Part of my job in consulting on SEO and Inbound Marketing is to generate ideas for, create, and evaluate blog articles. So I end up reading a lot of blogs.
A. Lot. Of blogs.
Because of how often I look at blog posts (which is a lot, in case I forgot to mention it) there are patterns I see that others don’t; so much potential that’s missed because of a couple minor mistakes. I want to share some of these with you so that you don’t fall into these patterns.
Before I do so, let’s talk about what blogging for business is: a mouthpiece for your business. A blog’s primary goal should be to speak on behalf of your business with a specific goal (or goals) in mind. It could be to build a personality into your brand, educate the public on why services like yours are important, or even create dialogue on specific issues in the marketplace.
To execute this correctly, we need to be conscious of what we’re putting out there to the public. This brings me to the first mistake:
It seems basic, but this is the single most common mistake I see on a consistent basis. Nothing derails your message worse than having an obvious spelling or grammar mistake. Especially if you’re trying to situate yourself as an expert or thought leader in your field.
Speaking of trying to be a thought leader in your industry: if you want to resonate with the public, potential clients and customers, consistency is key. Many businesses lack the manpower or time to create blogs daily or even weekly, but rest assured: if inbound marketing is important to your business it is worth your time.
It’s no secret that blogging can help SEO, and (if shared correctly) can create leads for your sales funnel, but this only works if you’re consistently creating and sharing content. Plus, it doesn’t look good if your most recent blog post came out 2 years ago, no matter how popular it was.
Which segues nicely into my next point; why aren’t you sharing your content?
Let me be very clear: blogs don’t share themselves. Just because you wrote a blog article does not mean that the internet will automatically see it. When it comes to content, you are your biggest cheerleader. Share that information to social media, to your email list; heck, by word of mouth if you have to. The more you share, the more users you get to your site. The more users you get to your site, the more likely it is you’ll land a lead.
Also, let’s be honest here: even when you’ve shared the post, your job is not done. Users that read it may have questions. They may have feedback (not always positive). That’s why it’s incredibly important to…
If someone takes the time to write a comment, like your post or share it, that means you piqued their curiosity. So much so that they decided to interact with your brand. Don’t take this for granted.
Thanking someone for their kind words goes a long way, and increases the probability that the same user will continue to read your content. Addressing a negative comment (especially if it’s based on misinformation) can do leaps and bounds for your brand’s reputation. Adding to the conversation makes users feel like you’re involved. This is important, since a blog can be the “personality” of your business. It is called social media after all.
The next issue I see far too often as well: You’ve spent all this time researching topical and timely content, writing and sharing consistently, and at the right times; so why aren’t you driving users deeper into your site?
This isn’t just a quick sentence that says “check out more of my work/products”, this is an actual declaration of why there is value in checking out samples of your work/products, or in contacting you to learn more. This requires using verbiage that entices a user and makes them want to explore more of your site or other relevant articles. The goal of a blog for business is generally to inform/persuade and establish interest in your products or services. You’re doing this more effectively if you’re sending blog users to the site that you’ve optimized for their visit.
Oh, and by the way:
A good call to action not only entices the user, it sends that user to relevant information quickly. Don’t just send users to your homepage and hope they can “figure it out”. Send them to a carefully optimized page that displays examples of the work/products that the blog article was based on, and answers any questions they may have with it.
Finally, and potentially most importantly, remember: Knowledge is power. How does this relate to your blog strategy?
Having insight into relevant topical information boosts the probability of people interacting with and sharing your blog. Knowing the best times of the day or week to release your article and share it ensures that the most people see it.
Tracking the most/least popular features from blogs you’ve written ensures that you’re learning from your mistakes and making the best possible content for your audience. A lot of this can be figured out through trial and error, however, most social media outlets offer some form of analytics that you can utilize, and Google Analytics is always a great (free!) tool to monitor the traffic coming into your site, and from where.
A good blogging strategy takes into account that you’re not only competing with other businesses, you’re also competing with a billion other distractions the common internet user is experiencing on a daily basis. Make sure that when you send content out into the big ocean that is the internet, you’re giving it the best possible opportunity to float and thrive!