3 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business Blog
September 9, 2013 Leave a comment
These days it seems that everyone and their mother has a blog. Gone are the days when a blog was relegated to the stay at home moms and angsty teenagers. The business world has now jumped on the blogging bandwagon and the momentum doesn’t appear to waning anytime soon.
So what does this mean for you and your business? Well, that depends on your business, but for most, it means starting a blog is a strategic move to give your company a competitive edge.
Unfortunately, in spite of all the information out there, too many business blogs are misguided and ill-formed. If you want to take advantage of the most a blog can offer you and your company, check out these 3 common mistakes you should avoid when starting out.
Focusing on Self-Promotion
Perhaps the number one mistake businesses make when developing their blogs is to focus too heavily on self-promotion. Your blog should complement your main website as a forum to show off your expertise—not as another advertisement ploy. Save your promotions for your other marketing outlets (e.g. TV, web ads, billboards, etc.). Although a post here and there announcing a new product or giving a review is fine, the focus of your blog should be on quality content that offers value to your readers.
A blog is an opportunity for your business to showcase its knowhow and provide information to your readers. Instead of direct marketing, think of your blog as a place to build up your credibility in the eyes of your prospective customers. If you give them good content, they are more likely to investigate the rest of your business and the products and services you have to offer.
Blogging takes commitment. The best blogs out there post frequently and regularly. Even one post bi-weekly is better than ten posts one week and only one or two over the next month. The key is consistency. If you aren’t prepared to allocate time to regular blogging, you may need to hold off for a while until you can.
Creating a publication calendar is a great way to organize your blog schedule and content. That way you can plan months in advance on the topics and posts you will contribute to the blog. Even if you can only publish a couple times a month, your consistency will help Google rank you in the search results—making it easier for visitors to find you.
Blogging is a process, so don’t worry if you don’t have a huge archive of posts right away. In the case of blogging, slow and steady wins the race (just don’t be too slow). Over time, your regular publications will build up a good amount of content for Google to index and for your visitors to engage with.
Forgetting Calls to Action
Finally, don’t forget to add calls to action to each piece of content. Too often business bloggers (and bloggers in general, for that matter) fail to include a call to action at the end of their post. A call to action is exactly what it sounds like—a request for the reader to act on the information they have just digested. For example, some common calls to action include asking readers to comment on the post, share the article on social media, or to follow links to related posts or pages.
Adding calls to action to your business content is important for engaging your readers and encouraging them to stay on your page. If they like what you have to say, including a call to action is a great way to direct them to more useful content. But if they have to go digging, they are likely to leave your website altogether. So make it easy for your readership to navigate your blog and consume as much content as possible. You will gain a greater following and your blog will be more successful because of it.
Drew Kobb, in addition to studying civil law, loves long distance running and considers himself a health and fitness enthusiast. His interests also take him into the business world, specifically into social media, and one of his inspirations is Live Basil Pizza CEO Rick Schaden.