Your business blog represents you and your business besides your target audience. Your blog forms part of the first impression that a client has of your company. It’s vital that you take enough time as well as resources to create a blog that you will be proud of. It’s imperative that outdated and clichéd blogs do not see the light of day today; but as they do, in this post I’ve pointed out some pitfalls in business-blogging and how they can be avoided if you want to develop your business.
Avoid Press Releases:
Though a press release is a vital part of a business, a reader certainly does not want to read one in a blog! A press release can attract and gain importance only if the media decides to publish it. Readers of your blogs want to read professional advice/analysis on a subject in your industry. So don’t use your blog as a platform for your press releases.
Don’t Always Promote Your Business:
As corporate blogging has an ulterior motive, many businesses risk being too promotional. A business blog isn’t an advertising tool. It’s fine to sometimes promote some fresh features of your firm, but you won’t attract readers if you pat yourself on the back all the time!
Avoid Detailed and Personal Stuff:
A business blog is not a personal thing, so don’t use it as your diary. New businesses sometimes like to write sob stories about how they had to struggle to come up; but readers will think that the writer is just complaining and seeking attention. Keep your blogs professional; don’t use it as a platform to pour out the problems you faced and overcame when developing your business.
Don’t Make Premature Announcements:
This problem is not very prevalent, but it’s important nonetheless. Don’t make any premature announcements about your company’s new products. Excited about a new contract or partnership, a business may announce it in their blog while it has not yet been finalized. If things don’t work out, your public relations will take a beating and your potential business partner will be pretty upset. At the same time, don’t inform your readers anything pertaining to confidential company information. Revealing such information could get you into a legal stew and also could adversely affect your company’s sales/marketing strategies.
Say ‘No’ To New Age Wisdom:
Be realistic and down-to-earth. High-flying business schools all over the world nowadays tend to touch on topics that are absolutely cut off from reality. Their blogs may talk about “The Business Zen In You” or about inner motivation/ satisfaction and don’t speak about common sense things. They may write about how, after they bought a bonsai tree, it helped to clear their doubts and move fast forward! Agreed, new topics are difficult to find, but don’t move into surrealism or what we can define as mumbo-jumbo! Remember, almost all successful business people were (and are) down-to-earth persons with their heads firmly on their shoulders.
Don’t Reveal Clients’ Name:
Don’t ever name a client in your blog, unless he/she has given you clear, written permission to do so, besides special approval for the content that you propose to publish in your blogs.
Don’t Repeat Company Rhetoric:
A business blog that’s least useful and very distasteful is the one that appears to be written by the human development relations or the marketing department. Use the corporate language in your annual report; don’t write it in your blog. Your blog should be appealing to your clients and should make them come back again and again.
Don’t Forget Company Policies:
You will be a company employee – or like one if you are an outsider — when you write a blog for the firm. So your highest priority will be to adhere to the company’s requirements for the blog. Which means you will always have to keep the company’s policies in mind when writing the post.
Don’t Forget to Cite Sources, Link:
It is vital that business bloggers cite sources to make sure that they are not pulled up in legal suits. So give yourself cover from the publicity that may be negative, invite fines and lawsuits. This is applicable not only to citations that are written but also to photos, images, logos and other things that you get from third parties and use on your blogs.
Don’t Copy Content:
Many bloggers happily share their ideas with many other people. But that doesn’t mean that you can grab their notions and use them in your blogs! So don’t copy blog content directly from another website. If you feel you have to quote someone in your blog, do it in a couple of sentences at the most. Be sure that you link back to the website of your source so readers can go through the entire original text. To copy content is against the law; it will also greatly harm your reputation.
Don’t Fail to Edit:
Before you put your new post out, you have to edit it. That means typos, grammar errors, bad syntax must all be cleared off. In fact this is one of the basics of blog writing. Editing also pertains to correctness, attention must be paid to detail yet it should not be too verbose. Potential clients always notice such errors. So always check the blog thoroughly before publishing.
Avoid Complicated Designs:
Many times, simple is better, sometimes it’s best, when it comes to designing. Your blog should be both easy to read and to navigate. If your readers have to click many links to search for some information, it will show that you don’t care for their time. Designs should also have adequate white space. So use simple themes and conventional font styles so that you don’t alienate your readers.
Avoid Poor-Quality Content:
Top-quality content must be your priority if your blog is being used as a marketing tool or for public relations. Don’t publish short posts which say nothing about the topic. Publish detailed content that will teach your readers something or that will give them a better idea about a particular topic. If you have to struggle for post ideas, examine your Newsfeed for news you can write about in your blog. If you can’t get any idea, hire a blogger from your own industry to do the job.
Don’t Write for Wrong Audience:
You must always have your target audience in mind when you start off your blog. This defined audience will assist you in deciding what topics you must cover. If you don’t have a definite audience in mind before you commence writing, it will be tough for you to engage with your readers. You will not get them to share your blog or comment on it. If you have problems with this factor of blogging, make a list of all these hassles and work on a solution. For example, in a finance blog, problems might include too much or too little credit limit; not enough cash kept by for retirement and various other aspects. Once you have this listed, you can learn what to write in your blog. The same, of course, holds true for other subjects. The main thing is to identify your target readers first.
Don’t Post Irregularly:
Your blog will earn some momentum each time you issue a new post. If you post several blogs in a week and don’t write a thing for months, you’re harming your business in several ways. Firstly, readers are unlikely to bookmark your blog site and return for fresh content. Secondly, you will not get the entire SEO effect which you would have if you had posted daily blogs or a week at least. Publishing to schedule and sticking to it is the essential of good blogging.
Don’t Forget to Engage with Your Readers:
Your blog must be interactive: that means it should engage your readers. It must not be only a platform to air your thoughts and not encourage your readers to enter the conversation. If you do that you’re losing engagement opportunities. Remember, blogging has to be social; so listen even as you talk/write. These are the best ways to promote engagement with readers on your blog:
- Comments: Ask your customers and readers to give their comments on your blog; be proactive when replying to them.
- Share on social media: Get traffic to your newest blog by posting it on social media sites; invite comments/feedback on the same.
- Questions: Ask your readers questions on your blog; seek their thoughts on the topic you have written on.
Don’t Give Up Too Soon:
The biggest error a business blogger can make is to give up too soon. If suddenly three months have elapsed since you posted your blogs and you have not got a single lead, you despair and give up! This business of blogging is surely time-wasting, you think! That’s a wrong way to look at it. Good blogging entails hard work and takes time. Quality blogs have to be produced regularly before you can expect to reap the benefits.
Don’t Lose Focus:
Business blogs should have a common focus and theme. If you don’t have a precisely defined focus, chances are your audience will not be faithful to you. Before you commence your blog writing, contemplate about your blogs’ aims. Think about whom you wish to engage with and what your audience will expect, besides the persona and tone of your blog. If you get correct answers to these queries then you will soon get your focus and theme.
A blog is a valuable tool of business today. But that is true only if it’s used properly. If you are unable or unsure about how to avoid obvious business blogging errors then rope in a blogging consultant. This will help you classify your target audience, get new content ideas and fashion a blog that’s easy to read and useful to your readers and your business. A good editor/writer can change the tone and complexion of your posts and make your presence be felt, especially in the search engines for it’s there where you will get your leads and ultimately develop your business.
In this article, I have covered a fairly large area of business blogging spheres that must be avoided. I hope you appreciate my effort and I look forward to your comments.