4 Signs That You’re Blogging for the Wrong Reasons

There are a lot of good reasons to be a company blogger. You can develop a great network, expand your company’s reach and influence, and change your industry.4 Signs That Your Blogging for the Wrong Reasons

Good, regular blogging is one of the best things you can do to help your business grow – businesses that write on their blog regularly receive 55% more website visitors and have 437% more indexed pages in Google than business that do not. But even inside the realm of business blogging, there are still important mistakes to avoid, or pitfalls that can prevent you from fully seeing that success.

Let’s examine four signs that you’re not blogging for the right reasons.

1. “We were told to blog often to keep our website ‘fresh’ for SEO.”

This mistake is often made by bloggers who don’t understand why their blog isn’t having the impact on their business that they thought it would. At some point, they heard that fresh content is critical for SEO, and that Google and Bing both love to find fresh content. This is all true, but their content isn’t having the impact they had hoped for because they are writing to try to make a search engine happy, instead of for their human readers. Instead of creating great content that people want to read and share, they end up writing short, lower-quality blog posts just to make the site have some appearance of activity. After six months of poor results, they’re understandably frustrated.
Instead of trying to trick the search engines into thinking you have great content, actually have great content. Produce articles that people will want to read and share with their peers. Far more important than being “fresh” is having high-quality content for people to read. Search engines appreciate that too. Those extra website visitors are the results of real humans sharing your post and enjoying it, which the search engines watch for and reward.

Marketing Takeaway:

If people don’t like your content enough to link to it, share it, or comment on it, it’s not going to have the same impact on your business as truly great content will. If you want the benefits of having great content, you must put in the time and effort to produce it.

2. “We post all our company news and press releases on our blog.”

Great blogs exist to share unique insights, useful information, and help you express your authority and expertise on a subject to your audience. They can be narrowly focused on one topic, or cover broad subjects (like inbound marketing!) Blogs shouldn’t exist just to put your company’s news and awards online. There’s nothing wrong with doing that from time to time, especially for unusual events, but if the majority of your content has no educational value for your audience, that’s not a good sign.
Instead, make sure that you’re providing content on your blog that is interesting to people at all levels of depth. Maybe your blog is the best place to post this news for employees to find it, but your leads and customers will be seeing this too and will probably be less excited about it than you are.

Marketing Takeaway:

There’s nothing wrong with posting exciting company news or announcements on your blog. But if that’s all you post, your blog just won’t attract a lot of repeat readers. Great bloggers know to mix up their content and keep things interesting so that they can attract readers without relying on too much promotion.

3. “We used to blog every week, but it’s actually more like once a month.”

You’ve got a lot of things going for you, but you need to be regular and consistent if you want to see some real growth of your blog. Without regularly adding content, it will be difficult to attract subscribers or inbound links unless your content is truly exceptional – and chances are, if you’re not a blogger with years of experience writing riveting blog posts, it won’t be easy to produce that much content at such a fast pace.

If you have pressing demands on your time that make it difficult to publish new content frequently, you still have good options for making your blog vibrant and successful. Try creating shorter content that’s still high-quality, such as useful top ten lists, or take older posts from your blog and update them for new and improved versions. It’s also useful to make sure that you set reasonable expectations for yourself so you don’t get discouraged. If you can accept that you’re driving less traffic and fewer leads for your business because you’re blogging less, then that’s an option too.

Marketing Takeaway:

Blog readers love to be able to come back to sites that they enjoy to read more content. If you’re only updating your blog sporadically, it’s hard to build a real fan base. Keep creating great content, and set reasonable expectations for the frequency and volume of your blog so that it can fit into your schedule.

4. “Our blog is full of great content for our customers!”

Out of the three major mistakes of blogging, this is the least problematic but still an important issue to note – and that is, you’re creating interesting, engaging content, but you’re missing out on a big potential audience. If you’re not using your blog as a magnet to attract new visitors and leads, you might be missing some big opportunities. It may be that a separate blog that is specifically for your customers might make sense.
Just like in number two above – make sure that you are producing content for a variety of potential audiences. Gather topic ideas or questions from your sales team or contact form to learn about what your potential leads and customers are asking about and what their needs are, and write posts that answer those questions.

Marketing Takeaway:

It’s great to use your blog to encourage your customers to continue to learn more, and to share content with them. Make sure that you write for a broad audience by varying the types of content you produce, and use your blog to generate leads as well as to help your existing customers.

Have you ever had any of these problems on your own blog? How did you solve it or change your content?

