If you’ve just decided to launch a blog for your business or you’ve been blogging for some time now, there’s some common business blogging mistakes one can easily fall victim to. No matter which side of the fence your on, if you note these common mistakes, heed and apply their fixes, you’ll most certainly turbo-charge your blog’s effectiveness.
With excerpts taken from Hubspot’s popular ebook, here’s a few of the most common business blogging mistakes and how to fix them. Consider it your first-aid kit for business blogging.
Mistake #1: Not Integrating your blog with your website’s domain.
Why this hurts?
Think SEO. One of the biggest benefits of business blogging is its impact on search engine optimization. Because each new blog article you publish creates a new web page that can be indexed in search engines to help you get found online, you really want your business blog to be associated with your main website.
Think BRANDING and CENTRALIZATION. There are a few negatives associated with hosting your blog separate from your main website that affect your company’s branding. First, even if you link to the blog from your website’s main navigation, your site visitors will get sent to a completely different website, which may not espouse design and branding elements consistent with your main website and may result in confusion.
Furthermore, sending site visitors to a blog on a free platform can result in the perception of your brand as unprofessional or unreliable, undermining your credibility as a business. The goal is to attract visitors to your main website by using your blog as bait. Ultimately, you want all of the engagement to happen on your main website, and you want your blog visitors to associate your blog with your brand name.
EASY FIX: The recommendation of the ideal home for your blog is on a sub-domain of your main website (e.g. http://blog.website.com) or in a website folder of your main website (e.g. http://website.com/blog). Both of these options will allow your corporate website to benefit from the search engine optimization advantages your blog will generate.
Mistake #2: Publishing too much product-centric content.
Why this hurts?
If people are visiting your blog expecting to find educational content and all they find is you talking about how great your products and services are, you’re not going to accomplish the same goals or attract as many readers as you would if you published educational industry content.
EASY FIX: Change the way you think about content for your blog. Instead of creating product-focused content that is unlikely to get shared, consider spending more time on educational, data-driven, or especially thought-provoking content relative to your industry. This type of content has a much better chance of attracting readers — and spreading.
By creating these types of content, you’ll start establishing your blog as a valuable resource for your industry. Because people are more likely to share content that is educational in nature, your content will have the capacity to reach a larger audience of potential customers. As a result, people will start to associate your business with industry expertise, translating to more credibility and trust in the products/services you have to offer.
Mistake #3: Publishing infrequently or inconsistently
Why this hurts?
You have a blog, but you don’t publish posts on a regular basis, and when you do post, you’re not publishing enough articles to make your blog effective.
Research shows that the companies benefiting most from business blogging are the ones that blog frequently and consistently. Adopting a laid-back approach to business blogging won’t move the needle; creating a blog that actually generates business success takes time, effort, and dedication. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing 2011 report, 57% of companies that publish a business blog have acquired a customer from a blog-generated lead. Ignoring your blog rather than keeping it updated with fresh content means you are leaving prospective customers on the table.
EASY FIX: Make a commitment to the upkeep of your blog. The most common frequency we observed for business blogging is weekly, so start by striving for at least one blog post per week and work your way up. If time or bandwidth is a major concern or deterrent for you, consider other ways to source content for your blog such as encouraging other employees in your company to contribute content. It’s s a great way to divide the responsibility and workload of content creation as well as elicit new and varying perspectives and insight, which can add depth to your blog.
Mistake #4: Failing to encourage engagement
Why This Hurts?
Your blog is a one-way platform for your ideas, offering no way for your readers to engage in conversations, interact, and provide feedback or insightful commentary. Just as you tend to hate the guy at a cocktail party who talks about only himself without letting you get a word in, no one likes a blog that suffocates conversation and engagement. Blogging is social, and treating your blog like a megaphone instead of a platform for two-way communication will suck the life out of it.
EASY FIX: Remember that your blog’s readers are critical to the success of your blog, and treat them as such. By publishing a blog, you’re also creating a community of potential customers, and these prospects like to be heard. Take the following steps to make sure your fostering interaction on your blog:
- Ask Questions: Directly promote interaction by posing questions within your blog content. Ask readers how they feel about the topic, if they have any additional thought or advice, or can point readers to other resources they’ve come across related to the topic.
- Keep Comments Open: Don’t close the comments on your blog. They’re essential to facilitating conversation about your blog content. Prospects like to be heard.
- Don’t Moderate Comments: Moderating comments will only deter people from commenting in the first place. Don’t fear negative comments (people are nicer than you think), and embrace feedback as constructive criticism. If you want to take extra precautions, publish a page that outlines our blog’s comment policy and encourage people to comment intelligently and respectfully.
- Monitor and Reply to Comments: Keep track of the conversation that takes place on your blog by monitoring comments. Replying when appropriate will show your readers you’re invested in the community you’ve created and care about what they have to contribute.
Mistake #5: Neglecting to optimize for search
Why This Hurts?
You’re not actively doing anything to take advantage of your blog’s power to help you get found in search engines. As we hinted in Marketing Mistake #1 (not integrating your blog with your main website), one of the greatest benefits of business blogging relates to search engine optimization. If you’re not consciously acting on the various ways to optimize your blog for search engines, you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity your blog can offer to increase your keyword rankings and grow your organic search traffic.
EASY FIX: The number of terms that a website can rank for is directly related to the size of the site. More often than not, the difference between a 50-page website and a 500+ page site is a blog. Because of this, blogging is an absolutely essential practice for SEO and traffic-building. More indexed pages mean more opportunities for keywords, so develop an SEO strategy for your blog and implement that strategy for every piece of content you create and publish on your blog.
keyword planner, which offers insight into the competitiveness of a specific keyword, to help you choose realistic keywords related to your blog’s topic.
Creating remarkable content is one of the core components of inbound marketing – and one of the best ways to generate a steady flow of fresh content is by publishing a business blog. HubSpot research indicates companies that blog generate 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and have 434% more indexed pages than companies that don’t blog.