There is an art to writing and promoting a successful business blog. Yes, successful business bloggers may make it look easy, but if you look behind the scenes you will find a firm foundation and a structured plan supporting their efforts. As well, successful business bloggers know which blogging mistakes to avoid – and how to avoid them!
Mistake #1: Not Launching a Blog at All
A blog is like a tireless employee who works day and night for free on your behalf. If you don’t invest in a blog, you cheat yourself out of all that free labour on the back end! In the same way, if you stop writing a blog and leave the blog “live” on your website with no new content, it is like sending an email to all your customers with the message “We don’t have time to care about your needs.” If you launch a blog, maintain it. If you don’t have time to maintain a blog, don’t launch it in the first place.
Mistake #2: Writing for your Board of Directors Instead of for Your Customers
Your customers do not want to read big words or hear “corporate speak.” They are neither interested nor impressed that you know the technical term for this-or-that. They want to know – can your product or service solve their problem? They want answers to questions they don’t even know how to ask you about. Write your blog for the customer you want to attract, and there is a good chance you will soon be attracting that very customer!
Mistake #3: Focusing Your Blog Content on SELLING
This is one of the biggest blogging mistakes going on today in the business blog world. Yes, of course you want your blog readers to become customers. Your competitors are hoping for the same thing! So how do you build more trust with prospects than your competitors do? By speaking to them – writing to them – as you would a new friend, not a new customer. You can call this “soft selling” if you like, but it is as simple as changing your focus and blogging language from “I, I, I” to “you, you, you.” Think about the best conversation you have ever had – you probably did most of the talking, right? So write your blog as if your customers are asking you how to solve their problems, and tailor your language to them and their needs. This will also convert those readers to customers, but they won’t even realize it is happening until they are clicking on the “Submit Payment” button.
Mistake #4: Writing a Text-Only Blog
If you are very lucky, you may get up to 30 seconds of a reader’s attention before they are pulled away to attend to other matters. To get more than 15 seconds, you have to be very compelling. To hold them after the 30 seconds is up, you have to capture their attention in more than one way. Writing blog copy is not like writing your college dissertation. You want short sentences, short paragraphs, and lots of colorful images to break up the text. You want to keep readers reading, because just when they were about to leave your post to look at something else – Oh! There’s an interesting image – oh let me just have a look at that before I go! And then after that image there is an intriguing line of text and they just have to read it before they leave. In this way, you tag-team words and images to keep your blog visitors reading….and eventually, buying.
Mistake #5: Keeping Your Blog’s Existence All to Yourself
A blog without an audience is like a hot air balloon without a burner. It looks pretty and it probably works great, but you will never know because it just sits there on the ground. If you want your blog to work, you have to let people know about it. You may need to experiment to find out where your customers hang out online – are they Twitterers? Do they spend a lot of time on Facebook or Pinterest? Are they gathering in hordes on Instagram? For best results, you may want to try three or four ways of sharing your blog online through different social media vehicles, and also be sure you are not the only one in your company sharing your blog with others! Especially if you are a new business and you don’t have a stand-alone built-in audience online yet, it can help to have your employees sharing your blog posts with their social networks as well so you have a wider reach. Also be sure your blog invites your readers to re-engage with you at a later date, either by offering them a freebie for giving you their email address, by inviting them to sign up for your blog updates (by subscribing to your RSS feed), by prompting them to join your mailing list for a future discount on purchases, or – ideally – all of the above and more.
Successful business blogging is not rocket science, but it does take some initial strategizing and sheer manual labor to set up your new blog for future sales success. Invest a little extra time now and you will have that eager and enthusiastic employee who doesn’t need to eat or sleep or take breaks and who works hard for you 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year to make sure your business is a raving success!