Guest Author: Brian Whalley is the Website & SEO Manager at HubSpot, a marketing software company in Cambridge, MA that makes inbound marketing and lead management software. He works on lead and customer generation from organic search to help HubSpot and other companies.

More Reading

  • Past Present and Future of Blogging: 3 Infographics
  • How To Write A Mind Blowing Headline For Twitter So People Will Read Your Blog
  • 50 Ways To Optimize Your Blog
  • 20 Simple Tips for Writing a Blog Post that Begs to Be Read
  • 50 Social Media marketing Tips and Tactics
  • Comments

    • http://www.facebook.com/briancurrin Brian Currin

      Wonderful article, Jeff … this is exactly the type of information that makes explaining the benefits and pitfalls of blogging to my clients and potential clients so much easier.

      Brian
      Cape Town

    • http://twitter.com/maxinemaxxy Maxine

      Great tips and I especially appreciate the bit about helping your customers to learn. Thanks :)

    • Anonymous

      Don’t you think that a lot of traffic, which traditionally was on blogs, now it’s all on social media, like Facebook? It has beginning to be almost impossible to receive some comments, despite interesting contents…
      :-(
      Liz

      • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

        The bloggers that were doing it for a hobby have maybe moved to Facebook and Tumblr, but the serious bloggers are still creating and driving a lot of traffic to their sites. This blog receives nearly 300,000 hits a month.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks for the comment. Yes the blogging is being outsourced for niche markets. It is a matter of selling its value.

    • http://profiles.google.com/virginiahepp Virginia Hepp

      “Instead of trying to trick the search engines into thinking you have great content, actually have great content”
      Last May, I wrote a post every single day, in a challenge.  But they were all about nothing, and not in a fun Seinfeld way.  I kinda missed the point and was so sick of it that I have been MIA ever since.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks Susan for your comments. Writing to engage your readers creating content to educate, entertain, inform and inspire will by default create inbound links and improve SEO. It will also create a loyal tribe that will share your content without being asked! Engage the power of your followers and network.

    • http://www.simplymaternity.co.uk/ Maternity Clothes

      I have so fallen into this trap, thanks for the insight. Tomorrow starts a whole new approach to blogging.

    • http://www.simplymaternity.co.uk/ Maternity Clothes

      I have so fallen into this trap, thanks for the insight. Tomorrow starts a whole new approach to blogging.

    • http://www.think2successnow.com/ Sardek

      As a new blogger, I enjoy reading your tips and strategies. Thanks for sharing them. They’ve been very helpful – particularly the tips on writing quality content. In fact, I always ask myself one question before I write an article – will the reader be better off in some way after spending their valuable time reading my blog articles? So I will not post anything that doesn’t result in a “yes” response, and that comes from reading your content. Thanks for the guidance. 

    • http://www.think2successnow.com/ Sardek

      As a new blogger, I enjoy reading your tips and strategies. Thanks for sharing them. They’ve been very helpful – particularly the tips on writing quality content. In fact, I always ask myself one question before I write an article – will the reader be better off in some way after spending their valuable time reading my blog articles? So I will not post anything that doesn’t result in a “yes” response, and that comes from reading your content. Thanks for the guidance. 

    • http://www.zoealexanderuk.com/ DaddyBlogZAUK

      Brian, this is very useful advice for me as I am new to blogging and have already discovered how vital SEO is in relation to good post content! I am finding time every 1-2 wks to write a post but find a pictorial post more appropriate with 100-150 words rather than a more verbose one. Is that ok?

    • http://twitter.com/MauriYambo Mauri Yambo

      Valuable insight, I’d say!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lynda.kelly Lynda Kelly

      Great article. Thanks for sharing your insights Brian. As you reiterate it all comes down to interesting and thoughtful content.

    • James Perrin

      Spot on Brian – all valid points. It’s great to be clear about what blogging is about, and SEO certainly blurs that. At the heart of great content is its ability to resonate with real people, not search engines. As content marketers our time is best spent searching for influencers and researching the type of content that will work for them, and the broader community in general. Great post – thanks for sharing.

    • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

      Oh have I ever been there on the short post thingee 😉 Lesson learned. Thanks Brian!

    • http://growthnerd.com Reinhardt

      Hey Brian. Spot on there. Most small businesses and many big ones simply don’t see the value in blogging hence their lack of commitment to produce epic content for their audience. The reality of the fact is that while they stick to their corporate shotgun marketing approaches, other businesses are building strong relationships with their audience through blogging and content marketing. It’s these strong relationships that win customers and it’s what will put ignorant business owners in a difficult position in the future.