I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that there are many businesses embracing the idea of content marketing and maintaining very successful blogs. The bad news is, more often then not, many small businesses are attempting to blog and unfortunately making a bunch of the common mistakes listed below.
So, if you’re one of the visionary people investing all this time and effort to start business blogging, please make sure all your hard work isn’t going to waste! Avoid these common mistakes below and be the content marketing superhero that gets your small business blog on the best track to success ASAP!
Common Small Business Blog Mistakes
1. You talk about yourself… a lot
By far the number one mistake businesses make with their blogs is talking about themselves instead of making their content all about the customer. Marcus Sheridan nailed it when he said, “It’s called a BLOG, Not a BRAG”.
Your website is about your business. Make your blog all about the customer. Very achievable, yes?
2. You don’t use the same language and words as your customers
To complement point #1, if your business blog is really about the customer then you need to use the same words and phrases that your customers do. You may like to call your product or service something lofty and super technical but what words are your customers actually using? What specific questions and phrases are they asking you and also typing into Google?
The most simple way to figure that out… “They ask, you answer” (another gem of a quote from The Sales Lion himself).
3. You do not spend time on your blog titles
I know after working so hard to finish up a blog post it is really tempting to just slap a title on it and go. Huge mistake.
Your blog titles are one of the most significant pieces of your business blogging success. If you’re not strategic with your titles:
- people will not know what the rest of the article will be about
- people will not click on your title to read it
- your content will not be found very high on search engine results
- bottom line… your blog post will never get read :-(
4. You write super awesome blog titles but then do not deliver in your content
Ever clicked on an awesome blog title before only to be let down in a huge way by content that under delivered? It stinks! Kinda feels like you were tricked, right? And if you feel like you were tricked into reading a silly blog post, imagine the level of trust that WON’T exist when that writer asks you to read more blog articles or hand over an email address, much less pay for their product or service. Not going to happen. No trust, no transaction.
5. You do not use images to further your message
6. You do not utilize everyone in your company to create content
7. You do not train, recruit and inspire new employees, customers and industry partners to also contribute content
8. You’re too much of a perfectionist about your content
9. You do not post regularly
10. You use company press releases as blog posts
11. Your blog articles are really wordy and boring
12. You try to address too many topics in each blog post
13. You do not re-utilize your existing content in various formats
As an example, you can compile several blog posts into an ebook, record a video version of a blog post, then create a presentation with the information as well as a podcast.
14. You do not use analytics and ROI to drive new content
15. You create all this awesome content then do not give readers a way to easily share your content with social share buttons
16. You do not utilize your entire team to also share your content
17. You have no call-to-action suggestions with your blog posts
What do you want the reader to do next? Here are some common calls-to-action: download this ebook, contact us, subscribe, watch this video, read these related articles, leave a comment to add to the conversation, submit a question. Make it obvious and make it easy.
18. You do not respond to comments and engage your readers
19. You do not promote your content yourself
20. You do not use your entire team to promote your content
21. You neglect to promote your blog offline
If you spend time creating a successful business blog that answers customer questions and drives sales, you should be talking about it all the time!
Don’t forget to promote it in real life at trade shows, face-to-face meetings, email signatures, phone conversations and even promoting it on your invoices (because everyone looks over invoices… brilliant)! Check out more of these awesome guerrilla blog promotion ideas from Stanford of Pushing Social.
22. Your writing is super sales-y and does not help customers be awesome
This refers back to original points #1 and #2… and in a worst-case-scenario, can come across like #23.
23. Your writing is condescending to your consumer/customer
Guess what Mr./Mrs. Sales Person? Educating the consumer is NOT about shaming them into buying your products/service. If your writing communicates that you believe I’m an idiot for not buying your product or utilizing your service, well then as a consumer all I am hearing is that you think I’m an idiot. And I don’t buy from people who treat me like an idiot. Don’t be that guy.
24. Your blog reveals no personality, no emotion, no heartbeat
Without these, you are missing a huge opportunity. Be more human on your blog. Show pictures and faces of your team. Have some emotion and conviction in your writing. Put yourself out there and be a little vulnerable. By letting people get to know the real you, you welcome more than a transaction… you invite a relationship.
25. You do not have a clear understanding of why you blog
When you have a clear understanding of WHY you blog, WHY you’re in business, WHY you serve customers and WHY you get out of bed every day it changes everything. It drives your passion, your motivation and your enthusiasm. You’ll have a mission.
26. Never make a list more than 25 points long ;-)
HA! Just kidding. Clearly I should have taken my own advice though and not made this quite so long and wordy. Thanks for making it all the way through and hopefully you found a point or two to inspire some changes on your own blog.
There is Always Room for Improvement
How about your additions? What mistakes would you add to this list? And what ONE thing do you want to start doing differently with your business blog to make the biggest improvement on your success?