If you’re operating a small to medium business, you’ve probably been told over and over that you need to have a professional Business Blog. We’ve certainly said it ourselves, and there are plenty of good reasons and ways that a business can successfully use a blog. You can share information about your products and services, relate success stories from your customers, and discuss important topics that are in the news and industry related.
However, there are a number of challenges or mistakes that business owners can easily make which will affect the success of your blog. These mistakes can potentially turn your blog from being an asset into a liability.
1. Getting Too Personal
It is very easy to be personal on your blog posts, as it is natural to try to relate your personal life and interests. Some personal touch of course can make the blog post more interesting and compelling, but one must be careful not to be too controversial or too negative. You are trying to connect with customers and your business blog is not the place to shock your audience.
2. Use of a Third Party Domain
Businesses that are starting out may be tempted to use a free system like Blogger.com or WordPress. By doing this, you lose out on a few benefits. If you use your own website and your own domain, each time you post a new blog entry you enrich your own domain and keyword content. This draws traffic to your main website. Later on, if you decide to switch from one platform to another, or to your own professional website, even if you’re able to import all of your old blog entries, the URLs will change and any valuable backlinks you may have accumulated over the years will be instantly lost.
Instead, take the time to invest in a professional website from the start that includes a Content Management System like Drupal which can incorporate your blog easily.
3. Finding the Right Balance
Your business blog should complement your other marketing efforts. On the one extreme, a business owner might spend all their time blogging and ignore other advertising mediums like social media, while on the other hand, many bloggers fail to write new blog entries regularly, relying instead on print ads or other marketing efforts.
While there is no rule of thumb as to how often your blog needs to be maintained, successful business owners and bloggers will set a schedule for themselves and stick to it, whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly. The best advice is to create a Message Calendar for your business so that you always know what topics or services you’re supposed to be discussing or working on at any given time.
4. Dilute Keywords
Over time, a good blog will build up great search engine value due to the use of keywords in your blog titles and posts. Search engines will regularly index your blogs and note the words that you’re using. However, if you aren’t careful, and are writing blog posts that are not directly relevant to your business, you risk diluting your keyword content and ranking.
Bloggers should be careful to write on topics that are very specific and relevant to their business and industry.
5. Use of a Blog as a Home Page
While this may work for some businesses or individuals, the rule of thumb and expectation is that your business site should have its own home page and the blog should be accessible through standard navigational menus.
Business owners may be tempted to use their blog as their home since their regular efforts to post new blogs will ensure that their home pages are always fresh. This philosophy is flawed because your Home page needs to be crafted very specifically to speak to your clients and potential clients and achieve high conversion rates. A new visitor may not have any interest in your most recent blog post, and placing those posts on the home page can actually result in a drop in sales or conversions.
BONUS: Not Building An Email List
From Day One, every blogger should be inviting readers to become subscribers. There are ways to dramatically increase subscription rates through lead generation options, but what’s important initially to simply ask for the subscription, and make it it easy for site visitors to sign up. For that, I recommend Wishpond!
These are the issues which business owners should be aware of as they are getting started on their blog, or perhaps looking for ways to improve their blogs. Please feel free to post whatever questions you may have in the comments section below as I would be happy to help in any way.