When business blogging advice goes bad
If something is published on the Internet, it must be accurate, right?
I hope you got a good laugh at that question.
The Internet is full of information. Some of it is beneficial, high-quality, and accurate. Other information on the Internet is pure garbage. There needs to be discretion when consuming copious amounts of information, online or off.
Today, I’m going to take a look at thirteen pieces of business blogging advice you may have heard in social media, in blog posts, or in those new fangled user-generated blog posts on LinkedIn. Or maybe on the subway. Or in a taxi. Wherever. I’m highlighting these business blogging advice tips as partially or completely fraudulent.
Yes, I’m saying that these blogging practices you may have been taught by a manager or a self-proclaimed Internet guru are wrong, and you should stop using them if you want the best response from your business blogging endeavors.
Let’s dive in to these fallacious business blogging advice tips so we can dispel the myths and shed some light on the facts.
13 pieces of business blogging advice to forget
Tip #1 of business blogging advice to forget: “Focus on your content. That’s all that matters.”
Oh, we love to hear this one. Yes, it’s important to put focus on your content. Great content is what keeps a reader once he has arrived. If you’re sharing poor content, you’ll have a really hard time developing a following or presenting yourself as a legitimate source. However, great content isn’t all that matters. And it’s only the second part of the process – you need to get readers first!
What happens to that “great” content once you stop promoting it? It ceases to exist because nobody sees it. Your goal should be to create great content that’s optimized for search engines. SEO allows great content to live on forever. It will continue to attract new eyes, consistently sending new traffic to your website.
Tip #2 of business blogging advice to forget: “Social media has replaced blogging.”
Wrong. Social media has become a tool for promoting blog content, but it hasn’t replaced blogging. How could it? Social media doesn’t easily allow for the long form content Google requires to index, and social media isn’t easily searchable. Social media is for social interaction, not the proliferation of comprehensive information.
Tip #3 of business blogging advice to forget: “Be controversial.”
Controversy can be valuable to attract a wide array of content viewers, but it isn’t necessary to build an audience. Attempts at being controversial can also backfire. Be careful when going the route of controversy. It’s not recommended for every business blog, and could ultimately come back to haunt you if undertaken incorrectly or without tact. Irony is an art form, and when attempted unsuccessfully, it just makes you look like a jerk.
Tip #4 of business blogging advice to forget: “It’s important to write content that everybody wants and loves.”
The best part about business blogging and SEO is that you can target specific types of readers with the words you use. This is how successful businesses approach blogging – they recognize the audience reading their content, and they use language that not only appeals to that audience, but also is quantifiable in search volume. Writing a blog that targets everyone is a waste of time and money.
For example, a new client who recently came to us sells a CRM for insurance brokers. Their last SEO company had them write about the best-selling toys of 2014. Why? Because the SEO company gets paid to promise traffic to the site, regardless of how high or low quality it may be. I personally don’t give a darn if it’s a “good keyword.” It’s a waste of a client’s time. They could have been writing posts that matter to their actual buyers. Now that we’re on board, we’re writing posts that offer sales advice and time management tips for insurance brokers. Focus and your blog readers will increase in quality and conversion rates. Quality over quantity.
Tip #5 of business blogging advice to forget: “Don’t post every day because people will get tired of you.”
People will only get tired of you if your content sucks. Posting every day is a great idea if you have the bandwidth to do so. Daily posting not only keeps you top of mind with your audience, but it also pleases search engines as they see that your website is active.
Tip #6 of business blogging advice to forget: “It’s all about subscribers.”
Just like that blanket SEO method I talked about before, it’s not all about subscribers. And you don’t even want a ton of subscribers if they’re tricked into subscribing with a general-audience eBook or other freebie. Rather, you want high-quality subscribers who really want your content.
Yes, if you have a way to capture email addresses or you have an RSS, subscribers may become an important part of your blogging process. But it’s not all about email, either. People can find your content through social media shares, search engines, or other bookmarking websites online. A visitor doesn’t have to be a subscriber to promote your brand on social media or share a link on their website.
Tip #7 of business blogging advice to forget: “Images aren’t important.”
