16 Business Blog Blunders to Avoid

This is a guest post by Jessica Velasco.

Isn’t it delightful when we can learn from the mistakes of other people?! Here is a list of common blogging blunders. Check to see if you are making any of these mistakes. If so, correct them now before your readers become disenchanted, turning your blog into a ghost town.

business-blogging-blunders

Photo Credit: Kristi Hines on Photostry

1. Being Ignorant of Your Real Readers’ Needs

Who are your blog readers? You’re probably not getting a ton of traffic from the upper-level execs, sitting in the corner office 10 stories above you. So, why are you writing to please your bosses? Write for the real readers of your blog. Meet their needs. The majority of your readers are your current and prospective clients – write for them!

2. Recycling Content

Always write content that is specifically designed with your reader in mind. Don’t be lazy; simply copying and pasting other people’s articles isn’t going to impress your blog audience. Don’t repurpose press releases. Don’t repost marketing literature from other sites. Share content that your readers won’t be able to find anywhere else.

3. Using a Boring, Generic Design

The very purpose of a blog is to be personable and conversational. You want your customers to know there is a person behind the logo. How on earth are visitors going to get a glimpse of your personality if it is buried behind a boring, sterile design?

4. Being Unpredictable

Nothing says, “I don’t care,” like a dormant blog. You’ll never gain regular readers if you are only posting sporadically. Each time readers visit, they should be able to find fresh, interesting content. At the very minimum, you should be posting once a week – no matter what. If your blog posts are usually handled by just one person in the office make sure you have a back-up in place for times when that employee is sick or on vacation.

5. Being Overly Attentive

Rarely bothering to post articles translates to disinterest in your readers’ needs. However, overstimulation translates to pushy and obnoxious. Posting several times a week is helpful. Posting several times a day is distracting. Readers will never be able to sort through all that content. Stick to the bare bones and give them only what they can handle. Plus, that many posts will stretch your resources too thin.

6. Passing off Sales Pitches as Content

Your readers are smart and insightful. Don’t insult their intelligence by posting sales pitches disguised as content. Readers will sniff that nonsense out in no time at all. If you are writing quality content your readers will benefit from, sales will be the natural result of the trust you have built.

7. Teasing Your Audience with Short, Little Posts

No, we aren’t saying every post needs to be a novel. We don’t enjoy reading 1,000 word articles any more than you enjoy writing them. However, there is no way you can make your point in less than 200 words. Readers want (and deserve) information that will get them from start to finish. It is extremely difficult (some would say impossible) to be thorough with so few words.

8. Writing About Boring Stuff

Your blog is competing with Facebook, Twitter and other “bored at work” distractions. If you are writing about uninteresting topics, no one is going to read it. There are far better ways that readers can spend their time.

9. Turning Off Comments

Don’t you just hate it when you hang up the phone and realize you uttered only a handful of words during the entire conversation? The caller didn’t give you a chance to offer your thoughts and ideas about anything. It made you feel like your opinions weren’t important, right? If you turn the comments off, you are doing the exact same thing. Don’t make your blog a one-sided conversation.

10. Ignoring People

While it is important to make comments available on every post, it is equally important to reply to those comments. Try to address every comment. At the very least, reply to comments that have questions, different points of view, and thoughtful responses.

11. Not Tracking Performance

Would you drive your car at night without headlights? No. Why would you operate a blog without regard to performance? How do you know which direction you should be headed? Before you even write your first post, form a relationship with Google Analytics. Decide which metrics are the best indicators of performance and check back regularly.

12. Writing Super Technical Stuff

Writing about a topic and intentionally making it sound complicated is ridiculous. It doesn’t make you look smart and it doesn’t help your readers. Clear and concise will always win out over technical and complicated every time.

13. Ignoring Images and Videos

Yes, it does take time to format images and videos. But the ROI is so worth it! Readers like photos; they add a personal and authentic aspect to the writing. Images – like screenshots and infographics – help clarify confusing and technical content. People remember more if they see and hear information; upload a video and really drive your point home.

14. Overlooking SEO

Delving into SEO is like opening Pandora’s Box; we aren’t going there today. However, we will say it is pretty pointless to operate a blog without regard to SEO. Check out a search engine keyword tool. Look at the keywords your audience is using to reach your blog. Then, write quality content around those keywords.

15. Operating a Blog that is Independent from Your Website

Again, we won’t go too far into the specifics right now. However, we will make you aware of the fact that there are numerous SEO benefits of having your blog and website share a domain. For more info, read this article.

16. Waiting for Readers to Come to You

Your readers have busy lives. They probably don’t have the time to check your blog each hour for new posts. And assuming they are sitting around, waiting with bated breath for your latest soliloquy is just silly. Make life easy for everyone; promote your posts via social media and email!

Well, what did you think? Have you been committing any of these blogging blunders? Have you notices an annoying blogging habit that really gets under your skin? Tell us about it!

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Comments

  1. says

    Part of the reason that blogs are so popular is the opportunity to responded to what the blogger has written. When you do comment on the blog it is expected that the blogger acknowledge your comment, and respond back to you and thank you. I have left comments on blogs and never got a response from the author. It left me with feeling that the author did not care about what I had to say. I hope you do Jessica :-)
    Larry James just posted 5 Brilliant Design Tips To Help People Get Their Credit Card Out

    • Jessica Velasco says

      See! I did reply!

