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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

7 Deadly Business Blogging Mistakes

Below are the top 7 mistakes we see companies make with their business blog:

1. Brand Inconsistency: 

From the design and layout of a blog to the content, from the images you post to blog loading time, your brand is directly expressed in every element of your blog. If even one of these features is misaligned with your brand, you'll run the risk of creating an inaccurate image of your brand. And remember, your blog readers are not only members of your target audience, but they are also your peers and key influencers. Providing them with an imprecise perception of your brand could be detrimental to your business.

2. Business-Centric Web Copy: 

Using your blog solely as a sales tool is unacceptable in the blogosphere. The blogging community is built on valuable information and relationships that could lead to business partnerships, new clients, and an increase in your key influencers. Therefore, blog content should never try to make a sale; rather, it should provide your readers with valuable information that is fresh, current, and informative. Focus on writing content that gives something of worth to the reader.

3. Lack of Clear Contact Information: 

One of the most frustrating things as an individual who is trying to contact a blogger is a lack of contact information. Don't be one of those blogs that has no contact information.

Adding contact information is easy and painless-I promise. There are three steps involved:

Create a page on your blog titled "Contact."
Drop your contact information onto this page.
Click publish.
And voila! You have a contact page that makes it easy for peers, key influencers, and your target audience to contact you.

4. Zero Marketing Efforts: 

Blogging for business requires much more than posting two to three times a week on important industry information. Blog promotion on social media platforms and ensuring all posts offer valuable information and are properly optimized are merely a small portion of gaining exposure for your blog and your business.

In order to use your blog to its fullest potential, you must build blogger relations. To increase blog readership, consider commenting on influential blogs, mentioning other bloggers on your blog, posting articles from influential blogs on your social media profiles, asking bloggers to guest blog, and becoming friends with your favorite bloggers on social media.

5. Improper Use of Tags: 

In a nutshell, tags are what help the search engines and tag directories catalogue your website. Tags help you get found online. Tags should reflect what your readers would be typing into search engines. Keywords you use throughout your post should simultaneously be used as tags.

Categories, on the other hand, are meant for readers to easily find the information they're looking for. For example, if you wrote a travel blog that focused on countries in Europe, you might have a category for each country you focus on. And let's say you wrote a post on the variety of French baguettes. You would categorize this post under France but tag it as French food, travel France, etc. These tags describe the specific content of the post and help readers to find your posts based on specific keywords and terms.

6. Bad Headlines: 

Blog headlines need to grab the readerand compel him or her to take action by reading your blog. It's your first hurdle, and it's a big one.

The headline needs to speak to a pain the reader has or something the reader wants-now. Arousing curiosity is a good tactic. Appealing to strong emotions grabs the attention of the reader and hits him or her on a basic gut level.

When you're writing headlines, focus on the benefits, don't try to be too clever, don't give false promises, and keep it short and sweet. And, keep an eye on which headlines attract the most readers, and try writing future headlines in the same manner.

7. Thick Copy: 

Forcing your readers to sift through loads of dense copy is not a great way to win them over. In fact, it's one of the most agonizing things you can do to them. Give your readers what they want-good information-quickly.

Your blog post needs to be as easy to read as possible. Many people will scan your copy rather than taking the time to read every word. If they can't scan it quickly and get to the meat, they'll leave-and probably won't return.

Therefore, if you want to create a loyal readership, make sure you write in short paragraphs, keep sentences short, use bulleted lists, eliminate extra words, and help readers to get to the point with effective headings.


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