It happens so often it’s almost like clockwork. Business blogs are started with high hopes and then disillusion sets in when the results aren’t what they hoped for. A lot of it has to do with these simple but common mistakes.
1. Not Asking For Comments
Bloggers always agonize over the lack of comments. But the problem is not that people don’t read the blog or don’t want to comment but the blogger hasn’t given the opportunity for readers to comment. Just like asking for people to order a product, you’ve got to coax people to spend their 3 or 4 precious minutes to comment on your blog. Ask for opinions. People love giving it. Ask for reader’s experiences, input or help to accomplish something. Ask people to suggest something to you e.g. You’re getting incorporated, ask people for suggestions, tips and recommendations. Asking also tells people you’re open to suggestions and alternative views, further improving the image people may have of you.
2. Not Hosting On Their Own Domain
Give thought into your blog. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon. You need to figure out where it’s taking you before you hop on for the ride. Like any website, you may build, think of your blog as a long-term marketing communication channel. A BlogSpot or Typepad URL is not only unprofessional, you don’t own it. Nothing against these blogging services; they’re excellent tools but for long-term marketing purposes, go for your own domain.
This way you control where you want to publish the blog to. Tomorrow, if you outgrow these services, you can easily export your blog to another tool, another host without losing too much established traffic. A domain is also easier for people to remember and easier for you to publicize.
3. Not Maximizing Their Blog Content
Many businesses quit blogging because they feel it’s too much work. True, like everything else, you got to work on a blog but you don’t have to break your back over it. Sometimes you may have a paragraph here and there about a topic that just isn’t big enough for an article. You know what? You’re going to have many more of these impromptu thoughts and ideas – publish it to your blog. Later, you can come back and gather these paragraphs, compile them into a complete article or even a book.
That’s only one way of maximizing your work. Have you written articles in the past? How about e-courses, audio transcripts or books that aren’t in publication anymore? Recycle. Break them up and post them on your blog. In fact, if you have lot’s of this type of content, you can even get your assistant to post them for you.
4. Publishing Too Often
I know what you’re thinking. This sounds like complete the opposite of everything you’ve ever learned about blogging. Truth is, the blogging world changes. What worked yesterday may not today. This is one of them. There are countless blogs already jostling with you for your reader’s time. More are being started by the day.
Who has the time to read so many blogs? It’s come to a point people are forced to cherry pick the blogs they read. Even when they do read yours, you’re not safe yet. If they can’t keep up with your blogging pace, they’ll drop you no matter how good your information is. Keep a balance. Feed information to your readers not dump a truckload on them. Every market is different. Some can tolerate higher number of posts a week, some can’t. You should know your market and test accordingly.
5. Falling For Short Term Methods
Ah, this is my favorite. If you can have a favorite pet peeve that is. Every week, you hear about people dishing out the newest, coolest blogging tactic, the best blogging tool that’s sure to skyrocket your business to success or bulldoze your way to the top search engine listings. Consider how any offer will help you advance your business two, five or ten years from now. Is it really in line with your marketing direction? If it isn’t drop it. It also helps a lot if you can have a reliable source whom you can consult and help put things into perspective for you. One of the most powerful qualities of a blog has nothing to do with search engines, tagging or pinging. These things do have a place, but they aren’t as powerful as the relationship opportunities between you and your customers.
Although these mistakes are common, they are also very easily rectified and don’t cost much money. All of these suggestions are born out of my own trial and error and they’ve worked out nicely. Try it yourself.