Blogging is still new to many entrepreneurs and businesses. The idea of creating content and publishing it via your site is a new concept to many. The biggest mistake I see companies make is to try to sell via their blog. Blogging is about offering value, not selling. Read about 5 major blogging mistakes in this post.
The idea of a blog is simple
The idea of a blog is quite simple: you are offering your target audience something in the form of information & education. By blogging you are creating valuable content you can then share via your Social Networks and your readers can share it also with their networks. Not only does this generate more direct traffic to your site, but Google also loves fresh content and is more likely to index blog posts than static pages. Simple, no?
The content that goes on a blog is not that simple
However what’s not so simple is the content that goes on your blog. First of all blogging requires a mind-shift: your brain needs to turn off the ‘selling’ mode and turn on the ‘serving’ mode. When blogging we want to serve, not sell. So the content should not be promotional, but helpful to the target audience. Second of all, to achieve success you need to have a content strategy and an editorial calendar so you know in advance who your target audience is, what topics they are looking for and when you are going to publish what.
Are you making these 5 mistakes on your company blog?
Below are 5 of the most common mistakes I see on business blogs and advice on how to avoid them.
1. You are talking about your latest products & services
A blog is not a place to talk about your products & services. You can talk about specific issues or problems your target audience is facing and how to solve them, but don’t just promote your stuff. Anything overly promotional will turn off the reader and not make him click on your blog article the next time. You want to build a reputation as a business that shares valuable information, not the traditional used car salesman.
2. You are talking in professional jargon
A blog is not a place to show off your professional jargon. You always need to have your target audience in mind. Don’t write a post with lots of abbreviations and words only you and your employees understand. The language of a blog post needs to be simple, phrases short and concise and the tone almost conversational. Have a look at my friend Melitta Campbell’s 3 tips on ‘Writing for the Web’.
3. You don’t use formatting
As Melitta says in her video, people are scanners on the web. They scan, grab & go! So if you want them to read your full 800 word blog post, you need to make it easy for them. Make sure you use different heading sizes (h1, h2, h3 etc) and in each paragraph highlight the most important message, phrase or keyword.
4. You don’t use visuals
If you want your content to go viral, meaning you want your readers to share your content on their Social Networks, you absolutely must include nice visuals. I use Canva.com to create most of my visuals.
5. You have no share buttons
Of course even if you do use visual but have no share buttons on your blog, no one will share your content. So make sure you install some share buttons so your readers can share your great content with their thousands of Twitter followers, Facebook friends & LinkedIn connections. Ask your webdesigner for help.
Offer value, don’t try to sell!
In conclusion just always think about your target audience: what’s in it for them? Did they learn something from your post, get an answer to a question, get inspired? If your answer is affirmative, that means you’re on the right track…
Of course the above list is not complete. What other mistakes do you see businesses make?