A critical aspect of gaining recognition online is mastering the all-important blog post. While blogging has been around for decades, many people still struggle with understanding how to utilize blog posts to attract readers and gain more recognition.
If your blog isn’t performing optimally but you’re not sure why, you’re not alone. Here, 14 members of YEC share the most common blogging mistakes companies make and their expert advice on what you should be doing instead.
1. Not Considering the Data First
Writing blog content based on what you think your audience wants to read without assessing the data is a mistake that can easily be avoided. Check your website’s analytics dashboard on a regular basis and modify your content strategy accordingly. By following a data-driven approach and writing about the topics that generate results, you will see greater engagement on your blog.
2. Not Studying Your Competitors
When it comes to blogging, it is important to find your competitors and study what is already working for them. There are so many tools you can use to find what content is driving the most traffic. Once you find which blog has the best organic search traffic, break it down and create your own blog post that is better than theirs. Make it longer, include more images and be more thorough.
3. Coming Off Like a Salesperson
One of the biggest mistakes companies make in their blogs is making them too sales-oriented in nature. Blogs are better utilized as educational tools to gently transition prospective customers from awareness to research. Providing high-value, honest information about how to best solve the problem the customer faces is a far more effective approach than pushy sales pitches.
4. Not Creating Evergreen Content
Companies should blog more evergreen content. This is content that will always be relevant. Yes, sometimes news is important if something is a really big change. But more often, you should be blogging about topics that people always search for and where advice is always needed. This will allow you to rank higher and get the traffic for those questions.
5. Not Capturing Leads
If you’re not capturing leads, your blog is basically just providing content for free. Optimize your blog so that you consistently generate leads. Invite readers to subscribe to your blog or newsletter, assuring them that they will never miss your high-quality content. You may consider incentivizing subscriptions by offering an additional product, such as a short e-book or business guide.
6. Having No Strategy
Having no strategy for your blog is a common mistake. So many companies think they just need to have a blog, but they aren’t thinking through what action they want a reader to take after reading the blog. Do you want them to download a white paper? Sign up for an online course? Get on a sales call? Make sure that each blog post has a clear call to action.
7. Not Picking the Right Domain Name
Many bloggers excitedly select the wrong domain name when they start out. In doing so, they fail to realize that it’s something that will stick forever. So instead of regretting later, think about the name you want to pick. Make sure it reflects your niche so that it’s more relevant to your blog. You should also try to include keywords in the name to make it SEO-friendly.
8. Not Creating Content for Each Audience Segment
One mistake I see businesses make when blogging is not creating content for all their customers. Most businesses have different customer personas for their various products and services. If you don’t create diverse content that touches on your audience segments’ needs and pain points, you may see more visitors leave without becoming customers.
9. Writing Too Formally
Some blogs make the mistake of sounding too formal and using big words to teach a beginner a new concept. You might sound like an expert in your field, but you definitely aren’t helping your target market. To appeal to your readers, you need to speak to them in plain language and remember that they’re likely beginners reading your content.
10. Forgetting to Include a Call to Action
If you’re not including calls to action strategically throughout specific blog posts, you’re missing out on a significant content marketing opportunity. I suggest reviewing your most popular posts and finding ways to encourage readers to subscribe to your list and stay engaged with your brand once they start reading your articles.
11. Only Worrying About the Text
The biggest mistake I see is not prioritizing the visual elements of a blog post enough. Sure, blogs are essentially text-based mediums, but when you include visual content roughly every 200 words, you boost your audience’s interest and engagement. Whether it’s a data visualization, an illustration or an embedded motion graphic, this content offers them different ways to understand your message.
12. Focusing Too Much on SEO
Don’t blog for SEO — blog to answer questions. When a customer finds your blog, it should answer the obvious questions they would have about your product or service. Canned blogs full of SEO keywords don’t connect to the customer and therefore don’t help them. A blog full of articles that answer common questions will be engaging and reduce the friction for customers to buy your product or service.
13. Only Writing Short Articles
Many companies don’t appreciate the benefits of long-form content and publish mainly short pieces. It’s fine to publish pieces of different lengths, but don’t overlook the benefits of longer blogs of at least 1,000 words. It’s generally better for SEO and also gives you a chance to deal with topics in depth and establish your expertise.
14. Thinking Creating Content Is Enough
Although it’s widely stated that you should just create good content and the rewards will follow, this is not a good practice if you want your business to grow. Aside from making good content, you also have to actively build backlinks, promote your blog posts, do SEO research and more. You also need to track how well your posts are doing. Creating content is just not a “one and done” activity.
How to Launch and Grow a Successful Blog
Starting a blog is easy. Launching one and turning it into something successful isn’t. This is why companies and businesses need to take blogging more seriously, as it’s an industry that is generating billions of clicks, views and revenue on a daily basis.
To learn more about how to grow your blog through the use of SEO and ranking higher in Google, be sure to read our latest site ranking guide and how to use SEO tools to improve your blog traffic and success.