Building a blog is great for your business if you’re looking to provide your customers with a little extra content. It is something for them to browse though whilst they are not making a purchase and whilst this does not make you money it does help with building relationships with your customers, it also boosts the amount of time they spend on your website. Making the most of the engagement you get from having a blog in the form of social shares and comments can make or break your blog success. But there are many common mistakes that can be made when starting a new blog which can turn away potential readers, luckily once identified they can all be easily avoided.
Not having a realistic posting schedule
If you don’t know when you are planning to post, the likelihood is that you are going to forget to or post all of the time. Both of these will have negative effects on the amount of blog views you will receive. This is because rarely posting will lose the interest of any readers you may have gained, waiting endless and unknown amounts of time for a new post stops becoming worth it after a while and their attention will be drawn elsewhere. However posting too frequently will most likely be too much for readers and the stress it puts on you to create content can mean both quality and consistency will slip. The trick is to find a balance that suits both you and your readers, a schedule that fits into your daily life and doesn’t keep people waiting for content. Plan out what kind of content you plan to post on each day and brainstorm ideas in advance wherever possible for weeks where you don’t have time to sit and come up with fresh ideas. This way you know what kind of content you are writing for each day and have a catalogue of topics to fall back on.
Not creating any original content
The point of a company blog is to give valuable information to your customers, if you are simply copying information that originally came from others then you cannot hold their interest. When your blog posts are based heavily from others it becomes something each reader could find elsewhere, making you just one of many sources of the information they are looking for. Depending on how heavily based your posts are, it could even become plagiarism, which is something that even Google will punish you for as it will recognise the duplicated content in your work. This will unfortunately mean that you will get less organic traffic, to get as much as you once were you would have to work a lot harder to get it all back. Advertising would then have to be looked at, which can become expensive and time consuming on top of maintaining your website and blog on their own. Instead work hard to find your own content and ideas to write about. Take inspiration from your interests, current events happening within your industry and even popular trends. Find new things to advise your customers on, new ways to show them your products. Look into your frequently asked questions and where possible, answer them in a blog on its own. The key to creating comprehensive and consistent content is to break down your larger topics into smaller ones, so no small but important points are missed.
Consistently talking about yourself
As a company it is important to convey your brand image throughout all of your content and this does include your blog. You are completely entitled to run it how you want and give your company’s personal opinions and insights within it, but you must remember that people are there for the information or entertainment. Many customers on your blog will not be interested in the backstory of your company or where you stand on any and every issue within your industry so telling detailed personalised company stories will never go down well. Unless your customers are heavily involved within the development and growth of your company, it may be wise to give this a miss. Instead add your brands personality in with imagery and the way you write. If you brand is quite formal than keeping a formal tone will be the best course of action and post things such as informational blogs with facts and figures. However if your brand has more of a casual voice try some jokes or gentle sarcasm to speak to your readers in a tone of voice they can relate to, posting how to blogs and entertainment pieces. Most importantly be sure to talk about the things they want to hear, what topics interest them more than your brand story does. In time they will learn who you are and be more accepting of your brands personal views and stories, but for now it’s best to subtly hint to it.
Not utilising images to their full potential
Images are what catch people’s eye and keep them engaged. When your customers click off your beautifully put together website and become faced with nothing but text, it can be a little intimidating. Full pages of text don’t look appealing to most people, and many as a result will be reluctant to begin reading in the first place. Break up the space as much as possible with white space, using a stand alone header and plenty of small paragraphs to help split your posts up into manageable chunks. For even easier readability add paragraph subheadings so people can skip to the parts of your post they are looking to find. Any post must be easy to digest and dissect, but text editing and placement can only do so much to make this possible. The key to holding attention and breaking up text is a good use of imagery. Not only does it give readers a break from endless walls of text, but it adds a bit of colour to posts that stops the page being boring. Of course these images need to be relevant to the post, adding in useless images will only create confusion and lose you credibility. To stop this, each image my#ust help visually explain a point that you are making or at least link to it, as this will then also help illustrate your blogs intentions further as well as acting as a device to bring in attention.
Not offering social share buttons
Most customers on your eCommerce website will know who you are and hopefully know you well, but it is not guaranteed that they have found your blog yet. Others who have found your blog may have come through search engines, searching phrases that are similar to your blog’s headline or content, although this is unlikely. Surviving on these views alone will not create your company a successful blog, meaning it may even become a waste of time for your business to have as efforts could be put in elsewhere. Instead utilise these organic views that come from you website and search engines by utilising social sharing. This means adding it onto your social media profiles as posts with a catchy headline that will encourage people to click through the link to read the full post on your website. Doing this can reach out to existing customers that knew nothing of your blog but follow your company on social media. To ensure maximum shares you should also add social share buttons to your actual blog post on your website. These buttons allow readers to share a link to your content as a post to their own social media, which gets you more views from social media users you do not have as followers. The benefit of having content shared this way is that the people who share it may have friends with similar interests that read it and even share again. Businesses can also share your content, reaching their own customer base that may show a large amount of interest in you too. Having extra shares through social profiles that aren’t yours will build up a name for your brand and make you seem more reputable and trustworthy.