#BlogFail. It's a hashtag that is used almost every day by a handful of people on Twitter. That's because it is very, very common for a blog post, or even an entire blog website, to completely fail. At the end of 2011, there were 109 million blogs on just Tumblr and Wordpress alone. With the millions and millions of blogs on the Internet, many are bound to fail.
Will your startup's blog be one of them?
Fingers crossed you're doing everything you can to keep your blog on the fast track to success. But if your blog struggling to capture the attention of readers, there are 10 huge mistakes you could be making in the blogosphere.
1. No Keywords & No SEO
No one said SEO was easy, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to create a keyword-driven headline and optimized content. Many novice bloggers enter the blogosphere with a "if I write it, they will come" attitude. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Every blogger should do his or her best to incorporate effective keyword and SEO strategies. How so? Look up some strong keywords in the Google Keyword Tool by Google AdWords. The keywords with low competition and high local/global monthly searches should be prominent in your blogs. In addition, it's important to link your blog content out to other websites. Share the Internet love (but remember, only incorporate 1.5 link per every 100 words, or Google will consider you spam!). Build your SEO and your readership numbers will increase!
2. A God Awful Template
You've seen it before, haven't you? A really ugly blog? Of course you have. Many bloggers care so much about the content they produce and spend very little time on the blog's template. Although a blog template isn't the most important piece of a blog (remember, content is king!), it sure doesn't hurt to be visually appealing. Pump up your blog's appearance by hiring a graphic designer, web developer or just play around with the templates yourself!
3. Irrelevant Content
If your blog is titled "Startup Marketing for Dummies", why would you blog about the health care system (unless for some reason, your post relates to inbound marketing somehow)? Your startup's blog should stick with a general theme. At the same time, don't be afraid to let current events and trending topics become a piece of your blog. If the Presidential debate is a hot topic on the Internet, but your blog is about social media, write a blog about how the Presidential debate is utilizing social media effectively (or ineffectively). There's always a way to add a twist--just make sure it stays true to your blog's area of expertise.
4. Lack of Pictures
Sure, we usually visit blogs to read content, but it doesn't hurt to have pictures incorporated as well. A stimulating or interesting picture at the top of a blog post can actually do wonders (just look at what we did at the top of this one! Did it draw you in?). Much like your blog's template, your posts need to be visually stimulating as well. Incorporate pictures when you can to truly paint a story.
5. Inconsistent Posting
Nothing kills a blog like inconsistent posting. If you post on your blog a lot in the beginning (let's say, 4-5 times a week), and then leave it deserted for 2 months, people are not going to continue to visit your startup's blog. As a matter of fact, it's frustrating for readers to find that one of their favorite blog sites has gone completely dark. Don't do that to your readers! Keep your blog posts consistent--even if that means just one post a week. It's better than going dark for 6 months!
6. Forgetting Social
Remember that blog readers spend a lot of time on the Internet. That usually means that they also spend a lot of time on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Always incorporate social media buttons that link your blog to your startup's social pages so that readers can follow you and post your blog to their social media accounts. Now that's how you generate more readers!
7. No Call to Action
Many bloggers write their thoughts, feelings and expert opinions on a blog and leave no call to action at the end. What can the reader actually do with the blog post? Should they share it with their coworkers? Vote in a poll? Visit a website? Call a number? Tweet to their readers? Like you on Facebook? Be sure to instruct the reader on what to do after they have read the blog--even if that just means to sit and think about your content. Every blog post should be written for a reason.
Is there anything worse than reading a bunch of blabber in an email? It's all unorganized and we can hardly keep up with the run-on sentences, the scattered thoughts, the lack of periods. The same goes for blogs. Keep your blog posts organized. Use the miraculous paragraph, for example. Space your blog out into a bulleted or numbered list (like this one--FYI, people LOVE lists). Check your grammar and spelling. And of course, don't write like you speak. Make it easy to read!
9. No Comments Allowed
One of the biggest mistakes a blogger can make is to not incorporate a Comments section. A Comments section not only allows your readers to interact with your blog and voice their own opinions, but will also provide you with direct blog feedback! Nervous that someone will post something unrelated or nasty in your comments section? Many blog platforms allow you to approve or delete comments.
10. No Purpose
As mentioned earlier, every blog post should be written for a reason. The same goes for blogs as a whole. A blog should have a purpose--whether that's to inform, vent, solve a problem, educate, make people laugh, drive traffic to a website, advertise or promote. Make sure that your startup's blog has a purpose and define that purpose before you even write the first word.
So the next time you think about sitting down to start a blog or write another Bloggies-worthy blog post, take a step back and see if you're committing any of these 10 startup blog sins!