Are You Making These 6 Blogging Mistakes?

4 min read
Jul 30, 2014 12:59:00 PM

These days, everyone's talking about blogging. For awhile there it seemed like a '90s fad that would fade away alongside Furbies and acid wash denim (seriously, WHY). But unlike some of its more regrettable contemporaries, blogging survived Y2K and is more popular than ever. 

And no longer is the blogosphere reserved for Britney hysterics or Perez Hilton. Businesses have figured out that, with the almost inescapable ubiquity of the Internet, fostering an online presence is actually a really smart (and legitimate — we're not just talking idle passtimes here) idea. According to HubSpot, companies that blog get 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages than those that don't.

However, most people (yes, even you fellow English majors) can't just sit down at their computers and write a successful, profit-driving blog. While the best blogs exude an air of effortless wit and wisdom, they usually don't just materialize in a beautiful moment of literary inspiration. Blogging can be a powerful tool for drawing traffic to your website and converting new leads, but only if you do it right. Think you have room to improve? (The answer is yes. We all do.) Here are 6 of the biggest blogging blunders, and how to fix them.1. You're not treating your blog like it's business.
For many, blogging may simply be a hobby — an outlet, a way to share travel stories, etc. But if you plan to use your blog as a source of revenue, you have to treat it as such. Just like any job, successful blogging takes time and dedication. If you think of your blog as a legitimate part of your business, you will approach it with the same hard work and professionalism that you bring to the other facets of your job. 

2. You haven't determined whom you are writing for.
Knowing your audience is the first lesson of Marketing 101. If you don't know what kind of people you are trying to reach, you won't be able to write compelling content. Your overall message will be inconsistent and probably largely unhelpful, which will both dilute your brand and fail to distinguish you as a source of information. Figure out who will be reading your blog by creating buyer personasor profiles of your various audience members based on demographics, goals, needs/challenges, experience, likes/dislikes, etc. Having an understanding of what people are looking for will help you to write content that targets those people directly and provides them with relevant and helpful information. Remember, if you try to write for everyone, you'll end up writing for no one. 

3. You aren't optimizing for search.
If you don't optimize your blog content, you won't be found by search engines, and your organic search traffic will suffer. Identify the keywords that your target audience will likely be using to conduct an online search, and include those keywords in your blog post's title, URL, and body content. Remember that the more general the keyword, the harder it will be to rank for. We like to use HubSpot's Keywords tool, which shows you the rank of each keyword, suggests words to turn into long-tail keywords (these are just longer, more specific phrases), and allows you to see how each keyword is ranking compared to those of your competitors. 

HubSpot Keyword Optimization 4. Your focus is self-centered.
Be wary of using your blog as a sales pitch. By overtly selling your own product or service, your blog is likely to come across as somewhat cheesy, and will almost certainly turn off first-time visitors. Rather than promoting your own company, focus on educational or thought-provoking topics that relate to your industry. Establish your blog as a helpful source of information by improving the lives of your visitors with tips, ideas, industry updates, etc. By creating interesting content that people want to engage with, you'll expand your audience as readers are inspired to share that content with others.

5. You aren't using CTAs. 
If you don't include calls-to-action on your blog, you are passing up the opportunity to convert visitors to leads or customers, which diminishes the potential ROI of your blog. Provide a diverse array of CTA options that appeal to different buyer personas and customers at different stages of the buyer's journey. Suggest content-based offers like eBooks or webinars for first-time visitors, who may want more information before they are ready to buy. For warmer leads, include product-focused offers like free trials, discounts, or demos. 

6. You're not promoting your blog on social media.

Once you've worked so hard to write the elusive funny-but-informative blog post, share it with the world! Shout it from the mountaintops! Well no, not really, since it's unlikely that many people would actually hear you (or care, for that matter). Skip the bearded mountainmen and goats (Also bearded. Let's just skip beards altogether) and reach the people your message was written for by sharing it on social media. Once you have created a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. account and gotten a few followers, start sharing links to your content. Not only will it drive more traffic to your site, but it will also build an online community around your brand. 

Now, even after you remedy any of the no-no's of which you may have been guilty, don't expect overnight success. Like all good things, the results of business blogging take time. But don't abandon your blog! Use these tips to mend your mistakes, be patient, and stay with it!

Want even more tips on better business blogging? Check out our Ebook to learn more!

Business Blogging

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