If your brand isn't already obsessed with blogging best practices, the content marketing trends Hubspot predicts for 2014 may change your mind. Content is no longer just king; in 2014 it is wearing several crowns. Your website's blog plays a critical role in your content marketing strategy, so we wanted to share some business blogging mistakes to avoid...
5 Blogging Mistakes to Avoid in 2014
1. Ignoring Your Buyer Personas
If you are only talking about your products and services in a self-promotional way, you will not engage your visitors and compel them to share your content. Sure, your customers will want to know what great new product or service you have to offer this year, but focusing your blog on what you want to say instead of what your buyer personas want to hear is a sure path to content marketing failure. If your blog doesn't offer solutions to your desired customers' problems, or offer entertainment they would enjoy, they will skip right over your blog posts and they certainly won't share them with others.
2. Obsessing about Word Count
Research does show that longer, high-quality posts are shared more and rank higher on the search engines. In fact, many SEO plug-ins will throw up a flag if your content falls under 300 words. Visit the Moz forums and you will see much debate about whether 300 words is too few, but that doesn't stop Seth Godin's micro-blogging posts from being shared, now does it?
These days, content is all about quality. You may have a 300 word blog post that provides visitors a fun, quality read, and when you need 1000 words, you need 1000 words. Write posts that provide genuine value to your readers and inspect what you expect with great analytics tools like Google Analytics and HubSpot to be sure what you thought would work is really working.
3. Not Sharing Posts Properly on Social Media
Every day, I see marketers and business owners who are using social media to engage their potential buyers, but missing the chance to promote their content with proven inbound marketing techniques. It's great to post interesting content from other sources, but If you don't regularly post links back to your website, you aren't pulling in your readers to your marketing hub. Yes, you want to have great conversations with your audience on social media, but isn't the whole point to bring awareness to your brand, and ultimately sell your products or services to the people who need them? Don't miss opportunities to bring visitors to your website where they can enjoy more of your great content and, in the process, learn more about your brand.
4. Not Tracking Your Results
I annoy my team to death with how often I say "inspect what you expect," but it's true people! Don't go on a "feeling," check the data! If you aren't checking Google Analytics or using a powerful closed-loop marketing tool like HubSpot, you won't know which blog posts are the most popular, which are attracting potential customers, and ultimately, which are turning visitors into leads. Your blog can also be a great resource to people who are already customers, so don't neglect people once you've made the sale. Repeat what works and analyze what doesn't to keep improving results over time.
5. Not Blogging Enough
How much should you be blogging? In the words of Dan Zarrella when I met him at HubSpot's 2013 INBOUND marketing conference, the answer is "more." According to their benchmark study of over 7000 companies, the data is pretty telling.
- Companies that blog 15 or more times per month receive 5X more traffic than companies who don't blog.
- Companies increasing blogging from 3-5X/month to 6-8X/month almost double their leads.
If you want your blog to attract visitors and convert leads, try blogging more in 2014 and enjoy the results!