I have also come across some business blogs that have great potential but lack that all important something, others that are completely off the mark and some that are melting quickly. I believe the key to success with your business blog is steering clear of certain pitfalls.
There’s always a whole lot of advice about “what to do” if you want to succeed at anything (not blogging alone). But I think sometimes what saves us is knowing “what not to do”.
That’s precisely why I’ve come up with 8 things that could ring the death knell for your business blog…
1. Being too generic
Let me start at the beginning…the topic for your business blog. It is really the core of your offering to the world at large and I would say most business blogs fail because the people behind them fail to put enough thought in to what their blog is about.
One important thing to remember is that blogging is all the rage now and almost every business owner also runs a blog that features his or her products, progress, experiences and failures. The key to succeeding with a business blog is finding a niche and then servicing that.
Easier said than done, right? Let me explain a blog that is about working women is too generic a topic for a business blog. Opposed to that something like www.muslimahsworkingathome.com, a forum for Muslim women working from home is a niche blog with greater chances of holding out in a milieu of blogs targeted at working women.
2. Lack of Research
Content is king and that is an undisputed fact as far as any blog goes and a business blog is no different. Be prepared to put in hard work and spend some time each day researching areas related to your business blog.
A well researched and informative post is something that your readers deserve and value. People follow blogs that are informative and give quality content. Most bloggers I know follow Darren Rowse and Yaro Starak, both of whom offer exceptional quality as far as inputs and content go. That is the secret to their large following.
If you want to succeed as a business blogger spend at least twenty minutes carrying out research and use your findings to enrich your blog posts. Never…ever…blog about something without researching it, people today are well informed and for them information is just a click away which is why they will be on to you if you don’t stick to the truth.
3. Lack of Vision
What is one of the most vital ingredients for success of your business blog? A road map for your blog even before you launches it.
Does that sound too philosophical or farfetched to begin with? Possibly. But here’s what…you must have a vision for your blog. When I launched my blog TheOneOfAKindPreneur I envisioned it as the one stop source for ideas, tips and resources for the custom made business.
I was very clear about the fact that I wanted to blog about the customized business and that my blog should in time become “the place” on the web for anyone who wanted to set up a customized business or wanted information related to it.
When you embark on your journey as a business blogger your vision works as your guiding light. That way you’ll always know which route to take.
4. All Over the Place
Dele who writes YoungPrePro, a blog targeted at young entrepreneurs says he succeeded as a blogger because he was very clear that his blog was going to be about young entrepreneurs. Taking it from there…do you REALLY know what your business blog is about?
My blog was and still is about the custom made business. It will always be about the custom made business. It will not turn in to a regular or generic business blog.
That’s why my next piece of advice to you as a business blogger is… resist the temptation to be all over the place. Stick to just one or two things. As in business success will be yours based on your Core Competence. Find it, explore its nuances and take it further!
5. Lack of Clarity
When you set out to write a post be clear about what it is that you are writing about. Sometimes blog posts have titles that have nothing to do with their content. That is a sure shot way to lose readers.
If you are writing a post about branding tips then it is okay to highlight some popular brand names but it is not okay to review these branded businesses. That would be the subject matter of another post or you could feature it in the business review section (if you have one) of your blog.
If you have a lot to say about a certain topic then breaking it down in to a series of posts is always better. Making your posts too lengthy or too informative is another pitfall you should guard against.
Inform your readers; don’t bombard them with information!
6. Not Knowing Your Readers
Good selling starts with knowing your customers and good writing begins with knowing your readers. How will you get to know your readers?
From time to time look up your site information on Alexa, it will give you important audience information. What is your target audience profile like? Which countries or continents do your readers belong to? What is their demographic profile?
This information is important so that you can develop content on topics within your blog theme that will be of interest and use to your readers.
If you write blindly without thought for who your readers are and what they want, it will most certainly trigger your blog’s failure.
7. Lack of Presence in Small Business News
Just launching a business blog without being in the news is like existing in the world but no one knows you exist.
I’m not going to tell you about social media and having a page on Facebook or setting up a Twitter account but I am certain that your success as a business blogger depends on your presence in small business news.
Bizsugar, Bloginteract, Linkedin and Connectture are places where you need to make your presence felt. These places will give you and your business blog exposure, readership and traffic…what every blogger wants, right?
8. Ignoring the Importance of Pillar Posts
Pillar posts, a concept developed by Yaro Starak is something that I as a business blogger swear by. From the time that I started blogging for Noobpreneur.com, earlier this year, I have made pillar posts my mantra.
All my blog posts have a central theme and I ensure that I explore different facets of this theme in 4-5 posts. This is a principle that I’ve followed for all my guest blog posts as well as blog posts for my own business blog.
Pillar posts will tie your blog posts on a certain topic together and give you lots to write about. Let me explain with an illustration, in March this year I opted to blog on the topic of “Social Enterprise” for Noobpreneur.com. I wrote a series of posts on qualities of a social entrepreneur, resources for social enterprise, corporate partnerships and the like and I ensured that I wrote at least 2-3 pillar posts for each sub-topic.
That way I covered a number of issues without confusing my readers and without giving them too much information in each post. Pillar posts will help you spread information evenly while keeping your readers informed and interested.
Having said that…I believe I have covered what I believe “a business blogger must not do”. This is my attempt to highlight common pitfalls that could lead to a business blog fizzle out.
I wish you much success with your business blogging endeavors and would love to receive your feedback on my post.
About the Author
Mariam Noronha is a teacher with over eight years of experience. She has taught a wide range of Management related subjects and has authored and presented papers at national and international seminars and conferences. An avid reader, researcher and writer; she has authored numerous articles in the copy writing, fiction, web writing and travel writing genre. She is a preferred member of www.chilibreeze.com writers network and manage an entrepreneurship blog of her own, TheOneOfAKindPreneur.com