So, you’ve decided to start a blog, huh?  Congratulations!  A blog can be a great way to boost your business’ bottom line.  In fact, recent research shows that updating your blog once or twice a month can lead to 70% more leads!

But in order to reap these benefits, you’ve got to have a blog that people actually LIKE!  Unfortunately, though, that’s a lot easier said than done.  Make any of these 4 mistakes, and you’ll wind up with a blog that people actually HATE!

photo courtesy of Sarah Deer

photo courtesy of Sarah Deer

1.  You use a sales pitch that belongs in a used car lot

Yes, a blog can be a great way for your business to get more exposure — and, thus — more customers.  However, that doesn’t mean you can get away with turning all of your blog posts into sales letters.  People become loyal blog readers because the writer does a great job of posting new developments and offering up awesome analyses.  The key is to offer legitimate answers and solutions in a way that’s creative and compelling.  If your readers think you’re simply trying to weasel money out of them, the only they’ll be compelled to do is get away from your blog as quickly as possible!

If people are interested in what your specific products and services can do for them, they’ll head from your blog to the other pages on your site — where they’ll be expecting to get hit with a sales pitch.

2.  You’re wishy-washy

Think about the blogs YOU read on a regular basis.  You probably make them a part of your routine because you know you can count on them to provide you with the current information that you need to see.  So, what would you do if your favorite blog stopped getting updated on a regular basis?  What if you got used to reading it every day, and then it suddenly didn’t get anything new for a week or two?  Would you bother to keep checking it out?

No way!

If you’re going to have a successful blog, you’re going to have to be committed to updating it on a specific schedule.  There’s no “right” schedule.  For example, publishing something new every day isn’t necessarily better than publishing something new once a week.  Instead, the key is to set a schedule and stick to it.  That way, your readers will know exactly what to expect from you.

3.  You’re boring

Your readers only have 24 hours in a day.  When you think about everything they have to get done in those 24 hours — like going to work, raising the kids, and taking care of the house — it’s easy to see why they want to make the most out of the little downtime they get.  If you think people are going to bother to read long, rambling, unfocused, boring blog posts, think again!  If you don’t get to the point as quickly and as creatively as possible, you’re never going to have a group of loyal readers.

Just remember — there is no “magic” word length.  What works for one blog post may not work for another one.  So, assess your topic first, and then decide how many words you want to devote to it.  Then, figure out the best way to hook your readers and keep them engaged down to the last word.

4.  You’re speaking the wrong language

A great blog makes its readers feel like they’re having a one-on-one conversation with the writer.  You’ve probably felt that way before.  It’s like you and the writer aren’t interacting through the web.  Instead, it feels like the two of you are sitting down to a cup of coffee and shooting the breeze.

If you want your blog to make readers feel that way, you’ve got to be very clear about who you’re writing to!

For example, the language you would use to talk to a group of middle-aged doctors is very different from the language you’d use to talk to a group of high school kids.  Use the wrong language, and your audience will never connect with you.  And if they never connect with you, they’ll never buy from you!