Monday, July 1, 2019

Deadly Mistakes of Business Blogs

What is Blogging for Business?

Blogging is the act of creating short-form content. A "blog post," is posted to your website's "blog" – a part of your website where you house all of those posts. For example, you are currently reading a blog post – a piece of short-form content that has been posted on our website.

It can be hard to make your business stand out from the crowd in today’s busy digital marketplace. You know that you need to grow your online audience and find ways to connect with your target consumers, but with so many marketing channels to choose from, you may have difficulty deciding the best course of action. Have you ever thought about business blogs?

Many small business owners don’t realize the benefits of blogging on their website. Business Blogs are an effective way to boost online visibility and build relationships with your target audience. By consistently publishing quality content on your business blogs, you are able to provide more value for leads and customers, which can, in turn, lead to improved conversions, higher sales, and better customer retention.

At the end of the day, blogging works. As long as you avoid certain pitfalls.

Here we are going to cover seven huge mistakes made by many business blogs. If you do any of these, they can sink your blog before you actually get started. The fine news? There is still plenty of time to fix any problems.

1. Not doing it at all (or frequently enough)

You need to develop a consistent content calendar to actually make your business blogs work. When you have something to say, putting up a post isn't enough. You must do this in a way that allows your readers and potential customers to know exactly what to expect.

That doesn't mean you need to blog every day, but it does mean you need to have a consistent weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly schedule for posting.

The key to consistent blogging is that it can actually have a compounding effect, meaning that month-old blogs can actually drive more traffic compared to recent blogs. According to a leading website's own data, the power of consistent blogging brings about a massive return in leads, "about 90 per cent of the leads they generate each month come from blog posts published in previous months. Sometimes years ago. "Create a content calendar with your team to ensure the consistent release of new posts.

2. Not using proven formulas

Successful blogging is much more than just writing a post, clicking and calling it one day. That doesn't work, unfortunately.

What works is the use of proven content formulas to drive traffic, increase conversions and build authority over and over again. Here are just a few different content types that work:
  • Definitive / Ultimate Guides
  • List Based Content
  • Infographics
  • Comparison Content
  • Expert Roundup Content
The key with this is to mix things up. Using a planned out (this is where your content calendar comes into play) combination of all the proven types of content will help meet your ultimate content goals.

3. Creating boring content

This is one area where many brands are held up. You may be holding back if you haven't started a blog yet because you don't think your product or service is "sexy" enough. Let's face it–who wants boring content to read?

Now, hold on there for a moment. Just because there may be a "boring" product or service does not mean that your content has to be. Indeed, many brands succeed in creating really interesting, informative, educational and engaging content from topics that usually don't get collective juices flowing from their customers.

So what can you do?

First, think and be creative out of the box. A post at Copyblogger highlights how much fun and interesting content a seemingly boring item like a coffee mug can create:
  • How they can cook or bake edible mugs.
  • What some iconic coffee mugs from TV, movies and films are.
  • How fast can you accelerate without spilling your coffee mug?
Moz has even more suggestions to emphasize how brands can use contests, local content, case studies and even infographics to make content really interesting to readers and customers.

4. Boring headlines.

Any blog has a universal truth: if it doesn't sound interesting, then nobody will read it. That begins with the headline right there.

Our attention spans are shorter than ever right now, now just over eight seconds on average! That means you have to get their attention from the beginning if you really want to get people interested. So, everything can go down to the headline.

According to BuzzSumo, you need to pay attention to five main elements of catchy headlines:
  • Emotional element
  • Content element
  • Topic element
  • Format element
  • Promise element
The biggest winners are headlines that not only hit those main elements but also include things like numbers, they are unique and include superlative words like "amazing, inspiring, or delightful," to name a few. Couple these with a few more winning elements and start to see better results.

5. Not engaging influencers.

"Influencers" may be a popular marketing buzzword today, but the reason influencers get so much attention is that when it comes to the success of your business blog they can make a big (and positive) impact.

One of the best ways to drive more traffic and authority to your site is by linking or mentioning your blog with a popular industry influencer. It will automatically put your brand on the collective radar of their audiences, which can help you generate more customers.

But, you might ask if we don't know any influencers, what happens?

Chances are, you do. Think about popular industry speakers and experts. Think about industry articles, blogs and videos you watch, anyone who people in your industry or niche pays attention to is an influencer and you want to connect with them.

You can outreach effectively in a number of ways:
  • Link to them or their content in your own content (then let them know).
  • Strike up a short conversation with them on social media.
  • Take the content they’ve already created and improve on it (also known as the "Skyscraper Technique”).
  • Highlight how their methods have helped you or your brand.
  • Offer to help them.
  • If all else fails – just drop them an email to introduce a great piece of content you're featuring them in.
The key to this is to be authentic and not just "make contact." There are tons of potential future opportunities to explore once you are able to get on an influencer's radar.

6. Ignoring the importance of visuals.

If you haven't already started, you need to visualize your blog. And that doesn't just mean creating visuals for both your brand and your social media shares on your site with tools like infographics.

What is infographics? An infographic is, “a visual presentation of information in the form of a chart, graph, or other image accompanied by minimal text, intended to give an easily understood overview, often of a complex subject.”

The good news is that to create great graphics you don't need to be an expert or a huge brand. Tools such as Canva and services such as Fiverr enable even the smallest sites to step up their game of graphics.

But also bear in mind that creating content takes time and people like consuming content in various ways. You can get more bang for your content buck and breathe new life into old content by repurpose your content in different formats (graphic, video, pdf, audio, slides, etc.).

7. Not promoting your content

Writing great content is just part of the battle, many experts would argue that promotion is the most important part of the equation.

Many expert content marketers who have grown their business blogs to huge audiences such as Sujan Patel and Derek Halpern argue that brands should spend 20% of their time creating content and 80% of their time promoting it.

After all, unless you're already your industry's most popular blog, traffic won't just appear, you've got to get your potential customers to know your blog is up and running (and a great read).

So how exactly are you promoting content?

Here are some tips (and some more advanced tips):
  • Share your content across a number of channels including social media.
  • Repurpose your content into videos, slideshares, infographics and ebooks.
  • Utilize email marketing to promote your content to your subscribers.
  • Highlight those influencers you’ve connected with, in your content and let them know.
  • Create ads across social media.
  • Submit to content communities.
Promoting, promoting, promoting, and getting more traffic to your blog won't go wrong. Be prepared to base this on a long-term and consistent promotional approach, so patience is key!

Final Thoughts

Whether your business blog is brand new or you've been running it for a couple of years, it's never too late to start stepping up your content to actually drive traffic, increase conversions, and build authority.

Avoid these deadly sins and you will see your long-term business blogs’ increased success.

The main thing is to start and fine-tune your abilities along the way. Start and call us today to start blogging like this in order to flourish your business.

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