By Lois Kirkpatrick, Loudoun SourceLink
Creating a blog for your business will help drive traffic to your website, position you as a thought-leader in your industry, and help create a community of customers. If you do it right, a blog can also create higher rankings for your business in Google search results.
If you do it wrong, you can lose credibility and potential customers. Here are seven mistakes you don’t want to make with your business blog:
1. Not Taking It Seriously. When you’re already working 14-hour days to get your business off the ground, taking the time to write a blog can seem like an unnecessary chore. But ask yourself this question: would you make time to talk to a potential customer? That’s the way you should see your blog: as talking to potential customers. Make it a priority.
2. Not Blogging Often Enough. It hurts your reputation to have a blog whose most recent post is from last year. Make time once a month to crank out four posts, and then schedule them to run one per week. That keeps your blog fresh without taking too much of your time.
3. Writing Too Much. You don’t have to rival “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” with each blog post (that book was 870 pages). Shoot for just 250-500 words per post.
4. Using Text Only. Post photos whenever possible. Speak your thoughts into a recorder and put the audio file on your blog. Use your phone to shoot a 30-second video about your topic, or insert the slide deck from a presentation you made. Variety keeps readers engaged.
5. Being Too Focused on Sales. Yes, your blog is a sales tool. But use it like a scalpel, not like a jackhammer. If you’re constantly urging readers to buy your product, they’ll stop reading your blog.
6. Giving Up Too Soon. It takes at least six months of consistent blogging before you build an audience.
7. Not Sounding Professional. Too many grammar and spelling mistakes ruin your credibility. Get a journalism student or a retired reporter to polish your posts.
It’s a good idea to keep a list topics to blog about. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
· Answer frequently-asked questions about your product or service.
· Post testimonials from satisfied customers.
· Review popular articles about your industry.
· Analyze industry trends.
· Comment on tweets made by industry experts.
· Explain how your product or service relates to upcoming holidays or national news.
Once you get your blog up and running, cross-promote each post on social media and your main website. Posting great content and promoting it well will result in a buzz-worthy blog that helps build your business.
Content contributed by Lois Kirkpatrick, Loudoun SourceLink. Loudoun SourceLink is a proud affiliate of U.S.SourceLink, America’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs.