6 Ways to Kill Your Blog
The importance of blogging cannot be stressed enough in the social-content marketing arena. If you’re at all familiar with Internet advertising (which I assume you are) you’d know that a well-formed, high-end business blog is capable of pushing a brand’s products and services into the customers’ view more than pay-per-click advertising, social media, and other online marketing techniques.
As a blogger-for-hire, I’ve come to realize the most critical aspect that separates the good and the other business blogs: Mistakes.
It’s not easy to write informative, engaging content from your brand’s perspective to attract online readers. But instead of going into content creation and the finer points of blog promotion, I thought I’d share my 6 biggest pet peeves, flops, and fails of blogging that make the entire point moot.
1. Not knowing your place.
Smaller businesses — especially those in niche industries like concrete supply or whatever the case may be — are pups in the blogging community. To effectively write content that helps you show up in local searches that answers questions, you need to understand your place in the market and the customers you’re after.
If I went to some niche business blog, for instance, I’d expect to find posts that are about that specific industry and business, not posts written to cash in on link-bait and unrelated hot topics.
2. Utterly terrible design.
This isn’t 1997 anymore. Smaller companies no longer need to ask Billy, the high school sophomore down the street, to make a website for them.
WordPress is, in my opinion, both the bane and boon of blogs. On one hand, a semi-decent theme can be turned into a colorful, well-designed website that allows writers to easily post and manage content. On the other hand, pre-made themes may lead to laziness. How many blogs have you visited with pre-formatted feature images, anyway?
3. Cluttered content, messy features.
“Clutter” includes two different elements:
- Content: Cluttered content is dense, unspecific, and illustrates that a business blogger is just trying to put words on a page.
- Features: Features include side bars and navigation, social media buttons, and other aspects on a blog.
Both types of clutter lead to unprofessional blogs. You don’t want people winding up on your page and comparing you to the hobby blogger, do you?
4. Inconsistent posting.
Consistency is what I use to tell if a blog is actively attempting to use content to capture readers and — hopefully — leads. Often, overwhelmed marketers will publish posts infrequently, like every other month or so, or whenever their boss tells them to get back at it.
It is crucial for bloggers to set calendars and stick to them, otherwise known as the only way to attract return readers.
5. Being too invested in yourself.
What separates a business blogging from hobby-blogging about your trip to New Zealand? The intent of the content.
Untrained bloggers risk publishing content that is too personal and off-track. This goes back to an earlier statement I made about writing content that answers a reader’s questions and informs upon a subject. For a niche business, this may be ways to use a product, why this particular service is necessary, or how a company is affected by some breaking piece of news.
While it’s important to write from a conversational first-person perspective, business blogs need to inform first and foremost.
6. Over-sharing, bad writing, and others…
I lied about the “6 tips for killing a blog.” So to cut this off without wasting time, here are a handful of “must avoids” for struggling business blogs (or to-do priorities for blogs seeking suicide):
- Posts deserve to be shared on social media. However, over-sharing links on Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms really bugs your followers.
- Not editing, revising, re-reading, and editing again leads to unprofessional mistakes and content that was obviously written by someone rushed.
- Solely writing on topics based on other blogs and articles is unoriginal. Limit these types of posts.
- The format of a post (including media elements, paragraph spacing, etc.) is as important as the content. Make sure to preview posts and learn how to use your blogging platform.
- Not responding to comments, social shares, and user interaction isn’t helping anyone.
- The call-to-action (how you transmute readers into customers) is tricky. Limit the advertorial text in every post — if your content’s good enough, it’ll sell itself.
I can go on and on (and I will), but for now, I’m curious what your biggest blogging pet peeves are.
Photo Credit: Blogging Practices to Avoid/shutterstock