Everyone tells you that you need a blog, but they aren’t as forthcoming about what to do with it once you have it. Content experts are right to recommend a blog; with it, you can build your brand and involve your customers like nothing else. Misusing it, though, is more than just a missed opportunity; it can actively work against you.
Suit-and-Tie Writing in a Business Casual Setting
Even in conservative industries, a blog should have a less formal tone than a static site. Your blog is your way to connect with customers, and a stuffy or formal atmosphere inhibits free communication. Think of your blog as the textual equivalent of a business lunch – you’re still talking shop, but you’re doing it in a less formal and more convivial setting. Tone is tough for non-native English speakers to capture, so it’s vital to hire professional bloggers who know how to go beyond grammar guides and write blog posts that encourage conversation.
Going Too Casual
Arid, starchy writing isn’t ideal for your blog, but neither is going too far in the other direction and making it too casual. Even casual writing should still look professionally edited. It’s free of grammatical errors, misspellings and other signs of amateur work such as multiple exclamation points or slang terms. Slang has such a short shelf life that it’s best to avoid it altogether. If your business is at the leading edge of fashion, technology or another rapidly changing field, it can look dated within weeks; in a more staid industry, it just looks out of place. Save the latest cat memes and non-standard punctuation for personal blogs, not company ones.
Scattershot Subject Matter
What is the point of your blog? The more specifically you can pinpoint what you want your blog to do, the more effective it becomes. If you’re a restaurateur who focuses on fresh, local ingredients and wants to draw more locavores to your restaurant, for example, your blog might include articles on regional farms, specials that incorporate in-season vegetables or historical tidbits about a local dish’s evolution. You’d skip blog posts about national food fads or ornamental plants because those don’t build your authority as the place to get fresh dishes with a local flair. Novice bloggers sometimes make the mistake of throwing anything even tangentially related to the blog’s purpose into it, but that dilutes the blog’s impact. Keep your content team focused.
Weak Link Strategies
Solid SEO has always relied on an effective linking strategy, and blog posts are no different. While your posts should have value beyond the links it contains, every post should contain a few hooks on which you can hang useful links. When your business content creation specialist writes a blog post on summer trends, adding a few keywords makes it easier for your readers to act on what they read with a single click. Smart use of links is good for human visitors while contributing to smart SEO.
Ineffective Blog Headlines
Would you have clicked through to read this article if it had a different title – “Things to Do in Order to Enjoy More Traffic to a Blog,” for instance, or maybe just “About Blogs?” If the subject interested you, you probably would, but you’d have done it in spite of the weak headline, not because of it. Your blogger should give you a searchable title that tells readers what they need to know and helps search engines index the post correctly.
Too Much Focus on Product Lines
Do you find leafing through ads fun? Your readers don’t enjoy it any more than you do. Ads have their place, but your blog isn’t one of them – rather, advertising shouldn’t be the main thrust of your blog. Give your readers something valuable instead of a steady stream of how great your products are. They know you’re great; that’s why they’re reading your blog. Reward them with posts that focus on something beyond your most recent catalog.
If your current content creation strategy includes these blogging blunders, it’s time to upgrade your blog.
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