Does your business blog not convert readers into customers? Then it’s not contributing to your content marketing strategy—or to the success of your business.
Let’s change that. Here are five ways to get your company blog back on track.
The Good News: You have a business blog!
The Bad News: It’s failing miserably.
Blogging for business is drastically different than personal blogging. You can’t share your random thoughts and hope for virtual applause.
Your readers don’t visit your blog to pat you on the back. Quite the opposite: They hold you to an expectation much higher than written ramblings.
I actually have a solid dozen (if not more) reasons why your company blog is failing, but I decided to keep my focus on these five habits that I see over and over again.
If you just started your company blog, you might be reading this post too early. It takes some time to gain that momentum in earning readership, engagement and customer conversions.
Then again, it never hurts to know what behaviors block readers from coming back to your blog.
If you’ve had a business blog for some time now and the results are extremely disappointing, keep reading.
Here are just some of the reasons why your company blog is failing.
You Don’t Blog Regularly
Let’s first get the most obvious point out the way. If you blog regularly, you can keep scrolling.
But for all you slackers, this one’s for you.
I know you’re really not a slacker. Whether you’re running the business or you’re a significant team player at the company, you probably have a lot on your plate.
Sadly, your readers don’t care that you’re busy. If you don’t publish regularly, they simply move on to someone else’s business blog.
You created a company blog because everyone in the industry is doing it. You maintain the blog because your boss says so.
These aren’t good enough reasons. And if they’re your only reasons, then don’t bother.
Think of your blog like a TV show. Your audience wants to tune in every week. But if you’re not producing content, they’re going to find someone else that is.
What You Can Do Instead
Make a commitment to publish regularly. Then make it a priority each week alongside your other tasks.
It’s really that simple.
I recommend publishing at least on a weekly basis, publishing the post on the same day and time each week. That way, readers always know when fresh content is ready on your blog.
In some industries, publishing more regularly is the key to success. Study your competitors and your reader behavior to decide if more content throughout the week is what they want and expect from your niche.
To make blogging easier, create an editorial calendar so that you know what content to push out on a weekly basis and plan ahead.
You Constantly Publish About Your Company Events
This is by far my biggest pet peeve when it comes to reading business blogs.
You know which posts I’m talking about. The ones where you show your team at the company picnic, holiday party, industry conference, business retreat—need I go on?
Ok, one more. Goofing off around the office.
Don’t throw statistics in my face. Yes, I know these posts have nine likes and 50+ page views. We both know this engagement came from your employees, and maybe one or two from a vender trying to digitally win your future business.
Let me ask you this: Do you read company event posts on business blogs that aren’t yours?
Of course not. You quickly scroll away and click on the next blog post that’s relevant to you.
Your target audience doesn’t want to read about how well the employees get along together. You need to shift your focus to writing content that’s relevant to your readers.
What You Can Do Instead
Recaps on company events can be prominently displayed within the careers section of your website. This is what your future talent wants to see when making a decision on their next career move.
Just because it’s not on your blog doesn’t mean this content isn’t valuable or won’t be read. It just needs to be featured elsewhere.
Keep your blog solely focused on content that your target readers want to read. Don’t let your blog evolve back into the company community board.
You Think Publishing Press Releases is OK
When you wake up in the morning, do you pour yourself a cup of coffee then scroll through a newsfeed for press releases?
I didn’t think so.
Press releases are boring to read. Unless you have to read them for your job, you avoid reading them at all costs.
I’m definitely not saying that press releases aren’t effective. In fact, press releases can earn thousands—if not millions—of dollars of free publicity for a company when an effective media strategy is in place.
But the target audience of a press release isn’t your consumer or your blog reader.
When I was in higher education, the decision makers wanted me to publish our press releases on the department blog. I fought tooth and nail on this, explaining our target audience and showing the stats.
But I lost. Not only was our readership dramatically down those weeks, it took extra weeks for our engagement levels to climb back up.
Let me put it this way: Press releases are not what your reader wants to read on your company blog.
Your blog readers come to your blog to learn something that they value. As much as you value that your corporate office moved to downtown Somewhere, your readers simply don’t care.
Give them something to read that they do care about.
What You Can Do Instead
Make a separate section on your website just for your press releases. I found the most effective strategy is having a media section on a website where reporters have easy access to past press releases, press kit, quick facts and contact information.
Is there something from the press release that your customers and blog readers would want to read? Expand upon it as a separate content piece and publish it in unison with your press release.
You’re Writing Only For Yourself
Once upon a time, I worked for a startup company that will remain nameless (unless you find the orange logo on my LinkedIn profile). I was hired to ramp up their blog strategy in order to earn customers.
I proposed my content marketing strategy during my interview and was hired. In fact, while I was part of the team, our data proved all my blog posts enforcing this strategy were the only ones that converted readers into customers.
Then one day my strategy fell to pieces. Not because it didn’t work—because the C-Suite didn’t like reading the posts.
Don’t worry. My boss made sure to break the news to me on my birthday.
The higher ups took the reins and ordered me to take the blog in a different direction. Soon the company blog oddly focused on interviews involving these “leaders” and not on information our potential customers needed.
As you can see, I’m totally over it. And happily working elsewhere.
Your company blog isn’t the platform for inflating the ego, be it the CEO or content strategist. Its intent is to be an honest voice in the experience of what product or service you sell.
Your company blog isn’t about you. It’s about your customers. Period.
It didn’t take long for this company to shift back to a smarter content strategy. Thank goodness!
What You Can Do Instead
Don’t ask yourself what you want to write. Don’t ask yourself what you want to read.
Ask yourself this: What content does my reader want?
Look at your highest performing blog posts. Can you expand upon these topics in other blog posts?
Dissect your buyer journey. What challenges does your target audience face during the buying process? What questions do they have that hold them back from making that purchase?
Be the voice that gives them the reassurance and confidence they crave.
You Simply Don’t Have a Strategy
If you’re blogging just to keep it filled with content, then why bother? Put your time and resources towards a better company cause.
Maintaining a business blog is a big feat. Unfortunately, it’s not enough just to show up. You have to really try to win the attention of your readers and to keep it.
This is not a “if you build it, they will come” moment.
Inspire them to come back to your blog. Inspire them to read your content. Inspire them to take action.
To do this, you need a plan. I like following the basics when creating a content marketing strategy, so I ask myself these six questions:
WHO is your target audience?
WHAT are your blog goals?
WHEN is it ideal for your readers to read your blog posts?
WHERE do your readers search to find answers or to discover new ideas?
WHY should they choose you?
HOW can you create content that’s relevant to their wants and needs?
Let’s not forget how important SEO is for your blog as well as following a structured editorial calendar. But those are topics for another blog post.
You can have a successful business blog. Just because your company blog is failing today doesn’t mean it will always fail. Accept the state your blog is in, then make a plan to change for the better.
Your readers will thank you.
And if you need help, let’s talk.
I know there are more reasons why company blogs fail, so tell me! What reason did I leave off this list? Share your insights (or past experience) in the comments section below.