Blogging is an effective method for business advertising, if it is done right. If you intend to use blogging to promote your business, then you should learn the right way to do it. It is pointless to put a lot of time into maintaining a promotional blog that cannot attract customers to your business. Read on to find out what the most common blogging mistakes are and how to fix them.
The Mistake: Not Connecting to Your Business’ Main Page or Products
For some strange reason, many businesses shoot themselves in the foot by failing to give their blog readers an easy way to find them. Some business bloggers seem to assume that visitors can just Google it, or remove the blog suffix from the address. However, people don’t like extra steps. This simply annoys a lot of your visitors into not bothering.
The purpose this kind of blog is to get potential customers to look at the products or services your business offers. You need this to be easy for them to do. Make sure that the business blog displays a navigation bar prominently. Link to your main page there and make sure that it is labeled clearly. If the blog has your company’s logo at the top, make the logo a link to the business page as well. Additionally, every time the blog mentions one of your company’s products or services, link to the page selling or describing it. Never make your visitors work to find an opportunity to give you money.
The Mistake: Only Posting Product Announcements
Part of the purpose of a business blog is indeed to announce and promote products and services. However, it is a big mistake to focus the blog on these things. This misses out on the true marketing power of the blog.
Write things that your target audience wants to read. Give them a reason to keep coming back to read the blog. Write about topics that interest your target demographic, even if those topics are only tangentially related to what your business does. Give them useful advice, or solutions to problems they face. Talk about things that they like. Do not make everything on the blog just focused on your business. Focus on providing value rather than pushing sales. This will help you greatly increase your readership. It makes your company come across as genuine, even trustworthy. It will help it establish itself as an expert in your field. You want to build a community around your blog, people who follow it, comment on it, and talk to each other. This will make other people want to join the community, and from there they will be reading your ads all the time. Even when you post about a product or promotion, focus on how it can benefit the reader.
The Mistake: Paying too much for web hosting, domains, email, etc
There are many different web hosts out there and it can be tricky to try and find the best one for you. WordPress is a very popular blogging platform and a lot of web hosts will offer specialized WordPress hosting. The thing this, most of these plans are very expensive (starting at around $20/month) and all you need to run WordPress is a basic shared hosting plan which will typically run around $8-10 a month.
First of all, do your research and don’t pay for extra services you don’t need. Many web hosts offer a ‘web builder’ for an additional monthly fee. Don’t bother, there are so many good open source content management systems and blogging platforms out there that are free. The other thing you can do to avoid over paying is to make sure that you are taking advantage of deals, promotions, and coupons. Coupon Code Hoster is a website that compiles coupons and promotions from many different web hosts, check them out for some awesome savings.
The Mistake: Not Integrating with Social Media
If your promotional blog and your company’s social media are handled as entirely separate operations, you won’t be able to capitalize on their true value. Your company’s social media showcases certain things, and the blog deals with others. You want the readers of each to be able to easily find the content of the other. Additionally, linking to your company’s social media functions as social proof. When potential customers see that your company maintains a following in multiple locations, it makes them to think of your company as being more well established and authoritative.
You should promote your company’s social media presence from its blog. If your company handles its social media well, cross promotion will showcase how well your company interacts with its community of customers. You should also promote your blog posts on your company’s social media. Include widgets on your blog’s sidebar that make it easy for people to like or share a post on their social media. A lot of people let their social media slide as it can be difficult to manage, but there are tools out there to help you such as HootSuite.
The Mistake: Hiding What the Product Actually Is
This is the opposite of the previous mistake. Some promotional blogs go too far with trying to tell a story instead of just posting advertisements. This can lead to their readers getting five minutes into reading a post about a new product and still having no idea what it does.
Place a brief description at the top of the blog post that explains what the product is and does. Never just assume that everyone will know, or will be patient enough to read through hundreds of words of flavor text to find out.
These are not the only mistakes businesses make at promotional blogging. They are, however, the most common, ones. Fixing them will do a lot of good for your company and help you leverage the true potential of your blog.