There are a lot of techniques that can set your firm’s blog up for success. But there are also a lot of pitfalls that can hold you back.
Learning about common blogging mistakes — and how to avoid or fix them — can get you on the right track. You can grab the attention of and impress potential and existing clients. You can make a mark in the industry. And you can build your online presence and grow your business.
So here’s a round-up of some common mistakes you should watch out for when it comes to running your practice’s blog.
Skipping the review
You wouldn’t want potential clients to spot typos or grammar errors in your post. Accuracy and attention to detail are hallmarks of professionalism, so your articles need to be edited and reviewed before they’re published.
Once you’re done writing, go over your draft. Rewrite any parts that are confusing or don’t read smoothly. And check for any misspelled or incorrectly used words (e.g., you’re and your, it’s and its, their and there). Also, proofread your copy in preview mode to catch formatting issues.
Neglecting key design elements
Content is king, yes, but that doesn’t mean design isn’t important. Graphic elements can give your blog that extra push, allowing you to boost traffic and generate more leads.
Some worth considering: a call-to-action in every post; a clear way to connect to your core website; an opt-in link for getting subscribers; a preview (excerpt and image) of your most recent articles on your blog’s homepage; social media sharing buttons for your posts; and tagging, blog search, and recommendation widgets.
Forgetting to engage readers
Your firm’s blog should be a two-way platform. Don’t let it be just about your ideas and insights. Let others’ ideas and insights be heard too. Otherwise, you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to connect with potential clients.
So make sure readers can comment on your posts and, when they do, take the time to reply to them. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism; instead use the feedback to improve your blog. You can also directly ask readers for thoughts and advice on topics you commonly write about.
Publishing only company-centric content
If you want your practice to be recognized as an industry expert, don’t limit your posts to updates about your firm and services. Too much company-focused content makes your blog look like a promotional or advertising tool.
To attract readers or encourage them to visit your blog again, make your posts helpful. You can, for instance, publish educational or insightful content that demonstrates your expertise or features key industry data.
Not understanding audience needs
Writing without taking into account what your readers really need makes it more difficult to connect with them or to grow a following, as you might be providing information that’s of no value to them.
Avoid this by identifying not just your target audience but their particularities as well. Then you can write about topics they would find interesting and focus on the kind of information they’re seeking.
Failing to publish regularly reduces your chances of getting results, marketing-wise. Companies that post fresh content 20 times each month generate about five times more traffic and four times more leads than those that update their blogs no more than four times each month.
Instead of updating your blog just when something comes up, commit to a schedule. Better yet, prepare an editorial calendar to track not only the days you’ll post but also the topics you’ll be covering.
Focusing on frequency, not quality
If you’re keeping up with your publishing routine but letting the quality of your blog’s content suffer, then you might not be poised for long-term blogging success. Fresh but mediocre posts won’t give you a competitive edge.
What your blog needs are high-quality posts that are search-engine friendly and of use to your readers. You’ll find it easier to make a good and lasting impression on potential clients if you take the time to research and craft in-depth posts.
If you want to make it big, you can’t afford to neglect search engine optimization. Getting your posts to rank high on the results page is key to getting traffic to your site. Without SEO, your posts might not get found and all the work you put in will go unnoticed.
To fix this, choose specific keywords that are related to the topic you’re writing about and incorporate this in the URL, page title, and header tag of your post. Don’t overdo it though, or you risk compromising the readability and quality of your article.
Taking headlines lightly
Not giving headlines the attention they deserve can affect your post’s performance. If you rush the article’s title and end up with one that’s not compelling enough, it may not generate as many views or clicks.
For an exceptional headline, use verbs to make it actionable, keep it clear and concise at eight or fewer words, incorporate the right keywords, and add a bit of mystery for an intriguing twist.
Blogging can be complicated and overwhelming, but it can be pretty powerful and rewarding too if you can get it right. By steering clear of these common bloopers, you can reap the benefits of blogging in no time.
Doug Hay is the President of KIAI Agency Inc., and has been in the marketing game for 30+ years with some great results for clients. He started his Internet marketing career at a PR firm and became an SEO and content strategy specialist, helping hundreds of clients to get leads that generate sales and better profits.
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