By now, even inexperienced entrepreneurs at least partially understand the value of content marketing. Creating and sustaining a blog for your brand is a practical necessity for the modern era, giving you a chance to earn more conversions, boost your search engine rankings to get more inbound traffic, and improve your brand reputation all at the same time.
However, blogging isn’t as straightforward or as easy as it might seem, and many overzealous business owners end up making vital mistakes that kill their strategies in the water. It’s important to recognize and learn from these potential mistakes before it’s too late.
The Most Important Mistakes to Avoid
These are some of the most common mistakes made by newcomers:
1. Neglecting your setup.
It seems like you can write blogs anywhere, but your office setup will play a role in your ability to write efficiently and reliably. You may not need a formal office setting, but you’ll want a fast computer with a clean UI, and somewhere comfortable to work on a regular basis. You’ll also want to shop around for the best internet provider in your area, so you don’t have to worry about a shoddy connection when it’s time to publish your latest work.
2. Failing to solidify your brand voice.
One of the most important fundamentals for your blog is going to be its consistency. People need to feel familiar with your brand when they visit, and be able to distinguish your blogs from those of a competitor at a glance. Having a solid design can help, but because your content is the main focus of the blog, it’s even more important to solidify a brand voice in advance. Choosing your tone, personality, and even what level of vocabulary you use can have a major impact on the development of your audience.
3. Writing to a general audience.
Speaking of audiences, you might be tempted to write to a general audience-i.e., everyone-but this is a fatal mistake. It’s much better to start by targeting a narrow, specific niche. Not only will this instantly narrow your field of competition, it will also enable you to write more specific, relevant blog posts for your readers. Plus, you can always expand your audience later.
4. Doing everything yourself.
Blogging seems approachable to the average entrepreneur, especially if you already have in-depth knowledge on your industry. But trying to manage the entire blog yourself is a recipe for disaster. Creating a popular blog requires dozens of hours of work per week, which means you’ll have less time to spend on other tasks. On top of that, other people can probably write the content more efficiently or to a higher quality; outsourcing the writing work to a professional blogger, or enlisting the help of established guest posters can help you build the blog more efficiently-and end up with better content overall.
5. Failing to consider SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is sometimes an afterthought to a new blogger, or is seen as an optional, secondary strategy that can be added in later. However, it’s much more efficient to consider SEO from the start. It takes a long time to build SEO momentum, so it’s always more effective to start it as early as possible. On top of that, writing blogs with SEO in mind prevents you from needing to go back to them and edit them retroactively.
6. Writing without a calendar or high-level strategy.
You shouldn’t be coming up with new blog titles on the spot, or writing posts only when you feel like it. Instead, you need a high-level strategy that dictates how often you write new posts, when you publish them, and what topics they need to cover. This is something you need to research and plan in advance-not something you can improvise your way through.
7. Having no support strategy in place.
Blogs don’t usually get popular without some measure of outside support. If you don’t have a support strategy in place-or at least one in mind-your blog may be doomed to fail. At the very least, you should be syndicating your blog posts across your social media channels, and reaching out to new potential readers regularly.
The Ongoing Learning Process
You aren’t going to be a perfect blogger when you first launch your company’s blog. Nobody starts out with a great blog, even if they have prior experience and a great idea to develop. Instead, the best blogs are ones that have been carefully tweaked and nurtured over time; it’s on you to learn from your mistakes as you go, make conscious efforts to improve your approach, and gradually shape your blog to its full potential.