No matter what kind of website you have, or what business you run, you need to have blog posts on your site. Not only do blogs keep your visitors updated with all your latest news, but they’re also an opportunity to showcase products and services. Some people use their blogs as a kind of journal, whilst others create posts like this one, offering tips and information for visitors.
The most important reason why you need blogs on your website is because your visitors and Google value fresh content. It keeps visitors coming back and increases traffic to your site by improving your ranking. When Google sees fresh, regular and relevant content on your website, they view your site as more valuable. Your search engine ranking is vital for your business success, and blogs offer a simple and easy way of ranking up.
So, we’ve established blogs are important. But what do you write about, and how do you make sure that what you’re writing is good for your business? If you don’t think carefully about what you’re writing, you could end up making costly mistakes. That’s why we’ve put together a list of things that you should avoid when it comes to blogging. We call these blogging crimes because of the negative impact they can have on your success.
Blogging Crimes That Can Land You in Virtual Jail
1) Talking Too Much About Your Business
Whilst a blog is absolutely a useful way of keeping your visitors up to date with your latest news, products and services, there are some unofficial rules about how this works. You need to consider the kind of information that your readers are going to find useful. Writing a blog post about your staff Christmas party isn’t going to work for your readers - they don’t care about that stuff, unfortunately. Nor are they going to care about the fact that your finance director’s son has got into Oxford University.
With blog posts on a business website, the key is always going to be relevancy. Your visitors want useful information that’s going to benefit them in some way. You can work out whether what you’re planning to post is relevant by asking yourself these three questions before you start writing:
- Will the post give your visitors information about what your company can do for them?
- Will the post explain the benefits of working with you?
- Are your readers going to care about what you’ve written?
The answers to these questions will also help you to focus what you write. Even if you’re writing an informational post like this one, you can shape it so that it includes a) and b), even if you get subtle about it.
2) Writing Your Content For The Wrong Audience
This is a huge problem that can have serious ramifications for your business. You may well have come up with a fantastic subject to write about, and you’re really enthusiastic about it. You can’t wait to share it with the world (or the portion of the world that your website reaches, anyway). But before you hit the publish button (or, ideally, before you even write a word), wait a moment. Take a step back. This is important. Really important.
You see, being enthusiastic and passionate about a topic can give you blog-blindness. Yes, that’s an actual thing. Blog-blindness is a virtual condition where you are so passionate about your topic that you fail to do one vital, crucial thing. You forget to ask yourself whether it’s relevant for your audience. You’re so caught up in the excitement of sharing this wonderful post that you can’t see the wood for the trees. Or, more accurately, you can’t see that the topic you’re crazy about is going to be completely irrelevant for your audience and drive them away from your website. That’s bad for business, obviously.
To avoid the curse of blog-blindness, you need to understand your audience and only create content that is going to interest them. This is vital. You can still write about that topic that you’re passionate about - just do it on your personal blog, not on your business blog. Before you write a single word, always ask yourself the questions that we covered in crime #1. It can also be helpful to create a customer avatar - that’s a kind of description of who your target audience is, what they’re looking for, what they’re interested in, and so on.
3) Never Updating Your Content
If the last post on your blog was six months ago - or even six weeks ago - then you’ve already committed a serious blogging crime. You could already have landed your website in virtual jail, simply because your visitors and Google demand regular content. Search engines won’t take your website seriously if you’re not providing fresh content, and your ranking will drop like a body thrown overboard wearing cement boots. Without regular blog posts, your visitors will also feel cheated, and may even wonder whether your business is still operational.
This one is simple. Update your content. Regularly. Like, every week or, even better, twice a week. That might have you groaning and wondering how you’re going to fit that into your already busy schedule. The question is, can your business afford to lose ranking and visitors?
If you truly don’t have time to write regular content for your website, then outsource it to a copywriter. There are tons of them out there who would be more than happy to provide you with well-written content that your visitors and Google will love. Your ranking will increase, your visitors will be happy, and your revenue will grow. It really is that simple.
4) Creating Boring Content
Some people consider boring content to be a bigger crime than not posting regularly. The jury is out on which is worse, but either way, you need to avoid boring content like the plague. Seriously. No one wants to read boring content. When you post content that has your visitors yawning after the second paragraph, they’re not going to come back. Your blog should have visitors eager to return, not wondering why they’ve wasted 7 minutes of their life reading content that’s almost put them into a coma.
