The 10 worst business blog blunders

Blogs are a great way of reaching out to current and prospective clients in a relevant and interesting way. They allow you to illustrate thought leadership, aid SEO and play a key part in boosting your company's reputation across social media channels.

Investing time and thought in your blog can greatly benefit your business. Yet so many organisations fail to make the most of their blog. It's often seen as a burden, something to update on the rare occasion someone has five minutes with the first thing that comes to mind.

Here are the top ten mistakes corporate bloggers make - and how you can avoid them.

1. Not committing to it.

Many businesses start a blog without realising what a big commitment is, eventually leaving their blog to sit idle, rarely updated due to time constraints.

When a blog hasn't been updated for a year, it looks like your business hasn't had anything to say for a year.

Before you get into blogging, ensure you have the support of colleagues, employers/employees and key stakeholders. Convey the values - and the risks - of blogging to all relevant parties and make sure blogging has been accounted for in ongoing communications strategies.

When you are sure everyone understands it's importance and the long term future of the blog is assured, then you should begin.

2. Not having a strategy

Have you considered why you are blogging? Who do you want to reach and what do you hope to achieve? All too often corporate blogs do not follow a strategy. Posts appear when inspiration strikes and updates become sporadic and untargeted.

Take the time to create a content plan and identify the types of content your target audience want to read. This will keep your blogs regular and relevant.

3. Using your blog just to sell products

Your blog isn't your shop or an advert for your business. Using your blog exclusively as a marketing tool presumes the reader is already interested in your company. Instead, the blog should be used to create this interest in the first place, providing thought leadership, interesting articles and news that will encourage readers find out more about your brand.

4. Expect every post to be a viral hit.

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is giving up blogging because they do not think it is benefitting their business. With a growing number of business out there, it is increasingly harder to get your content heard and shared, particularly if you operate within a niche industry.

While you should always strive to create content people want to share, just because it hasn't been shared doesn't mean it is not beneficial. Consider the long-term advantages of creating a database of informative articles, the SEO benefits of creating new and relevant content.

5. Micromanaging it

It is understandable that businesses want to ensure that all blogs are on-message, but when the approval process has to go through half a dozen people, it becomes impossible to stick to a schedule and content can lose its personality. Streamlining the approval process will allow you to keep to a schedule and help your content stay fresh.

6. Not measuring it

Taking time to find out which posts are popular, what's working and what's not will help you refine your content strategy to better serve the readers' interests.

7. Not being relevant to your readers

Between trying to create something shareable and trying to get relevant comp any messaging into your blog, it can be easy to lose sight of what the readers want. Keep your content relevant to your area of industry and don't be afraid of commenting on the important issues that matter to your audience.

8. Copying other blogs

We all take inspiration from a variety of places, but it is bad practice - and bad value to your readers - just to copy other people's posts. If you like a blog you have seen, consider how you can further the discussion of the subject. Perhaps even post a reply post to the author. This will serve the reader better and can be a good way of forging links with other successful bloggers.

9. Forgetting to have a personality

No one likes reading something bland and impersonal. Equally no one wants to write a blog if it feels like a chore. While a blog should follow any necessary guidelines on grammar and tone, the author's own creativity and ideas should be encouraged.

10. Being unprepared for negative feedback

Even the most innocuous post can inexplicably annoy someone. As with all communications channels, it is important not to ignore complaints. Having crisis management processes in place will enable you to handle all remarks quickly, reasonably and effectively.

To discuss developing an effective content strategy, contact us.