I love enthusiastic bloggers. They know they have knowledge to share, an inspiring story to tell, and passion to tap. They’ve discovered how easy and quick it can be to broadcast their new thoughts to the world via the blog on their business website.
That’s why it’s sad when I see them fall prey to these common missteps, which limit whether their blog posts will ever be read or shared. Feeling bewildered and ignored, I know that even the most spirited bloggers can quickly lose steam and stop posting.
If this sounds like your experience with business blogging, ask yourself these five questions now so you can avoid or bounce back from a blogging disappointment.
Are you being too cool?
There are a lot of interesting design elements you can apply to a website or blog today. Yet just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you necessarily should. As cool as something may look to you, it might be detracting from delivering your message to its reader.
- Text size (too small)
- Text colour and contrast (white text against a dark background)
- A cluttered sidebar
- Slider images
- Dizzying scrolling
See: Is Your Blog Too Cool to Read?
Are you being too serious?
It’s tempting for business bloggers to take themselves way too seriously, sacrificing sleep, peace of mind, or other self-care to adhere to a rigid posting schedule.
While consistency is definitely a crucial ingredient of a successful blogging strategy, and one you should plan for, it is not a matter of life or death.
Watch for: The temptation to apologize and over-explain if a post is late or if you miss a week or two in between posts.
See: Five Things Not to Do When Restarting Your Blog.
Are you being too prideful?
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me. This is a familiar tune to many business bloggers, enamoured with the concept of chronicling their journey in life and business. Yet a business blog is not a diary, and shouldn’t be treated as one.
Other bloggers misuse this platform as simply another sales channel where they describe and promote their various products and services, announce sales and special events, or constantly write about how prospective customers could benefit from hiring them.
Blogging is a form of content marketing – the practice of sharing helpful information as a way of building relationships, demonstrating your expertise, and expressing your commitment to help, inspire, educate and entertain your readers.
Unlike the efforts of the early “web log” pioneers, and today’s passion bloggers and thought leaders, your business blog is not about you.
A third way business bloggers can be prideful is to assume a prior relationship with every reader, and expect them to be able to jump into the middle of a conversation without any context.
This is especially common once you’ve built up a readership and have confirmation that some readers are coming back.
Watch for: Can a reader always answer “What’s in it for me?” in your blog posts? Is what you’ve written more for them or for you?
See: What is Business Blogging?
Are you being too humble?
On the flip side, you may lack the confidence to really put yourself out there and share your work across a wider platform. Or you may simply lack the knowledge of how to do that effectively.
- Your blog post byline is blank or says “Posted by admin.”
- You’re not announcing or promoting your blog posts, expecting readers to check your site to see when something is new.
- You don’t reply to or acknowledge people who share your posts on social media.
See: 10 Reasons to Share Your Post on Social Media.
Are you being too hasty?
While blogging is a quick and relatively simple way to broadcast your thoughts, there is a big difference between your initial draft and the polished marketing tool it can become.
Before rushing to hit that Publish button, take time to check all the boxes of effective publishing and promotion.
- A captivating image (found online or created yourself)
- A call to action
- Enough white space and subheadings to make the post easy to read
- A topic that’s aligned with your categories and blogging plan
- Spelling and grammar errors
- Jargon or technical terms a beginner won’t understand.
See: How to Streamline Your Blog Post Publishing and Promotion Tasks.
When you’re bubbling over with enthusiasm, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. If you’re a business blogger who’s jumped in with both feet, welcome to the blogosphere! Please don’t let these mistakes chase you away.
P.S. If you liked this post, you might enjoy the Blogging Tips newsletter, delivered weekly to your inbox! Sign up here.