5 Business Blogging Mistakes and Easy Fixes

“Remarkable content is one of the core components of inbound marketing.” 


Creating remarkable content is one of the core components of inbound marketing, and one of the best ways to generate a steady flow of fresh content is by publishing a business blog. HubSpot research indicates companies that blog generate 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and have 434% more indexed pages than companies that don’t blog. Still, while many businesses are starting to recognize the powerful impact a blog can have on business success, that doesn’t mean they’re all doing it right.


Companies that blog 

  •  55% more website visitors 
  •  97% more inbound links 
  •  434% more indexed pages 
Whether you’ve only just decided to launch a blog for your business or you’ve been blogging for a while, this ebook will help prevent you from falling victim to some of the most common business blogging mistakes and teach you how to fix the blogging mistakes you might already be guilty of making. Consider it a sort of business blogging first-aid kit, and get ready to start applying some blogging band-aids! 

MISTAKE 1 

Not integrating your blog with your website: What’s the Mistake? 

Your blog is published on its own domain, separate from your company’s main website. Even worse: Your blog is published on a free blogging platform’s domain such as Blogger.com, WordPress.com, or TypePad.com. Eeek! 

Why it Hurt’s 
Not integrating your business blog with your company’s main website can be damaging for several reasons: 

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) 
One of the biggest benefits of business blogging is its impact on search engine optimization. Because each new blog article you publish creates a new web page that can be indexed in search engines to help you get found online, you really want your business blog to be associated with your main website. That way, any SEO juice you generate from your blog will automatically benefit your corporate website as well. Hosting your blog on a free platform’s URL like http://companyblog.wordpress.com will only guarantee that the SEO credit you’ve built gets applied to the blogging platform, not your own website. 


BRANDING 
There are a few negatives associated with hosting your blog separate from your main website that affect your company’s branding. First, even if you link to the blog from your website’s main navigation, your site visitors will get sent to a completely different website, which may not espouse design and branding elements consistent with your main website and may result in confusion. Furthermore, sending site visitors to a blog on a free platform can result in the perception of your brand as unprofessional or unreliable, undermining your credibility as a business. 

CENTRALIZATION 
You might be hosting your blog on a separate URL only after you’ve purchased a unique domain (e.g. http://thisismyblog.com) and linked to it from the main navigation of your company website. While this is a better practice, you’re still sending site visitors away from your main website. This is counterintuitive, as usually the goal is to attract visitors to your main website by using your blog as bait. Ultimately, you want all of the engagement to happen on your main website, and you want your blog visitors to associate your blog with your brand name. 


EASY FIX 

SUB-DOMAIN 
Our recommendation of the ideal home for your blog is on a sub-domain of your main website (e.g. http://blog.website.com). 

WEBSITE FOLDER 
Another good alternative is to put your blog in a folder of your main website (e.g. http://website.com/blog). Both of these options will allow your corporate website to benefit from the search engine optimization advantages your blog will generate. 

The only difference between the two is that a sub-domain will allow you to set up your blog as slightly independent from the main website (though still contributing SEO advantages), which gives you some additional flexibility regarding the blog’s layout and design. 

SEPARATE DOMAIN 
Hosting your blog on a completely separate domain such as http://thisismyblog.com is a third option, and it’s an okay alternative. However, if you decide to go this route, bear in mind that you’ll ultimately be embarking on two separate link building campaigns – one to boost the SEO of your main website and one to boost the SEO of your blog. 

One benefit of this option is that your blog is completely separate from your main website, which may help it seem less promotional since it’s not directly connected to your product. (Although arguably, one of the benefits of keeping your blog and website together is that the thought leadership on your blog increases the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand and its products.)

While it’s a limited benefit, hosting your blog on a separate domain can also offer a way to pass some link-building SEO juice from your blog to your main website.


THE SWITCH 
If you’ve been hosting your blog on free URLs like Blogger or Typepad, you are going to have difficulty switching it over to a blog that you host and keeping the search engine traffic and page rank your blog has achieved. If your blog is on blogspot.com, Google does not let you do a 301 redirect from your old Blogger site to anywhere else. (A 301 permanent redirect is how you set up a clean forwarding address from your old site to the new one.) That means that Google does not let you redirect the SEO value to a new site. 


MISTAKE 2 

PUBLISHING TOO MUCH PRODUCTCENTRIC CONTENT 

What’s the Mistake 
The content you publish on your blog is too heavily focused on you – your products, services, achievements, and why you’re awesome – and it’s seriously lacking thought leadership. 

Why it Hurt’s 
Publishing product or company-focused content is okay only if you limit it to a company news and/or product blog. For the purposes of this ebook, we’re focusing on the type of business blogging that allows you to exhibit thought leadership and expertise. In this type of blogging, you’ll get stuck if you feature too much productfocused or company-centric content. 

If people are visiting your blog expecting to find educational content and all they find is you talking about how great your products and services are, you’re not going to accomplish the same goals or attract as many readers as you would if you published educational industry content. 

Easy Fix 
Change the way you think about content for your blog. Instead of creatingproduct-focused content that is unlikely to get shared, consider spending more time on educational, data-driven, or especially thought-provoking content relative to your industry. This type of content has a much better chance of attracting readers -- and spreading. 

