The old “Write it and they will come” adage doesn’t work anymore in the online world, where cybersurfers expect a constant stream of interesting, compelling, up-to-date content that doesn’t scream, “Buy my products and services now!” Unfortunately, few small to midsized businesses have the time or resources to master the blogging world. To help, we’ve enlisted two blogging experts to highlight the nine mistakes that bloggers make on a daily basis on the Web.
Amanda Vega, formerly a paid blogger for America Online and current CEO of marketing consultancy Amanda Vega Consulting in Scottsdale, Arizona, and social media guru Jon Carpenter, senior manager of digital strategy at public relations firm Strat@comm in Washington, D.C. provide these major blogging bloopers that all companies should avoid:
Deleting the Negatives: “Do not delete all negative commentary from your blog,” Vega says. “It’s good to have controversy. The public is more concerned with your answer than the original complaint.”
Ignoring Interactive Questions: Remember to actually respond to the questions posed by readers. “Too often a company puts up a blog and leaves it there without paying attention to the conversation,” Vega says.
Blogging in a Vacuum: “Define exactly what your company wants to get out of blogging based on larger communication, sales or marketing goals,” Carpenter advises. “Then, tailor the blog around those goals.”
Using Your Blog as an Ad: “Your blog should tell us more about the insight to your company and its core,” Vega says. “It should not be a shameless self-promotion.”
Not Leveraging Other Blogs: “Even your competitors may be able to help your cause,” Carpenter says. “So be sure to leverage the landscape of other bloggers in your topic area as effectively as possible.”
Putting Your CEO in the Limelight: “Don’t insist that your blog be maintained and written by only the CEO,” Vega says. “To be quite honest, he or she will probably not be that interesting to the public every week. It’s the collective personality and thought that make up a successful business after all, not just the CEO.”
Blogging When You’re a Poor Writer: “Blog conversations are more relaxed than The New York Times editorials, but they still need to be done in a quality manner that will complement your businesses brand,” Carpenter says.
Expecting Overnight Success … or over 10, 20 or 30 nights for that matter: “Growing a blog audience requires patience,” says Carpenter. “And [it] isn’t something that can be done overnight.”
Recycling Ad Content: “Repurposing” content that’s already been printed in corporate brochures is not blogging, according to Carpenter, who advises companies to get original when developing their online messages. “Content needs to be fresh and interesting, not re-warmed.”