June 16th, 2015

Inbound Marketing Strategy

Blog-publishing is a great way to strengthen your marketing strategy. A business blog is simple to set up, and offers an extremely effective channel for organizations of all sizes to connect with new and existing customers. A great business blog takes time and skill to perfect, and many business bloggers fail to deliver the results they had wanted. If your blog isn't having the effect you wanted, read on to find out what you are doing wrong.

Your blog looks awful

Customers are very intuitive with web pages, and if your blog is ugly, they'll quickly click away. A good business blog has a clean, simple design, with easy-to-read font, and a neutral colour scheme. Garish colors, strange layouts and elaborate font styles don't sit well with readers, who want to focus on quality content, so make it easy for them to find. Images can enhance the text, but always choose high-quality, relevant pictures.

You only talk about you

Only top celebrities can probably get away with a blog that talks only about their daily lives, and there isn't a strong business market for these personal blogs. It's important to personalize your blog posts, but you still need to talk about useful topics. Enhance professional blog entries with personal stories, but always make sure the story has a strong business focus.

Your pages include intrusive advertising

Online customers are very wary of blog owners who want to bombard them with adverts. Some advertising is acceptable, but it should never interfere with the user's experience. Your business blog should never feature pop-ups, or audio adverts that automatically start to play when the page opens. Respect your readers, and allow them to concentrate on your blog entries.

You don't optimize your content for search engines

It's important to make sure that your blog posts rank highly on search engines, as this helps customers find your pages. Blog owners need to learn about search engine optimization, to make sure that their posts continue to get the best page rank. You need to learn how to use keywords effectively, create the best titles, manage inbound and outbound links, build strong URLs, and other SEO techniques. If you don't understand how SEO works, learn the ropes before you start blogging.

You're not posting enough content

Your business blog is an important, long-term commitment, and you should make sure that you regularly post content. You can write a great blog post, but if you don't then write something else for months, your readers will have long since moved on to something else. To engage your readers, and grow a following, you need to keep sharing new content with them.

Your blog has no clear focus

It's vital that your visitors immediately know what your blog is about, so make sure that you have a blogging strategy. Work out which subjects you want to talk about and, if possible, focus on one or two key areas of interest. Make sure the name of the blog is relevant, and stick to the topic. For example, if you're writing a blog about the construction industry, you'll soon alienate your readers if you start a debate about the price of food in the supermarket.

Your pages are not mobile-friendly

A lot of web users now access their favorite pages from a mobile phone, so if your blog only looks good on a computer, you're wasting your time. Blog readers want to look at your pages on a smartphone or tablet, so don't restrict your page layouts to a conventional computer screen. Make sure your pages are easy to read, regardless of the device your followers are using.

You seek attention - and offer nothing in return

You need a strong title for your blog posts, but it's easy to go overboard, and this will quickly push your readers away. If you're going to offer people the secret to earning a million dollars in 6 months, then you need to have a real cash-earning strategy to share. You may think that attention-seeking headlines will pull in readers, but if you mislead people, they won't give you a second chance.

Your content has no unique value

Your blog is up against a lot of competition, and it's vital that you publish unique, valuable content that your readers cannot find anywhere else. Content with unique value offers your customers a new perspective on an existing issue, or information and advice that they cannot find elsewhere. Avoid topics that a lot of other people have written about, and focus on information and advice that will enhance your readers' lives or careers.

You only post content with a short shelf-life

The most effective blog posts are those that will always have value. Even if your site is about the latest news, it's still useful to produce content that has a longer-term shelf life. This increases your popularity with search engines because customers will keep searching for the subjects you are writing about. Hot topics are great for short-term traffic, but evergreen content is better in the long-term.

Your copy features typos and spelling mistakes

Your business blog must present a professional image, so it's vital to make sure that you check all copy for spelling and typing errors. The occasional silly mistake may not put people off, but customers will soon lose interest with blogs that are full of problems with the grammar. If you aren't a natural writer, consider talking to a copy writer to produce content for you.

You don't promote your blog

Even if your blog content is first class, you need to promote your pages if you want to reach out to more readers. Promote articles and blog entries on your social media accounts, and make sure that you have plug-ins built into your pages, so your readers can easily share pages with their friends and followers. Build up an email distribution list, and tell your followers when you post new content. Make sure your web pages link to your blog, and post a link to your blog via your auto-signature in emails, on forums and on your online profile pages.

You just try to sell your products and services

Business blogging is a good way to talk to new and existing customers, but you won't create much interest if you just try the hard sell. Blogging is not a traditional form of advertising. Your customers can read about your products and services on your website, or see them in your stores. Your blog should relate to what your business does, but it should go further than a discussion about your latest product.

A high-quality blog can help a business of any size connect with new customers, but it's important to develop the right content. If your blog is not performing well, it's probably time to carry out a health check, to find out where you are going wrong.