What not to do when creating a blog for your website
Business blog main aims
Even with competition from video content and podcasts, blogging and written articles remain a great way to improve your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO). According to Hubspot, websites with regularly updated blogs generate 67% more leads than websites that don’t have blogs. Your main aim when creating blog for your business website should be to build trust and authority with your audience of potential customers. If it’s well written, useful information it’s more likely to be shared across other platforms and reach more potential clients. They’re also more likely to find you when they search the web. And they’ll keep returning to your website to view your content, perhaps even signing up for your newsletter if you have one.
What not to do when creating a blog for your business website
In spite of the positive impact that a blog can have for the SEO of your website do not write only with that aim. Don’t try to write to match some magical Google algorithm. Depending on which Google search result you choose to believe, Google update, change or “improve” their algorithm anything from 500 times a year to over 2,534. Good luck trying to tweak your writing skills and key words to keep up with that.
The good news is that humans do not change as often. There’s a reason why people still read Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. Their books are well written and engaging. As a result they still resonate with today’s readers even after well over a century. If you can write something useful in a way that makes people want to read more than the first sentence then you could be the business blogging world’s answer to Charles Dickens. But you have to write about something that’s of interest to your readers.
Learning from my failure
Always ask yourself “who cares?” when writing something that you intend to share. If the answer is “only me” then perhaps you should save it for your journal.
My first failure
Before I started writing professionally I very briefly started a blog. I half-jokingly refer to that period of my life as The Wilderness Years. I had just finished a PhD and was trying to find a full-time non-academic job. It was all beautifully timed to coincide with the tail end of the recession.
So having just pounded out a dissertation on poetry I took to my keyboard and started to blog. But it was a complete “who cares?” blog. I had no idea who I was writing for or what I should write about. There were a few posts about how difficult it was to land a job after doing the PhD which might have been of vague interest to some fellow graduates. But my blog answered no questions for other readers. It was just a way to fill some time with something more creative than polishing my CV for the umpteenth time.
My second failure
As well as writing about a topic that few people other than concerned family members cared about (me), I was somewhat sloppy in the overall execution. I used a platform that I couldn’t really get to grips with. As money was tight, I made use of the free version which meant the url (that bit in the internet search bar) had the platform’s name in it which doesn’t look great. The name I chose for my blog was an obscure saying which was several words long, even longer when added to the platform’s name in the url. The images were ones I had taken with my mobile phone, in the days when mobile phone cameras were not as high quality as they are now.
I also wrote directly into the blog-hosting platform which caused two problems. First, I didn’t really have a back up of what I’d written. Second, perhaps more importantly, it meant that I missed a lot of typos and grammar errors. These spelling mistakes usually went unnoticed until they were read by someone else. Can you imagine the damage this did to my self-esteem? Well, not really. But all it takes is someone pedantic to chant “i-before-e-except-after-c” at the wrong moment and an “overqualified,” underemployed recent graduate could question all of their life choices.
If you are planning to write a blog for your business’s website your content needs to pass the “who cares” test. It should inform and engage readers and potential customers by answering questions they might have. You have to write about what interests them, not just what you want to talk about.
Instead of focussing on creating content for algorithms, create content that real people, your ideal customers, will want to read and share.
Write your blog post in a Word document first. Use the “Read Aloud” function in the Review toolbar to help you pick up on any mistakes that you might have missed. Try out writing apps like Hemingway and Grammarly which can help you to improve your writing skills.
Don’t do a PhD expecting to find a job straight afterwards. That’s nothing to do with business blogging, just a general life tip.