By creating these types of content, you’ll start establishing your blog as a valuable resource for your industry. Because people are more likely to share content that is educational in nature, your content will have the capacity to reach a larger audience of potential customers. 

As a result, people will start to associate your business with industry expertise, translating to more credibility and trust in the products/services you have to offer. 

MISTAKE 3 

PUBLISHING infrequently / inconsistently 



What’s the Mistake 
You have a blog, but you don’t publish posts on a regular basis, and when you do post, you’re not publishing enough articles to make your blog effective. 

  • Businesses that blog at least 20X per month generate over 5X more traffic than those that blog fewer than 4 times per month. 
  • Businesses that blog at least 20X per month generate nearly 4X more leads than those that don’t blog. 

Why it Hurt’s 
Research shows that the companies benefiting most from business blogging are the ones that blog frequently and consistently. Adopting a laid-back approach to business blogging won’t move the needle; creating a blog that actually generates business success takes time, effort, and dedication. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing 2011 report, 57% of companies that publish a business blog have acquired a customer from a blog-generated lead. 

In addition, there is a direct correlation between the frequency of blogging and traffic and leads. Note the data on the previous page from HubSpot’s research in its Lead Generation Lessons From 4,000 Businesses report, which indicates that the more often a company blogs, the better that company is able to generate traffic and leads. Ignoring your blog rather than keeping it updated with fresh content means you are leaving prospective customers on the table. 

Easy Fix 
Make a commitment to the upkeep of your blog. The most common frequency we observed for business blogging is weekly, so start by striving for at least one blog post per week and work your way up. If time or bandwidth is a major concern or deterrent for you, consider other ways to source content for your blog. 

We’ll address this more in Marketing Mistake 10 (Not Sourcing Content), but keep in mind there is no rule stating that only one person can contribute content to any given blog. Encouraging other employees in your company to contribute content is a great way to divide the responsibility and workload of content creation as well as elicit new and varying perspectives and insight, which can add depth to your blog. 


MISTAKE 4 

Publishing Off-topic Content 

What’s the Mistake 
Your blog is unorganized, all over the place, and lacks a concrete, unified theme. 

Why it Hurt’s 
Without a clearly defined purpose and focus, your blog will suffer. If you’re expecting to generate a community of subscribers, readers, and fans that you’re hoping to someday nurture into paying customers, you need to give them a reason to keep coming back. 

There’s no doubt about it: people like guarantees. When people visit HubSpot’s Internet Inbound Marketing Blog, for example, they come to find resources about inbound marketing because that’s what the focus of the blog is. Over time, that’s what they’ve come to expect. 

Easy Fix 
It’s about time you decided on a focus/topic for your blog. Spend some time figuring out what that is, and keep that focus in mind every time you create blog content. 

Tips for defining your Blog’s Focus: 

  • 1. Is there a specific industry-related topic on which you or your business can share expertise or knowledge? 
  • 2. What does your audience want? Ultimately, you’re trying to attract a certain audience for your blog. Think about the persona(s) of your ideal customers and consider what information they might be looking for that might lead them to your blog, and ultimately, your product/ service offering. 
  • 3. Think about the goals of your blog. What are you trying to accomplish by publishing a blog? 
  • 4. Generate a list of keywords that describe your industry, products, or services, and see if that helps you come up with a focal point. 

MISTAKE 5 

Offering no Content Variety 

What’s the Mistake 
Your blog is a monotonous stream of the same type of content, offering no variety and boring your readers to death. 



Why it Hurt’s 
While people crave consistency in focus on blogs, you also need to keep them interested through the range of information you present. The most engaging blogs offer content to their readers in many ways. People like to consume information differently, and by not offering variety, you’re limiting the reach of your content only to people who like consuming information in one specific way. Plus, a onetrack blog can get really boring. 


Easy Fix 
Variety is the spice of life, so start spicing up your blog by introducing content variety. Think outside the box, and brainstorm a style bank of different types of content you can create for your blog. The following page provides a solid list of ideas to get you started. 

Types of Blog Content: 

  • 1. Text-based copy 
  • 2. Charts or graphs 
  • 3. Audio content (podcast content, interview recordings, etc.) 
  • 4. Cartoons 
  • 5. Infographics 
  • 6. Guest blog articles (from other industry bloggers or experts) 
  • 7. Curated lists 
  • 8. Industry-related book reviews 
  • 9. Q&As 
  • 10. Videos (interviews, screencasts, instructional how-to’s, entertaining/funny videos, music videos, news-style videos, etc.) 

I’m sure you can come up with even more! 

Source: HUBSPOT & Inboud Visibility

Whether you’re currently making 5 of these business blogging mistakes, it never hurts to conduct a regular audit of your blog and its performance to check for weaknesses and identify opportunities for improvement. Use this ebook as a checklist to make sure you’re staying on top of blogging best practices and can be at the ready to fix any major blogging bloopers that sneak up on you. Before you know it, you’ll be a blogging ninja who generates tons of valuable traffic, leads, and customers from your business blog. 
Author Bio
Jamie is a Marketing Manager at SEO Company. He was specializes in White label SEO service and web development. He enjoys writing about SEO, social media and IT technologies. Follow Nicole on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter to learn more! 

Comments

Popular Posts