Correct these 3 Common Blogging Mistakes

You've done your research. You figured out that blogging is a great way to drive traffic to your company's website and help bring in more customers. So you grabbed a cup of coffee, sat down at the computer, and tirelessly worked at pouring your knowledge into one article after another.Initially, you got excited as your traffic numbers went up. But you soon start to realize that you're not seeing those new customers you're supposed to be getting... the phone isn't ringing more, people aren't knocking down your door to get in.

Your initial research wasn't wrong - 79% of companies with a blog reported having a positive ROI. (Source: HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing Report)

So let's take a look at some common mistakes that we see a lot and what you can do to correct them.

#1 - Make Sure You're Writing For Your Ideal Customers

I can't even begin to tell you how often I see this crucial step being overlooked. If you place a print ad or run a radio ad, you will listen to the salesman talk about the viewer/listener demographics. For example - they might tell you something like:

If you advertise on station 123.3, most of our listeners are men between the ages of 30-55 that enjoy hunting, fishing, and football. Since you sell sporting goods, this would be a great place to run your ad.

For some of you, that might be the first time you started to really consider what type of audience you wanted to attract as a business. What I usually see happen, though, is that people don't take a similar mentality and apply it to blogging. They might go as far as something like "we mostly want to attract women, so if we write about pretty pink things, we'll get their attention." But that's about it.

The problem with that, is that the potential customers that visit your site are at an earlier stage in their decision to buy that what you're probably used to. They are doing research about a problem, goal, or interest they have. They don't necessarily know that they need or want your service, and may not even care that you exist at this point. While that sounds complicated - 70% of the decision to buy is invested in this stage - and blogging lets you reach those buyers during that stage. So that's why blogging is so powerful.

If you take the time to develop Buyer Personas that you can visualize having a conversation with, then you will be able to write articles that more directly speak to their needs and interests so you can attract them. If you aren't sure how to build a persona, just grab our free guide right here:

#2 - Say "NO" to drama-filled headlines

You aren't the 11 o'clock nightly news and you shouldn't be writing headlines like "Tune in at 11 to find out about the latest food recall that killed thousands." So what makes up a good headline? Let's take a look!

A good blog title:

  • Will be brief. Most search engines will only display the first 70 characters of your title - so a good rule of thumb would be stay under 70 characters. After you write your title, look it over and see if you can take anything out and have it still make sense. If so, keep taking stuff out until you can't do it any more.
  • Will be actionable. People will typically encounter your title in a search result page on Google, or in a social media post where you've shared it. The title will be a deciding factor in whether or not they click it and go into the article, so you need to make them feel like they will get something out of it by clicking it. Like with the title of this article - it clearly states that you will "learn how to correct common blogging mistakes to get more leads"
  • Features your intended long-tail keyword phrase. Long-tail keywords are phrases people type into search engines to find results. For example, instead of "Chattanooga Chiropractor" they would be more likely to type in "migraine relief in Chattanooga". By writing on those longer keywords, you will have less competition and be more likely to show up earlier in the buying process (before they even know a chiropractor can help with migraines) and show up higher in the results list.
  • Will be the first thing you consider when you sit down to write. I talk to a lot of people that like to wait until they've written the article to come up with a title. Blog posts are not novels. Blog posts are designed to get you to show in more search results, for more search phrases, and for the things your personas will be likely to search for. Because all of those things factor into the title, it's better to start with the title and then fill in the content that goes with it that the user would expect to see when they click into your article.

#3 - Make Sure You Know What Success Looks Like

If you are blogging - or paying someone to blog for you - then it's important that you have a plan for what you want to get out of it. And I'll take that a step further and say that you should have a reliable way to measure the metrics you want to see from it. Whether you're investing your time or your money, you should be able to tell if you're getting your money's worth out of it.

For example: Let's say that when you start with marketing, you just kind of throw things out there and you hope the phone will ring more. That's not a very measurable goal. How will you know if it rings more? Or how will you know many articles you need to write to get the number of "more rings" you'd like to get?

You should be setting S.M.A.R.T. goals anytime you spend money or time to grow your business - and blogging is no different.

For example... a S.M.A.R.T. goal would be something like: I want to go from averaging 10 new customers a month now to 20 customers a month on average by the end of this year.

  • Specific - your goals should be very clear on what you want. (from 10 to 20 customers)
  • Measurable - can you tell if you're getting that many more customers, do you have a way to track it? Can you tie that traffic back to the source?
  • Attainable - can you handle that many more customers? Is that an unrealistic number to expect to reach in the time frame you want?
  • Relevant - why do you want more customers? How will that help your business reach your other goals? Is more customers the best way to do it?
  • Timely - is the time frame that you're setting realistic? Does that time frame help you achieve other goals? Does it align with your customer's goals - like with a seasonal industry?
  • One really common mistake I see people make is that they start a bunch of marketing campaigns at the same time because they want to grow quickly. They might run a radio ad at the same time they start a search engine marketing campaign at the same time they start blogging and social media marketing. Even if you do see an increase in business, you can't tell which source it came from! It's better to start one campaign at a time, give it time to generate results, then expand from there. And then tie those campaigns to each other so that one enhances and boosts the other one and they all perform better as a result.

    Do you need help getting on track? That's what we're here for!

    Leave me a comment and let me know how you keep your blogs on track and and enjoyable for your readers.

    Written by Christina Hooper COO & WEB NINJA AT SPARKITIVE

    Christina Hooper - COO & Web Ninja

    I was blessed to grow up in a small town with a grandfather that owned the local corner store. His hard work and dedication taught me what it is to use your business to build a community.  After working with so many businesses in the last 14 years, I know the power of building relationships.  I believe that in order to succeed, businesses must build relationships - with customers, with each other, and with their communities. Thanks to technology, it is easier than ever before to build relationships with people all over the world and I love that I get to help make that happen. 

    My mission is to help businesses get better at building connections with prospects, turn customers into raving fans, and build brands that clients and customers are proud to know.