Regular blogging is one of the most important factors in your content marketing strategy. The more you blog, the more you’ll be able to increase web traffic and ultimately drive sales. But only if the content you generate is high quality. There are all sorts of things people do in their blogs to drive people away instead of drawing them in. Here are five common mistakes that blogs make and how you can avoid them.
- Poor Titles. The title is the first thing people see about your blog. It’s what makes them decide to click on it or not. So it needs to be something compelling that will interest people. Offer to solve a common problem in a way that’s straightforward and easy to follow. Numbered lists are very helpful in this regard. They offer a clear, step-by-step process for helping your audience resolve their issues.
- Poor Structure. Once people do decide to click on your blog, you have precious little time to get them to stay there. Your blog posts need to be structured in a way that’s scannable and easy to digest. Your readers are busy, so if your blog is too long, they’ll click away. Likewise if you have large, unwieldy blocks of text. Your blog needs to have short, concise paragraphs and several subheadings in bold that tell readers your main points at a glance. This is another area where numbered lists are helpful. Even if someone doesn’t read the entire post, they can get the gist by scanning the bulleted points.
- Link Problems. Every blog you post should have at least one or two internal links back to other places on your site—other blog posts, landing pages, etc. Once you’ve gotten them to your site, the longer they stay there and the more they interact with it, the better you’ll be able to cement your brand in their minds. If you don’t have any internal links, then once your audience is finished reading your post, they’ll just leave your site and go about their day. By the same token, your blog may need a couple of external links, particularly if you need to cite sources, but if you have too many, you’re providing people with more opportunities to leave your site and go to someone else’s. All your links, both internal and external, should open up in a new window or tab, so that no matter where else they’re prompted to go, they’re still anchored to your site and your content.
- No Call to Action. Even if you’ve got a great blog that’s gaining a lot of traffic, it still may not be generating leads and increasing sales the way you want. That’s probably because your posts don’t end with a call to action. People read and like your blog, but that’s all they do. If you want to get real results, you need to tell your readers what to do next. E-mail for more information? Fill out a form to get a free e-book? Once they’ve read your blog, drive them to a landing page that will help you pinpoint the people who are truly interested in what you have to offer.
- No Sharing Buttons. Content marketing is all about exposure. Obviously, you should share the links on your social media sites. But it’s important to encourage others to do the same. Include a suite of buttons on each post that allows people who enjoyed your blog to post it to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites with the touch of a button.