This is a guest contribution from freelance writer, Jawad.
Over the last few years, the significance of high value content, in generating qualified sales leads, has increased tremendously for businesses.
More than ever before, businesses are now focusing on generating regular content for their target markets to keep a steady inflow of customers.
This, of course, cannot be done without a well-managed and regularly updated business blog.
However, over the last few months I have come across a number of business owners who have not managed to get a single client despite regularly updating their blogs with useful content.
At first, their arguments about the ineffectiveness of blogging seemed to carry weight. But a closer look revealed certain patterns behind the failure of all those business blogs.
In this post I’ll try to sum up the reasons why some businesses find it hard to achieve success through blogging.
This post assumes that,
- Your business takes blogging seriously and has either hired permanent blogger or contracted a professional freelance blogger to manage your blog.
- You follow a fixed posting schedule and update your blog regularly.
1. Your Blog Doesn’t Have a Clear Objective
This, in my opinion, is the biggest reason why a number of business blogs fail to make an impact.
They seem to lack focus. There’s no set pattern to their content and it is difficult to understand what they’re trying to achieve through it.
Like everything else in business, you need to have a clear objective that you want to achieve through your blog. You can’t expect a blog to get you customers if it is only updated with your latest corporate event pictures and news.
Your blog should be a part of your greater business strategy. You should be clear about the objectives you want to achieve through it.
There should be a reason why you’re putting so much effort into your blog.
Are you looking to attract customers? Or are you focused on creating awareness about your product?
Whatever the objective is, you need to be clear about it. Because your objective will ultimately give direction to the type of content you post on your blog and the type of marketing channels you choose for promoting your content.
2. You Don’t Have a Blogging Strategy
Blogging alone is not going to get you customers. You need to have a broader strategy and use blogging as a key component of that strategy.
Your strategy should not only include the type of content you’re going to create for your target market, but it should also include a comprehensive plan to promote your content so that it reaches the right audience at the right time.
The same goes for your social media strategy. Blogging, content promotion, social media etc. are all connected with each other and cannot be used in isolation.
Each of these components has a unique role in achieving your objectives and they should complement each other in your overall content marketing strategy.
What I see with many business blogs is a random set of posts that does not contribute to any particular direction.
Develop a sequence in your content and connect it with the greater strategy. That is the only way to move forward
3. You Are Not Blogging for Your Target Market
One of the most obvious, yet common, reasons for ineffective business blogging is the lack of focus on your target market.
You don’t want irrelevant people to come to your blog. Traffic alone is useless if it is not converting into regular visitors.
For example, if you are a blogging agency or a freelance writer, why would you want to write about freelance writing on your blog if your objective is to get clients? The only people who are going to read such content are freelance writers themselves. And they are certainly not your customers.
Identify your customers and write content that provides solutions to their most common problems.
That is the only way to not only get their attention but also to convert them into regular visitors and, eventually, loyal customers.
4. Your Blog is All About Hard Sales Pitches
If you’re trying to make sales through every post on your blog, then you’re probably better off without any blog at all.
Nothing damages the credibility of a business in the eyes of potential clients more than hard sales pitches. It simply shows that you’re not concerned with the problems of your target market.
Blogging is NOT a direct sales channel.
By its very nature, blogging should be focused on developing a credible image of your brand as a company that cares about its customers and offers solutions to complex problems.
Once you establish this image, getting sales is not an issue.
Look, customers are not afraid to spend money on the right solutions. Your job is to convince them, through your content, that you indeed ARE the right solution.
And that can never be done through hard sales pitch content.
Offer solutions, the clients will come themselves.
5. Your Blog Content is Not Driving Action
You might not be making any of the mistakes I’ve listed above.
You have a great plan for your blog, you have a great strategy that compliments your business goals and you realize that hard sales pitches never work.
Then why is your blog still not bringing results?
Chances are that you’re being just a bit too neutral in your content.
It’s obviously recommended not to push sales pitches in every blog post, but that does not mean that you leave your readers with no clue about your services.
At the end of the day, your blog is a part of your business strategy and businesses need sales.
What should you do then?
Make sure every post on your business blog makes your readers take action. For example, if have a product that can genuinely solve the problems of your readers, then there’s no harm in adding a link to the product page at the end of your post.
Similarly, never forget to drop hints to your readers within your content about how you can solve their problems.
Like your overall blogging strategy, have an objective for every blog post as well.
You’ll be amazed how small signals within your content can help your readers take the actions you want.
There’s absolutely no question that the significance of blogging for businesses is only going to increase in the coming days.
However, unlike the old days, blogging is much more about long term planning than short term gains.
Get your strategic hat on and develop a plan around your blog. If done correctly, it will be the perfect catalyst for achieving your business goals.
If you are a business, online or offline, that is using blogging to drive sales, I would love to hear your comments about the strategies that work for you.
Jawad is a freelance writer and professional blogger with a keen interest in content marketing, blogging and wordpress. With professional experience in Web Project Management, he also provides content and design consultancy to a number of tech companies. He blogs at WritingMyDestiny.com