Having a company blog is great for showcasing thought leadership, highlighting your achievements, and converting potential leads. However, a few simple blunders will turn this marketing resource into a liability.
To find out what sorts of things would hurt rather than help, we asked a dozen entrepreneurs from YEC what every founder should avoid on their company blog. Their best answers are below.
Focusing Solely on Your Company
The best company blogs produce content that consistently informs and educates its readers on industry trends, news, and insightful perspectives. If you solely cover what you as a business are doing, only a select few people will care. By establishing yourself as an industry thought leader and giving value beyond your own PR, you add considerable readership to your blog and value to your brand.
The purpose of your blog is to nurture potential customers, not barrage them with sales copy. The best company blogs educate first and sell second. They also recognize that their potential customers aren’t that interested in the company picnic, and keep the company update posts to a minimum while writing awesome content authored by different experts on the team on a consistent basis.
Not Allowing Comments
Despite the fact that blogs have been around for a while, many companies are still afraid of them. They don’t allow comments and they don’t encourage reader engagement. Recognize that a company blog is not a one-directional platform for you to announce news or share your point of view. If you don’t want to hear from your customers, don’t have a blog.
Leaving Unnecessary Components Turned On
If you‘re using WordPress or similar software for your blog, you‘ve seen the “Meta” sidebar with links that are usually useless. Leaving this turned on or ignoring other useless features makes your blog look unfinished and can detract from your content and conversions. Turn off everything that’s not needed and keep your blog clean.
Repeating Your Posts From Social Channels
A good blog brings something new to the table. It teaches your fans about your brand and industry, and can give insight into your company and culture. But writing compelling content is hard, so many brands do a copy/paste from their social channels and repurpose Facebook and Twitter content on their blog. Every communication channel should serve a unique purpose in your brand’s story.
Focusing on Nostalgia
If your blog focuses too much on a romanticized version of what it’s like to be in business, your readers will find it exceptionally hard to relate. Try to relay narratives on how you plan to use new technological innovations in your business (as well as profiling the people behind them). You‘ll gain the support of others only if you support them. Don’t get caught up in the past. Focus on the now.
Saying Too Much
Company blog articles should make sense standing alone, but be written to support your company‘s greater purpose. The article should give enough information to provide value, but it shouldn‘t give away the farm, either. Not only are long articles not fun to read, you always want leave your reader wanting more so they come back, dive deeper or call. Don’t give it all away in one article.
Forgetting the Sell Entirely
The advice typically given is that your blog should not be all about your company or a blatant sales pitch. It should be a resource for readers even if they don’t buy. Many great content blogs forget that the purpose of the blog is to increase interest in the company‘s products/services. Therefore, don’t forget to tie the valuable content back to your brand and include the soft sell.
Many people are tired of intrusive marketing tactics such as pop-ups that appear the second they arrive on a page. Your blog should definitely include a call to action, but this should be created in a way that doesn’t turn off visitors. If you feel the need to use pop-ups or similar tactics, at least don’t make them the first thing visitors see.
Settling for Lower Quality Content
In a rush to get more out there, it’s easy to use a blog improperly. In an effort to draw more traffic quickly, you post and post at will without a clear direction. Where content is concerned, less is sometimes more. Rather than trying to get the most content out there, focus on filling your blog with the highest quality content.
Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
All too often company blogs have painfully obvious spelling and grammar mistakes in their writing, which makes it hard to take them seriously. Having a quality blog that creates credibility and trust with your target market means looking knowledgeable at every level. Encourage your blog posters to take a break and review the article after they write it, and to also get another person to proofread.
Not Balancing Conversions and Readership
A commercial blog has two purposes: attracting readers and generating interest in your company‘s product. Many businesses skew their content towards just one of these. Too much sales plugging and your blog is an advertisement; too much quasi-relevant pop content and it’s click-bait. Finding a “Goldilocks point” between what people want to read and what makes conversions is the essence of business blogging.
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