Far from its origins as a digital mode of journaling, blogging (derived from the phrase “web log”) has gained new status as a powerful content marketing tool for improving SEO and connecting with customers.
But unfortunately, what started out as a simple process of chronicling daily thoughts has become a complicated marketing endeavor worthy of its own committed teams and resources.
The problem? Putting so much emphasis on business blogging as a promotional strategy has turned it into a complicated morass that frustrates well-intentioned website owners. If left unchecked, this frustration can lead to the termination of blogging altogether – robbing the website of a host of powerful benefits.
If you find yourself feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by the business blogging process, it could be that you’re making things more complicated than they need to be. Check out the following blogging mistakes to see if your company is suffering from this common problem:
Try to cover too much in every post
Take this rule to heart: one post, one idea.
One of the easiest ways to make blogging more complicated than it needs to be is to try to throw everything you know about a given subject into a single post. If you find yourself taking an excessive number of tangents every time you sit down to write a post, you’re likely falling into this trap!
To prevent this situation from coming to pass, assign every blog post a theme and stick to it religiously. As an example, this article only covers the ways to overly complicate the blogging process. It doesn’t discuss why business blogging is important, what good posts look like or how to create a company blog, as all of these topics can and will be covered in other articles. Instead, it provides information on a singular subject that can be easily understood and implemented by its readers – which should be the goal of every single blog post your company creates.
Expect every post to go viral
On occasion, you may have a blog post “go viral” and send huge streams of new visitors your way. But while there are plenty of techniques you can use to increase your chances of social success, be aware that implementing them all takes time (and that following these popular recommendations won’t guarantee that your articles go viral).
Although occasionally attempting to develop the types of content that audiences like to share (for example, long list posts or funny video blogs) can lead to increased website traffic, trying to meet these standards on every blog post you write is a recipe for disaster. Spice up your blog with this type of content, but don’t let the pursuit of viral success prevent you from regularly publishing good quality content.
Bring too many people to the blogging table
If you’ve seen the movie “Office Space” (or worked in a similar situation), you know how challenging it can be to have too many bosses. But really, this over-managed scenario doesn’t just occur in corporate conference rooms – it’s a major problem for companies that require too many team members to sign off on each and every blog post.
While it’s tempting to think that getting more people involved in your company’s blogging process will lead to better results, bringing too many people to the table is a quick way to overcomplicate the project. Limit the number of decision-makers involved and you’ll immediately free up your blogging team to focus on content creation – not consensus building.
Engage in excessive editing
Here’s the thing… Blog posts don’t have to be perfect. While you certainly don’t want to release something that’s full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors under your company’s name, the reality is that web writing tends to be informal by nature. For this reason, there’s much more leeway than in other forms of professional writing, as your followers aren’t expecting your posts to be in compliance with every arcane law of grammar ever dictated.
In most situations, a single round of revision is usually sufficient to whittle an initial draft down into a cohesive, “correct enough” post. While your specific situation may vary, be careful of trapping every post for your company’s blog in so many rounds of corrections that final drafts are difficult to come by.
Attempt to measure too many metrics
For every blog post you release, there are a hundred different metrics that could be tracked – including everything from social shares to bounce rate and more. But while some of this information can be useful, spending more time tracking metrics than you do on actually writing great posts isn’t an efficient use of your time.
Instead, a far better approach is to determine the specific goals your company has for your blog posts and to measure only the metrics that are associated with these objectives. If, for example, you’re writing blog articles with the sole purpose of increasing sales, measure the number of blog visitors who go on to result in conversions – not the number of times each post is retweeted on Twitter.
Write posts that are too long
According to interesting research compiled by Neil Patel of KISSMetrics, posts that are greater than 1,500 words on average receive roughly 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook “Likes” than shorter posts.
But does that mean that every post you write needs to follow this long form format?
Absolutely not! Writing 10,000+ word posts like the New Yorker (the web’s leader in long form content) takes time, energy and commitment – all of which detract from your other business objectives and limit the number of blog posts you can create. So while it’s a good idea to spice up your content with the occasional long article, trying to meet these high standards on every post complicates the blogging process and can prevent you from connecting regularly with your readers.
Try to post to your blog too often
In a perfect world, all businesses would have the resources needed to run well-researched, high-quality long form blog post every day. But we don’t live in that world!
Trying to do more with your blog than you have the resources to support (whether in terms of post length, format or publishing frequency) is a quick way to burn out your team and lose your readers due to infrequent updates. Is it a good idea to post to your blog every day? Absolutely – unless posting every day isn’t sustainable for your current team.
It’s far better to create an editorial calendar that you can stick with comfortably. If you can’t post every day, post once or twice a week. As long as your content quality remains high, readers will continue to come back again and again to connect with your business.
Have you fallen into any of these blogging traps on your company website? If so, share your own story of overly complicated blogging – as well as your recommendations for getting out of this situation – in the comments section below!