Some small business owners have made their way to the blogging scene, but many aren’t familiar with it.
A survey of over 3,800 small businesses conducted by Google and Ipsos tells us that fifty-five percent of small businesses don’t even have a website, let alone a blog. It seems many small businesses are unsure of how blogging is supposed to help their business and are intimidated with the process in its entirety.
If you are contemplating business blogging, take a look at some of the most common mistakes bloggers make so you can avoid them.
Jumping in Too Quickly
It’s all too common for bloggers to jump in head first instead of taking their time and wading in slowly. This can be a big mistake and doesn’t usually work out when you are making your debut into the blogging world.
Before you start blogging, make sure to find a focus for your blog that reflects what you know and what interests you. Read other blogs, too, particularly ones that are about the same niche you will discuss. These blogs can help give you ideas of what you find attractive and how to design your blog layout.
Don’t rush as you search to find the best host for your blog. Several hosts that are free of charge can offer you just what you need as you start your business blog.
Blogger is a free and popular blogging service owned by Google. It’s popular for its ease of use and quick setup. Tumblr is also free of charge and the style of this blog focuses on frequent posts that are shorter than the typical blog post. It’s good for people who don’t want to commit a lot of time to a full-fledged blog.
WordPress is an open source blogging platform that allows you to set up your blog on your own server for no charge, or create a WordPress-hosted blog. Setting up your own WordPress-hosted blog isn’t quite as simple as Blogger or Tumblr, but once it is going, you have a vast array of options and plug-ins. This solution is great because it allows you to do a lot of things from a single blog while giving you the option to have multiple users.
There are a lot of really great platforms available to help you grow your business. Take your time as you make your selection – it takes a lot of work to transfer your blog to a new host.
Having Unrealistic Expectations
Oftentimes, bloggers expect results instantly – and most likely that isn’t going to happen. Make sure you are aware that it takes a long time to build readers so you aren’t disappointed when your readership doesn’t expand overnight.
Blogs often take more than a year to grow readership. As the number of blogs on the Internet rise, it means that blogs have a greater challenge standing out in fields like marketing. There is no magic amount of time it takes for a blog to show an increase in leads, sales, and web traffic.
Just keep in mind that for most companies, it takes around a year of intelligent blogging at least 2-3 times every day. While it is a challenge to not get frustrated, focus on writing appealing, high quality content and be patient. The readers will come.
Reflect back on the days when you began your blog. What was your reason for starting it? Did you want to share views on a topic or give readers tips about your niche? Did you want to talk about your daily activities?
You probably began your blog for many reasons, maybe even as part of your plan to build a successful website that encourages visitors to buy. When a visitor reads your blog for the first time, they’ll get a chance to read your content and form an opinion on your writing style. If they like what they read, they’ll probably become a regular reader.
So once you establish what you want to write about and set the tone, stay focused on that. If you change things up on your readers, you are practically starting all over – your current audience may no longer be interested in the new topic.
Ignoring Your Readers
If you have readers who leave you a comment, whether it’s positive or negative, you need to take time to respond. Thank them for their comments and answer their questions. Readers leave comments to express their points of view and opinions – so acknowledge them.
If a reader doesn’t get a response, they may feel as though they are being ignored and may even decide they don’t want to read your blog. Always make sure your audience knows they are important and valued.
Making SEO Mistakes
SEO mistakes can do a lot of harm to your business. As a small business owner, you may feel unsure of the very best ways to help your business grow and what can sabotage your blogging efforts.
Buying links may give you a short-term boost if your website is already popular, but it has some strings attached. Paid links are often flagged by Google professionals – irregular linking activity makes them look suspicious.
Instead, stick with manual comment linking. Your blog will still grow, but at a more steady pace than when you buy links. Duplicate content gets you nowhere.
Bloggers sometimes try to target the exact same topic with nearly the same keywords. Too many similar words won’t add much value to your blog. You can’t play with keywords that are basically identical so you will likely write the same content and put yourself at risk for search engine penalty.
Instead, focus on coming up with an original topic and work hard to write a strong post. Doing SEO all wrong can hard your efforts. There isn’t just a single way to optimize your post, but instead several methods that have proven successful.
Remember to link to the most popular pages of your website, not just your home page. Google’s Matt Cutts often writes articles and guides about SEO, so take time regularly to read what he has to share.
As you work hard to build a powerful blog and grow your audience, it’s important to avoid these mistakes. New bloggers tend to get frustrated and throw the towel in, but persistence and patience are keys to blogging and business success.
What tips can you share to encourage new bloggers and help them experience blogging success?