Lots of companies are starting blogs. If you’re new to blogging, it’s tough to get traction and easy to make some of the various, common mistakes other blogs and bloggers (myself included) have made. To help new blogs and bloggers avoid some of the common pitfalls that companies make when starting a blog we’ve asked several marketers to share some of the biggest mistakes they see companies make when first launching a blog. Check out their answers below and hopefully you can avoid some of these all-to-common mistakes!
“What’s the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog?”
Meet Our Panel of Marketers:
Matthew Jonas is the President of TopFire Media, an integrated digital marketing and public relations agency.
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when starting their own blog is…
Feeling the need to flood it with large quantities of content, most of which doesn’t fit within their scope of work or align with their business model.
There’s nothing wrong with a multitude of content, but if the blog posts you create aren’t relevant to your company and don’t include keywords that will help to bring traffic and attention to your website or social media profiles, then you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Valerie Jennings is CEO of Jennings Social Media Marketing (JSMM) and Viral Bolt Media, located in the Kansas City metro but representing publicly traded to start up companies from all over the world. Jennings has had the honor of working with major brands such as Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Time Equities, Inc., Orient Express Hotels, Experian Market Research Services and Green Plains Renewable Energy, as well as many other established and up-and-coming companies in the U.S., Canada, Ireland and St.. Martin. She started her business, JSMM, at the age of 24 and has been featured on magazine covers, awarded 2014 Most Influential Women in Business by KC Business magazine, and featured as a Woman To Watch by FridayGirl TV.
The biggest mistake companies make when formalizing a blog is that…
They forget about the strategy and search marketing tactics.
Companies forget that the content for the blog topics should be built around targeted keywords and information that is pertinent to their customers/clients and prospects. Not all educational content is ideal for a blog as some of it is too niche and uninteresting to the reader.
The real question brands should be asking before they launch a blog is if they have enough general interest among their target audience to even blog. If not, G+ may be a better fit since it will still generate search engine results and it is not as high maintenance.
Hans van Gent
Hans van Gent is a Client Service Manager at DigitasLBi, a global marketing and technology agency that transforms businesses for the digital age. Next to that he teaches early stage startups how to start and grow their company, and he is also the Founder behind Inbound Rocket, a new way of generating traffic and converting them into leads.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is that…
They don’t have a real set of goals what to achieve with their company blog.
In many cases after some time the blog then turns into a glorified list of company news or ego enriching opinion pieces, ranging from “Welcome Person X to the Team” to product updates to attempts at being brilliant or clever rather than helpful.
And that is where it goes wrong and from that moment on the company blog is not helping the goals of the company and might in the end turn out to be pretty terrible at driving and growing your audience and your customers online. You turn from being the expert on whatever it is your company tries to solve into yet another company doing the same as everyone else.
Nick Santora is the CEO of Curricula, a cybersecurity training company located in Atlanta, GA.
The biggest mistake I see people make when starting a blog is…
Not truly identifying your audience.
Trying to cater to every single person on the Internet will make your content bland and not unique enough to be read. Identify your key stakeholders and develop content to engage that audience.
Julie M. Edge
Julie M. Edge, Ph.D is a co-founder and Chief Storyteller of Creelio, which harnesses technology to make online content creation (e.g., blogs, social media) easier for top executives who desire a thought leadership position and want to humanize their corporate brands. She’s the mad scientist with an affinity for storytelling and leads VoiceScience(TM) and content development for the business.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Not leveraging the voices of their executives to tell their company story!
Consumers are tired of hearing the robotic voice of Corporate America; they want the warmth and personality of the leaders. When they speak to customers in their own language and their authentic voice, without pretension or over-formality, they give the customer the chance to connect with them emotionally.
According to research from BrandFog, 82 percent of consumers trust a brand more when the CEO and senior leadership are on social media. When it comes to blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, and connecting on LinkedIn, leaders have an opportunity to connect externally and internally in ways that weren’t possible at the dawn of this new century. While it may be hard to believe, the more a leader participates on social media on behalf of their company, the more others will trust their company.
Ed Marsh is Founder and Principal at Consilium Global Business Advisors, LLC, a firm that provides market development strategy and consulting to mid-sized B2B manufacturers.
Without a doubt the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
To simply start publishing some articles because they should have a blog.
The blog itself does nothing (and often even calling it a blog is counterproductive vs. insight, commentary, articles or something more accessible depending on their target) and the typical tentative approach is often counterproductive – sending a clear message to visitors who stumble into it and find only a couple press releases from months ago.
