There are many right reasons to blog, but that doesn’t stop people from blogging for the WRONG reasons. Here is a quick list of what a blog won’t do for you, and why you should not position your blog in these ways.
1. You tell people what you want them to know rather than what they want to know.
People come to your blog to find answers to their questions. What are the most common things clients or potential clients ask about your business, service or product? What are the most often-listed questions on the Internet on this subject? When you hear or find questions, write them down and use these as blog topics.
2. You write in “corporate speak.”
A blog is a casual conversation between you and the readers. Talking in a corporate language, or using acronyms, will turn off your readers rather than engage them. Save the corporate talk for your white papers when readers want to know intricate details.
3. You think you won’t be original.
If you’re holding back from publishing a business blog because you think you don’t have anything original to say, you’re wrong. When your prospects are researching their question, they are looking for 1) answers and 2) rapport. If they have the choice between two (or more) companies, they will likely choose the one they feel speaks to them. You don’t have to have original thoughts; you just need to be sincere.
4. You throw something up there.
Think about what your blog is saying about your business and your reputation. It is your storefront to the world. As with a brick and mortar store, you wouldn’t want garbage in the window. Nobody will stop and shop there. A wrong way to blog is to toss anything up there and hope it will stick. Instead, create a blog schedule of thoughtful topics.
5. You want the blog to drive sales.
Your blog will likely not result in a direct sale. It should be used to 1) drive traffic to your site, 2) establish expertise, and 3) build trust. It is designed to get people interested enough to contact you; to generate leads. Then it is your job to convert that lead into a sale.
6. You think your blog will automatically build a following.
A business blog may build a few followers, but mostly, it will be a resource when people are researching a topic. If your blog is written well, and includes the right search engine optimization tactics, it will pop up on an organic search and lead people to your website. It is better to get prospective clients onto your email mailing list so that you can directly market to them. Do this by offering a free subscription to your newsletter in each blog post, or giving away a free report or Top 10 list in exchange for their email address. Use the blog to draw potential clients in with a thoughtful topic, then ask them to take a next step that will also provide helpful information to them.
7. You think that the only marketing you need to do is a blog.
A blog is only one tactic in your arsenal of marketing tools. Each tool has its own function and should be used in conjunction with the others. Use your social media to drive people to your blog post by posting an intriguing question or excerpt with a link to the entire post. This will drive people to your website. List your blog in your email signature and on correspondences and marketing materials. Cross-blog with other business owners looking to reach the same audience.