Marketing tactics may come and go, but blogging for business is still as relevant as ever. As long as potential customers still scour the internet for information, an effective blogging strategy can help your business in so many ways, including driving traffic, growing brand awareness, and building brand loyalty.
Of course, there’s a very important adjective we need to call out in that intro – an effective blogging strategy. Just because a business slaps some words on a page and puts it out on the internet doesn’t mean that they’ll be successful. Roughly 90% of businesses use blog posts for marketing and not all of them do it well. Why? Because they keep on making the same mistakes.
There’s a famous Mark Twain quote – “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” Blogging for business is a similar process – all you have to do is eliminate your egregious errors. Here are nine common blogging mistakes businesses make and what you can do to avoid them.
You Don’t Publish Consistently
If you want your blog to benefit your business, you’ll need to commit to writing and publishing posts. It’s no secret that the more often you post, the more traffic you’ll receive to your site. Every post is a new opportunity to drive new people to your site. The more opportunities you have, the better your odds are of enjoying greater organic results.
Of course, it’s not quite as simple as writing more posts. You can’t just pump out a plethora of pint-size posts and expect quantity to reign supreme. Long-form content tends to perform better for several reasons, so you want your posts to have a meaningful purpose when you publish them. Businesses also run into another notable issue – time. It’s easy to brush off blogging in favor of other duties if you don’t have a dedicated plan in place.
So how can you commit to creating meaningful content? Create an editorial calendar. Set aside some time to plan topics ahead of time and lay out consistent due dates for you (or someone else) to write, edit, and publish that post. The frequency of these posts is up to you – more often is typically better, but even starting with one post per month is better than winging the whole process. Over time, you’ll get into a groove where blogging is just a regular part of business.
You’re Writing for You and Not Your Audience
Just because you think something is a good topic doesn’t mean your ideal audience agrees. People turn to blog posts when they’re trying to learn something, whether they want to solve a problem, compare things, or gain some other form of information. Their challenges, pain points, and goals are different than yours, so make sure your topics speak to what they need.
There’s a delicate balancing act when it comes to identifying topics that resonate with your audience and serve your company’s goals. A good way to start navigating this balancing act is to create buyer personas. Personas are a fictional profile that represents a target customer and helps you write about topics they care about. If you have a topic that directly addresses one of their questions or concerns while tying into your industry, you likely have a good topic in mind.
You Promote Yourself Too Much
A big part of creating content for your audience is giving them something they want. When it comes to blog posts, that something isn’t your products or services – at least not yet.
A common blogging mistake that businesses make is promoting themselves too much in their posts. People turn to blog posts to find information they’ll find useful, not feel like some brand is trying to shill their products or services. Turning your posts into pseudo commercials is a quick way to turn off readers and make them try and find answers elsewhere.
The best way to avoid this problem is to give the readers what they want – useful information. As long as your topics naturally tie into your industry and business, your readers will gain information that will help make their purchasing decisions easier.
You Don’t Give Your Readers Something Else to Do
While you shouldn’t push your brand too much in your posts, that doesn’t mean that you can’t promote yourself at all.
Your content shouldn’t be a one-and-done adventure for your readers. Blog posts are a great place to link to other posts, guides, and other content that they may find useful as they make their way through the digital marketing funnel. Even something as simple as a link to some downloadable content for drip campaigns can help you turn more readers into eventual leads.
It’s also easy to overlook the importance of a call to action at the end. It’s important to give your readers some idea of what they should do next once they’re done reading. This can be a simple business plug, a list of other relevant posts, or anything else that can help keep them on your site. Just make sure that your calls to action are designed to help the reader instead of simply promoting your brand.
Partnering with a digital marketing agency is an important decision. Download our guide to figure out everything you need to consider when choosing the right agency for your business.
You Don’t Use Proper Keywords
People aren’t going to read your posts if they can’t find them. If you want to drive organic traffic, your posts better be optimized for search. That process starts by leveraging high-value keywords in your posts to drive relevant readers to your site.
Once you’ve gathered a list of good topics related to your consumers’ questions, pain points, and other needs, it’s time to do some good keyword research. You’ll want to identify keywords or phrases that have a solid monthly search volume. Try and target terms that directly address certain questions or pain points – it’s better to target specific phrases than broad terms that are better suited for site pages for products or services.
Of course, telling someone to do keyword research is easy when you have the means to do so. There are a variety of paid and free SEO tools that can help you brainstorm topics and find valuable keywords, including:
You Don’t Audit and Update Your Old Posts
Even the best post can lose its magic over time. While writing new posts is great, you shouldn’t forget to revisit all your older content to make sure that it’s helping you get as much value as possible.
It’s important to take some time to audit your blog and identify posts that are performing well, need some help, or have overstayed their welcome. This process can help you optimize fading posts with current SEO best practices, update information to keep posts up to date, and identify issues with user experience or content cannibalization.
Another exciting part of reviewing your old posts is that it can help you create new content. Have a really great post? Try repurposing it for new content. You can use that same content and turn it into the following marketing tools to support your efforts:
- Video content
- Short social media reels and clips
- Downloadable guides
- A series of social media posts
You’re Not Creating Quality Content
Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one. Simply put, bad posts rarely perform well. Don’t believe us? Just ask Google.
Spoiler alert – Google loves posts that achieve “the right balance of information relevance and authoritativeness to maintain your trust in the results that you see.” That’s a fancy way of saying that they’re going to prioritize quality, well-researched posts in search more than content that’s:
- Poorly formatted, so readers are stuck with big walls of text and no visuals.
- Riddled with typos.
- Copy language from other sources without citing them.
- Leave out pertinent information (or drone on about unrelated details).
The solution to this problem? Don’t skimp on your blog posts. Creating quality posts can take time, so don’t think you can knock out winner after winner without spending some time and effort, whether your post is 1,000 or 5,000 words long.
It’s also essential to edit your posts. Start with a spell checker or a grammar tool like Grammarly to clean up your copy. It’s also great to have someone else review your draft. An extra set of eyes is another key editing tool. Have someone else review your draft to see if they spot any other mistakes or see if you’re missing valuable information that can make your post better.
You Think Writing Blog Posts is Easy
Writing is easy, right? It turns out that crossing out the wrong words is a lot harder than a lot of people think it is. Crafting content that resonates with both your readers and Google is a skill that only some people have.
Let’s face it, some people just don’t write good. Even if you do have some knack for weaving words together in a more traditional sense, writing for the web is a whole new challenge. You need to understand how to incorporate SEO tactics, break up content for online viewing, and navigate other challenges that aren’t present for printed prose.
Another factor that we mentioned before is that blogging is a major time commitment. You simply may not have the time to blog, and that’s okay. You probably have plenty of other work to do at your business, which is why it’s smart to turn blogging over to a content manager or some other blogging expert.
Of course, you can only turn blogging over to an expert if you have one available. That’s why Aztek partners with businesses to give them the resources they need to blog for business and support other key marketing efforts. Reach out to us today to talk to one of our experts and see if we’re a good fit for your business.