The value of a blog is to create very targeted optimized organic search material, to demonstrate relevant expertise and provide insight, and to create conversion opportunities to create leads from traffic. For all of those to work the blog must be strategically planned and tactically executed. It must be optimized for the buyers, problems and stage in the buying journey – using their language and speaking authoritatively and naturally on topics of import to them, from their perspective.
In contrast most blogs are started with the idea that we need an article a month. And since most companies are very inwardly focused with their marketing, that results in blog articles that are company announcements.
Nobody cares. And nobody in the company plans on how to measure the impact so it takes some time to realize there’s no value – and then they abandon it because that sort of marketing just doesn’t work in their industry with their type of buyers.
Christopher Parente is the Founder of StoryTech Consulting, a consulting firm that provides content marketing strategy and consulting for business success. His work has appeared in MarketingProfs, E-Commerce News, CommPro.biz and Social Media Today. He also publishes a monthly column for WashingtonExec.com, and serves on the marketing committee of the Association for Corporate Growth, National Chapter.
The biggest mistake some companies make when launching a blog is…
Talking about themselves and their product/service too much.
A blog isn’t a channel to educate prospects and customers about how great the company is. The blog should be a tool through which the company educates prospects and customers about their vertical or niche. Make them smarter, better at their jobs. And then have deeper engagement options available — webinars, whitepapers – when prospects are in the market for the service the company offers.
Taylor Aldredge is the Ambassador of Buzz at Grasshopper, a Virtual Phone System for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The biggest mistake a company can make when starting a blog is…
Not having a focus for the blog.
What is the blog going to do for your customers and leads? I think taking the time to learn about your potential audience is crucial and will guide any company in a better direction when they start a company blog.
Paige Arnof-Fenn is Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls, a global strategic marketing consulting firm.
In my experience the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
They come out of the blocks strong with a lot of energy and ideas and start blogging regularly then after a few weeks it starts to drop off and a month or so later a few weeks go by and they just can¹t find the time then before you know it it has been months and no new postings.
This is a problem on a few levels, it shows lack of commitment to the process (this is a professional undertaking not some fly by night hobby), naïveté that they did not really understand what they were getting into (wow I did not realize how much work this would be), lack of respect for their audience (don¹t waste my time if you are not serious), etc.
If you are not sure then start by responding on other people¹s blogs first and see if you like it. Build an online following and reputation first. Then after you know this is a good communications tool for you and plays to your strengths then start your own blog. And then stick to a schedule so that you incorporate it into you routine and comment on topics that are of strategic importance to your business.
Andy Walker is President and Senior Strategist at Cyberwalker Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Tampa. He is the author of five books including the forthcoming “Super You: How Technology is Revolutionizing What it Means to Be Human” (Que Publishing).
Perhaps the single most biggest mistake that companies make when they start a blog is…
Producing content that is highly self-serving.
That means they are promoting their products in their posts shamelessly. I call these articles the “Why we are great” posts. They don’t think about what their audience wants to hear or needs to hear. The agenda is to sell sell sell.
However the most effective way of connecting with an audience and giving them reason to think about your brand is to produce content that answers questions around problems that they are having. Becoming a topic expert in an area where a buyer has a problem will have them see you as the place to go for a solution. And if you offer a product or service that happens to solve that problem in the mix then they are likely to consider you as a potential source for the solution.
I always ask my clients what does it feel like when somebody is trying to sell you? Nobody likes that. And so if you write copy that makes people wince because you’re selling them too hard and then you’re going to fail. That’s why your post should explain issues, layout the landscape of the problem and provide a range of solutions – one of which could be your product or service.
Chris Post is the Founder and CEO of Post Modern Marketing, a Sacramento based internet marketing company. Chris and his company focus on helping small business marketing their products and services online through business web design, search engine optimization and content marketing.
The biggest mistakes companies make when starting a blog is…
They simply give up on blogging prematurely because they are not seeing results fast enough. It takes time to gain an audience and see the dividends from blogging start to roll in.
Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Markitors, an internet marketing company for small businesses looking to outsource their email, SEO and social media marketing efforts.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Not installing tracking software that gives them insight into key marketing metrics.
How many visitors turn into leads, customers or email subscribers? What’s your most popular blog post? What’s your most popular referral source? Installing Google Analytics (and tracking goals) is a free and easy way to begin reporting on how a blog is contributing to the company’s marketing goals.
