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ServiceScape Incorporated
ServiceScape Incorporated

You're Writing Blogs Wrong

If you've been maintaining a blog to draw traffic to your website, how's that going for you? Are you seeing the traffic you hoped to see from it? If you're running a business, does that web traffic include the right customers (or audience)? If not, then let's look at some things you might be doing wrong and discuss the best ways to correct those mistakes so your blog will do what it is meant to do—reach the right audience and help you grow your business or succeed in personal branding.

Common mistake 1 – Expecting immediate results

There's no doubt that blogs are incredibly useful in building a business or reputation. However, a common mistake that bloggers make is assuming that this benefit will be instantaneous. As soon as the blog goes up, business will start pouring in, right?

Well, no. Not exactly. A blog is different than print advertising in traditional media in that an audience must be built—steadily and over time. Blogging is not an "immediate results" type of advertising for several reasons. First, a blog helps you increase your site's visibility on Google, but that takes time to happen. Second, a blog helps you show your expertise, but to be considered an expert, you need to demonstrate a lot of knowledge (more than one or nine or even twenty posts can convey). Finally, a blog's audience isn't instantaneous. Your audience will grow from activities like sharing on social media and word of mouth, and that will take some time to happen. So don't give up within a few months if you're not seeing the results you want to see. Be patient, keep blogging, and give the blog time to grow. You'll be glad you did.

Common mistake 2 – Focusing on SEO

We've all heard about SEO and using it to help Google index your site closer to its front page results, and a blog can certainly make this happen. However, writing a blog strictly for this purpose is not a good long-term plan and there are plenty of reasons why. First, your primary purpose in writing a blog is to share your expertise and build influence in your field. Second, you want your audience to share the content you write—that's how your blog will grow its readership. If you overload your blog with too much SEO content without focusing on the quality and "voice" of the information, your expertise is buried beneath keywords and the content will be moderately interesting, at best. Put simply: write for your customers, not for SEO. Keeping focus on your customers will ensure that you publish high-quality content that they will want to read and (ideally) share with others.

Common mistake 3 – Not allowing your content to have personality

No one wants to read boring writing, even if it's about a topic that interests them. Think of some of the best writers you know and think about what makes them so unique. It's the personality of their writing, isn't it? It's the voice of the author that makes them interesting, familiar, and almost seem like they're speaking just to you when you write. It's that trait that makes favored writers so engaging, and you should use that exact approach when writing a blog for your business or personal brand.

This means you'll need to be personable. Write as if you're speaking with your client instead of like you're writing for a text book or press release. It's this "voice" that will make your audience want to read more because we all like to read writing that speaks to us on a personal level. Engage your audience with humor, stories, photos—anything that can draw people in on a personal level. An SEO-laden, 500-word, boring blog entry simply won't do that.

Another great benefit to personable and engaging blog entries is that it keeps your business from seeming faceless. It adds character and projects something about you, as the owner, that your customers want to know. People like knowing they're doing business with other REAL people, not just faceless corporate enterprises.

Common mistake 4 – Not being consistent

Many bloggers begin with a lot of fireworks and end up sizzling out. Not publishing consistently means that not only will you lose the audience you've gained so far—you'll also be seen as potentially out of business or dated. This does not mean that you have to publish a new post daily (or even weekly). Sometimes publishing too much content can be just as harmful, particularly if the content you're publishing becomes stale, repetitive or boring to read.

The best way to ensure consistency in your blogging practices is to make a good judgment about how often you can reasonably publish new content. If you can publish once a month consistently, make that your goal. If you can manage more than that—biweekly or even weekly—then that's even better, but the important thing is publishing consistently.

Common mistake 5 – Making it all about you

Finally, keep in mind that while the blog is meant to show your expertise, it shouldn't be all about you. The main reason for this is your readers will become bored very quickly, even if you lead the most exciting life imaginable. Instead of constantly publishing about your accomplishments, ideas, event participation, etc., focus instead on current events related to your line of work. Showing your audience that you understand your field and keep up to date on current happenings reveals as much about your level of expertise as constantly writing about yourself and your own viewpoints.

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