You might be doing everything else right on your blog, but if you make these mistakes, none of your good work will matter. Don’t undermine your brand’s credibility with these blogging snafus.
Blogging makes for a potent one-two punch when combined with email marketing. In fact, your blog ought to serve as the hub for all of your digital marketing efforts, since it offers the potential for increased exposure via search, and when executed well, it allows you to craft visitors’ contact with your brand into a rich experience that inspires relationships.
But perhaps most importantly, blogging enables you to build trust and authority, which means that the whole enterprise can go down the drain if you send the wrong signals. There’s plenty that you can do wrong on a blog, but if you can avoid the below four common major mistakes, you should be in good shape.
Don’t wander off
Don’t veer off the topic of your blog. Determine the issues that matter to your niche and stick with them. Slight pivots are totally cool, but avoid jarring diversions.
It might be fun to post about that great movie you just saw, or even something just barely related to your industry, but unless you’re connecting this subject matter to your industry in a creative way, just don’t do it. It will not only lower your blog’s potential to resonate with a relevant audience but also lower your ranking in search engine results, since Google’s rankings are based on relevance. If you want to blog about your favorite TV show or your pet, start a personal blog.
Remain consistent with your subject matter, your voice, lag time between posts and your perspective, or you’re likely to never build an audience.
Don’t be a bad host
Don’t host your company’s blog on WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Tumblr.com or any other blogging platform if you’re using the third party platform’s own hosting and name servers. Reserve your own domain and use a proper hosting service. You can still use WordPress, Tumblr, Joomla, Drupal or another CMS to manage your content, but you’ll have more control and make a better impression.
This is one of those cases where a little money goes a long way. Sure, hosting isn’t free, but when your blog is at myblog.com, it comes off as a lot more professional than myblog.wordpress.com. It gives you just a little more street cred and the ability to customize. Your movie blog – that one you can host on Blogger or WordPress.com.
You aren’t writing a doctoral thesis, so there’s no need to show off your vocabulary. Unless your blog is about language or you are using industry-specific jargon that means something to your readers, keep your language simple and conversational.
Keep your sentences and paragraphs to readable length, too.
And when it comes to post length, it might be a good idea to experiment a bit until you see what makes the most impact. Longer word counts can be great for detailed drill-downs into major themes, and “long form” posts may be more likely to be noticed by search bots, but remain reasonably wary of reader fatigue.
Your blog is not your home
Keep your blog homepage separate from your main site homepage. Tempting though it may be to use your blog content to keep the most prominent areas of your homepage nice and fresh, it isn’t the right place.
You want first time visitors to get the broad overview first and the specialized content second. Link to your blog from your homepage and vice versa, and promote dynamic content where appropriate, but keep the two properties distinct.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user withassociates under a Creative Commons license.