Gregory Lee is the SEO Director of BKV, an Atlanta based marketing agency specializing in direct response marketing since 1981. Greg has over 10 years SEO experience and over 15 years marketing experience working with small businesses and well-known brands.
The biggest mistake I’ve seen when launching a blog is…
Not dedicating time to write consistent posts.
Whether it’s a reward plan to get staff to write, a content calendar with pre-written posts, or curated content from a third party, there must be a way to fill the blog with consistent posts, even if it is only a couple per month. We’ve all seen blogs, Facebook pages, and even websites that have not been updated in months or years. It looks like they’ve been abandoned. It leaves the impression that the company is no longer active.
Also, as an SEO consultant, another big mistake I’ve seen when launching a blog is when companies develop their own blog instead of using WordPress.
A client came to us after unknowingly making this mistake. They heard the advice that blogs are good for SEO. When it came to choosing a platform, WordPress was considered. But their website was already on a different platform. They thought it would be easier to only maintain one platform. So their developer did some customizations and created a blog within their existing website platform. The problem is that it takes years of development, testing and input from many people to create a great working blog platform that excels for SEO.
The client’s blog ended up not being SEO friendly. WordPress is made for blogs and has specialized technology for the social communication aspects of blogging that search engines eat up, as well as being SEO friendly to the Nth degree. Social and SEO conventions and technology evolve quickly. A community supported platform such as WordPress will change and update to meet these needs infinitely faster and at no cost. Imagine trying to fund the development for a custom made blog to keep up with changes of social media and SEO.
Jen Jamar is a content strategist, freelance writer, and social media manager. She co-organizes the Minnesota Blogger Conference, now in its 6th year, as well as Prestige Conference, a business development conference for entrepreneurs, startups, and agencies. She speaks frequently on the topics of content strategy, analytics, and social media.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Jumping in without a strategy.
Company blogs should serve a purpose for their customers that aligns with their business objectives. That means a business needs to answer several questions to before implementing a new blog initiative, such as:
- Why do we think we need a blog?
- What are we hoping to accomplish with it?
- Which goals should we focus on first?
- How are we going to measure these goals?
- What topics will help serve our customers and our business?
- Who is going to do the writing? Editing? Promotion?
- What standards or guidelines do we need in place?
Like any new business initiative, a sound strategy is key for carrying the idea through planning, implementation, and feedback.
Alexander Ruggie is the PR Director for 911 Restoration, and he has been in the advertising, marketing and entertainment industries for more than a decade. When Alexander isn’t crafting strategies and campaigns to help homeowners in need, he is trying to save the world, one well-worded idea at a time.
The biggest mistake I find regularly is…
Lack of Direction.
Many of the company blogs that I come across in my research, competitive analysis, and just personal information gathering are poorly constructed, visually unappealing, and occasionally even poorly written. I believe that a lot of this chaos stems from a lack of direction either within the company, or the blog specifically.
Blogs, typically being written by novice wordsmiths, are trying to find their voice as much as their contributing writers are, and this tends to come across on the page. Even a veteran writer trying a blog for the first time will make it read on the page more eloquently than a savvy blogger with diminutive writing talent, and this trait embodies both the charisma and curse of the blogs nature.
Part of me wants a blog to have a few spelling mistakes with writing that dives in between facts and opinion because that’s the nature of the beast, but in the end, if it can’t project ideas clearly that’s a real problem for a company. Tactically it seems a better strategy to create a blog that is consistent rather than one that is voluminous and this takes the talent of a writer rather than the speed of a burgeoning blogger. The best blogs are a combination of both worlds, and companies should keep this in mind when creating them.
Brendan Egan is founder and owner of Simple SEO Group, a small business online marketing, search engine optimization, and web design firm. Simple SEO Group’s main goal is to achieve a sustainable ROI for all their clients and help them grow their business by leveraging the internet.
Identifying the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is tricky – as most companies make multiple mistakes which lead to their blog never being what they dreamed of it being. But if I had to identify one mistake, I believe that mistake is…
Being overly promotional in nature.
If people want to read about your products/services, they would go to the appropriate pages on your website, not to your blog. A blog should be neutral, sure it’s alright to be promotional from time to time when appropriate, but as a rule of thumb I believe the majority of content on your blog should be informational and exist simply to establish yourself and your company as an authority in your niche, to provide education, and of course to help you drive more traffic to your website.
Henry Adaso is the Content Manager at DMN3, a full-service marketing agency in Houston. He has worked for Consumer Media Network, Apple Inc., Rocawear, The Houston Press, L.A. Weekly and About.com. Henry has taken lead on content strategies, coordinated social media campaigns, created advertising copy and performed analysis on content marketing and social media. He was named one of the Top 20 social media influencers in Texas by the Austin American-Statesman.
