There was a time — we’re talking more than a decade ago — when business blogs were the exception rather than the norm. In fact, like Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools, the concept of a blog was initially designed for personal use and consumption.
However, it didn’t take long for some progressive businesses — followed by the masses — to realize that there was “gold in them blog hills,” and so business blogs went from being a curiosity on the digital landscape, to being a basic staple.
Yet, the fact that business blogs are ubiquitous doesn’t mean that all of the businesses behind them are taking full advantage of this opportunity, or reaping significant bottom-line rewards and results. On the contrary, most businesses are committing one, a few, or in many cases all seven of the following fatal mistakes:
- They aren’t posting original content. It’s occasionally fine to re-publish unoriginal content (provided that it’s legal and appropriate to do, like posting a strategic partner’s press release). However, the rule is that blogs need to deliver fresh, original content.
- They aren’t posting relevant content. Simply put: content has to be of interest (or every now and then, entertainment) to prospective and current customers. For example, if your business is a car wrap shop, then blogging about care and maintenance tips, differences between wrapping vs. a paint job, and sharing design ideas (etc.) should be part of the editorial calendar.
- They aren’t posting frequently enough. Just like going to the gym once or twice a year is going to have zero impact — in fact, you might tear a muscle or break a bone — posting once or twice a month isn’t going to do much good at all. The best practice is 3-5 posts per week (yes, you read that right: per week!).
- Their posts are too short. The short-lived era of micro-blogging is over, and has been taken over by social media. These days, people who visit business blogs expect to see something that is at least 400 words, but can certainly be longer and exceed 1000 or sometimes even 2000 words.
- Their blogs are poorly written. If people feel as though reading a blog is going to be hard work, then they won’t do it. Even if the blog is 2000+ words long, it has to be crafted, formatted and structured for maximum readability.
- Their blogs don’t have images or embedded video. Choosing the right visuals is essential for driving engagement.
- Their blogs aren’t promoted across their social media accounts. Every blog should be highlighted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on.
The Bottom Line
Blogs aren’t magic wands that instantly turn potential customers into loyal, lucrative and long-time raving fans. Obviously, there’s more to the story than that! However, a good business blog — which is one that doesn’t make any of the mistakes described above — is a profitable asset, rather than a costly liability.