10 Stumbling Blocks for Small Businesses to Avoid on Their Blog
Unlike simply creating a site for one’s business, creating a blog is an ongoing effort and a serious commitment to do a lot of writing and thinking on a regular basis. Whenever your business undertakes a new project of any kind, proper planning should include an analysis of potential pitfalls that could jeopardize the success of and even the continual existence of your project.
Businesses choose to start blogs as marketing projects, and in order for a blog to succeed it needs to be well designed and run, and new fresh and relevant content needs to be added on a regular basis. Ten conditions that can affect your blog are shown below so that you can plan to avoid them by taking proactive steps at the beginning.
1. Neglecting Social Media
Blogging goes hand-in-hand with social media, and the best chance of your blog being read by potential clients is to make sure your content and links get to social media sites. In addition, the best way for maintaining and improving your social networking is to regularly participate and update your profiles. Proper planning can also help by setting up syndication of your new blog content to many social network profiles automatically. All plans for new blogs need a good social network strategy or your blog will only get a fraction of the traffic that it could if you did.
2. Failing to Create a Consistent Writing Style
Whether one or more people write on the blog for your business, the use of language and ways of presenting various kinds of information can be standardized in terms of style. This is most important when blogs have multiple authors. No matter the number of authors, your blog needs one voice.
3. Blogging for Corporate Vanity
Besides describing your products and services, some bloggers create more articles which are centered around their business. Consumers are more likely to come to your site and search engines will give you higher rankings if your blog concentrates on providing useful information related to your field without turning it into a sales pitch. The writing your team will do will be of a higher quality because they are writing articles and not advertisements. Providing some useful information for free will result in more clients in the long-term because of increased brand confidence and boosted search engine rankings.
4. Micromanaging Blog Authors
Some companies are far too cautious, putting multiple layers of reviewing staff before new content is published. They may also delay the approval of new topics. This is demotivating to blog authors and puts up barriers to posting good fresh content on the blog. Some creativity should be allowed, and authors must be trusted to choose topics.
5. Not Allowing Comments
Many businesses starting a blog are cautious and turn off the commenting feature on their blog. Answering client and public positive commentary as well as complaints can be effectively accomplished on your business blog when you open it up for commentary. Your company still has control of which comments can be published, as you can set an option to review all new comments before approving them. Others choose to allow all comment posts and then remove any offensive comments later when monitoring comments. Another added benefit of allowing comments is that it can put new text content on your most popular blog pages on a regular basis. This raises your search engine rankings in Google, Yahoo and Bing.
6. Badly Written Posts
Grammar and spelling are not only noticed by your customers but also by the search engines. Good writing style, perfect grammar and spelling are crucial for every post, and one bad blog post can hurt your blog’s reputation. Common errors include run-on sentences and forgetting to run a spelling checker before publishing. Sometimes inconsistent performance by new blog authors is an issue, and this will get better with experience.
7. Poor Blog Design
There are two parts of design: aesthetics and usability. Clean and minimalist design featuring a good logo, use of whitespace to separate different parts of your page and a consistent look for all of your pages is the hallmark of a good blog and website design. Blogs that look cluttered or even too pretty and overdesigned distract people from the original content. The design is merely a path for people to navigate and a way of displaying content. This is where usability comes into the picture of design. A good design looks the same across multiple browsers, and has visible text for search engines and electronic readers for the blind to access all content. Text should always be large enough to read, which means it is important to not give in to the temptation to use small fonts in some areas to free up space on the page. A site map or archive of posts should be easy to find as well.
8. Lack of Realistic Goals
Companies sometimes act on bad information, and they sometimes over-estimate the amount and rate of new business that their blog will get them based on their budget. Managing expectations can be difficult, but it can help a project be thought of as a success rather than a failure. Your company’s blog can be successful, but if you are in a competitive field, you are going to have to do a great job of writing and also have an advertising budget and strategy that can deliver the new business you need.
9. Writers Block
Getting stuck when you need to think of new topics that are relevant is a common problem that slows down the posting schedule. Reading as much news about your industry as possible will help your blog authors come up with fresh ideas. The reading of industry news will also keep the topics and tone of your blog consistent with contemporary views in your field.
10. Lack of Time to Write
Unless your business is very large, you and possibly other employees will be responsible for writing while also having other responsibilities at work. A risk for your blog is to have no fresh content added for long periods of time while you and your staff concentrate on other responsibilities.
We hope that this survey of potential risks to your business blog gives you something to think about concerning your blog or planned future blog. For assistance through a free consultation with us, please call us at any time at 646-853-0573.