I think the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Not having a documented content strategy.
That’s like going on a road trip without a map. You might get somewhere but not where you want to go. Without a documented strategy, you don’t have a framework for everyone involved in the content process to follow. By outlining your blogging goals, target audience, distribution channels, budgets and resources in writing, you stand a much better chance of succeeding.
Lori Nash Byron
Lori Nash Byron is Founder of Famous in Your Field, a content marketing and PR company for professionals who want to be known as the leaders and experts in their industry.
I’ve worked with dozens of companies on content marketing and I’ve seen the
same two mistakes over and over:
1. No editorial plan.
The companies start a blog without a list of topics they’ll post about and a schedule for posting. They say things like, It’ll be easy – we’ve got tons of material to write about! But then, after an initial flurry of posts, they’re out of ideas and they stop publishing for weeks or months at a time.
2. Believing that if you publish, the readers will come.
Even the best content needs to be promoted, or brought to the attention of potential readers. Most companies start a blog without any plan to get the content in front of readers. They don’t have an email list, they post a Twitter tweet and on their Facebook page and consider it done. Content has to be promoted to be seen! Instead, they should use the right key words in their posts, ask their employees to share the posts, share the posts on social media multiple times, build a list of email subscribers and ask *them* to share the content, reach out to influencers in the industry, etc.
For blogging success, companies need to have an editorial plan and a promotional plan.
Matthew Steffen is Founder and President of Imprinsic Marketing Group, a New Jersey based marketing and advertising group.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Most companies don’t have goals when they blog.
Most feel they can just write about what they want to write about devoid of any long-term strategy that includes increasing market share, strengthening customer retention, driving external links and media attention.
The goal of a blog (for the most part) should be twofold:
- Produce content that will rank for keywords that prospects are searching for online with regard to a company’s product or services. For example, if you’re a landscaper in Philadelphia, PA, a great blog to write would be: *How to Select a Landscaper in Philadelphia*. See how we snuck that keyword in there? That’s just the type of posting that Google loves: Informative, not spammy.
- Produce content that contributes to your industry. Here you have a real chance to write blogs that will demonstrate your intellectual firepower, all while making valuable contributions to your industry. Most of all, go places with your content that your competitors aren’t. This gives you a better chance of receiving media attention and driving more links to your website that improves your search engine optimization, all while making your company a unique answer to your customers’ needs. Also, it’s a great way to get out of being viewed as just another commodity.
Bob Bentz is President of ATS Mobile – a Philadelphia mobile marketing agency that provides social media services to businesses and organizations.
There are several mistakes that companies make when starting a blog. Here are some of the most egregious:
- Nobody is in charge of the blog – The boss might start off with the best intentions of updating the blog, but then other priorities get in the way. Somebody needs to be sure that the content is updated regularly. Nothing sends a worse message about a business website when a prospect sees that the blog hasn’t been updated in a year. That says this company isn’t on its game.
- SEO Tools – If you are using WordPress, be sure to add a plug-in for SEO. I recommend the Yoast plug-in.
- Adding pictures from the web – Randomly copying pictures from the web is problematic as companies are actively enforcing their rights to photographs. Be sure that if you grab a picture from the web that it is permissible to use it. Simply giving credit to the source isn’t enough in most cases.
Termeh Mazhari is an Independent PR, SEO and Copywriting Consultant based in NYC. You can connect with her on Linkedin.
There are several big mistakes companies make when starting a blog:
- Not having a great copywriter. Whether the blog is being created to turn the company CEO into a thought leader in his industry, to engage with customers, or purely for SEO purposes – hiring a professional, experienced copywriter is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, most companies just ask an employee with a light work load (and even lighter writing experience) to handle the blog. There’s no point in having a blog if no one will find it (SEO) or read it (good copy), or pass it along to friends (engaging).
- Not using good photography. All of the best blogs use great photography – often their own, but even professional, relevant stock photography works! When starting a blog, most companies fail to recognize the importance of spending a little extra time finding a great feature image. Articles with images get 94% more total views – that’s not a negligible number!
- Not having it written or edited by someone with knowledge of SEO. It’s such a shame that there’s a lot of great content out there but it’s buried on page 3 of Google’s results. By not working closely with an SEO expert (or, ideally, with a copywriter that knows SEO), your blog article will simply not be able to compete with the bigger blogs when it comes to organic search results.