Human beings look for connection, and we live in a culture dominated by visual understanding. Images catch eyes. They draw people in. If you can present well-done written content which aligns with your visual imagery, you have the makings of a good blog.
Tip #8 of business blogging advice to forget: “Backlinks are key to blogging success.”
Backlinks do certainly have value, but only if they’re associated with websites that are reputable. If you have a bunch of back links from websites that host malware or subscribe to black hat SEO strategies, then these backlinks will likely hurt your site, not help it.
Of course, backlinks can be very beneficial if the websites providing the backlinks are reputable, highly-quality sites that search engines like Google appreciate. Ultimately, backlinks are variable. They can be helpful and hurtful, dependent on the link.
But don’t go out and hire a link-builder. If you create good content, you’ll get links naturally. Focus on that instead.
Tip #9 of business blogging advice to forget: “Business blogging is just a fad that will pass.”
Yes, this was actually said by someone out in the digital world! Clearly this person doesn’t understand blogging. Perhaps he or she thinks blogging is still solely about documenting one’s day, providing a soapbox for value-less drivel.
Business blogging is by no means a fad. In fact, I’d even venture the guess that social media is less valuable to businesses than blogging. Consumers are more likely to buy after reading a blog post, than from clicking a link on Twitter from a possible unknown source, for a product described in 140 characters.
Still think that business blogging isn’t valuable because it will fade into the ethers in a few years? Check out these stats from Hubspot:
- B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
- Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
- By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human.
- Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
- Blogs have been rated as the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.
Tip #10 of business blogging advice to forget: “Blogging is good for SEO, but not much else.”
Derp. Yes, blogging is good for SEO. In fact, it’s great for SEO. It’s the pinnacle. The plateau. The mountain top of optimization.
However, SEO isn’t the only value of blogging. Blogs allow you to share your experience, your wisdom. You can also use blog posts to house industry news that your audience will appreciate.
Am I missing something? Of course! Conversion. If you’re not converting new blog readers into buyers, subscribers and leads, hire us. Please. Read this first, and then give us a holler.
Tip #11 of business blogging advice to forget: “Run a competition.”
What kind of suggestion is this? I know marijuana is legal in several states now, but this is only taught by someone on the good stuff.
For this to work, you’ll need a large, believable prize and a large audience to start with. We’ve seen businesses with 20k email subscribers get a total of twenty entries. Are they doing it wrong? Maybe. But that’s not the issue.
Competitions are overdone, and they’re not believable. If you run a contest, make it related to your business. Offer one-year trials, or a free product from your catalog. If you sell a razor subscription, why are you giving away an iWatch? They want the iWatch, not your razors. Are these even your customers?
Tip #12 of business blogging advice to forget: “Comment frequently.”
There was once a belief that commenting on other people’s articles would lead to more interactions and more connections. This was more accurate years back, but now that the concentration of Internet users has grown, this isn’t a sure-thing strategy anymore.
I’d recommend choosing wisely with your comments. Find articles and authors that are aligned with your work or your industry and find scenarios to comment where you can add value. That may work in driving traffic back to your site. It may also be a waste of your time. So remember, choose wisely with your commenting and only do it when you have the additional time to invest.
More importantly, encourage engagement on your blog and social media by responding to every comment, retweet and shout-out. Saying thank-you will encourage more loyalty, more shares, and ultimately, a more popular blog.
Tip #13 of business blogging advice to forget: “Blog every day*.”
I do believe in blogging every day, but I wanted to add an asterisk to this suggestion.
Only blog every day if you’re doing it right. Don’t push content out to do it — the content must have value.
Of course, valuable content doesn’t always mean 800 words of SEO’d gold. It can also mean 50 words, designed specifically for social media or product promotion. Getting into this type of content means you’d have to prepare your editorial calendar well in advance, so you’re providing a variety of content — from full-length optimized articles to social media fodder, and everything in between.
There’s certainly a lot of business blogging advice out there. Be hesitant in what you choose to believe, and always consider the source. We share the advice we’ve seen work through decades of our collective experience because we want businesses to succeed and put out better content in the process.
Great content is our goal. Is it yours, too?