Creating engaging content is the simple remedy to the boring content crimewave on the web. It can be a balancing act sometimes, of creating content that is both relevant and engaging, but it’s achievable. Even if you’re writing about a dry topic, like pension investments (as long as you’re in the business of pensions, of course - if you’re not, why are you even writing about pensions??). Inject some excitement into your posts. Put your personality into your writing. It might take a little more time and effort, but it’s worth it.
5) Letting Your Blog Post Sit In A Vacuum…
This is a bit like designing a revolutionary new product, putting it in a box, and taking it to a bank vault to be hidden away. You wouldn’t do that, so why would you fail to promote your blog posts? A lot of people think that once they’ve written the blog post and hit publish, they’re done. Unfortunately, those people (I hope you’re not one of them) are committing a massive blogging crime.
You see, a blog post that never gets publicised is about as much use as a blog that was never published. Sure, Google might see it, and your ranking might improve. But your goal is to increase customers, right? You’re not going to get any benefit from your blog posts if no one knows you’ve written them. Marketing blog posts is crucial to reap the rewards.
To be fair, I shouldn’t even have to say this. It should be obvious what the solution to this blogging crime is, but I’m going to say it anyway. Share your blog posts. Simple, easy, and it’ll only take you a few minutes. Heck, you can even use tools that automatically share your content.
In terms of getting your blog posts out there, social media sharing is the way to go. A few clicks to share your blog on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even Pinterest, and your blog can travel around the world and back in the time it takes you to boil the kettle for a cup of tea. Social media gets your business noticed, so get sharing those blog posts and see your revenue rise accordingly.
Top Tips For Blogging Success
Now we’ve gone through the blogging crimes that you should never, ever commit, let’s take a look at some things that you can do to boost your blogging success.
Okay, so this might sound more like a crime (if you’re thinking it’s like carjacking), but it isn’t, trust me. Newsjacking is just a way of making the most of things that are trending in your industry. (Remember the importance of relevance? We’re talking trends that matter to your potential customers!) Seeing what’s trending in your industry can give you great ideas for content that’s current and that your audience are likely to be raving about. It also ensures that your visitors know that you’re on the ball when it comes to new developments and issues.
If you’re not sure what a listicle is, then you’re missing a trick, because actually, you’re reading one. People love listicles. Listicles are blog posts that focus on numbered points that are discussed, just like we’re doing here. In the blogosphere, listicles are the most shared content, so it’s definitely worth making the most of their popularity. Visitors love them for the way they’re easy to read, logical and offer solutions to problems.
3) Writing Reviews
When you write reviews about products or services (in your industry - relevance, remember?) you demonstrate to your readers that you’re an expert. That adds to your credibility, and also provides your readers with valuable information. They appreciate reviews that help them to make decisions and will likely revisit your website as a result. This can also help you to forge reciprocal relationships with other businesses in your industry, which can be mutually beneficial.
4) Use Videos, GIFs, Images and Polls
Make your blog posts interactive and engaging by utilising other types of media other than words. Embedding a relevant video, or even a video that you’ve made yourself can make a refreshing change to your visitors. Similarly, GIFs and images can be used to reinforce your blog, whilst breaking up your content and providing visual stimulation for your readers. Blog posts with images are more widely shared, too.
Asking questions or using polls adds the interactive element to your blog, which keeps your readers engaged and shows that you’re genuinely interested in them. Inviting comments can lead to trolling, but it’s also a good way of starting conversations with your readers. Just make sure you reply to genuine comments!
5) Add Humour
Showing your lighter side, particularly in dry industries like finance and law, can be hugely beneficial. Humour in blogs is a winner with your readers, and something that will increase your return visitors and sharing. Using jokes or other means of making your readers chuckle helps them to enjoy your content - and it also ensures you won’t fall foul of committing the crime of boring content!
Blogging For Success in 2019
There you have it - our top 5 crimes to avoid and tips for success for your business blog in 2019. If you have any crimes or tips that you’d like to add, please comment - we love to hear from our readers and are always looking for new ideas for our blog.