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Small Businesses: How Not To Blog

Posted by on 3rd Feb 2013 | 4 comments

Blogging can be great for small businesses. But there seems to be a tidal wave of bad, boring and pointless blogs surfacing on the internet, and small businesses are amongst the worst offenders. But what are the offenses that offend our eyes most often?

Here are the no-nos that we all see, far too frequently:

Blogging for the sake of Blogging

Blog Tips for Small BusinessesFirst things first, blogging is a business decision, not a necessity. Despite what a lot of the misinformed would have you believe, if your not actively promoting your website, or don’t have the in-house skills to create great content, then blogging isn’t for you.

If your in any techy industry, chances are you should blog. Especially if you’re a specialist online business. A blog can give you the opportunity to get your brand message across, display your expertise and put a human face to your business.

However, if your a one-man-band plumber, with no writing skills or desire to write, blogging might not be the best way to fulfill your business goals

Be business focused – is blogging the best possible use of your time and resources? Is there any online or offline promotion you could be doing that will provide tangible returns? It’s important to remember that blogging is a long term strategy, a way of connecting with your customers and getting your brand message out there.

Blogging without the foundation of an awesome, well optimized website, established customer base and great writers is almost certainly a waste of time.

Writing for Industry Types, Instead of Consumers

Often a website will write great, industry focused content. And that’s great, to a point. But there comes a time when you need to write for the people that will actually buy your product. You may gain kudos from competitors in your industry, if you produce in-depth content, analyzing topical issues. But are your competitors ever going to buy anything from you?

Find out the questions potential customers are asking and answer them? Visit forums, use Google’s “Discussions” filter and check out your competitors FAQs. Learn what the people need to know and create content that fills that need. Be sure to optimize the blog post around the question that’s your answering.

Create useful content that has a definitive purpose, and that can drive potential customers to the site.

We Bought a New Boiler!

The minutia of your businesses everyday goings-on is not blog worthy. It’s boring. Unless something major has happened i.e. you’ve won a huge client, hired a industry celebrity, won the lottery etc, we don’t want to know.

As with every post, reason with yourself. Ask the question:

Will this content inform or entertain, or am I just blogging for the sake of it?“.

If the answer is the latter, stop, reroute and go about your day. Wait until you have something interesting to blog about.

Writing Sales Pitches

In a sense, a blog can be a promotional channel. But you shouldn’t promote directly through your blog, if that makes any sense at all. Sure, if there’s a special offer or competition, feel free to write about about. But blatant self-promotion drives readers away, fast. Keep it interesting – not every post has to sell something.

Boring, Long or Overly Formal Posts

Sometimes, the best blog posts are the shortest. Don’t feel as though as though the company blog is an excuse to show your writing prowess. According to a recent study, only 16% of people read blog posts word for word. So make your sentences short, punchy, and easy to digest.

In my opinion, I think that it is important to remember that you’re not writing a novel. More often than not, you’re simply getting a point across. So make sure your point gets across in the simplest way possible.

No marathon paragraphs either. Try to keep them to 3 lines or less. Highlight the key words, statistics and phrases for the skim readers amongst us and steer clear of overly flowery language. I’m not saying that my way is the only way. Some bloggers write beautifully and are loved for their style.

But for most business applications, the easier to read it is, the better.

And finally…

I always think that blogs should be written by people, not faceless organizations. For general company updates, using the company’s name as the author is fine. But please, allow people to blog under their real names. It adds the human element to your brand, breaking down the fourth wall between businesses and customers.

Do you run a blog for your small business? Disagree with anything I’ve said in this post? Feel free to leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

This guest post was written by Tom Sizer-James, BDM at SEO Alpha, the Small Business Specialists. Visit SEOAlpha.net to find out how we can help your business grow. We love helping the little guys become big.


This post was written by a guest blogger. If you would like to write for BloggingTips.com, please refer to our guest blogging page.

4 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Rummy Online on 3rd Feb 2013

    Hey, Nice article.

    I use a lot of blogging with my sites.

    Having read your article, I realize some of the mistakes I make! …. I hope to rectify them now.

    Thanks again!

  • Posted by IP Opera on 3rd Feb 2013

    Not every post has to sell something. Very usefull article.

  • Posted by shaunmicky on 4th Feb 2013

    a well designed and developed ecommerce website always can increase your bussiness quality in the world.web insect developed the all kind of ecommerce website with the best design.seo services,android mobile applications are also provided by web insect

  • Posted by HelpfulPapers on 4th Feb 2013

    A very informative and inspirig post. I must confess that I’m not among the 16% of readers who read posts word by word. Anyway, thanks for this statistics and your perspective on blogging. I feel that it’s time to pause and reflect to know if we are blogging for the sake of blogging or if we really provide valuable content to our readers.
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