Are you trying to build your blog?Does it feel like an uphill battle?When you consider how to best market your business, there aren’t many options better than blogging.But, yet there's no doubt about it. Building a successful business blog can be a challenge.While a blog provides an inexpensive way to share your expertise, diving in without a plan is a recipe for disaster.From the most basic mistakes to those that hurt your site, avoiding common pitfalls is critical.In this article I share some of the mistakes you might be making and how to fix them.Ready to expand your reach, drive more traffic and improve your blog results? Let's get started!
Blog Mistakes You Should STOP
1. Not Setting Goals
If I asked you what your blog purpose is, could you tell me? Could you sum up in a few words what your overall goals are?Too often, defined goals are overlooked. Bloggers become scattered, lacking vision and a purpose.Did you dive into blogging without a plan? If so, don't worry. It happens to the best of us.The good news is this. Setting goals and clearly defining your purpose can happen today.Want to better understand who you are as a blogger?
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Why do you write?
- What purpose does it serve?
- How will your blog support your overall marketing goals?
- How does a blog integrate into your offline marketing efforts?
- What type of writer are you? Are you funny, quick-witted and social or are you serious, to the point and eager to educate?
- How will you use your blog to better connect with your target audience?
If you don't identify why you're blogging, success will always feel out of reach. Take time to spell out what blogging affords your business.It’s a noisy online world. Simply creating a blog and pushing out content won't get you noticed.If you're already knee-deep into blogging, this is a perfect time to take a step back. Analyze, brainstorm and reinvigorate your blogging with a strategic plan.Lisa Stauber of Blog Elevated has a simple way to help you get started:
"Having short and long-term goals is key for your blogging success. Break down your yearly goals into monthly and quarterly goals. As you are planning your calendar and schedule for the year, include these smaller attainable goals. Yearly goals are the big picture, quarterly goals are measures through the year to achieve the yearly goals, and monthly goals are breakdowns of the quarterly goals."
2. Not Blogging Consistently
Blogging inconsistently hurts you in multiple ways. Not only does it make it difficult for your audience to find you, but also the search engines.Think about it. When was the last time you revisited a blog that wasn't recently updated? Probably never.Likewise, why would anyone return to your blog if you post sporadically? Create a schedule and a blog post calendar to keep you focused and on track.Use a content calendar like the one below from HubSpot. If you've already been blogging for a while, dive into your Google Analytics to identify your top posts. What topics can you expand upon or update?Also look for the top keywords and phrases your audience is using to find you. That's valuable insight you don't want to overlook.
3. Not Writing for Your Audience
Take a look at your latest blog posts. Is your blog about you or your audience? Are you solving potential client problems or simply pontificating?While it’s important to infuse your thoughts and expertise into your writing, make sure you use that knowledge to help, not shout at potential clients.
Fill in the blanks below
1. My target audience is __________. (Hint: Be specific. "Everybody" is not your market).For example:
- Past clients
- Potential customers
- Industry experts
- Existing social media connections
2. My audience top characteristics and traits are ___________.3.When my target market lands on my blog, the content they're looking for is __________.
4. Promoting Rather than Writing
I understand that your blog purpose is to draw potential clients in, but bashing them over the head with boring stats and constant promotional ads is not the way to build relationships.Your blog audience wants you to woo them. They want to get to know you and understand how you can solve their problems.
Share your value, but do it in a conversational way.
Sure they need facts and figures, but they also want to hear and see the human side of who you are.Don’t be afraid to put more of you, and less of a spammy marketer, into each of your blog posts.
5. Expecting Your Readers to Find You
Your blog is a vital piece of your overall marketing plan. Don’t forget to promote it in all of your marketing and advertising efforts.Consumers and readers won't just miraculously appear at your blog doorstep. Integrate your blog into your online and offline marketing.Add it to your postcards, email signature, newsletter and other promotional items.Share your latest blog post across all of your social networks. I'm a huge fan of using visuals to captivate your audience while branding your business.I create separate images for all social networks to match the requirements for each. For example, if you're using images on Twitter, ensure that you're creating them correctly. Peg Fitzpatrick, social media strategist at Canva offers this advice,
"The best size to use for Twitter graphics and images is 1024 pixels by 512 pixels. We’ve created some designs that already populated in your design types on Canva. See them here on our Pinterest board. You can quickly create a series of tweet graphics in Canva and save them in your designs until you’re ready to use them. Or remix them when you want to change things up.
Hooray! #Twitter post designs are here! Read about them >> http://t.co/55GLzujcp5 pic.twitter.com/SlJYFekeUQ— Canva (@canva) August 14, 2014
6. Not Installing (or reviewing) Google Analytics
I’m often asked by bloggers why you would want to review or even track blog statistics.In my opinion?Not tracking your statistics is like driving at night without your headlights on. You may get to your destination, but the ride won’t be pretty.Google Analytics allows you to track your success and adjust your message along the way.
7. Forgetting How Powerful Your Blog Title Is
When I first started blogging I was more focused on fun, snappy titles than people or search engine friendly titles.While you need a nice mixture of both, forgetting the power of your blog title is a huge mistake. Don’t spend hours crafting that perfect post without adding an attention grabbing, descriptive, SEO friendly headline.One of my favorite tools is Advanced Marketing Institute's Headline Analyzer. Submit your blog title and see how it ranks based on their Emotional Marketing Value analysis.I love this tool and appreciate the guidance it offers. From intellectual, to emotional and even spiritual, this analyzer will tell you how appealing your title is.
8. Not Checking Your Work
There’s nothing worse than reading an article full of misspellings and poorly written sentences.Take your time to spell check and review your article before you post. If you struggle with grammar, then pass off the review to a colleague or Virtual Assistant.An editor will help point out punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors before that post ends up live for all the world to see.And if you're eager to improve your writing skills, hop over to Hemingway. Hemingway does for your writing what the Headline Analyzer does for your title.Make your content easier to read with their easy to use editor. Copy and paste your post and then look to your score for guidance. Update the misspellings, grammatical errors or complexities in a matter of moments.
Your blog is a powerful tool. Invest your time in learning the craft.Strive to become a better writer, marketer and conversationalist.Spend time getting to know your readers and learn what makes them tick.I guarantee it will pay off for years to come!What blogging mistakes have you made?
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.