I give credit to entrepreneurs who write their own blogs. Blogging can be an extremely valuable marketing tool, but it can be very time-consuming. And if it’s not done right, it can be a significant waste of resources. Nothing pains me more than seeing a blog that someone clearly put a lot of time and effort into, but that is missing some essential elements for success.
Today, I’m sharing common blogging mistakes I see small businesses make every day. The next time you go to hit “publish,” make sure you have these steps covered!
1. Blogging Without a Plan
If you’re writing your own blog or hiring someone like me to write for you, you’ve clearly decided that blogging is important. Just like any other marketing strategy, you should have a plan for the role blogging will play in your business and what goals it will accomplish.
The goals you set for your blog will guide the decisions behind what you write about, where and how you promote and use your blog content, and the time and resources you invest in the blog.
Here are some examples of what your blogging goals could be:
- Establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry
- Improve your business’ SEO
- Engage your audience and develop relationships with prospective customers
- Convert leads on your website
- Grow your email list
- Gather consumer feedback and insights
- Create custom content to help you stand out from competitors
2. Not Using CTAs
If you don’t give your blog readers a clear next step to engage with your business, you’re missing a major opportunity with an already-interested audience member. This is one of the worst blogging mistakes small businesses can make.
Every single blog post your business publishes should include a CTA that encourages readers to learn more about you or even make a purchase. There are various ways to incorporate a motivating CTA into your blog posts. Here are a few examples:
3. Posting Blogs Inconsistently
Regularly posting new blog content to your website is beneficial for many reasons. When businesses post sporadically, they lose opportunities to improve search engine rankings, build a loyal following, and establish authority.
Search engines love seeing fresh content on your website. It tells them that your website is active and that they should crawl it more often. The readers who become “regulars” on your site are likely to spend time reading your posts, too, which reduces your bounce rate and increases the length of your average visit. These are metrics that search engines pay attention to.
If one of your blogging goals is to help your small business become an industry leader or an authority in a certain area, blogging consistently is key. Frequently posting quality content demonstrating your knowledge, skills, and insights builds a library of blogs that demonstrate your credibility. This helps your target audience to see you as an expert in your field.
Want more helpful tips on blogging for your small business?
Sign up for my email list to get weekly ideas and resources delivered straight to your inbox.
4. Not Focusing on Readability
Have you ever opened an article or blog online, seen giant blocks of dense paragraphs, and said, “Forget it?” I know I have.
Readability is an indicator of how easy it is to read and understand your content. It’s crucial for your readers and search engines alike. Blogs written for readability make it simple to skim your post, see what it’s about, and take away major keywords and thought points.
To improve your blog posts’ readability, consider these steps:
- Use subheadings: Make it easy for people and search engines to skim your major talking points and subject matter.
- Use shorter sentences: Aim for sentences with 20 words or less to help readers move quickly through your text.
- Include relevant imagery: Use images, graphics, and even videos in your posts.
- Avoid large paragraphs: Most readers scan blog posts vs. truly reading them. Shorter paragraphs help them move through your blog posts fast.
- Watch your wording: Avoid using long or complicated words and terms. Common guidance is to write for an 8th-grade reading level.
5. Skimping on Visuals
Blogs with visuals get 94% more views than those without visuals. Let that sink in: if you’re posting blogs, you need to include visual content! Not adding visuals is a big blogging mistake.
The data on why you should include more imagery in your blogs doesn’t stop there. People process images 60,000x faster than they do text, and 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text.
You don’t need to fill your blog posts with intricate infographics or spend hours creating images for your blogs. But, there’s definitely a case for making sure each blog has relevant images that support your content topic.
At a minimum, every blog post should have an attractive and engaging featured image and relevant imagery every 400 words or so. Adding infographics or videos demonstrating important concepts or talking points is impactful and makes your post more readable and interesting
Just don’t forget about your image titles, Alt-Text, and captions!
6. Blogging Without Linking
Backlinks are a key SEO component of blogs, but not including them is one of the most common blogging mistakes small businesses make. If you’re new to the term, backlinks are hyperlinks from your blog post to another website (Or, from another site to yours.)
Why would you link to someone else’s website? Well, external links are all about building credibility. Including insights and making points in your text that are backed up by other reputable websites tells search engines and readers that you know what you’re talking about. And, when other websites link to your website, it says you’re an authority.
Internal links direct readers from your blog post to other pages on your site. Your readers use the hyperlinks in your blog to check out other resources and information on your website. Search engines use them to figure out and track what your website is all about.
7. Not Creating Long-Form Blog Posts
I know, I know, a 1,500 to 2,000-word blog post takes a long time to write. When you’re juggling a million other things, that’s a lot to squeeze into your schedule! But adding long-form blogs to your publishing calendar can result in some serious benefits for your business.
Long-form blogs give you the space to give a well-detailed instruction or explanation of a topic that’s valuable to your readers. It provides plenty of room to use your keywords and their variations naturally, include various helpful links, and add useful and relevant images.
Here are a few data-backed reasons you should consider adding long-form posts to your business’ blog:
- Long-form blogs rank better on search engines
- They are more likely to be shared on social media
- Longer blogs tend to get more backlinks from other websites
- They encourage readers to stay on your site longer
Every blog post doesn’t have to be lengthy, but small businesses should have long-form blogs in their content mix.
Writing impactful, quality blogs for your business can be an ultra-impactful way to connect with your audiences and boost your search engine rankings. The next time you sit down to create a blog post, make sure you’re not guilty of making these common blogging mistakes!
Want helpful tips delivered straight to your inbox?
Sign up for my email list to get my weekly newsletter, full of resources created and curated just for small business owners.