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8 things you’re doing wrong and 7 ways to overcome them

Is your business blog underperforming? I see so many that are. By the time you finish this piece, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to make your business blog sing!

Here are eight reasons your content is failing:

1. Easy doesn’t cut the mustard

Writing a few throwaway words every so often won’t do it.

Have a content strategy — what are you going to publish, for whom and why? — and a blogging schedule. Do your research. Who are your customers? What’s causing them pain? Where are their problems? How can you provide answers?

How do you get them to your website?

2. You’ve been posting news. Don’t even have a News section

Have a look at your blog. Do you have any pieces about your staff night out? Your accountant’s half marathon? Your new computer system?

People don’t care about your new social media lead. Readers want to know how they’ll solve their business problems. Chances are, they may not. That’s not their job. So, if that’s the case, keep quiet about them. They are right for your business, but of no direct help to your customers.

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Let me tell you. 99.99% of your potential readers (let’s allow for the 0.01% of weirdos or terminally distracted) have zero interest in that stuff. They have lives that are at least as busy as yours. They have pressing business (and personal) problems they are desperately looking for solutions to.

News is Irrelevants. I say, don’t have a News section on your website, so no one will be tempted to post this kind of waffle.

Call it a blog and understand what a blog does and what it demands of you and your colleagues. Because it does demand of you.

3. You get no kudos for posting every day

Back in the day, we had this idea that Google liked fresh content. In fact, I used to advise my clients that they should keep posting frequently. I’ve stopped doing that because it’s a piece of advice that can be so easily misinterpreted.

The advice is to post as much great content as you can. Quality is way more powerful than freshness.

4. You’ve been sucked down the Branding rabbit hole

Branding. It’s a difficult one. Large corporations have values for their brands on their balance sheet. Your brand may well tip the balance when a purchasing decision is made.

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But that doesn’t mean you should write so much branding content in your blog.

Branding is part of your marketing. Not all of it.

For businesses, branding is more often than not something you should think about as the customer progresses through the sales funnel. Solving problems is what will entice those prospects on to your website and tip them into the top of your funnel.

Blogging is excellent for getting prospects into the start of your sales funnel. Understand your potential readers, turn them into prospects. Later you can assure them you’re a brand they can trust and then sell to them.

5. There’s no such thing as free traffic

And don’t let anyone tell you there is. It’s one of the internet’s great lies.

Your time is worth something. If you or your business is engaging a writer to do it for you, they cost money. And you have the briefing, editing and managing to account for.

No. Traffic isn’t free. Nor has it ever been.

Since traffic isn’t free, you should be careful to spend your blogging wisely. You can’t produce all the content you’d like to, so be clear what the most effective content is and prioritise it.

6. You haven’t been realistic about resources

Because traffic isn’t free and because great content doesn’t write itself, you need to make the budget or staff available.

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Otherwise. Tumbleweed…

No content for the past six months.

7. You don’t understand SEO

Writing for your audience is a great piece of advice. I would never disagree with it. Picturing your ideal customer as you write is a challenge in itself. You can be proud of yourself if you’re already doing it.

But SEO is more than simply writing for your audience. Are you sure your site is going to enable Google and other search engine crawlers to read your content efficiently? Can your readers find the content they’re looking for? Can they read your blog on their mobile? And that’s just the technical stuff.

But do you understand how semantic relationships can make your content more appealing to people and the search engines? Do you understand how doing your homework with Key Phrase Research can lead to better theming to make a better read for people and a more understandable piece for the search engines?

I’ll stop before I start disappearing down the SEO rabbit hole. I’m sure to write more about SEO soon.

8. Your writing is lousy

There’s a reason for copywriters. They do what a lot of people struggle with. What a lot of people are frightened of.

If your writing is terrible, or you’re terrified of a blank screen, get in the specialists.

How can you write blogs everyone needs to read?

  1. Know who you’re writing for
  2. Know what they care about — what are their problems? Where is their pain?
  3. Be absolutely clear about why you’re putting scarce resources into a piece of content
  4. Learn SEO. Get the right people to your blog
  5. Write well. Or learn how to. Or get in an expert
  6. Publicise your content where your audience is
  7. Repeat. Regularly. To a schedule

Become a Business Blogging Badass with my 7-day email Masterclass. Do I need to say it’s free?

This post was previously published on Medium.