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9 problems with your blog

June 3, 2016 - fifteen

If you’ve ever read one of our blog posts before, you’ll have noticed that we talk about company blogs a lot. And we mean, a lot. A blog is one of the most easy, cost-effective ways of simultaneously improving your search rankings and promoting your business. It’s a great foundation to launch your content marketing campaign from, and is such a good marketing strategy that there are some people who survive solely on this technique (see: bloggers).

But, as with most marketing strategies, it can terribly wrong if you don’t go about it the right way. We regularly see company blogs that aren’t performing well, which pains us to see. Here are some of the biggest problems with your company blog, and how to fix them.

#1 Too Much Text

If you’ve ever clicked a link, and been presented with a huge wall of plain text, you’ll recognise the heart-sinking feeling of realisation that you’re going to have to trawl through paragraph after paragraph in order to get the information you’re looking for. Your customers feel exactly the same.

There are many ways you can break up the text in your blogs in order to make it more approachable though.

  • Headings – Break up your text into sections, and make sure that each heading is highlighted. This instantly makes your blog look more approachable, as users can scan through to the section they need to know about.
  • Bullet Points – If you’ve got a list of things to talk about within your blog, don’t just talk about them in one long ongoing paragraph. Break them up into bullet points. Again, users can scan your article much more quickly, and will actually take more of the information in. You’d be surprised at how few people read an entire blog.
  • Images – The only way to truly counter your blog being a mass of text is to add some visual elements. Images help break up the copy, as well as providing a visual representation of what you’re talking about. Your users are then more likely to take the information in.
  • Videos – Videos are owning the digital marketing world currently. They’re the most commonly shared medium on social media channels, and they’re said to increase conversion rates by a substantial amount. Adding explanatory videos within your blogs will keep people on your page for longer.

#2 Typos

It seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at the amount of company blogs we’ve seen that are littered with typos. Incorrect grammar, we can understand. Not everyone is a grammatical genius.

But, with the amount of spell checkers available to us in this day and age, it just looks unprofessional when you see spelling mistakes on company websites.

Fear not, though! There are several tools and plugins online that can help you ensure your spelling is the absolute best at all times. We use a plugin called Grammarly, which not only checks your spelling, but the grammar too.

#3 No Personality

By this, we mean two things.

  1. Some company blogs have no clear “voice”, just churning out information like a Wikipedia page, or something of that effect.
  2. Some companies never share personal stories or experiences with their clients.

Firstly, you need to create a voice for your blog (or voices, if you’re highlighting the different writers). If you don’t understand what we mean, take a look at some of our blogs. Alex has a very unique tone of voice within his writing, which is completely different to mine. Sven has a very unique tone of voice that is totally different to Sophie’s. All of our writers have a unique style, meaning you know when you’re reading a blog by that person. Make your blog instantly recognisable too.

Secondly, you need to share personal experiences and stories in order to make your writing both relatable and interesting. Customers love a company with a face, as it makes you seem more approachable and human. Your website shouldn’t be the only thing to represent your company. Let the people who work for you do that as well.

#4 Not Enough Focus On Your Headlines

As we said above, not a whole lot of people read an entire blog. In fact, it is said that people are five times more likely to read the title of your article than the article itself.

Because of this, you should really be putting five times more effort into your blog title than the actual blog. There’s too much to talk about on the subject of creating the perfect blog title here, but you can find out how to craft great headlines in our blog post.

#5 No Interaction

Too often do we find a blog that is created solely for the purpose of showing off the business’ latest case studies or products. In this case, you might as well not have a blog at all.

The key to creating a great content marketing campaign (including a blog) is to cater to your audience, and interact with them. Instead of talking about how well you are doing, your blog should be a space dedicated to helping your users with any problems they may encounter within your industry. This helps create content that is more interesting, encouraging the user to subscribe or check in more often.

As well, your blog should promote conversation amongst your users. Giving them something to talk about in the comments helps increase the loyalty amongst your customers, and in some cases, will cause a community to grow. Customers that you interact with regularly are more likely to become loyal customers, and are more likely to promote your product/service themselves.

#6 Not Updating Often Enough

If you have a blog highlighted on your website (either in the main menu or on the homepage), you must ensure it is kept up to date. We’ve stumbled across company websites before that haven’t updated their blog for years, despite it being a large part of the website. This sends the wrong message to any potential customers, as it looks as though your company has been out of business for some time.

Blogging is a big commitment, so you need to be sure you’re ready to keep up with it before you start. Set yourself a posting schedule, and be sure to stick to it as best you can.

This has another benefit in that consistency will encourage users to come back and look for your latest blog when they expect to see it.

#7 No Promotion

You’ve created a great blog post. Now what? Rather than leaving it to its own devices on your website, you need to get out there and promote it.

This carries on from the “No Interaction” point above, but takes it one step further. As well as creating content that encourages your users to interact with your company, you should actively seek out new users to share your content with.

Social media is the first place you should start, as it’s a quick, cost-effective way of promoting all kinds of content. If that’s not enough, you can start outreaching to other websites within your relevant field, giving them a great piece of content to share with their own readers.

#8 Not Understanding Your Audience

We said above that your blog shouldn’t just be a place for you to talk about your greatest achievements (although it’s fine to show off occasionally), but then what is there to write about?

This is one of the biggest problems with company blogs; the inability to understand what it is that their audience is looking for. Depending on the industry you’re working in, this can vary massively. Some industrial companies may have users that appreciate in-depth guides to their products, whilst someone within a creative industry may benefit from sharing ideas and tips.

Basically, you need to research your target audience extensively before your blog can be a success.

#9 No Analytics

So, how do you know if your blog is generating results? How do you know that all the techniques above will increase the amount of visitors to your blog? How do you know if you’re doing something wrong?

You need to start using analytics to monitor the effects of different techniques that you try. And we don’t mean just setting up analytics and never checking it again. You need to be checking it after every single blog in order to determine what works, and what doesn’t.

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