Blogging remains one of the most powerful tools in the digital marketing arsenal. Not only does an active blog boost your SEO ranking, but well-executed, useful content can serve as the vital heart of your social media marketing. Driving traffic to your blog from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest brings your customer to your website, one very important step in the sales funnel.
Yet if we were going to be brutally honest, we’d have to say a lot of business blogs out there are not up to snuff. They’re just not doing the jobs they’re designed to do. If you suspect this may be the case for your business blog, see if you recognize yourself in any of the following scenarios – and then keep reading to discover what you need to do about it:
Problem #1: Nothing’s Happening Here
The best business blogs are updated frequently – daily is often ideal; several times a week as a minimum. However, it’s not unusual for small business blogs to go weeks or even months without new content being posted. This bores even the most loyal customer.
Is this you? Remedy the situation by committing to at least weekly blog postings. Not sure what to write about? Try this content mix from Wal-Mart, widely recognized to have one of the best business blogs: content featuring products, shopping tips, company history, seasonal features, news and human interest stories.
[Tweet “The best business blogs are updated frequently – daily is often ideal”]
Problem #2: It’s Boring
The first rule of business blogging is the things that bore you will bore your reader as well. Dense, hard to understand copy that provides your reader with every conceivable piece of information they ever might need to know about any topic under the sun might seem like a good idea – until you realize that no one’s spending any time reading it. Examine your website analytics, and determine how long web visitors are spending on any particular blog entry. If they’re leaving in a very short time – far less than it would take to read the article in question – chances are they didn’t find the content engaging or were just too overwhelmed to even try.
Boring content can generally be addressed by breaking long blog entries into much shorter pieces and adopting a more conversational tone. Ask yourself how you’d explain the topic in question to a friend or one of your favorite customers. Use that approach when drafting your blog entries.
Problem #3: It’s Not Really About Your Business
There are some truly beautiful business blogs out there, full of pictures of the products available or explaining the suite of services provided. While this isn’t necessarily bad, if that’s all your content is, you have a problem. A big part of the reason customers seek out company blogs is to learn more about the people they’re doing business with. In a largely impersonal world, your blog is an opportunity to show why you’re special. If all they find is product information, why shouldn’t they go to Amazon?
Turn things around by sharing information about your business and your team regularly. Let your readers know about any changes in your business, share images of what happens behind the scenes, and let your personality shine through a little bit. If you’re not comfortable in your spotlight, talk about the community or industry you serve from a more personal perspective. Simply pointing out the things that make you smile will make your customer feel closer to you. As a best practice, the personality you demonstrate on your blog needs to be in alignment with the one you’re sharing on social media!
Problem #4: Too Many Words
We live in a small-screen world. The chances are very high that blog readers may be visiting our sites on their smartphones or tablets. Too much text can be problematic here, straining the eyes or forcing the reader to engage with their device numerous times to access your content. Many readers will abandon the blog entry rather than make the effort.
Blog content does not have to be text based. Infographics, videos, and podcasts all have a role to play, and may be preferred by your target audience. Consider changing your writing style for the mobile reader: more headlines, shorter paragraphs, and bullet points or lists rather than giant blocks of text.