Garrett Perks is the Founder and Creative Director of EvenVision, a Northern California web development & digital marketing firm. He is a gifted communicator who works with a client’s marketing staff to understand the client’s unique identity and goals, and direct the design & development of creative marketing campaigns & web applications.
There are two huge mistakes I see companies make with their blogs every day in this industry:
- Nobody likes to hear this one, but one of the biggest mistakes is thinking anybody else will care about what you care about. Just because the client has a glues and adhesives company & loves their industry, it doesn’t mean a blog will have an interested audience. The first thing to do when starting a blog is to think hard and self-critically about the unique value you can offer your audience, because that’s going to be the key to your success. Not thinking that through critically is the biggest mistake I see.
- Small businesses often fail to understand the commitment they’re making by starting a blog. Recognized or not, once you start a blog you absolutely must create valuable content. And keep doing it. A blog that’s neglected will be a liability to your brand not an asset.
David J. Bradley
David J. Bradley is Author of “Getting Digital Marketing Right” and Managing Director of Primal Digital Marketing. He works with growing businesses to use digital marketing for increased profits and more customers.
My experience as a digital marketing consultant is that there are several mistakes. Here’s one common mistake:
It’s easy to get excited with your new blogging plan and be eager to build out a large, comprehensive campaign. However, after the first few exciting weeks, it may become difficult to maintain.
We need to start realistic, and a bit pessimistic, when we plan our blogging strategies. It’s best to start with fewer articles consistently released each month and increase later on.
The risk comes when we are too aggressive and don’t realize the time and energy commitment needed to build an effective blog. Sporadic posting makes it more difficult for your audience to follow you and it doesn’t give off a professional view of your company.
Kat Haselkorn is the New Media Manager at Go Fish Digital, an SEO and online reputation management company in the Washington, DC area. Declared a “Social Media Guru” by the Washington Post, Kat has significantly increased the online presence of brands through customized social media campaigns and innovative content marketing techniques. Kat is a featured writer for The Huffington Post and her work has appeared in The Examiner, Buzzfeed, Yahoo!, Jezebel, The Washington Post, and many other high-profile publications.
The biggest mistake we see companies make when starting a blog is…
Setting up a blog on a subdomain (blog.companyname.com) instead of off of the root domain (www.companyname.com/blog).
When it comes to adding value to a company’s website and ranking well in search engines, companies set themselves up for success when the blog traffic continually adds visitors to the main URL.
Kieran Edwards is the Head of Social at Bring Digital, a UK-based digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and web design.
One of the biggest mistakes that a company can make when starting a blog is…
Not realizing the ‘curse of knowledge’.
No matter what business you’re in, we’re all experts in our field. We wouldn’t be here, writing blogs, if we didn’t know what we’re talking about, right?. But it’s often the case that we forget who we are writing for and assume that our readers always know what we’re talking about. It’s very likely that you’re writing blog posts in order to educate an audience and position your business as the thought leader. If so, it’s vital that you take into consideration the fact that you readers may not know the backstory, nor will they always understand your jargon. Without running the risk of becoming condescending, be as informative as possible and always explain yourself.
Matt Fielding is SEO Manager at Bring Digital, a UK-based digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and web design.
The worst mistake a business can make when starting a blog is…
Not understanding why they’re starting a blog.
What does the business stand to gain from blogging? Having a tangible goal in mind (e.g. attracting links, increasing our social following etc.) shapes your blogging strategy by defining your audience and allowing you to create content that those specific people want to see, share and interact with.
Corey Barnett is the Founder of Cleverly Engaged Marketing, a digital agency serving clients in Texas and beyond with content marketing, search optimization and website management. Corey has been featured on websitemagazine.com and actively contributes content to globerunner.com’s blog and his own agency blog.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Not creating a content calendar, which would help align topics to industry events, holidays and more.
It would also define who is supposed to write the content and help measure goals and results of blogging efforts.
Yes, there still needs to be flexibility, and some events are truly unpredictable and will become great blogging opportunities. But, most content should be planned ahead of time. So many companies are playing catch up, realizing their blogs are several months empty and scrambling to write something, anything.
Content that is planned ahead of time also has a chance of being more unique. A survey to customers with the result of that survey published is an example of content that is unique that requires months of planning beforehand. No longer can companies push out half baked articles that are no different from hundreds of competitor blogs, to get engagement and leads from blogging, requires unique content through a content calendar.
