Blogging as part of a marketing strategy is one way for any size or type of business to reach out to current or prospective customers. Blogs have also made it easier for consumers to find businesses they are looking for on search engines.
Fundamentally, though, blogs are a building block for your brand's identity and authority online - a testament to your expertise in the field, your status as thought leaders and your right to your client base’s custom.
They are the lifeblood of your visible presence: literally, companies without active blogs look unengaged or, at worst, defunct and inactive.
Changing a website that has taken a huge amount of time and resources to produce and finalize just to look fresh is not practical, so blogs are an excellent way to keep a website fresh with new content.
Blogs provide readers who want to know how to solve problems with advice on how to do it and gentle guidance to a business service or product.
Content marketing competition means a crowded blog landscape. Most company blogs receive only a few visitors annually while writing blogs to drive organic traffic requires proper planning and preparation.
The reality is, you never know what piece will drive a huge amount of traffic. All you can do is produce well and consistently until you get lift. That means producing quality blogs over time and avoiding the mistakes that could doom your work and undermine your efforts.
01: Writing without knowing your target audience
One of the most common mistakes new bloggers make is failing to establish a clear goal. Know who you are trying to reach and then make sure you are actually trying to reach them.
Brands should focus on learning what matters to their target audience. Then, using that information, develop a strategy that appeals to that audience and will allow your blog to develop an identity and track record that will help it perform well in search engine rankings.
There are a huge amount of tools available to help you build a strategy like this. These range from Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications to simple tools and basic internet research tools like Google, or YouTube channels dedicated to content strategy.
02: Covering irrelevant topics
The most common mistake in blogging is that businesses write about topics that do not matter to the audience they are trying to reach.
You should use your blog to answer questions potential customers are searching for answers to while considering how to make a purchasing decision. Instead, companies push pet topics or - worse - self-promotion.
Blogs are not for sales promotions, PR or press announcements. They are a resource on a topic that you represent and straying from that line has long-term, damaging effects on content marketing efficacy. One mistake can take six months, or longer, to recover from.
One of the most common causes of this is when sales teams interfere in content strategy or when content teams feel obliged to put sales copy into blog articles.
One way to help with this is to ensure the teams are separated, strategies are clear, and sales teams do not have Content Management System access. It can also help to engage outside content writing services to assist in-house teams.
03: Not publishing frequently enough
When a company blogs as a brand, it is critical that the company posts on a regular basis. Infrequent posting will affect how well the blog ranks in search engines.
It can also harm the readership numbers because visitors may believe the company has stopped writing, and they may never return.
The most frequent cause of infrequent posting is short-termism in management: either through fear to commit to a content strategy due to the associated costs or reactionary behavior to short-term results.
An example of the latter is when one type of content does well, and the manager insists all content should be like that - and performance inevitably suffers. The manager changes tack and this does not produce instant results, so the strategy is suddenly paused for “consultations”.
Keep calm and carry on, and remember; if you are not a content specialist, you are NOT a content authority.
04: Ignoring SEO, keyword research and metadata
Optimizing critical metadata to help readers share and find the company blog is vital. This information, which includes the title tag, description, and open graph image, is required for readers to easily share the company blog on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
This information also assists search engines in correctly indexing the company blog posts. Ignoring SEO might force your website to rank lower in search results, limiting your access to a wider market.
What the human brain reads is not always what a search engine or a server might: try to think of this stuff as the language of the tech behind the scenes. You could let down a superb piece of work by not supporting it with this behind-the-scenes language.
05: Neglecting social media promotion
Everyone has been guilty of taking down a post that doesn’t get too many likes, but it increases the visibility of your blog online.
Writing an excellent blog post is only half part of the job; the company should promote the content as well. Around 70 percent of higher-income bloggers encourage their blogs actively.
Posting the content on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram will boost traffic and help the company grow its audience. Crucially, when a blog post is proving popular, it is a great idea to put some social media budget behind its promotion - this element of social media advertising strategy can be extremely effective at driving traffic to your website.
Using a blog to generate leads and traffic is a crucial part of business strategy. We could all use a reminder every now and then on avoiding the pitfalls. Even the best of us make mistakes.
Origin Hope provides any content operation with newsroom efficiency, powered by its optimized processes, AI technology and excellent customer service. We work with marketing departments, independent creators, publishers and media groups around the world. Get in touch here.