business blog marketing

First up, a fact. Websites with blogs attract 55% more traffic. Does your business website have one? I sure hope so.

Having a website with a blog isn’t enough, though. You need to make sure that your business blog marketing efforts are giving you the returns and doing the job they’re meant to do  – increase visibility, bring traffic, generate leads, get more sales.

Working with many business owners on their blogs and managing two of my own means that I get up, close and personal with what’s working and what’s not.  I shared 7 blogging sins in an earlier post but today, I want to dig deep and look at more common yet possibly fatal business blogging mistakes.

Here is a list of 17 business blog marketing mistakes that every smallbiz owner who’s starting out on the blogging path should avoid:

1. Choosing a free blogging platform

I can’t tell you how many business owners I’ve had to talk to about moving their business blogs from blogspot.com or wordpress.com to either their own site or a self-hosted domain. Why is self-hosted important? Because it is more professional, it is YOUR piece of online real estate and it is good for SEO. Even if you choose a free blogging platform, PLEASE register your domain name. Bluehost {my hosting provider of choice} offers domain name registration when you buy hosting. It is inexpensive and a very good investment.

  2. Overthinking design

As entrepreneurs, we think. A lot. And when it comes to design, it is SO easy to get pulled into a million different directions about what to do, what looks good, what is needed, what template to choose. Don’t overthink it. Choose a template with a clean layout and features that you like and run with it. You can always redesign later. Really.

3. Not thinking about design

On the other hand, not thinking about design is another blog mistake I’ve seen happen many times. One of our clients had a blog that looked like it had been designed by an enthusiastic tween. Not that anything’s wrong with enthusiastic tween designs but when you’re a business wanting to reach professionals. So, yes, focus a few design elements that lend your blog the image you want for your brand.

4. Not having a clear goal from the blog

Just having a blog isn’t enough. Knowing what you want from it is what matters, especially for business owners. Having a clear goal will help you create a focused strategy, which is our next point.

5. Not having a clear-cut strategy for the blog

If you have blogging goals or a blog but no strategy in place, chances are your blog isn’t going to give you any results. It doesn’t have to be complicated. For instance, if your blogging goal is attracting search engine traffic, your strategy needs to include keyword research, editorial calendar planning, interlinking, post promotion and so on.

6. Not promoting the blog

Have a blog but haven’t told your customers, fans and followers about it? How do you think people will find you? Sorry if that stings a little but tough love’s needed.

7. Not sharing valuable content

Business blogs MUST offer real value. If you’re only selling your product or sharing content that readers don’t need or want, you’ll not be building a community anytime soon.

8. Sharing too much content

Then there is the problem of over-sharing. Your business blog readers do want to know more about the people behind the brand and also about how your product or service can help them {without you being sales-y}. but they don’t want to know about your children’s play date schedule or about your trip to the dentist. Seriously. These are posts I’ve read on actual business blogs.

9. Not having a consistent blogging schedule

Most business blogs die a natural death because business owners are busy, busy people and blogging is an investment of time and effort. Posting once in 3 months will not make your business blog a lead magnet. You need a consistent schedule. Be realistic about the demands on your time and choose a posting schedule that suits you. Once a week or once every two weeks? But once you choose it, stick to it.

Really don’t have the time to blog? Get help!

10. Not using the blog to capture emails

Have blog but don’t have an email marketing system set up? How will you nurture and stay in touch with the prospects that land on your blog? Once you have the blog set up, your second action item must be to sign up with an email service provider, like Mailchimp and get your sign up form all set.

Need help building or growing your list? Sign up for Nathalie Lussier’s FREE 30-Day List Building Challenge and double your list FAST! 

11. Not optimizing your blog for search engines

Yes, we write for humans and not search engines but we do need search engines to attract those humans and bring them to our blog. So, do your keyword research to see what people are looking for. Use free keyword tools to begin with and then, move up to the paid ones. Or again, if it overwhelms you, hire help! **smiling**

 12. Over-optimizing your blog for search engines

At the other side of the SEO spectrum is turning every post into a keyword-stuffed post that makes little to no sense and has zero value for a reader. Don’t do that.

13. Adding all sorts of buttons and badges to your blog

You’re not an enthusiastic tween {see #3 above} starting your first blog, so don’t go overboard adding all sorts of buttons, badges and bling to your business blog. The same goes for ad blocks and affiliate banners. Unless you’re getting decent traffic to your site, ad blocks and banners will only suck SEO juice, look amateurish and not give you any returns.

 14. Not infusing your blog with your brand’s personality

Have a fun brand but a blah blog?  Whether you write for your own blog or hire someone to blog for you, infuse your posts with your brand’s voice and vision. That is why before I write for any business, I spend significant time reviewing their overall brand presence and interacting with the business owner to understand their personality.

 15. Not engaging with readers

Getting comments? Yay! Not replying to them? Boo! I’ve been guilty of this when things get too busy. But as a reminder to myself and to others, please engage with your readers and reply to comments when you get them.

Engaging also means, asking your prospects and customers for their inputs and their burning questions and then, addressing them on your blog.

16. Getting discouraged early on

“I’ve had a blog for a month and don’t see any traffic!” Newsflash: Blogging takes time to show results. Overnight successes take a long time in the making. Give yourself at least 3 to 6 months or even, a year depending on your niche to see how your blog is performing with consistent content, promotion and clear strategies.

 17. Not launching the blog

‘Nuff said. **smiling**

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 What do YOU think are other business blog marketing mistakes that bloggers or business owners make when starting out?