Mark Tuchscherer is the President of Geeks Chicago, a Web Design & Development company.
The biggest mistakes we see when companies start blogs are three things:
First, they never promote their blog posts. Most people think that if they write a blog article people will magically come to the site.
The second mistake we see all the time is the quilaty of what they are posting. Many people think if they repost stuff they find on other blogs or they write some very short articles with no substance people will flock to their site. Most companies don’t understand you need to provide something of value and something people want to read.
Finally, everyone gives up on writing or gets too busy and this is usually the final mistake that kills the blog. You need to post often and it takes time. Most companies are probably competing against 100k other content sources in the same industry and you are not going to bring readers in over night. If you want to run a blog you need to set aside time each week to write, just saying you are to busy is not an option if you want to grow.
Lexie Bond is the Content Marketing Manager at Blue Corona, an online marketing company headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD.
The biggest mistake I’ve seen other companies make when blogging for their business is…
Starting a blog with no real goal in mind.
A blog is a marketing investment and should be treated as such. You need to define success, as well as measure and track your efforts. When you treat your website like a sales funnel, your blog can act like a hook to get more traffic into that sales funnel. By tracking how much traffic, leads, and sales come from our blogs at Blue Corona, we’re able to put a dollar value on each post and know how many we need to write each week/month/year to meet our leads goal and sales goal.
But keep in mind that blogging is not a get rich quick scheme or a way to get leads as fast as tomorrow. Instead, think of blogging as a way to brand your company as an authority in your industry and to build a reliable, low-cost, long-term lead and sales channel.
John Zupancic is the Founder of Wriber, a company that can supercharge your B2B writing staff by making your content more engaging, targeted, and consistent across all channels.
The single biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Not maintaining it.
Before you start blogging, you should determine the frequency of your posts. Are you going to post daily, weekly, or every Tuesday? And, do you have the resources to maintain that frequency? We all know blogs that lack consistency and have dropped off. If you can stick to a regular schedule, your audience will be more likely to stay with you.
Andrew Herrault is the lead strategist for Connective Insights, a digital marketing agency located in
The biggest blog mistake companies make is…
Lacking promotional activities.
The build it and they will come mentality will almost never work. If a great piece of content is written, someone from the company should do email & social outreach to find readers and others who might link to the content.
Ezra Rufino is the Founder of NYMB.co, a small company based out of New York City and New Jersey that creates handmade & American made bike bags and accessories.
The biggest mistake companies make in starting a blog is:
- Not speaking to their audience
- Focusing on keywords vs content
Both are very important and easy to overlook. With the first one, many companies don’t consider WHO their consumer is before diving in to write the blog. What should the style of the post be? What type of voice is being used? How casual or formal should you be? Think about how you frame your blog from a higher level before diving in and speak to your audience.
Another big mistake is focusing on a keyword strategy vs having a content strategy. It’s important to have a good keyword strategy while formulating you blog posts, but first approach the blog from a content perspective. What are your users looking for already on the Internet? This can help you get into Google searches by clearly answering questions that are already being asked. Focus on quality writing, that hits your market, for shareable and well received content that helps you convert. A keyword dump in your blog post won’t be inspiring anyone to continue through the funnel on your website.
I think the biggest mistake businesses make when starting a blog is…
Having no plan for their content.
They do the classic Ready, fire, aim. A blog should be used to connect with your current audience and pull in new readers that you can turn into customers. So write about the things that customers ask you most often. Turn common questions into blog posts, since many other people are likely asking that same question to Google.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what people want to read on your blog, think about what they are asking on a daily basis and deliver great answers.
Bill Fish is the Founder and President of ReputationManagement.com, a robust resource for all things online reputation management on the web. Prior to Reputation Management, he co-founded Text Link Ads (now Matomy SEO) in 2001. Text Link Ads was acquired by a private equity firm at the end of 2006. Bill decided to stay on to run the business, and when he stepped away at the end of 2012, the company was up to $25M in yearly revenues.
In both of my roles, my team dealt with businesses who knew they had to create content with a blog, but didn’t have it as a major priority. The biggest mistake I saw companies make with their blog was…
They framed each post as an advertisement.
Let’s say you are offering 15% off this week, that’s great, but if every single one of your blog posts are about a promotion, that begins to make those promotions seem hollow. The goal should be to create content that is useful for the target audience of your product or services. If you are selling wine racks, research and put together a quality post about the new wines coming out of Napa this fall. Creating content that interests your current and potential customers will keep them coming back, and builds trust. That trust will amount to additional business down the road.