by Bill Nolan
If you’ve followed me for the past couple years, then you know how big a role blogs still play in marketing your personal brand and your business. If you haven’t been following, it’s not too late. Whether you’re a newbie or an alleged seasoned veteran, I’m going to cover some mistakes that you’ll wan’t to avoid. You may not realize you’re guilty, but take a look. It’s worth a quick review for all your hard work and to prevent readers from turning out the lights on your blog.
Don’t write a blog Rip Van Winkle would be proud of.
Regardless of the topic, it had better be informative and entertaining at the same time, or your audience will disappear so fast it’ll make your head spin. There is a delicate balance that must be maintained. Too technical, or too much fluff and the game is over. If you can’t get a little creative or invest some time, your blog will most likely go dark.
Audience. You chose this business, now speak to the correct audience.
If you’re a soap company, then why are you discussing last night’s politics in your blog? Realize who your core audience is, why they came to your business’s blog, give them what they want and you will get business in return. They are following you for a reason. This means they are interested in your particular business, not your opinion on every other topic under the sun. Remember your not really an authority on everything. Stick with what you know and your audience will see you as the authority on that business.
Consistency counts, for example, my readers know what to expect from me… great tips and overall informative messages with a scoop of entertainment to help businesses promote themselves online. Plus, I offer a dash of wit. Ka-ching! There’s no falling asleep here. You want followers to look forward to your next blog. Stick with the topics your particular audience is looking for, and your audience will grow. Get off topic and they will get confused. Easy, right?
Is your blog easy to read or is it going to make my head hurt? If I wanted to read the newspaper, then I would be reading the newspaper. Take it easy with the colors, fonts, italics and bolded lettering. Also break it up with appropriate fonts, italics and bolded lettering. Note that I did not include “colors” in the “appropriate” line. You want your blog to flow well, not look like a train wreck. So keep it simple. Know the limits as well. If you have a lot to say, consider writing multiple blogs instead of cramming it all into one super long blog. Give your readers eyes a break. People do have other things to accomplish in their day. Special note, make sure your audience can find the blog within the mass of advertisements you’ve decided to allow on your page.
Images, again, not the advertising kind.
Like toast without butter, your blog without images is dry and has no flavor. And don’t choose some random photo either. Choose one or a couple that compliment the blog’s topic. Poorly cropped, photoshopped or just flatout generic images will not help entice anyone. Keep in mind, unless you are providing a tutorial with step-by-step directions, do not clutter your blog with images. More text. Not more photos, specially not the advertising kind.
Share. Promote all of your hard work dang it.
You do realize those social plugins, which usually go unused, were created for a reason, right? Sharing is the name of the game and hands down the quickest way for you to reach new followers. Social media, social links, social sharing sites like Medium and social sharing buttons are tools you must take advantage of. Otherwise, you could have the best blog in the world, but no one will ever find it.
Time to get some action.
I can’t say it more plainly than this… you need to allow for commenting on your blog, or it’s not really a blog. It’s an article. Blogs are for social interaction, learning, asking questions, and sharing opinions… even ones that you might not agree with. This is what draws people in. Promote conversation.
Blogs are still alive. They promote you as an authority in your business, and blogs help promote good SEO. These tips really are the basics for posting a good blog, but sometimes it’s the basic things that get missed. Posting a great blog doesn’t need to be the most difficult thing, but should have some thought put into it. In the end, you are the one who controls your blog’s destiny. Will you make it a must read, or will it become the next great bedtime story?