4 signs you’re blogging for the wrong reasons

Avoid these common pitfalls if you want to increase your traffic and rank on search engines.

There are a lot of good reasons to be a company blogger. You can develop a great network, expand your company’s reach and influence, and change your industry.

Good, regular blogging is one of the best things you can do to help your business grow. Businesses that write on their blog regularly receive 55 percent more website visitors and have 437 percent more indexed pages in Google than businesses that don’t.

But there are pitfalls that can prevent you from fully seeing that success.

Let’s examine four signs that you’re not blogging for the right reasons.

1. “We were told to blog often to keep our website ‘fresh’ for SEO.”

This mistake is often made by bloggers who don’t understand why their blog isn’t having the impact on their business that they thought it would.

At some point, they heard that fresh content is critical for SEO, and that Google and Bing both love fresh content. This is all true, but their content isn’t having the impact they had hoped for because they’re writing to try to make a search engine happy instead of their human readers.

Rather than create great content that people want to read and share, they end up writing short, lower-quality blog posts just to make the site have some appearance of activity. After six months of poor results, they’re understandably frustrated.

Instead of trying to trick the search engines into thinking you have great content, actually have great content. Produce articles that people will want to read and share with their peers. Far more important than being “fresh” is having high-quality content for people to read. Search engines appreciate that, too. Those extra website visitors are the result of real humans sharing your post, which the search engines watch for and reward.

2. “We post all our company news and press releases on our blog.”

Great blogs exist to share unique insights, useful information, and your expertise to your audience. They can be narrowly focused on one topic, or cover broad subjects. Blogs shouldn’t exist just to put your company’s news and awards online. There’s nothing wrong with doing that from time to time, especially for unusual events, but if the majority of your content has no educational value for your audience, that’s not a good sign.

Instead, make sure that you’re providing content on your blog that is interesting to people at all levels of depth. Maybe your blog is the best place to post this news for employees to find it, but your leads and customers will be seeing this too and will probably be less excited about it than you are.

3. “We used to blog every week, but it’s actually more like once a month.”

You’ve got a lot of things going for you, but you need to be regular and consistent if you want to your blog to grow. Without regularly adding content, it will be difficult to attract subscribers or inbound links unless your content is truly exceptional. Chances are, if you’re not a blogger with years of experience writing riveting blog posts, it won’t be easy to produce that much content at such a fast pace.

If you have pressing demands on your time that make it difficult to publish new content frequently, you still have good options for making your blog vibrant and successful.

Try creating shorter post that are still high-quality, such as useful top 10 lists, or updated older posts for new and improved versions. It’s also useful to make sure that you set reasonable expectations for yourself so you don’t get discouraged.

If you can accept that you’re driving less traffic and fewer leads for your business because you’re blogging less, then that’s an option too.

4. “Our blog is full of great content for our customers!”

If you’re not using your blog as a magnet to attract new visitors, you might be missing some big opportunities. It may be that a separate blog that is specifically for your customers might make sense.

Out of the three major mistakes of blogging, this is the least problematic but still an important issue to note.

Just like in number two above, make sure you’re producing content for a variety of audiences. Gather topic ideas or questions from your sales team or contact form to learn about what your potential leads and customers are asking about, and write posts that answer those questions.

Have you ever had any of these problems on your own blog? How did you solve it or change your content?

Brian Whalley is the website and SEO Manager at HubSpot, a marketing software company in Cambridge, MA that makes inbound marketing and lead management software. This post first appeared on JeffBullas.com.

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