Blogging is one of those activities that every business knows it should be doing but that too many businesses fail to take seriously.
When done properly, blogging can increase traffic to your site by making it more discoverable in the search engines. But it does a lot more than that.
Regular blogging can also:
- establish your authority.
- increase brand awareness.
- improve your search engine visibility within your field
- encourage visitors to spend more time on your site.
- convert your traffic into leads.
- give you brand a voice
- help your prospects through your sales process
- make FAQs really interesting
- give your sales team great literature to use when prospecting
And while the process seems simple, many businesses still get it wrong.
Don't be one of them! Here are five blogging fails you need to avoid to get the most out of your business blog.
1. Focusing Too Much On You
Packing your blogs full of value is the first step to successful blogging. This could mean providing information and advice, or suggesting solutions to common problems.
No matter how great your business is, your audience doesn’t really care. They don’t care about your goals, your awards or how many staff you have!
All they really care about is how you can help them, how you can solve their business problems and how you can make their lives better.
So write each blog post with a focus on the reader, and don’t be tempted to make them all about you or start pitching.
2. Failing to Write Around Keywords
Keywords play a crucial role in all types of content marketing, including blogs. One of the main ways that your blogs will get discovered is through the search engines – but that will only happen if your blogs show up for the right searches.
Keyword research involves:
- Finding relevant keywords that your audience is using to discover the content you create.
- Using these keywords in your blogs in the right places, such as the headline, the meta description, the intro and the conclusion.
Not sure how to get started with keyword research? Here's an excellent guide for beginners from Moz.
3. Not Having a Direction
Your blog is great for increasing brand awareness and demonstrating your authority, but it's also a fantastic tool for generating new business.
To generate new leads for your business, you first need to provide high-value information in your posts. But even if you create excellent blogs, that's not enough on its own.
You need to tell your readers what to do.
Instructing your readers what to do next will help develop your relationship with them further. This could be encouraging them to sign up to your blog to receive regular posts, leave a comment or downloading an e-book.
Keep in mind that the direction you point your readers in should be relevant to the blog. For example, asking your readers to download an e-book encourages them to learn more about the topic and engage with your brand.
4. Not Having a Linking Strategy
One of your goals with blogs is to encourage your readers to stick around and discover more, and this will be harder to achieve if you don't link out anywhere to your website.
You want your blog to replicate a spider's web where each blog links to another one. This will encourage readers to check out your other posts by making it easier for them to find relevant content.
It will also boost your SEO because the search crawlers will find it easier to reach each page of your site.
Kissmetrics has a useful guide on internal linking to improve your SEO – read it here.
5. Forgetting To Use Images
While the success of a blog often comes down to the content you write, images still make up a big part of it.
Visuals capture attention and draw readers in. They also help to break up large blocks of text, making your blogs more accessible.
But they do more than make your blogs look more attractive. You can also use them to illustrate a point, and they help to get your ideas across.
Articles with images get up to a massive 94% more views than articles without images, according to digital marketer Jeff Bullas. They can also generate more social shares, and you can increase traffic from the image search engines.
One thing to keep in mind: don't add images that are not relevant or that are low quality. Images should be visually appealing and should add to the blog.
Once you’ve chosen the perfect image for your blog post, don’t forget to add in the alt text for the image with a keyword!
Get More From Your Blogging
Having a good blogging strategy in place is essential for any business with a website, but it only works if you go about it in the right way.
So avoid these blogging fails, and make sure every blog you publish is helping to spread awareness of your business and generate more leads.
Richard Stephens is the director and co-founder of Angelfish Marketing, a Cheltenham-based digital marketing agency specializing in inbound marketing for B2B SME’s. With over 15 years’ experience in sales, marketing and research, Richard helps brands and agencies get ahead of the competition.