In case you haven’t noticed, business blogs are kind of a big deal.
It’s estimated that approximately 6.7MM people are publishing regular blog posts on blogging-based websites – plus 12MM more blog via social media platforms.
And it’s not just fun and games – businesses are serious about blogging too, and the results have been astounding. For example, it’s been reported companies that blog receive about 97% more links back to their websites than companies who don’t, and 92% of companies that blog regularly have converted readers into paying customers.
Plus, people just love reading blogs. And they trust the information that they read there – with 81% of U.S. readers reportedly trusting the information and advice found within blog posts.
So, it’s really no surprise that many companies around the world are turning to blogs to not only help boost traffic to their websites but also generate more leads.
But just because blogging is a proven marketing strategy doesn’t mean you’re doing it correctly. When it comes down to it, there are a lot of common mistakes that bloggers are making which could very well be costing them and/or their companies valuable resources – like money and time.
To make sure that you’re on the blogging path to success, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 common mistakes you might be making with your blog – take a look through the list and see if any of these items apply to you!
1. You’re Too Focused on “Being Consistent”
“The key to blogging success is consistency” – you’ve probably heard this statement, or at least something similar, during your blogging journey. But while consistency is generally a good thing, it’s not necessarily the best thing to focus on when it comes to blogging.
Let’s look at an example to illustrate this point. Say you have a blog and you decide that you should be generating 3 blog posts a week because, you know, consistency. And let’s also say that you really don’t have a lot of time to get all of those blogs written, edited and posted – maybe only a couple of hours per week. This means that the blogs that you post will definitely be consistent, but they may not be very high-quality articles.
Here’s where the old rule of thumb comes into play – quality over quantity. It’s far better to spend a larger chunk of time creating a single solid blog than 3 mediocre blogs. Your readers will find it much more helpful and informative, meaning that you’ll likely receive a lot more social shares and backlinks to your site – which is the main objective, anyway.
Additionally, search engines like Google prefer longer blog posts – in fact, on average, the articles that are ranking the highest in Google contain between 1,140-1,285 words (not necessarily something you could put together on a regular basis). And when your content ranks highly, you’ll get more visitors back to your website, which is, again, what you want to see happen.
Case in point – quality over quantity.
2. You’re Encouraging Comments on Your Blog Posts
Wait…you probably thought comments were a good thing, right? Well, yes, comments can be a good thing – except for when no one is commenting.
Let’s say you spend a lot of time creating an awesome blog post. You know that people are reading it and there are even some sharing it on social media, yet no one is commenting. This doesn’t necessarily mean that no one cares about your content, but it can act as negative social proof all the same. If you’re asking people to comment and no one is commenting, this can reflect negatively on your business, possibly even deterring potential readers and customers from clicking around your website.
And to be honest, nowadays most “commenting” happens on social media anyway. So if you really want to have a discussion with your readers and/or customers, try directing the conversation away from your actual blog post and onto one of your preferred social media platforms.
Also, keep in mind that comments can really detract from the main call to action on your blog. Readers can easily get distracted by the comments and completely forget about joining your email list, downloading your free e-book or scheduling a phone consultation.
Keep the focus on your call to action and away from the comment section – it’s really a win-win situation.
3. You’re Encouraging Social Sharing from Your Blog
Social media is a great tool. Lots of businesses use it effectively to communicate with customers and generate hype about their brands. But when it comes to blogging, social media – or more specifically, social sharing – can actually do more damage than good.
Now, a lot of people might disagree with that, and they have a fair point. You typically want readers to share your blog posts on social media, and we’re not suggesting that you shouldn’t still encourage this, but you should strongly consider taking the social media sharing buttons off of your blog.
Because they are majorly distracting and take away from the main call to action on the blog.
Skeptical? You’re not alone. A couple of years ago, a small experiment was done in which a certain business owner decided to take social sharing buttons off of his individual product posts. He was having trouble getting people to click on the “Add to Cart” button, and was willing to try anything to help solve the problem. So he removed the social sharing buttons.
His “Add to Cart” click through rate went up by 11.9%. People were no longer distracted by the social sharing buttons and were able to focus completely on the information and call to action at hand.
And there are plenty more examples like his out there.
Plus, besides the increased response to calls to action, readers really don’t need a button to tell them to share an article. If they find your blog post helpful, they’re going to share it – regardless of whether or not you have a social sharing button available.
4. You’re Only Using 100% Unique Content
One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is assuming that they should only be using 100% unique content, or content that they have personally written. While unique content is, of course, a good thing, relying on it completely to fill your blog with content is not sustainable.
Enter, content curation.
Content curation is essentially taking other people’s content, adding something to it, and then reusing it in a new way. It’s important to note though that content curation is not plagiarism. You should never be copying and pasting content from another person’s website and trying to pass it off as your own. Instead, content curation is simply a way to comment on or add your opinion to a content that’s already been written (with appropriate links back to the original source, or course).
And quite literally, tons of people are doing it. 76% of marketers are using curated content for their social media posts, and 65% of marketers report content curation as a source for boosted rankings in the search engines.
How can you start curating content? You could start with an easy yet effective app, like Kudani, but you could also come up with your own curating methods if you like.
For example, you could easily curate a blog post by creating a “Top Ten List” type post, linking to your top ten favorite marketing tips for example from around the Internet. This example could extend to any industry, and is commonly known as a “Round Up” post. Additionally, you could add your own commentary to a peer’s blog post or simply share something you found interesting, with your opinion added.
Content curation doesn’t have to be difficult, and in the long run it will save you a lot of time blogging, ultimately helping you to save more money.
5. You’re Assuming “If You Build It, They Will Come”
Creating content isn’t enough, especially when you’re first getting started – just because you “build” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the readers “will come.” Unfortunately, that’s just not how the internet works.
Eventually, once you become more established, you’ll be able to rely on mainly organic traffic and search engines searches to bring you page views and visitors. But especially towards the beginning of your blogging journey, you may need to take things to the next level.
That beginning season is a critical time for your blog, one in which you need to be generating traffic. And in order to generate traffic, sometimes you have to pay for it.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Lots and lots of people pay to get traffic back to their websites because they know how important it is to establish good traffic flow right from the beginning.
There are several ways of utilizing paid traffic, including PPC ads on Google and social media ads on platforms such as Facebook. While paid traffic options are generally good, it’s important that you have a budget and plan in mind before you get started, as advertising costs can really start to add up over time. Keep your target audience in mind, and try your best to direct that audience and that audience alone to your website – you’ll be much more likely to gain regular and consistent readers that way.
Over time, you may not need to spend as much on paid traffic – just know that especially in the beginning, there’s no shame in paying for clicks and visitors.
Don’t Make The Same Mistakes As Other Business Blogs
So what about you? Are you making any of these blogging mistakes on a regular basis? Do you feel as though you’re in a blogging rut? If so, don’t fret – just do you best to avoid these mistakes going forward and you’ll start to see your blog begin to change dramatically!