when they first launch their blog, but the excitement starts to gradually fade out and the blogging frequency starts to drop. Remember, it takes a couple months of blogging to start gaining a loyal audience. Don’t give up mid-way!
6 – Blogging too often
The other side of the coin! Blogging too often can make you look like a spammer. Don’t flood your visitors/subscribers with content, make them look forward to your next post! We’ve seen some small businesses blog 4-5 times a day! Now, that kind of blogging frequency is fine if you’re a major authority like Mashable, but when you’re starting out, keep your posting at 2-3 times a week at most. If you have a lot to say, get on Twitter!
7 – Poor Headlines/Titles
Titles are the most important part of your blog. That is pretty much the only factor that determines whether people will click to read more or ignore your post. Make your titles short and sweet. Also, write them in a way that visitors will feel like the info they’re about to read is unique, up-to-date and cannot be found elsewhere.
8 – Neglecting Blog SEO
Blogging is a tremendous benefit to your overall SEO initiative. To get the full value from it, you should make sure your posts have: a descriptive, keyword-rich title, a permalink (also known as keyword-rich URL), section headers that are descriptive and utilize keywords specific to each section, “anchor” text should contains keywords relevant to what’s being linked to. Most importantly, your blog should be self-hosted, so avoid using hosted platforms such as Blogger or Blogspot.
9 – Self-Promotional Blogging
When you blog, you should focus on providing useful content to your visitors first, promoting your own services/products should come second. It is okay to add a link to your products and invite people to try out your latest service, but you must do it in a way that feels genuine to the reader. Talking about your products in every blog post is a good way to lose all your audience.
10 – Covering too many topics
If you want to establish yourself as an authority in your industry, make you sure you’re blogging exclusively about that industry. It is okay to occasionally blog about an external news item or major event that is taking place in your city, but keep 90%+ of your posts on-topic and make sure you’re delivering useful info to your readers every time.