Everybody knows that having a blog on your website is a good thing. The extra updated content boosts your SEO, customers are impressed by your expertise and it makes for some very shareable content for all your social media channels.
But having a blog page on your site can also be a challenge. There are very many things that can go wrong, and instead of being a showcase of your expertise, your blog is either full of content you wish you hadn’t bothered to upload, or is an empty reminder of how good blogging intentions fail. Here are just a few of the most common mistakes that people make on blogs and some tips on how you can avoid them.
- Writers’ block.OK, so you’ve taken time out of running your business to write a blog post. You are sitting at your laptop, coffee at hand, poised and ready for inspiration to strike. Except it doesn’t. And it won’t. Really annoyingly, the ability to write a 500 word blog post doesn’t miraculously appear on demand. Instead you need to create a plan, then stick to it. I went to a great seminar on content marketing recently, hosted byPascal Fintoni, who had some tips about writing blog content. Firstly, make a list of everything you excel or specialise in. These will be your core topics to write about. Then make a list of some associated subjects, which you might not be expert in, but are closely related to what you do. Thirdly, consider what overall themes you might touch upon in your blog. You need to write about your core topics. Find other contributors to write about the associated subjects and the overall themes. Work out a schedule so that every week, fortnight or month (and the frequency depends entirely on what is manageable for you), a new blog post goes live either written by you or someone you have asked to contribute.
- Using no images, or stolen images.A blog post really needs a good strong image to make it stand out. But if there is anything worse than using no image at all (and I have to admit I don’t always bother on my blog), it is using a stolen image, or one that you have “found” on Google Images. There is no excuse for this really, as there are many very good sources of free or cheap images online. I use www.dollarphotoclub.comfor mine.
- Not spell or sense-checking your blog.I know it is my job to be picky about spelling and grammar, but sometimes even well-respected blogs have glaring errors that make you cringe. Use spell checker to check your spelling, and even better, use a proof-reader to proof your blog properly before hitting the publish button. I will proofread a 500 word blog post for £15, so for the price of a round of drinks, you get an impeccable blog post. Bargain!
- Writing about yourself.Yes it is your website. Yes it is your blog. But nobody wants to read 500 words of self-congratulation or promotion. Your blog posts need to include information that is about the needs of your readers, and that is genuinely useful to them. This is the only way you will get people to sign up to your blogs and updates and follow you on social media. Think about what you get asked by your customers. Can you answer their questions in your blog?
- Ignore your blog page and hope it will go away. You paid to get a blog page on your website, now it just sits there empty and forlorn, waiting for some content. Even if you only put a “Welcome” post up, that is better than nothing. Believe me, I know it is hard to find the time to write a blog (my own atwww.toccaweb.comis in need of an update) but if you have the page there, you need to use it. Remember that you can ask other people to contribute to your blog as guest bloggers, and you can kill two birds with one stone by using other social media sites to publish a blog post. I find www.quora.com useful for this, as someone asks the community a question, and if you answer it in detail, you can publish your response as a blog post on your own site, and on other social media sites too.
I hope these have been some useful pointers on how not to write a blog post for your website. If you want to have a chat about creating a blog schedule or plan, coming up with some topics or anything else to do with online copywriting, drop me a line via LinkedIn and I will be happy to help!