Writer. Reader. Lover of naps, dogs, sunshine and ironic humor. Samantha's specialties include SEO, content marketing, and rescuing turtles in the road. Oh, and she's a #marketing engineer... with an artistic flair.
You did your research and you know that B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than companies that don’t. You convinced the executives to invest in inbound marketing, you mastered your marketing automation platform, and you sent up a blog on your company website.
You've been blogging for a while, but you still aren’t getting leads. While there are a myriad of factors that come into play, it can take anywhere from several months to a couple years for your blog to gain traction. SalesLion didn’t begin even see a growth in traffic until after 20 months of blogging 2-3 times per week, but he is in a highly saturated market with the highest amount of content (marketing and sales).
Top Business Blogging Mistakes
If you have been blogging for at least 6 months but aren’t seeing a growth in traffic and aren’t gaining any new leads, make sure you aren’t making one of these mistakes:
1. You never developed a strategy.
The number one mistake companies make when launching a blog is that they have no strategy. Without the proper planning you are unlikely to be successful, or even be able to accurately measure your success.
Take a look at your industry. Is it a niche market that has left a gap for your kind of content, or are you in an area that is oversaturated with fresh, interesting, and innovative brands, as was the case with SalesLion? This will give you a better idea of how to track and analyze your success. If you have a great opportunity, you can start to see results in as little as 4-6 months; tougher markets will take longer. This is one thing you can’t change, so be realistic about your timeline, milestones, and goals or you will be setting yourself up for failure.
- Prioritize your blogging goals: engagement, search, thought leadership?
- How often will you be blogging?
- How many leads are you aiming for in 6 months, 9 months, a year?
- What long tail keywords can you utilize?
Developing a blog strategy is the first step, before you hit publish on that first post, but it’s not too late after you have already started blogging.
Take a step back and reevaluate. Look at your traffic growth, develop your timeline, set your goals and milestones and refocus your blogging efforts, it is never too late to develop a winning strategy.
2. You aren't consistently adding content.
When determining how often to blog, it is tempting to try and blog as much as possible. While it is true that 82% of daily bloggers acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% who blog monthly, it is more important to focus on quality than quantity.
Look at your available resources. Who is going to be blogging? How will you be developing topics? These are questions that should have been flushed out in the strategic phase to determine a blogging schedule that you feel is appropriate for your team.
The key is to commit to a consistent schedule. Regularly publishing a quality blogpost once a month is better than trying to focus on a high posting frequency that is not sustainable. Nothing makes a company look outdated or loses them credibility quicker than a blog that hasn’t had a new article in 8 months.
Again, be realistic. While a higher frequency is better, consistency is best.
3. You only write about your company, products, and services.
This is the number one blog killer: a company that only talks about themselves.
All that information about your products and services is available on the rest of your website, don’t make it the focal point of your blog. Yes, you need the content to be relevant to your audience, industry, and company, but your readers don’t care about you.
Let me repeat that, your readers don’t care about you.
Your readers care about themselves. And if they are stuck reading about how great you are all the time, they are not going to come back. Which leads me to this next mistake…
4. You write irrelevant content.
If you are not writing about things your target audience wants to read, you will never be successful with blogging. This seems like a no-brainer, but I see a lot of companies that put all their effort into just making sure they are publishing articles, but don’t spend the necessary time understanding what their readers want.
This could happen for a number of reasons:
- You don’t understand your buyers (i.e. you need to develop your buyer personas)
- Focus is on quantity over quality
- Your topics aren’t relevant
- Content isn’t useful or interesting
- You only write about yourself (see #3 above)
Invest some time back into the content strategy. Here's a way to come up with 100 relevant topics in 60 minutes or less.
Research long tail keyword opportunities, read other industry blogs, get involved in communities where you can engage with your target audience so you can better understand the kind of information they are looking for.
5. You're not including CTA's in every blog post.
Relevant offers on your blog are key for lead generation. You may be bringing in new leads through a basic blog update/newsletter sign up, but having a call to action that ties directly into each post topic is very powerful.
Ideally, each blog post should have a compelling CTA that is at least closely related to that blog. Not only is this more successful at generating leads, these leads will be more qualified than your basic blog registration.
If you have been focusing solely on blogging and not on other content, I urge you to slow down your blogging and focus those resources on developing high quality pieces that you can use to generate leads.
6. You're not investing in your blog.
Despite how time-consuming and difficult it can be to blog, too many companies don’t dedicate the right amount or the right type of resources to make it successful.
Just because you have a marketer that can throw out a few paragraphs and hit publish does not mean you have a content marketing specialist. If you are aiming for a high quality, lead generating, traffic growing blog, you are going to need some solid writers, and more than one.
It goes back to your strategy - you likely won’t be focusing on search, engagement, thought-leadership, high frequency, and lead generation all at once. Look at your goals, timeline, and milestones and determine the minimum amount of resources you will need.
Blogging is an extremely effective inbound marketing component and lead generation tool, but it is critical that you invest the time and effort into doing it right. Too often companies are making these mistakes and then wondering why they aren’t seeing any success with their blog. I know I have made these mistakes myself in the past.
What’s the biggest blogging mistake you see a lot of?
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