Pat Fredshaw is a passionate freelance writer and guest contributor from Oakland. She writes about content marketing, business writing, and cyberbullying (contest about cyberbullying).
If you’ve created a blog for your business, congratulations. You’ve successfully tackled the largest problem related to business and blogging by simply having a blog. Many businesses haven’t even accomplished that. Of course, now that you’ve created your business blog, you want to get the most out of it.
In order to get the most out of your blog, you have to adopt a philosophy of self-awareness. This means continually staying on top of your game, and ensuring that you aren’t making mistakes that can make your blog ineffective.
Here are a dozen, common mistakes that people make when blogging. Don’t worry. If you recognize your own blogging misfires here! We’ll address solutions for each mistake.
1. Not Doing SEO The Right Way
The Problem: You’re either ignoring SEO altogether, or you are stumbling your way thru it.
The Details: You’ve read articles about the importance of using keywords in your content to improve your search engine rankings as well as attracting the right people to your content. You’ve even used tools so that you know the keywords that your competitors are using.
You’ve worked these keywords into your posts, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Your traffic isn’t increasing. Your posts are still buried way below the fold on Google. What gives?
The Solution: Using SEO effectively takes practice and a steady hand. You’ll also want to keep up with Google’s frequent SEO updates. Google frequently updates its search engine algorithms in an attempt to ensure that only high-quality content reaches customers. You don’t want to unintentionally run afoul of those rules.
Another misstep you might be making is neglecting long tail keywords. This can leave your content a bit lost in the crowd. For example, cheap hotel rates is a standard keyword. Cheap hotel rates in Ottawa Canada is a long tail keyword. Long tail keywords definitely improve the ‘searchability’ of your blog content.
2. Failing to Create Opportunities to Engage And Build Your Community
The Problem: People are reading and subscribing, but you haven’t cultivated a truly loyal and engaged audience. You just have a collection of followers and subscribers who come around to comment every so often.
The Details: There are things that you can do to earn likes, shares, and subscribers. That’s fine, but there’s no guarantee that this will result in an active and engaged community.
The Solution: You have to rethink engagement. You may be answering questions and responding to comments, but that doesn’t build communities. It certainly doesn’t create enthusiasm or brand ambassadorship.
Don’t simply answer questions! Follow up on them. If an audience member makes a comment, dig deeper. Ask them for feedback. Engage in conversations. Better yet, tag frequent contributors. Ask them for their commentary. Provide them with opportunities to act as brand ambassadors.
3. Posting Too Much Promotional Content
The Problem: Your posts aren’t creating engagement. Nobody is sharing them or commenting.
The Details: You want your followers to know all about the exciting things you have going on. You eagerly post about new products, sales, store openings, and special events.
Occasionally, someone will like these posts or tag a friend. Bottom line, though, you just aren’t getting the response that you thought you would.
The Solution: Back away from the all about us, promotional content. Try to create an 80/20 content balance. This means that 80 percent of the time, your blog posts focus on what your audience cares about and helping to meet their needs. The other 20 percent of your posts can still be dedicated to promotion.
To put a slightly finer point on it, a post telling your audience all about the features of a car you are selling is promotional. Writing a blog post about DIY auto maintenance is not promotional.
4. Not Getting Your Audience Involved
The Problem: Your readers just aren’t enthusiastic about your posts.
The Details: You’re not actively reaching out to them and involving them. Successful business bloggers frequently rely on user-generated content for good reason. Invite your audience to share, and the become much more bonded to your brand and more likely to engage.
The Solution: Invite your audience to actively participate in your blog. Ask them to share stories, tips on using your products, even pictures, and videos. You can increase the likelihood that people will participate by providing incentives and appealing to people’s competitive nature. For example, an educational software company could create a writing contest about cyberbullying with an attractive prize for the winner.
5. Forgetting to Promote on Social Media
The Problem: Your audience isn’t growing as fast as you’d like and traffic is low.
The Details: You’re assuming that all you need to do to attract readers is to write and publish. You’re getting some play with this approach, but not enough to make working on your blog worth your time. You’re considering giving it up altogether.
The Solution: Promoting your posts effectively is just as important as writing them. Specifically, promoting on social media is absolutely necessary for driving people from high funnel platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and getting them to your lower funnel content (your blog). Fortunately, there are plenty of great content promotion tools that streamline and automate much of this process.
6. You Aren’t Meeting The Needs of All Your Audience Members
The Problem: You’re losing subscribers.
The Details: A large portion of your audience feels as if the content you are publishing just isn’t relevant to them. You’re either ignoring them or you don’t understand what they need.
The Solution: It’s easier than you think to let your blog become an exercise in self-indulgence or to over target a particular portion of your target audience. Remember that your readers are in different places in the sales funnel and that they have a variety of interests and product expertise.
Your blog can be a powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal. Just be sure to take a step back every so often to make sure that you aren’t making the mistakes listed here.
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