Business blogging is undisputed as a terrific way to build your corporate brand, your employer brand and personal brand on-line, increase your website traffic and get found in the search engines when people are searching for the products and services that you offer.
However what are some of key mistakes you need to avoid if you want to build a credible business blog? I’m not talking about the mistakes usually referred to such as not posting regularly to your business blog or not engaging in the blogosphere by commenting and linking to other peoples business blogs.
Here are the seven biggest errors I see business bloggers make:
- Not branding your business blog – by branding I recommend you look at the following three areas(a) Ensuring that the name of your business blog connects to your business and the services you offer(b) Making sure that the design of your business blog follows through from your corporate identity. There are many low cost and no cost blogging tools available which one of the reasons why business blogging has become so popular. That is fantastic – but please do not scrimp on investing in the design of your business blog to reflect your corporate identity and also making it easy to navigate for the readers of your business blog
(c) Creating content that meets the needs of your target market and niche – consider your blog as a way to represent your unique expertise in your field.
- Not connecting your business blog to your corporate website – if you have a corporate website make sure that you have a link from your website to your business blog. I do recommend that this link is not just a hyperlink to your blog which is authored on a separate platform. To ensure that you benefit from traffic to your business blog, I recommend that you use a blogging platform such as WordPress.org where you can host your business blog alongside your website.
- Not adding an about page – you might not realise it but your about page on your business blog or website is the second most likely page that people will click through to. It is important to have details about you and the team authoring your business blog as people want to check out who you are – they are genuinely interested in the authors of your business blog and they are also interested in assessing your professional credibility in the areas you are writing about.
- Not making it easy to contact you – all too often I see business blogs which do not have the company’s contact details including their phone number and email address listed on them. Yes you may want to avoid spam, but if you are hoping that prospective clients, reporters and event organisers will contact you about the great articles you have written and to find out more about your products and services, please make it easy for them to contact you.
- Not making it easy for readers to subscribe to your business blog – you no doubt have heard about RSS feeds so that people can automatically subscribe to your business blog. But did you realise that the majority of the public still do not know what RSS is or how to use a feed reader? And even if they do, the likelihood is that when they are pushed for time, the subscribers to your business blog are likely to forget to check their feed readers. The answer is therefore to add a means for people to subscribe to your blog by leaving their name and email address. I can guarantee that if you do this you will increase subscribers and the number of people regularly reading of your business blog posts.
- Not leaving comments open – one of the questions I always get asked is whether comments should be left open and in fact many people are a little concerned about leaving comments open on their business blog. My answer is always yes leave your comments open. You can turn on a feature that means that you can review all comments before they get posted to your business blog and therefore choose whether to post the comment or not. Secondly, remember that leaving comments open is also enabling the people reading your blog to engage in the conversation and that’s a key reason to author a business blog – to build a community around your brand.
- Not creating a library of foundation articles – over time, you will have written hundreds of articles and blog posts and your blog will contain valuable real estate that will be relevant for your clients and potential clients. However, as your business blog develops, those posts may never see the light of day again. Therefore I recommend that you establish a quick link to a library of your foundation articles as my business blogging friend and colleague Mark White describes them. These may not necessarily be the blog posts that have the most comments associated with them. They should be the blog posts that provide immense value to your readers because of the tips and strategies you cover in the blog articles.
Why not assess your business blog against these common business blogging mistakes and then establish a plan to enhance your business blog so that truly does build your brand?
What other business blogging mistakes have you noticed?
©Krishna De, Oneocean Ltd 2007. All rights reserved. This article is extracted from her forthcoming publication “The Business of Blogging”.
Update 20 August 2007 – this article was included in a compilation of 113 Must Read Blogging Tips by Darren Rowse of Problogger in his “31 Days to Building a Better Blog” series which you can access here.