I've been writing both my lifestyle blog and clients' blogs for over five years now and in that time, I've learned a thing or two about what to do and what NOT to do when it comes to writing them.
Often, I'm approached by clients because they want me to sprinkle a bit of glitter on their otherwise boring company blog. And sprinkle glitter I shall but before then, I'll log in and be faced with a blog that looks like it hasn't been updated since 1998.
So, tis the season of goodwill and in today's blog post I'm going to tell you four reasons why your company blog probably sucks but most importantly, what you can do to improve it.
1. All you do is talk about yourself
As a business owner, it's easy to think that every little company update is worthy of "just a quick blog post" - and let me tell you, categorically, that it really is not.
Unless it's something major that'll change the way you do business, the industry you work in or senior-level staff acquisition, don't bother. Quality over quantity is key when it comes to developing awesome, engaging company blogs.
Inward-facing content is the number one way to turn people OFF. You will disengage your audience and guarantee that they won't stick around on your blog or website for long. Don't make it all about me, me me.
Instead, give people outward-facing content. Content that will make them laugh, make their day better, or help them to do something in a more efficient way. Make your blog "known" for something good - i.e the only place to go for the latest news on XYZ. That's what will keep people coming back for more.
2. Your featured images look like they were designed in Paint
You can have the best content in the world, but if people head to your company blog page and are greeted by terrible graphics, they're going to assume that your content writing is pretty rubbish too. Sorry!
Having professional, on-brand graphics for your blog posts is really important and something that will help set you apart from those who are blogging, and those who are blogging WELL.
"But I can't afford a graphic designer!"I hear you cry. Well, the good news is, you don't need one!
I've worked across huge third sector organisations to agencies and tech start-ups alike and they have all exclusively used Canva for designing blog featured images and social media graphics alike.
I've said it before and I'll say it again... Canva is bloody brilliant. They deserve every penny they make because they allow people who don't have a clue about graphic design to make beautiful, professional looking graphics in minutes.
It's easy, it's free and it'll be the best software you'll ever use as a non-designer.
3. There are absolutely no calls-to-action
Before sitting down to write anything for your company blog, think to yourself this - WHY am I writing this? What's the point?
Am I using it as the marketing tool it should be OR am I simply finding something to fill Jenny The Intern's time?
If the blog post's audience are existing customers, there should be clear retention logic to your post - think, "Why do my customers need to know this? How does it affect them? Why should they care?"
If the audience are potential customers think to yourself "How is this blog post going to make me money? How is it going to make someone go from thinking about buying from me, to actually becoming a customer?"
Now, this doesn't always have to be black and white. I.e a person reads your blog post then goes to another section of your website and makes a purchase. Though we'd like that to be the case, often it's just not the reality.
Some of the best pieces of content work because they inadvertently create favorability towards your business even if that person isn't quite ready to make a purchase yet. This is where good calls to action come in.
If a potential customer reads your blog post and at the bottom is a call to action asking them to subscribe to your weekly email newsletter, or download a free e-book, you are asking them to take action as a result of what they've read.
Both of these calls to action capture email addresses, meaning that even though they haven't made a purchase today, you can market to them in the future and make them become customers at a later date.
But don't confuse readers by asking them to do too many things - stick to one, really strong call to action in every blog post and you'll soon be reaping the rewards.
4. You think it's not important
The biggest thing that I see from SMEs is that they don't think their company blog is that important.
Yet that sad, neglected part of your website is the number one way you can communicate directly to your potential and existing customers. Give it the time and attention it deserves!
Whatever you do, make sure that the person writing your blogs is knowledgeable and happy to do so. When someone doesn't have the knowledge or desire to write something, it comes across in the end result.
When done properly, your company blog can yield incredible results. It can increase your business's exposure, get you more customers and ensure you are seen as THE leading experts in your industry.
And if you don't have the time or flair for the written word, let me help you get there! Get in touch today to discuss how we can work some blogging magic together.