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Statistics prove that blogging builds business. According to HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report:

  • 34% of all sales leads generated last year were from content marketing strategies
  • 82% said they got the most value from blogging
  • 42% said they generated at least one customer from their blog.

Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, your blog is likely the focal point of your content marketing strategies. Blogging gives you fresh content for inbound marketing and social media programs, and if will increase sales leads if you blog the right way.

Here are six common mistakes that bloggers make that are sure to kill a blog:

1. Not Blogging Frequently Enough

Blog readers come back to see fresh content, and expect to see recent content when they visit your site. You should create a regular production schedule for your blog.

The more often you blog, the more traffic you will get. Statistics from HubSpot’s “Marketing Benchmarks from 7,000 Businesses” reveal that businesses that blog 15 or more times each month get five times more web traffic than businesses that don’t blog. Also, businesses that increase their blog frequency from six to eight times per month can double the number of inbound leads.

2. Weak Titles and Poor Headings

Poor headlines and headings will kill your blog and undermine your content marketing strategy. Write headlines that are clear, active, and use keywords related to your topic.

Use headlines that are exciting and provocative as well as informative. Consider the headline for this blog post. We could have called it, “Things you don’t want to do because they will hurt your blog.” Boring, right? Active, shocking verbs like “Kill” get more attention.

3. Focusing on You, Not Your Target Audience

We all love to talk about ourselves, our company, and our products. Don’t!

When visitors read your blog they don’t want a sales pitch, they want to read about something that benefits them.

Focus your attention on your target audience.

Offer insights and information that make you a valuable resource and show your readers they can trust you. Don’t talk about why your products are better.

Talk about what benefits the reader, how to get more value from what you offer, or what to look for when shopping for products like yours. Instruct your readers without selling. Give them information and insight they won’t find elsewhere.

The trust you build will enable you to turn blog readers into leads, and eventually into customers.

4. Not Optimizing Content for SEO (or the Reader)

Remember that you are blogging for both readability and searchability.

If you have a well-written blog, you have already started to optimize your blog content for SEO. Search engine spiders look for original content and will scan your blog looking for keywords and key phrases that you may already have in the text.

Your content marketing strategies demand you create a list of keywords. Weave them into your blog content, but don’t force them. Add them naturally to your sentences to promote readability and searchability.

Hyperlinks also help with SEO. Identify (non-competing) sources that will add to your readers’ understanding of the blog subject matter and embed a link to share the information.

5. Not Social Sharing

If you write the coolest, most interesting and informative blog on the planet, it won’t matter if no one reads it. Social sharing should be an integral part of your content marketing strategies. Use the blog for fresh social content.

Be sure to share your blog. Mention new and popular posts on your social media profiles. Add sharing buttons to make it easy for readers to post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, and other social media channels.

And be sure to ask for comments. Turn the topic of your blog post into a question and ask for input.

6. No Conversion Strategy or Call to Action

As part of your overall content marketing strategies, you need to have a way to convert readers into customers.

Add a simple email subscription button to invite visitors to subscribe to your blog. If they like what they read then they will offer an email address that you can use to nurture them through your sales process.

Direct them to other resources on your website where they have to register to receive more information. For example, if you use content from an eBook in your blog, tell the reader where to get the eBook and get them to register to receive it. You now have a new sales lead.

Speaking of which, I created an eBook called 25 Website Must Haves for Driving Traffic and Leads, and if you want to learn about how to make more conversions and get a successful website design, you should check it out.

No matter what your content marketing strategies, blogging will help you with lead generation- if you do it right. Start blogging, share what you know, and potential customers who are hungry for information will find you. What about you? What kind of information are you looking for, and is this site helpful? We’d love to hear your feedback, so please ask questions and leave suggestions in the comments below.