November 23, 2014
A lot of small businesses have realized the benefits of having a blog as part of their marketing strategy. However, whilst many business owners see the benefits, this doesn’t mean that they know how to blog successfully. In fact, a lot of small business blogs do more harm than good, which is certainly not good news for the business owners. So what mistakes should you be avoiding at all costs? Read on to find out.
1. Not Having a Plan
Having a blogging plan is vital, and should be considered before you even write your first post. Many blog owners feel very enthusiastic about their blog in the first month and aim to publish a post every day, however this is not always feasible, especially for a busy business owner. The alternative is to get a freelance writer to write your blog posts, but you need to consider how much this costs.
On top of this, you need to decide upon the direction of your blog. What is its purpose? Are you planning on teaming it up with a newsletter? What topics do you want to cover? What is your audience interested in? Are you going to incorporate keywords? Are you going to place advertisements? All of this needs to be factored in early, as it will save you time and effort in the long run.
2. Poorly Written Content
If your blog is full of poorly written content, you’re not going to impress anyone. In fact, you may even drive some customers away. Unless you know how to write, and can write well, it’s advisable to hire a writer to create your blog posts. A professional writer knows how to write for the web. He or she can craft topics that will engage your readers, and encourage them to share your posts and find out more about your website. Poorly written content on the other hand, will drive people away and won’t inspire anyone. Keep away from the $5 a pop writers, and hire someone who knows what they’re doing, and that can work with you to deliver top notch content to your customers.
3. Promotion, Promotion, Promotion
Yes, your blog is designed to encourage your customers to share your posts and interact with you as a company, but if all you do is promote your company, no-one is going to be interested in what you have to say. Instead of purely writing about your company, and what you can do for your customers, talk to them about the things they want to hear. Have a look at some business blogs in the same niche as yours, and see what they are saying. Don’t be afraid to branch out and cover how-to topics, or general news articles. You can also ask your customers what they want to read on your site. You need to get people to care about your company, and the best way to do this is to establish yourself as a credible source. Constant promotion doesn’t help anyone.
4. A Lack of Personality
Many small business blogs contain the same information that has been discussed time and time again. In order to set yourself ahead of your competition, you need to inject some personality into your blog posts. Talk about your personal experiences, and how they have helped you to overcome adversity. Or back up what you are saying with personal proof. The best small business blogs are those that educate readers on how to do something, whilst inspiring them. To do this, you need to inject your personality into your posts.
5. Not Taking Advantage of Technology
No small business blog should have a .wordpress or .blogspot domain. It not only looks unprofessional, but it shows that you don’t care enough about your site to invest in a real domain. Your blog, ideally, needs to be integrated into your current website. If you can get a web designer to do this seamlessly, this is ideal, however you could also utilise themes to create something that looks a lot more professional than the basic WordPress and Blogger templates. Consider different fonts and content types. Do you want to incorporate videos into your posts? What about infographics or podcasts? Have you considered including social sharing buttons at the bottom of each of your posts? Are you using Analytics to check your visitor numbers? Or Plugins to help you with SEO? Technology can make running a blog easier, so take advantage of it.
With more and more small businesses entering the world of blogging, it’s vital that you set yourself apart from your competitors. Keep this article in mind when you set up your blog, and avoid the main mistakes that small business bloggers commonly make.
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