Blogging is a very powerful strategy for connecting with your customers, growing your business and attracting free traffic. However, when not carried out properly, it could just end up being a waste of time and money. If you are planning to start a blog for your business or already have one, here are some of the common mistakes you need to avoid:
1. Not using your own domain name
In an attempt to cut down on costs or out of sheer ignorance, some businesses choose to go for a free rather than paid domain name. You can get free domains from providers such as Blogger.com or WordPress.org. This means that your domain will be www.yoursite.wordpress.org. This is not advisable for several reasons. First, the domain name looks very unprofessional and is likely to cast your business in a negative light. Secondly, it is too long and thus not easy to remember. Finally, if you decide to change to a paid domain later, you will lose all the traffic you have built to the free domain. Therefore, be sure to get your own domain from the onset.
2. Being too promotional
The purpose of your blog should be to provide valuable information, not primarily to promote your business or brand. If you post too many promotional messages, you might just end up putting off your prospects and customers. Therefore, take time to win the trust of your audience by sharing useful and interesting content on a regular basis. As you answer their questions and solve their problems, customers and prospects are more likely to make a purchasing decision.
3. Failing to direct readers to a landing page
Even though your posts should not be overly-promotional, you should always remember that you are in business. If your blog does not contribute to the growth and profitability of your business, then it is of no use. One of the best ways of converting prospects to customers is by directing visitors to a dedicated landing page where they can sign up for a free trial or buy a product. You can place a link to your landing page at the end of your posts or on your sidebar.
4. Not collecting email addresses
One of the best ways of staying in touch with your customers and prospects is through email. Therefore, be sure to provide email opt-in forms on your site to encourage visitors to join your mailing list. These forms can be placed in your footer, in your about page, on your homepage, in a pop-up or at the end of your posts. Once you have collected email addresses, you can then send exclusive information and offers to your subscribers.
5. Failing to offer incentives
Even if you promise great information and offers, getting people to sign up for your mailing list will not be easy. Therefore, you could consider offering an incentive for signing up. For instance, you could offer a free eBook download to everyone who subscribes. Alternatively, you could provide a voucher which someone can use on their next purchase. Such incentives are likely to boost your conversion rates significantly.
6. Not having sharing buttons on your blog
Social media sharing is very essential when it comes to blogging. Not having sharing buttons on your blog means that readers cannot share your content with others. This will end up limiting your reach and exposure. Therefore, you need to ensure that all your blog posts have share buttons for all the major social media sites. If you are using WordPress, there are many plugins you can choose from to add social sharing buttons.
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