“Content Marketing is all the Marketing that’s left” (Seth Godin)
According to Curata’s survey report, 46% of the marketers have documented content marketing strategies because they consider it as their business asset. So, Mr. Godin makes sense.
Blogging has become an important marketing tool for businesses. Blogs:
i. drive traffic to your business website,
ii. establish authority,
iii. help in converting traffics into leads.
That will only happen when you don’t go about back stabbing your business blog. Yes, there are some blogging mistakes that can actually hurt your business, instead of helping it.
So, let’s take a look at some of those crucial mistakes you are most probably sabotaging your blog with!
Consistency is always valued. Why should blogging be an exception?
Let’s suppose, you wanted to start a business blog. You have the zeal to take off. Well done! You start writing your first blog, sit for hours and then you edit minutely to produce a flawless blog post. Well, you know the value of quality! But, after a few weeks, you face some demanding time in your business and managing your blog takes the back seat.
Well, most businesses are guilty of this crime!
Set out a fixed time every day for writing. No matter how busy you are or where you are, stick to a writing routine. You don’t have to spend hours every day; 1 hour or even half an hour every day is quite enough. You may not finish a blog a day, but if you are regular, you can definitely publish at least one blog or two blogs a week.
Create a blog bank. Well, there are times when you simply cannot sit down to write, or even if you are sitting down, writing is the last thing on your mind. Creating a blog bank helps you stay consistent during those rainy days. Simply write down as blog posts in advance and keep them for future use.
Schedule blogs in advance. Ah, the boons of technology! You may have to travel a lot for your work or you may as well enjoy a no-network vacation with your loved ones; but that does not mean, your business blog will suffer inconsistency. Simply write the blog post and schedule it to get published on regular interval.
Rope in a helping hand. All said and done, sometime you simply do not have the bandwidth to manage a business blog consistently. The best thing to do here is to bring in some helping hand. You may recruit an in-house blogger or can go for a reliable blogging service provider here. But, whatever you do, DO NOT compromise on quality.
The Dreaded Wall of Text
No one, I repeat NO ONE, loves to get hit with a wall of text.
Not only, they look super boring, a wall of text blog post is less intelligible too! Why? Well, today’s visitors are super busy. In fact 43% of them skim through your blog posts to get the important information at a glance. So, it is super critical that you make their job easy by breaking the text down and hold their attention with visual stimuli.
As kids, we all loved those books with colorful pictures and big headers; right? Well, let’s say, not much has changed about how we process information!
Add visuals to your blog. Add visual elements such as pictures, graphics, icons, infographics etc in your blog. However, be careful not to overdo it. The visual elements are there to compliment the content and highlight crucial details, not to take away the readers’ attention.
Break down the text into bite paragraphs. Small paragraphs are simply divine. 3-4 sentences per paragraph is ideal here. If the situation demands, 5-6 can be maximum; more than that is a crime!
Use headline, sub-headlines and bullet points. As I said, people love to skim through the content. Using proper headline, sub-headlines and bullet points will help them get all the crucial information without going through the post line by line.
More Selling, Less Problem Solving
The fact is, we all want to sell our products or services. This is why we create business blogs, right? This is a temptation that many a marketer fell for!
The fact is, readers don’t like to read sales pitches. What they DO like is information, problem solving!
Blogging is all about putting yourself in your visitors’ shoes, understanding the kind of problem they are facing and offering insight on them. If you keep talking about your product or service, you would only end up repelling your visitors!
Focus on problem solving. What helps people, helps businesses. A blog is not a sales copy. A blog is not meant to sell something. A blog is a good-faith offering to your target audience that helps them out and establish your credibility to them. So, focus on that!
Subtly introduce your offering. Of course you would want to introduce your offering somehow. But be subtle, REAL SUBTLE here. Information about your products or services are always secondary to the main goal (problem solving) here.
Writing Not-so-Great Headline
Had this blog’s title been “Fallacy of Entrepreneurs on Demonstrating Blogs”, I bet you would close the tab.
This is how many business blogs lose visitors. Your headline creates an impression among the readers. If they are not attracted by your headline, they would not read the content!
So, DO NOT kill your blog with complex, vague or generic headline. Keep it interesting!
Attack the problem in the headline. Your readers landed on your blog because they want answer to their problem. Reassure them that they are in right place, by stating the problem in the headline itself. In case, that is not possible, at least give hints that you and they are on the same page.
Create intrigue. Who does not like intriguing things? Look at the headline of this blog, ‘5 blogging crimes you are probably committing right now!” It creates intrigue. Suddenly you are asking yourself, “what mistakes am I doing with my blog?”. And, you did landed here. Enough said!
Ignoring the call to action
You have done everything. You have written a quality content; your headline is great; you dressed it up with amazing visuals; and you have been blogging consistently too! BUT, you are not asking the visitors to take the next step!
Well, as harsh as it sounds, you are wasting that traffic for sure. Visitors are coming to your traffic, getting the information they need and leaving the website. And you, my friend are left with no way of contacting that visitor or converting her/him into lead. In the world of marketing, this is a crime that cannot be forgiven!
Add call to actions. A call to action is nothing but the next step that you want your visitor to take. That may be downloading a PDF, contacting you for further information, subscribing to your blog and so on. Whatever it is, make it very clear to your readers. Guide them gently to the next step forward.
Get a system in place to capture leads. Well, there are a number of email marketing tools available today. And if you want to succeed in business blogging, you have to get one of those in place. Trust me, it’ll make your life easier and your marketing stronger.
Well, long post! So let me summarize this for you (well, if you are one of the skimmers, this is for you).
Your visitors landed on your blog to search for answer to their problems. Offer them the insight they need, but also guide them to the next step by introducing call to actions. And while doing so, be consistent, present your blog with an interesting headline and dress it up with proper visual elements. Now, it’s not too hard, is it?