There’s no denying the added value a business blog can make to your content marketing & SEO objectives. When done right, your blog can be a highly profitable investment (as outlined in our previous article ‘5 reasons why your business needs a blog’). In fact, businesses that blog generate 55% more visitors to their websites than those who don’t – its little wonder then that more and more businesses are choosing to blog! That said, creating a blog for your small business is not easy. The below are 5 common mistakes businesses make when they blog and how you can avoid making them yourself:
1. Failing to write interesting content or worse yet, writing blog articles that are thinly veiled advertisements for your products/services: Your business blog should be a place where visitors can find topical, engaging and useful articles – not just another area where you try to sell your products/services! Often businesses try to integrate their ‘blog’ with the media section of their website and write blog articles which are either just a re-hash of their product pages, or worse – bland company news articles. Business blogs are not a place to recycle or store PR Articles! Instead, when creating content ideas for your blog try to put yourself in the mind of your target audience and concentrate on articles which not only establish your brand as a thought leader, but are also valuable enough to encourage your visitors to comment and share to their social networks.
2. Failing to include hyperlinks to other pages/posts on your website: An easy way to optimise your blog content and keep visitors on your site for longer is to include internal links in your articles to other pages/posts on your website. For example, see the opening paragraph where we mentioned a previously posted article, and linked to it? You should be including as many relevant internal links to each of your business blog posts and other website pages as possible!
3. Failing to optimise blog articles with relevant keywords: Your business blog provides an excellent opportunity to increase your organic rankings for keywords in Google and other search engines by subtly including keywords in the copy that you are trying to rank for. Just make sure the articles you write are key-word rich, but not so diluted with keywords that they end up sounding like a broken record!
4. Failing to share links to your new articles over social networks: Do you post excellent, well thought out blog articles only for them to get lost in the ether? By using your social networks to promote your blog content via links back to your articles, you will be able to reach not only your current ‘fans’ and customers, but also have the opportunity to connect with a large audience of readers through your friends of fans and extended networks through shared and like posts. Make sure social sharing is easy for anyone who reads your articles by including social sharing buttons on all your articles.
5. Failing to post regular articles! This is quite possibly the worst thing you can do – stats show that businesses who blog regularly are the ones who gain the best benefit – in fact, businesses that blog at least 20 times per month generate over 5 times more traffic than those who blog less regularly. Creating a business blog is just the first step – you need to commit to regularly updating it with fresh content, otherwise you will miss out on valuable business leads. Think about putting together a blog creation calendar and utilising others within your business who are capable of writing articles – or better yet, look at outsourcing your business blog articles to a certified SEO copywriter.
All this said – the #1 mistake a business could make is to not have a blog at all! Do you blog for your business? Have you been found guilty of making any of the mistakes above? What do you think is the worst mistake businesses make when they create content for their blogs?