Many business owners think that having a blog will catapult them into social media stardom and that readers from around the world will flock to their website to read it. If you have a blog, you have probably realized by now that this is not the case. Although having a blog is essential to social media success, building it is really just the beginning. It is what you do (or don’t do) with your blog that makes all of the difference.
Positive results come from using your blog effectively to engage your readers and develop ongoing relationships. When done correctly, blogging can bring attention to your business, help you connect with your customers, and potentially increase sales. The key to achieving these results is to remember that if you’re going to be involved in blogging, you have to actually be involved! This means that you are actively and continuously cultivating relationships with your readers and giving people a reason to come back time and time again to read what you have to say. These five truths will help you avoid common blogging misconceptions and achieve the results you want from your business blog.
- Just because you build it, doesn’t mean people will come. One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is assuming that because they have a blog, people will automatically read it. Blogging, in no way, guarantees readership. It is completely possible that you do all of the right things, blog regularly, write about interesting topics, ask stimulating questions, and yet, nothing seems to be working. Although this is extremely frustrating, it comes down to that fact that you can’t force people to read and interact on your blog. All you can do is keep doing what you’re doing and slowly cultivate relationships that will expand your readership.
- There is such a thing as too many keywords. Keywords are important for improving the ranking of your blog in search engines and for increasing visibility and readership. However, more is not always better. You want your blog post to read like a conversation you are having with a person face to face. If you were talking to someone about the orange designer flower-print handbags that you sell, it’s probably safe to assume that you wouldn’t say “orange designer flower-print handbags” three times in one sentence. Yes, it is important to incorporate keywords into your blog, but it is more important to do it naturally. The ultimate goal of your blog post is to write something that people want to read, not to see how many keywords you can stuff into three paragraphs.
- Building relationships takes work. Developing ongoing relationships is at the core of a successful blog. Start by finding blogs related to your industry that you enjoy reading. Leave a few comments, email the author, and encourage readers of that blog to check out yours. Next, ask thoughtful questions on your own blog and respond to all of the valid (non-spam) comments that you receive. Use all of the other forms of social media you are involved in to steer people in your network towards you blog. Most importantly, try to create ongoing communication with your readers and provide value in as many ways as possible.
- You do not have to blog every day. It is easy to get overwhelmed when you tell yourself that you must blog every day. Despite what some say, there is no magic number that dictates how often you should blog. When it comes down to it, it really depends on you and your business. What is important, however, is regularity. Many new bloggers make the mistake of blogging every day for a week, then get burnt out and don’t write another post for six months. Regular blogging does not mean every day, or even every week, it just means that you pick a schedule that works for you, and stick to it.
- Write about interesting topics. Topics. Plural. Just because you’re in the biodegradable cup business, doesn’t mean that you are limited to only blogging about biodegradable cups. There are an infinite number of topics to blog about that are all related to your industry. Out of those endless blogging possibilities, choose the topics that you think your readers will find most interesting and valuable. As a business owner, you are an expert in your field, and your readers want to learn from your insights and ideas. Share your opinion about new industry developments, predict future advancements, or provide relevant advice that you have learned throughout your career.
Your blog should be at the core of your social media efforts. Blogging, when done well, is a wonderful way to differentiate your business and to interact meaningfully with your customers. Although there are many tips and tricks out there for how to successfully blog for your business, the most important thing is to cultivate relationships with your readers and add value with every post.