When you evaluate the effectiveness of your website, and ask a digital marketing expert how you can drive more traffic, the first suggestion will always be the same. You’ll be told to start a blog. Blogging for business means you’re creating new content, which is great for search engines, and allows you to add value to your current website, which is great for users.
The problem is that too many businesses start blogging without much of an idea of how to do it. That can lead to some great blogs, but it also leads to mistakes. Let’s look at a few common blogging for business mistakes that are really easy to avoid.
Trying to Sound Too Smart
When you’re blogging for business, you should always remember that you are blogging. You’re not submitting a quarterly report, you’re not submitting a thesis; you’re writing a blog. Blogs are informal, conversational pieces of writing. They don’t need to make you sound like a poet laureate or F100 CEO. It should make you sound like a human. Even though you’re blogging for business, it shouldn’t read like a business meeting, it should feel like a chat at the water cooler. Don’t try to hard to sound clever, just write your ideas down. It’s easier for you, easier for your readers and usually creates much more interesting writing.
An extension of the above mistake is over-explaining. When you make a point or state a fact in a blog, you don’t have to run into a paragraph explaining where you got that fact. Blog readers don’t have time to read that. You just state the facts, and back them up with links. Which actually leads to another minor blogging for business mistake. Don’t tell people to click a link to read a supporting article, just link to it. Both readers and Google prefer natural links that fit seamlessly into the blog copy. Readers are used to links in blogs, when they see a portion of the text highlighted in blue they will understand why it’s there.
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Worried about Word Count
Because you’re blogging for business, you will no doubt be following SEO guidelines too. That can mean requirements for keyword density and word count. If you’re allowing either of these to change what you’re writing, stop and stop now. With the rise of social media and the focus on quality content, keyword density is rapidly losing its importance. By all means write with keywords in mind, but don’t let them influence what you write. The same goes for word count. Blogs can be effective at any length, the quality of the content is far more important. One tip would be to keep things brief. There’s no perfect word count but 300 words are better than 1,000.
Bad Images or None at All
Be careful with images. They are the first thing your readers will see, so you need to make sure you use good ones. A bad image can send readers away before they’ve even looked at the text. No images at all can have a similar effect, so it’s important you have at least one image. Just don’t throw any old thing. Think about your images and always try to use them to compliment the post.
Blogging for business often leads writers down the same roads over and over. If you’re writing a twice-weekly blog on data backup, it can be hard to come up with new topics. You need to take care not to regurgitate the same posts over and over. The point of a business blog is to capture the interest of potential customers. You don’t have to blog directly about the product to do that. The only requirement is that you blog about things that your prospects might be interested in. Data backup is an IT concern, which opens up the opportunity to blog on wider IT topics.
Whether you go over the same topics over and over or not, every business blog could do with taking a few more risks. Post videos, post pictorial blogs, bring in guest bloggers or write outside your comfort zone. This has two effects, it can be really energizing to create something new, and it can lead to some great ideas. It also keeps your readers interested. After a few posts, they come to know what to expect from you. Changing it up lets them know that you have the potential to surprise and keeps them interested.
Blogging for business isn’t easy. It takes a long time to build a readership and even longer to master. Before you do that, you need to make a few mistakes and avoid some too.
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