      Now that you brought the comment portion of this article to my attention, I realized I should have expanded a bit. Trying to stay on top of comments can be a full-time job (and probably why so many owners turn the comments off). Blog owners must to have an automated system to notify them of comments – otherwise they won’t survive. And, if a blog owner has guest authors, they need to make sure the authors have access to the same automated system. I randomly stopped by one of my guest posts the other day (mind you, I probably have hundreds out there in cyber space) and there were 25 comments. I had no idea! I felt terrible.

      So…long story short…get notifications of comments. Hook your guest authors up. Check email spam settings. The end!

  2. says

    Hi Jessica
    You have listed some good points, I think when we all first start blogging we can be guilty of making some of these mistakes, like everything we do in life we all learn by our mistakes and move forward.
    I think if you build up relationships with our readers that is a great base for success, of course we do need good content and avoid the things you have listed.
    Thanks for sharing
    Pauline
    Pauline just posted 5 Tips To Make Blogging Easy

  3. says

    Great post, Jessica! I actually had one small-business blogging client who ran a radio show for startups. She had her blog off on another site, and there wasn’t even a link between it and her main radio-show site!

    It drove me nuts. I explained in vain how this was a waste of her time and money to try a blogging strategy off in a corner by itself where it couldn’t piggyback on her natural traffic from her show. I eventually quit the gig because I was just too frustrated with it.
    Carol Tice just posted Freelance Blogging: How I Make $4,000+ A Month Working Part Time

    • Jessica Velasco says

      I hear ya. I was a freelancer for one of those. I felt like I was writing in a black hole!

  4. says

    Hi Jessica,
    I like the point ”Recycling content” .Write your own content before writing make some research on topic which you want to write .Don’t stole someone else content because you can lose your readers and it is very difficult to rebuild your trust on your readers if it ll broken.
    Ali zia just posted Quick tip to make your post tail strong

  5. says

    #6 is a major pet peeve of mine. Your blog and your content need to provide informational value to your audiences. Whether you are writing articles to build your brand image or creating visual content for social media, you can’t use these channels to sell products or services. Content is meant to engage your audience, not turn them away.

  6. Jessica Velasco says

    I just read this on another site…A recent study found that promotional language imposes an actual cognitive burden on readers. They have to filter out the promotional nonsense to get to the facts.

    I don’t know about you, but I can’t tolerate much “cognitive burden” – I have enough already!

  7. says

    Hi Jessica, Love the 16 tips.

    I agree with #6 to a degree – depending upon how the article is written.

    If I write an article about “How to Write a Sales Letter” – and at the end offered a course, or training that would benefit the reader even more, I think that’s good business.

    If your posts are all just a blatant pitch, with no use value, then that’s another story all together.
    Glen just posted Living Life Uncomfortably

  8. says

    I see way too many bloggers writing the same thing over and over again.

    Boring stuff! You even mentioned that in this article!

    It is sad that the credibility and the experience that these many bloggers are writing about isn’t as it used to be.

    But we can make a difference a few of us and we are the ones that are going to succeed!
    Samuel just posted 7 Cool WordPress Plugins!

    • Jessica Velasco says

      I wish blogs had a “like” button like facebook. You all have such good feedback!

  9. says

    Hi Jessica,

    I personally noticed that may businesses have their blog, but they write content about their services only.. which is generally more boring, instead they should publish useful niche information and news. Another thing I’ve noticed that they usually use dull design for blog that’s why people doesn’t like it and stay there.

    One last thing, you usually see that business blog don’t reply to their commenter which leave negative impression, as commenter feel blog owner is not interested what he has to say.
    Aasma just posted Travel Portal Development

    • Jessica Velasco says

      I recently read…Up to 71% of customer complaints on Twitter go unanswered. Granted, that is Twitter and we are talking about blogging. But I think the same idea holds true. Customers expect a reply but rarely get one. Sad.

  10. says

    I wanted to ask a question about the “post minimally 1X a week” thing. And my somewhat neophyte question is – what happens if you don’t? What if you (as a rule) post 2X a month? I’m not saying that I post this infrequently (OK who am I kidding, I totally do), but hypothetically, what is the negative outcome associated with 2X vs. 4X a month?

    My own personal challenge is keeping up with comments (I write about babies and sleep so comments are HUGE and require a thoughtful response – I would give my eye teeth for more of these “great post thanks for sharing” comments ;) and I can’t respond to all comments and post weekly. Yet traffic has been booming so I figure if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Unless it’s broken more than I understand, so I’m asking the expert to weigh in. Thanks!
    Alexis just posted Why Night Weaning Isn’t Working

    • Jessica Velasco says

      I liked this article: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2012/08/11/how-often-should-you-blog-hint-the-answer-might-surprise-you/

      Some simple takeaway points:
      - As a reader, I much prefer blogs that post once a week or even once every two weeks—but always say something genuinely useful.
      - As a blogger, posting once or twice a week lets me write in-depth, carefully constructed posts—ones that are more likely to get links and tweets. I also get more comments per post this way, and have the time to engage with readers over several days of commenting.
      - There’s no “one size fits all” approach to blogging, and what’s important is that you find a routine that you can stick to over the long term—not one that leaves you burnt out after a few weeks.

      On a personal note, I would say as long as you keep things consistent, you’re doing fine. I hate when one of my favorite blogs posts five articles one week, then nothing for two weeks, then a post here and there. I think that is annoying.

      It also helps to tell readers when something is coming. In your About section, you could say…expect new posts on the second and fourth Tuesday. And post something like…New post coming tomorrow! Check Blog X for a great article about blah, blah, blah…on facebook and twitter.

      Hope that helps! :)