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Five Ways to Grow Your Blog Before the End of the Year
I have three questions for you. First, are you blogging for your business (or are you paying someone to blog for you)? Hopefully you answered “yes.” Secondly, if you are blogging, are you being boring? And finally, are you avoiding other blogging blunders? (Hint: the answer to those last two should have been “no.”)
Dare I say it? Even though you’re busy, you need to be blogging (and avoiding catastrophic blog mistakes). As a business owner, your time is limited, I know. But isn’t your biggest goal to grow your company? I assume you answered “yes” so I have one thing to tell you: “Get to it!” Or, at least, hire a company like Blue Corona to “get to it” for you! Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your industry, as well as bring in new visitors (and keep old ones coming back). It is a great way to grow your business.
Don’t Make These Blog Mistakes: Avoid a #blogfail
Whether you are determined to write your own blog posts (which we don’t recommend for business owners who are so busy that they literally work around the clock, but hey, some people are stubborn), are paying someone to blog for you, or are getting ready to start a blog, avoid these five mistakes! There are way more than five, but I’ll get into the significant ones:
- 1) Writing boring or off-putting content
- 2) Not knowing your target audience
- 3) Making grammar and spelling mistakes
- 4) Forgetting SEO completely
- 5) Failing to promote your content
If You Want to Grow Your Blog…
#1 Stop Writing Boring Content
Next Stop: Boresville
I’ll just ask you straight up. Is your blog interesting? If it’s not, you need to change that ASAP. Don’t always stick with the “safe” (read: boring). Engage your readers in a unique way. Say something ordinary in an extraordinary way. Have a sense of humor. Show your personality! Through your writing, show there is actually a person behind the content, someone who can empathize with the readers.
And don’t say, “I can’t be unique or funny…it’s not fitting for my industry.” You can always find a way to make a blog post fun, unique, humorous (fill in the blank with anything) no matter what industry you’re in—plumbing, HVAC, insulation, etc. One good way to make a blog post more interesting is to draw random comparisons (we have a blog post that compares email marketing to fanny packs…and it works, despite what may have just run through your head when you read that).
Of course, it all depends on who your readers are. If your target audience won’t appreciate, will get offended by, doesn’t understand, etc. the humor you’re trying to incorporate, things could backfire pretty quickly. This, conveniently, brings me to my next point.
#2 Think, No, Really Think About Your Target Audience
Uh, who’s reading my blog?
Please don’t let me ever hear you ask that. You should know who your target audience is. You’re not going to know every single person who is reading your blog, of course, but you should know the majority of your readers. Is your target audience middle-aged men? Teenage girls? Small business owners? Writing for your specific audience can help you engage your readers more easily, and your blog will probably convert better.
Keep your target audience and industry in mind when making your writing more interesting and exciting. For instance, if you’re in the beauty and health industry and are writing a blog post about acne treatment, it might not be appropriate to make jokes because teenagers can be sensitive about that. You don’t want to offend your readers!
#3 Find Yourself an Editor
Does grammar really matter? People won’t even notice mistakes, will they?
This one is bad—as a writer, it’s an especially big pet peeve of mine. Now, I’m not going to give you a grammar lesson (you may still have nightmares about your grade school English classes) but I will say loud and clear: avoid grammar and spelling errors. They just make you look dumb and weaken your credibility. Copyblogger touches on some important grammatical mistakes to avoid, but there’s more. Also make sure you spell your company’s name right (hey, it sounds silly, but careless mistakes happen if you don’t proofread). I know you’re busy, but take the time to read over the blog post you’re about to publish.
Grammatical errors are also related to SEO. No, don’t worry, this doesn’t mean your post won’t rank well if it has a couple typos. However, Google’s Matt Cutts has revealed that pages with a higher reputation in Google tend to have better spelling and grammar. Also, poorly written content is less likely to be read. It will make a bad impression on readers. Why should someone trust what you’re saying if your company name isn’t even spelled right or your sentences are unclear and full of misspellings?
#4 Learn a Thing or Two about Blogging & SEO
Oh yeah…SEO…that thing
Now, it may be fun to write blog posts, but don’t get so completely caught up in it that you forget about SEO. This doesn’t mean stuffing the page with keyword phrases. Remember—always write for the user, not the search engines, and learn to balance good writing and SEO (don’t worry, it’s not that hard). Certain keyword phrases aren’t going to sound natural, so don’t worry if you can only tactfully fit in a keyword one time. That’s better than squeezing it in two more times when it doesn’t sound right. Google has gotten much better at detecting spammy pages, and what’s even more relevant to this post is the shift towards authority and branding rather than keywords and anchor text (there’s a chance co-citations may even replace anchor text in the future).
#5 Promote Your Blog on Social Media
But I thought just writing blog posts was enough!
If you did, you thought wrong! You need to publish your blog posts and promote them on social media sites. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, but social media is becoming more critical for SEO. Don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account for your business? It’s easy enough to make one. If you do have social media accounts, you have no excuse not to better promote your blog! When you put up a blog post, take a few minutes to also post it on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Be the Lamborghini of Blogging, Not the Honda Civic
Yeah, I’m comparing blogging to cars, and I know you know what I mean. Civics are just so bland next to Lamborghinis. A Lamborghini is more likely to catch your attention and be remembered—in a good way! That’s how you want your blog to be. Already have a blog and are horrified to learn that you’ve made some of the above mistakes? Well, better late than never (and if you’re worried because you never get any blog comments, don’t be—blog comments don’t matter as much as you think they might)!
Now you know how to successfully blog (for the most part). At Blue Corona, we’ve got some more copywriting tricks up our sleeves and can help your business grow through blogging—we’ll make sure you’re the Lamborghini. Contact us if you’re interested in our services.
#blogfail successfully averted!
About The Author: Alanna is a content marketing specialist with Blue Corona. When she's not doubling and tripling website traffic and leads for remodeling companies, she enjoys reading and working out.
View more blogs by Alanna Potosky