Having a blog is exciting. Managing a blog? Not so much.
There are serious tactics that need to be in place to ensure that readers are actually finding the content you’re creating, because there’s real value there. In many cases a person’s first point of contact with your content is NOT your website (it would be great if it was), but likely a post on social media that either you posted, or one that was retweeted or shared by another. So, we highly recommend you put some serious thought into your blog and posts prior to releasing them into the wild.
Blogs should be seen as extensions of the brand — the personality, if you will. It should encompass the people, the voice, the vision, the culture, the expertise, and serve as a point of interest for readers. A brand grants complete strangers access into the offices of the company and the minds of its employees, every time a post goes online.
That’s what a brand needs in order to establish a voice online, and develop credibility as a leader in their respective space.
Here are motivations to be wary of when launching a business blog.
- Focusing only on getting first page ranking on Google
I can’t tell you how often people admit to writing and publishing with this mission in mind. That’s putting the cart (way) before the horse. While driving traffic to your site is important, quality and consistent content is what keeps readers on your site. Focus on the topics your readers are looking for. The key is to never lose sight of what the readers want — not just what you want. A blog, like any socially engaging experience, should be about the audience’s needs, not about the brand’s wants. In time, the quality and consistency builds an organic trail of authority that starts to tip the SEO scale in your favor.
- Basing your success on initial numbers
Don’t be surprised if a million people don’t come to your post when you publish. If you’re watching the clock and waiting, good luck. Like anything worth having, it takes time and dedication to make a blog work for you. Depending on industry and content, it may take a year or more to see the benefit of putting content out there. Unfortunately, because we’ve become so accustomed to quick turnarounds and ignoring the long tail, it’s not unusual for sites to go extended periods of time before a blog post goes up, if at all. And some sites just shut down all together. For companies, it’s a matter of spending dollars and time wisely, and while I won’t refute that point, there is something to be said about perseverance. Over time, it’s possible to gain the readership numbers, but initial analytics should NOT be considered indications of what your future holds.
- Lack of focus
If you’re having trouble coming up with topics to write about, you’ve likely not done enough research on who your audience is and what their pain points are. How can a company find solutions for prospective readers? Look at what the company does, find the audience, find the problems, find the solutions and GO! For many, this is not an issue, but if you’re a brand that struggles with finding that direction, take the time to evaluate the value proposition of your services/product, and don’t be afraid to look into what the competition is doing — what’s working and what is not.
- Lack of original thought
Infuse real opinions and thoughts into posts. There is too much retelling going on. Don’t just summarize an article that was read. Instead, be bold and share a perspective or point of view, regardless of whether it’s popular opinion. If you believe in it, share it. Sharing a personal story — an experience that is relatable — helps to further establish the position taken and can create passionate discussion among the audience.
- Incapable of dealing with criticism
We’ve all been there. We spend time doing or creating something we love, and someone criticizes our efforts. More often than not a company will want to safeguard themselves and their brand from criticism, which is seen as negativity. “What if someone else sees this?” “What if it hurts our brand?” Common questions, but it’s a risk taken when you take anything online. Like in life, there are always going to be critics, only this time you have an opportunity to directly face the people doing the criticism and possibly even turn things around. In social it’s time to stop fearing, start dealing, and always be open to learning and growing.
These are just a few of the all-to-common issues we’ve managed, but there’s surely more. Our agency prides itself in being able to navigate our client partners through issues like the ones mentioned above, and we’d like to help you. You can always connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to see what we’re talking about, some of our insight, and you’re always welcome to ask questions on either platform. Of course, since you’re here, perhaps you’re more comfortable with just leaving a comment below. Let’s work with one another to create better online experiences for all.
Read our article about Top 10 Mobile Blogging Tools.