How To Avoid Business Blog Success Barriers

May 11, 2016

So, you’ve decided to start a business blog. You have made a fantastic decision that you won’t regret… OK, you might regret it a bit when you are madly trying to meet your self-imposed deadlines after a busy week, but it will all be worth it in the end once you have established authority and trust among your target audience.

As you are getting started, or if you are already well on your way, here are a few things to consider to help your blogging strategy remain successful.

1: Set an editorial schedule – procrastination is your arch nemesis

You might have a lot to say when you first start out, so the content might come easy. However, a lot of people think choosing a topic to write about is the hardest thing to do. So it gets left until the very last minute, and then when you are down to the wire, one of three things happen: 1) You are suddenly inspired and an idea miraculously pops into your head and the content just flows (ideal, but least likely to happen); 2) You end up writing about a topic you really don’t care about and it’s not your greatest work; or 3) you miss your posting time completely because you just couldn’t complete your blog. The latter two are not great outcomes because one doesn’t really showcase your expertise in a flattering way and the other can show you are terrible with deadlines (not great for clients).

Creating an editorial schedule will not only help you stay on track even if you are overwhelmed with other tasks, but it will also allow you to skip the panic of finding a new topic to write about each time you sit down to write. Additionally, you can look at blocking out your topics thematically so you can consider writing your blogs in a series that builds and keeps your readers coming back for the next steps in their journey with you.

2: Keep distractions to a minimum while you are writing

For many people, sitting down to write can be a bit stressful. Whether it’s a lack of confidence in your writing skills or you are unsure about your standing within the industry, it’s easy to just “move on” to another task. Maybe you have the news running in the background pulling your attention or perhaps your desk is “just too messy” to write (we’ve all been there). For some people, the draw of normally annoying, repetitive tasks like inputting your expenses into your accounting program suddenly seems way more appealing than sitting down to write a blog post.

Set a block of time on your calendar for writing and sit down to write. Turn off notifications. Turn off the TV, get into the zone.

3: Don’t go stale, keep pushing yourself

This has more to do with professional development than anything. Get inspired by what is happening in your industry and write about it. It is very easy to fall into a rut with your content – writing the same thing over and over, using the same examples, or just refusing to acknowledge change. For example, if your industry is moving towards more technology integration, research and write about it. Maybe even implement it in your own business. If you completely disagree with the shift, don’t ignore it, talk about why staying the course is better for your customers and prospects in the long run. You can’t ignore change if you disagree with it, but you can use it to help you position your own business and differentiate from competitors.

You should make a point of reading other blogs from competitors and industry experts to keep up with trends and issues that are top of mind. Chances are, they are top of mind with your target audience as well.

4: Shameless self-promotion isn’t your friend

I know what you’re thinking: But it’s my business blog… why wouldn’t I self-promote? Well, the answer is simple. Your blog isn’t about advertising, it’s about educating and establishing you or your organization as an industry authority. It’s not lost on people that when they are reading your blog, they are on your website and that you or your team wrote the content. If you are constantly in your readers’ faces trying to SELL, SELL, SELL, then they will likely not stay on your blog for that long. The prospect of interesting information will draw people in, and if you have shown you are knowledgeable, they will click through to your services.

Keep in mind that you SHOULD include a call to action in every blog, but it should be directly related to the content. For example: Contact us to discuss your own business blog strategy.

5: The struggle is real, but your customers don’t care

It’s a harsh truth. You may be a start-up going through a lot of issues, but unless you are writing a blog to educate other entrepreneurs, writing about your personal struggles to start a business is kind of a Debbie Downer. Using your blog as a platform for any kind of complaint about the industry you are in, competitors, bad clients, etc. will only turn your audience off your content. People have their own issues to worry about, you can’t expect them to take on yours as well.

6: Don’t forget who you’re writing for

Having an audience for your blog is kind of important. Defining your business target audience is the foundation for your blog audience. Make sure you are targeting your content towards that audience when it comes to topic and tone.

If a blog gets posted but there is no audience to read it, does the blog post even exist?

Originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.

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