Creating and maintaining a business blog is a lot of work, but it’s a lot of work that should, theoretically, result in some pretty worthwhile rewards. No doubt, you’ve read or heard about all the important benefits a blog can have for a business. From increased web traffic to better click-through rates, increased brand awareness to higher sales, a blog can provide a valuable boost to your marketing efforts.
But, what if you’ve been blogging for awhile now and you’re still not seeing any results? If you’re putting in the work but your analytics monitoring is still showing underwhelming blog performance, it may be time to take a harder look at your blogging approach.
How’s Your Writing?
First and foremost, you need to ask yourself—honestly—whether your writing is meeting an acceptable level of professionalism and quality. What constitutes good writing is a matter of taste and opinion, but good is good, bad is bad, and you know the difference when you see it.
For your business blog, even mediocre can be bad for its performance. If you can’t sit through a full reading of one of your own posts without wanting to rip your hair out or fall asleep, chances are your readers are feeling the same way.
You need to do what is necessary to get past the good-writing hurdle. Writing may not be your strong suit, but there are people out there who can write, maybe even on your team. Find them, even if you have to outsource your blogging to ghost writers. They’ll bring your great ideas to life with talent that will ensure your blog maintains a consistent level of quality.
With the honesty check out of the way, let’s proceed to the nitty-gritty and see which 7 mistakes are killing the performance of your blog.
You believe your business blog is a promotional platform. (Hint: It isn’t.)
Once your website is up and running, it may be tempting to use your business blog as an opportunity for free advertising. But when your blog posts consist of nothing but self-promotion, you can be sure your readers are on the other side of the screen rolling their eyes and promptly heading for a more useful blog. Even the best copywriting is just copywriting, and you won’t fool your readers with a bunch of shameless plugs.
A change in mindset is in order here. Try to view your blog as an opportunity to discuss your industry and the ways your business, and the products or services you sell, fit in (or better yet, how they don’t!). There’s no magic equation when it comes to balancing subtle promotion and educational content in your business blog. Instead, keep the needs and interests of your audience at the forefront of your blogging strategy, and let promotion take the back seat.
You are overly concerned with SEO and what the Google Robot looks for.
Yes, one of the central ideas behind blogging is to use fresh, SEO-rich content to help your business rank higher in Google search results. However, writing for the mammoth web browser alone is essentially writing for a robot, and robots don’t translate into sales.
Not only that, the Google robot is getting smarter and smarter. It knows when you’re trying to cram adwords and keywords into your blog at the expense of quality content—and its vengeance is swift.
Your business blog should be written for the same people you hope to make customers. The rule of thumb for blogging is the same as it is for any writing: never forget about your audience. Search engine optimization is great and certainly worthy of your time and effort, but don’t let your preoccupation with SEO affect the content and quality of your blog.
You don’t post content regularly or consistently.
Maintaining a regular publishing schedule is no easy feat, but it can have a major impact on your overall blog performance.
The improved search engine ranking you’re after won’t happen unless you publish regular content. Google web crawlers require new material, or they won’t invite you back to the search results page.
Additionally, readers want to see that your blog is being kept up to date. If your blog hasn’t been updated in months, readers will assume the worst or simply view your business as irrelevant.
Your business blog is an ego trip.
Your reader will invariably ask this question before beginning to read your blog: “What’s in it for me?” If the answer is self-promotion, your own life story, or your company’s history, the reader will decide there isn’t anything there and go elsewhere.
Your business blog must add value to your web presence with timely, interesting, and thoughtful content. Go for the reader’s ego and stay away from your own.
You’re overusing jargon, acronyms, and industry buzzwords.
If your business blog is laden with industry jargon and gobbledygook, you run the risk of losing readers and isolating your audience. Really tune in to your target audience and understand who they are, what information they want from you, and how you can best deliver it to them.
Yes, you want to be a thought leader, but more importantly, you want a blog that furthers your business goals. Your blog will get through to a larger audience if you write using language that people understand and relate to.
As Albert Einstein said, “Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler.”
Your blog lacks goals.
A blog without a goal serves no useful purpose beyond that of a glorified bulletin board.
Think about this: your original business plan was all about goals, niche, and market share. Why should your business blog be any different? Be sure you establish clear, measurable goals that will drive the direction of your blog and further the success of your business. If you don’t even know how you want your blog to perform, it’s impossible to know when it’s performing poorly.
You’re not measuring success.
No goal was ever worth setting without some means and criteria for its measurement. You won’t know if your business blog is doing what you want it to unless you have a means to measure it.
Start by answering these questions:
- What effect, if any, does your blog have on total monthly visitors to your site?
- If your blog is designed to lure in subscribers, how many have opted to hear from you regularly?
- What are the numbers of (positive and negative) comments your blog elicits?
- If you publish authoritative blogs, how many inbound links and page views result?
- How many visitors came back to your site or product page as a result of visiting your business blog?
If you’re not measuring the successes of your blog, you’ll never be able to understand its failures.
These mistakes are all too common in the business blogging world, and despite your best intentions, you may be killing your blog performance without even realizing it. Be sure you’re reaping the benefits of your time, hard work, and effort by avoiding these blogging blunders and focusing your content on the people who count—your audience.