Today’s guest post comes from Cathy Miller, a freelance business writer with over 30 years of professional writing experience from small businesses to Fortune 500 customers. Cathy started her own business in 2008, providing all forms of online and print business writing.
It sounds simple – create a business blog.
- It’s easy to set up
- It’s low cost
- It’s a no-brainer, right?
Not entirely. There are “Nos” that can kill your business blog in no time at all.
The good news is you can fix them – here’s how.
#1 – No Reality
With the simplicity of blog platforms and pre-packaged themes, it’s common for a business owner to think creating a business blog is easy.
The reality is managing a business blog is a big commitment.
- It takes time
- It takes attention
- It takes planning
The fix: Understand the commitment and plan for your success.
#2 – No Plan
Hopefully, you have a reason for your business blog other than everyone has one.
Like any marketing or business activity, you should have a plan for your blog that includes:
- A budget
- Roles and responsibilities
A favorite mantra of mine is – the great thing about plans is you can always change them.
The fix: Have a plan in place before going live with your business blog.
#3 – No Objective
Think about what you want from your blog.
- Do you want to drive more traffic to your website?
- Do you want a platform for showcasing your expertise?
- Are you introducing a new product?
The fix: To start, select a single objective and focus on achieving it.
#4- No Target
A tip for writing effective blog posts is imagining you are writing it for a specific person.
- How would you describe your ideal reader?
- What do you know about them?
- What problems do they have that you can help with?
The fix: Picture your ideal client and create posts for that client.
#5- No Branding
- Branding is more than a catchy slogan or a cool logo
- Branding defines your message
- Branding lets customers know who you are
- Branding is your identity
A professional web design, logo, and slogan are tools for supporting your brand. Do you know what your brand is? If you don’t, start with branding before you even think about creating a blog.
The fix: Identify the brand you want to be known for and apply it to all aspects of your business.
#6 – No Marketing
You could write posts three times a day and have no readers without marketing. Social media opened new doors for marketing, but like your blog, it requires time and planning.
- Promote your brand
- Plan your message
- Target your ideal client
The fix: Use your business blog as the center that feeds your social media marketing and go where your ideal client hangs out.
#7 – No Engagement
The primary purpose of a blog is engaging readers and potential customers. If that’s the case, why discourage interaction?
- Turn the Comments feature on and respond to every comment
- Write for your reader – don’t lecture, don’t sell, and don’t bore
- Survey your readers to find out what they want
A blog that fails to engage dies a lonely death.
The fix: Picture your readers as people you are anxious to know.
#8 – No Consistency
Readers are a fickle bunch. It doesn’t take much to chase them away.
- Post consistently
- Have a consistent message
- Create post categories that appeal to your readers
You decide what the posting frequency is. With the right marketing, it can be less frequent than you think – as long as you are consistent.
The fix: Stay true to your brand and stick to your posting schedule.
#9 – No Analysis
I love this quote from basketball coach John Wooden, “Don’t mistake activity for achievement.”
Repeating the line from #6, you could write posts three times a day and have no readers. Lots of activity – no achievement.
Consider tools like Google Analytics for evaluation.
- What topics received the most traffic?
- What keywords are readers using to find your site?
- Which social media platforms drive the most traffic?
The fix: Select an analytical tool that best meets your needs.
#10 – No Accountability
Do all the stakeholders know who is doing what?
- Who writes the posts?
- Who responds to comments?
- Who checks the facts?
Even a sole proprietor needs accountability.
- Pick a specific day every month to assess your strategy
- Consider partnering with a colleague for sharing updates
The fix: Assign roles and responsibilities and schedule time for updates.
A business blog is a powerful marketing tool. You have worked hard to build your business. Do not let too many “Nos” destroy your hard work.
What tips do you have?
A huge thanks to Cathy Miller of Simply Stated Business for this guest post. Hope you all enjoyed it!
Until Next Time!
Bonnie Olswanger | Thrive Web Designs, a Boise web design company