Anyone involved in marketing businesses online know the importance of blogging. Not only is blogging important from a search ranking perspective, it’s also how you deliver timely content and connect with your audience to build that all important authority and trust. As far as your blog’s visitors, the ultimate goal of course is to entice them into visiting your main site, or where your main conversion pages are.
Without a blog of consistent flow of fresh content, your site likely will fail to connect with visitors and build long-term search rankings.
Often times though, the rush to build a useful resource through a blog leads to mistakes that rob your blog of its potential, both with connecting with your audience and aiding in your site’s search rankings.
A recent e-book from Hubspot, 15 Business Blogging Mistakes – And Easy Fixes, explores these issues and what you can do to address them. Continue reading for a brief summary of the first 8 of these mistakes and steps you can take to get your blog back on track.
Be sure to check back with us in a few days for mistakes 9 through 15 in part II.
Common Blogging Mistake #1 – Not Integrating your Blog with your Main Website
One common mistake that we’ve seen a lot is a company that doesn’t include its blog on the same domain as its main website. Many in fact publish on a free blogging platform from Blogger.com, WordPress.com or TypePad.com. This has several consequences from both an SEO perspective and branding perspective.
To address this issue, you can either set up a subdomain (e.g. http://blog.website.com) or have a sub-folder on your main site (http://www.website.com/blog). Each of these options will one, make it easier for your visitors to find your blog while still contributing to your site’s rankings. Choosing a sub-domain though allows for additional flexibility with your blog’s layout and design.
Keep in mind that you may experience difficulty in moving your blog if you’ve used one of the free blogging platforms listed above. If you switch, there are ways to maintain your search rankings but you will likely need the help of a programmer or SEO familiar with these kinds of transfers.
Common Blogging Mistake #2 – Publishing Too Much Product-Centric Content
If people are visiting your blog for thought leadership and educational content, then having too many posts on your products or your company’s achievements can really hurt the number of readers you ultimately attract to your blog. Consider spending more time developing content that informs or is thought provoking.
Examples of this type of “thought leadership” content include:
- Industry/market data
- Industry best practices
- Reports based on industry research
- Content that educates readers about your industry
- Content that motivates someone to think
- Industry case studies (not ones focused on your specific products)
- News related to your industry, and your opinions of that news (…encourage your audience to share their opinion)
Common Blogging Mistake #3 – Infrequent/Inconsistent Publishing
We certainly understand this mistake – often times, company’s get so focused on their core business, they forget to write posts for their blog. For a blog to be successful (…meaning it draws visitors to your main site that convert), it has to be developed consistently over a long-time. According to HubSpot research, businesses who post at least 20 times per month generate over 5 times more traffic than sites who blog less than 4 times a month.
To build more content on your blog, start by committing to at least one post per week. If you have limitations, consider hiring a freelance writer or find guest posts. To make your blogging go quicker and smoother, sit down every so often and develop an editorial calendar. Once you’ve developed a good routine, try and increase your blog posts to two per week.
Common Blogging Mistake #4 – Publishing Content that’s Off-Topic
If your blog’s content is unorganized and lacking any concrete, unified theme, it will certainly suffer. If your goal is to generate a following, and ultimately new customers, you have to give your readers a reason to keep coming back. Take some time and decide on a focus/topic for your blog and keep this focus in mind when developing content.
A few tips to help you define your blog’s focus/topic include: consider your blog’s goals (1), generate a list of applicable keywords and see if that helps you come up with a focal point (2), write about specific industry-related topics you can share special insight or expertise on (3), and determine what your audience wants (4).
Common Blogging Mistake #5 – Offering No Variety in your Content
Having a blog with the mountains of the same type of content is sure to bore your readers to death. Limiting the type of content your produce in turn limits the audience you will ultimately reach. While people like consistency, they also need variety to keep them engaged. Spice up your blog by introducing some variety – think outside the box and brainstorm a few ideas.
Other types of blog content can include – text-based copy, charts/graphs, audio/video, infographics, guest posts, curated lists, book reviews and Q&A type posts.
Common Blogging Mistake #6 – Failing to Encourage Audience Participation
Another common mistake we see in blogs is the failure to cultivate any kind of response or engagement from the audience. Blogs are meant to be a two-way conversation, not a one-way platform for your ideas. Think about this – nobody likes the guy at a party who just talks about how great he is. If you fail to engage your audience though, this is exactly how your blog will look to most readers.
Foster interaction by keeping blog comments open and replying to all comments in a timely manner. Ask questions in your posts to get people thinking and be sure to listen, and reply to all feedback.
Common Blogging Mistake #7 – Not Optimizing your Blog for Search
Not taking the time to optimize your blog for SEO is another mistake that can dramatically affect your blog’s potential. As we briefly mentioned in mistake #1, not optimizing your blog for search robs you of a tremendous opportunity to increase your keyword rankings and grow your traffic from organic search. Therefore, be sure you’re identifying important keywords relevant to your industry and optimizing your blog content with those keywords.
Common Blogging Mistake #8 – Implementing a Poor Blog Design
Although content is a major part of any blog, ignoring important design elements can hurt traffic and leads for your business’ main site. Even though your content has to be amazing, the design also has to be clear and focused on leads for the blog to truly be successful.
Although there are an infinite number of design choices out there, many successful blogs share a few similar traits. Including a clear call-to-action in each post is a great starting point. Include clear social media sharing buttons as well as a clear call-to-action for any subscription options. Also, make sure your blog has a clear connection to your website by having a clear navigation that ultimately connects to your website.
This concludes part I of our summary of the most common blogging mistakes and steps you can take to address them. Check back with us in a few days for part II of our summary.
There’s a few of these mistakes we’ve caught ourselves doing here…did any jump out at you?
While you’re waiting for part II, check out some of these related posts on blogging, keywords and design that can help you ensure you get the most out of your blog copywriting.