If you’ve started a blog for your business, but it’s not taking off the way you wished, you might be making one or more of these mistakes.
1. You use anonymous authors instead of real people as your writers. You can use multiple writers, you can appoint a single chief blogging officer or you can just assign it to the right person in the public relations or marketing department. But posts without a real human face and name behind them probably won’t appeal as much to readers.
2. You post mostly press releases and product announcements. I think it’s fine to write a post about what’s happening in your company, or what new products you’re launching. But you’ll have more success if more of your content solves problems, entertains and otherwise engages the interests of your target audience.
3. You post infrequently. A blog post once a month is not often enough. If I can post several times a week here, in my spare time, than most corporate blogs ought to be able to manage regular updates. This can be challenging for small businesses. The key is to develop an editorial calendar, make writing assignments and decide blogging is a priority.
4. You post only one kind of content. I’m a writer, and I love text. But videos, slide shows, photos and podcasts are also good. Mix up the kind of content you post (yes, I need to do that here, too).
5. Your blog doesn’t have any personality. Every company I’ve ever been in has a personality, and has personalities working for it. Show them. Blogs are an intimate, engaging medium, not a place for news release-style writing by committee. If you “personality” is too frivolous for you, then think of this as demonstrating your character or brand.
6.You don’t encourage visitors to subscribe and you don’t capture email addresses. You should make your RSS feed highly visible, and also make it easy for people to subscribe via email. You’ve got a much better chance of getting repeat visitors if you encourage people to sign up to receive notifications of new posts. Self promotional alert: Please subscribe to this blog — the email form is over on the right.
7. You don’t provide clear links to other parts of the corporate web site. That is why you’re doing this, right? Don’t make it hard for me to learn more about your company, your people and your products and services. Make those links clear and prominent.
8. You don’t encourage employees, vendors and other stakeholders to read the blog. Those people are probably not your primary audience, but they can help spread the word to your real audience.
9. You’re not using social media to spread your content. People are not hanging around waiting for your next blog post – they’re too busy. So use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and whatever else makes sense to push your blog content out to the web. Some people who see it at those sites will visit your blog.
10. You don’t have a clear purpose and metrics. I believe in the value of social media and online marketing tools, but I also believe they need to be used strategically. That means you need to have clear goals for your blog, tied to your company goals, and you need to measure those over time.
What other mistakes do you see corporate blogs making? Please share them in the comments below.