Although traditional forms of advertising (direct mail, television, radio and flyers) may work for your business, you shouldn’t ignore other forms of marketing. The truth is, many consumers use the Internet when looking for a particular service or product. If they need a plumber or a handyman, they’re not going to open the phonebook -- they’re going to conduct an online search for a professional in their city.
As a business owner, it’s important that you adjust with the times. This doesn’t suggest scaling back on traditional methods for promoting your service, but you will need to experiment with other techniques.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be tech savvy to promote or market your company online. If you have a basic understanding of the Internet, a company blog can increase traffic to your main website and grow your business. Don’t worry -- you don’t have to be a professional writer. However, you will need basic writing skills.
A company blog is different from your company’s website. The website provides general information, such as your product and services, prices, locations, etc. On the other hand, your blog is a tool for marketing and promoting your business. It’s a means to an end. However, it isn’t enough to start a blog. For your company’s blog to be a success, you need to avoid common blogging mistakes.
Understand Your Audience
For your blog to be successful, you need to understand your audience and create posts that interest the people who visit your site. In other words, what issues concern your typical customer? If you can address these issues in your blog posts, and provide content that’s personable and insightful, readers will come back for more. If you don’t know what readers want, do research and spy on your competition to see what type of posts appear on their blogs. You can’t copy their posts, but research might spark your creative juices.
Do Research on Blogging
Some people mistakenly believe that anyone can blog for their company. Although you don’t need any specialized training to get a blog off the ground, it helps to know blogging basics.
Blogging is similar to article writing, but different -- and it’s important that you understand these differences. Article writing is more formal, and article writers often use second or third person. Blogging, on the other hand, is more personable. For that matter, you can use a combination of first or second person, and personal experiences are encouraged.
Create Copy that’s Original and Fresh
Even if you’re writing on a subject that’s been tackled by hundreds of other websites, it’s important to find a fresh, new angle for each topic. The truth of the matter is that readers don’t want to see the same information rehashed over and over. Giving your readers new information can be tricky, depending on the topic. But the more insightful your posts, the more traffic your blog will receive. Remember: unique content translates into social media shares.
Although it’s important to incorporate your personality and experiences when blogging, don’t go overboard. At the end of the day, your audience needs to take something away from each post -- whether it’s a helpful tip or new insight. And if you spend the majority of your time talking about yourself, they might get bored and tune out.
To illustrate, if you own a commercial cleaning company and have an office cleaning blog, your audience doesn’t want to read a play-by-play of your most recent office cleaning job. They need posts that can benefit their day-to-day life, such as:
- How to squeeze office cleaning into the budget?
- How to keep your office flu-free this winter?
- Five cleaning tools to keep at your desk
Don’t Only Write for Search Engines
I’m not suggesting ignoring keywords. But if you get hung-up on keyword and write solely for SEO purposes, your content may suffer. As a rule of thumb: produce quality, useful content and the audience will follow.
There’s an art to incorporating keywords in your blog posts. If you don’t have enough keywords, your blog may not appear in web searches; and if you have too many keywords, search engines may penalize your site resulting in a lower ranking. There is, however, a safe approach. Use keywords naturally and aim for an average keyword density around 2%. Also, include your main keyword within the title, and in the first and last sentence of your post.
Forgetting to Promote Your Posts
Some people will discover your blog after a simple web search, but don’t rely on web searches to gain readership. You need to actively promote your blog on social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Include a link to your posts on your social media pages, and encourage friends to share your posts.
It takes time to build a blog and grow an audience. Therefore, submitting one or two posts isn’t going to produce the desired results. You have to commit to blogging. The more active your blog, the higher you’ll rank on search engines. Aim for one new post a day, or a new post every other day.
Blogging is an excellent way to promote your product or service and increase revenue. But you shouldn’t jump into blogging blindly. For your efforts to be successful, you’ll need to learn the basics, be consistent -- and most importantly -- be patient.
What other blogging mistakes should business owners avoid?
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