13 Blog Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
by Michelle Calhoun, on Feb 17, 2021 12:00:00 AM
Before I began working at Sauce Marketing, I understood blogging to still mean a place where individuals dump their opinions about their day-to-day or world travels. While this may be the case for some, I quickly learned that blogging does so much more for businesses than what online diaries did for individuals.
Writing a blog can benefit your company by attracting more traffic, creating more leads, and converting more customers. The value of blog writing is long term because even though it is written once, it lives on forever and can be reused, repurposed and recycled. When you provide value to your customers by creating content that educates them on your products or services you establish yourself as an industry expert and a trusted resource.
Whether you’re just starting your blog or looking to brush up on your skills, here are 13 mistakes you don’t want to make.
1. Writing as "the company"
People care about people — not companies. They are sold on the individuals behind the product or service first. If you try to write as a company it can come across as disingenuous or even robotic.
Instead, personalize the authors of each blog post and link it to either other blog posts written by that same author or to their bio on your about page. This is especially helpful for salespeople who have a goal of being thought leaders in their industry.
2. Not the right length
When you’re writing a blog post, you should know ahead of time whether it’s going to be a short-form (<1,0000) or long-form piece (1,200+ words); both have their own unique benefits and drawbacks.
Write a short-form blog post when you’re discussing one topic and looking to keep things simple — this is also great for answering FAQs. Opt for long-form content when you’re diving into the details of a topic — and don’t forget to back it up with your sources.
3. Writing for too large of an audience
In business as in life, you really can’t be all things to all people. When you try to write without your target audience or specific personas in mind, you end up writing in generalizations. When this happens, your prospects are likely not walking away with anything relative or valuable. It pays to be specific and speak directly to your ideal audience.
4. Starting without strategy
Starting without strategy is commonly referred to as “spray and pray.” When you thoughtlessly create content just to have something (this could be social media posts, blogs, videos, etc.), it is similar to throwing pasta against the wall and hoping it sticks!
Without intentionality behind the content you aren’t likely to see a return on your investment. Taking the time, teaming up with experts, and laying out a plan for the strategy behind your content is the surest way to make sure you are not wasting your valuable resources of time or money on doing something just to do it.
5. Inconsistent voice and tone
Anecdotal stories are great to sprinkle in, but you will want to avoid making this the central focus of your blog posts. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects. They likely have lots of questions about your services or products. While interested in testimonials, they are not looking for long stories about your personal life.
As important as it is to show the people behind the brand, share these stories in a way that helps your personas understand who you are and what you do better.
6. Choosing too broad of topics
Similar to trying to speak to too large an audience, trying to cover too broad a topic won’t serve you well. Be as specific as possible. Break your subject down into smaller pieces.
This not only makes your posts more readable for your audience, but it is also beneficial to you as you can create even more content by doing this. Keep each blog post relevant to the specific topic at hand and you will provide more applicable value to your audience.
7. Not repurposing your blog posts
As with all content, a blog post can be taken apart and multiplied into many different types of content. From one post you might make 12 pieces of social media content, add it to an e-book, link it in a newsletter, or even create a video with it.
If you are writing blogs or working with an agency who writes blogs, and are not repurposing them into even more content, you are missing out not only on a great opportunity to link each piece to the other but a chance to save your team a lot of time.
8. Not citing your sources
Even if it is not likely that you are writing an original thought piece, you should always back up your writing by citing and linking to your sources. The goal is that one day your blog posts will be backlinked onto other sites which is ideal for the SEO of your site. This grants even more credibility to your company.
9. Not adding meta descriptions
Your meta description is a small touch that makes a big difference. Not only is it crucial to helping your content rank on search engines, but it also provides viewers a clean, clear description of your blog when they see it shared on Facebook or LinkedIn.
10. Leaving out the call-to-action
What do you want your readers to do after reading your post? Sign up for a newsletter? Schedule a call? Connect on social media?
Putting out content without a call to action is a missed opportunity to convert more leads. You will want to be sure to choose calls to action that make sense at this point in the buyer’s journey and not put the cart before the horse by asking for too much too soon.
11. Poor communication
It is likely that the agency will assign a particular person as your point of contact. Is there anyone else you may need to reach out to if an issue arises? When will they be available? Do they have a direct number? What is their process for weekend emergencies?
12. Being too personal
Anecdotal stories are great to sprinkle in, but you will want to avoid making this the central focus of your blog posts. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects. They likely have lots of questions about your services or products.
While interested in testimonials, they are not looking for long stories about your personal life. As important as it is to show the people behind the brand, share these stories in a way that helps your personas understand who you are and what you do better.
13. Spending too much time
One of the biggest reasons our clients choose to have us research, write, optimize, publish, and promote their blog is that hiring an agency saves them precious time that they might not have available.
Often the amount of hours it would take a HubSpot certified agency to create blog content is much fewer than it would take the average individual, so it not only saves you time, but also your money.