By now you're probably aware of some of the basics of inbound marketing. So you know that content is one of the most vital components of an inbound marketing strategy.
If you're not producing good content, you're going to have a tough time improving brand awareness or generating new leads.
But there's much more to content creation than just putting up a blog on your website. There are a lot of mistakes that you can make that could hurt your inbound marketing strategy. Here are five common blogging mistakes to avoid.
1. Writing to a broad audience
The more people who can relate to your blog, the better, right? Nope.
It's often said that if you are writing for everyone, then you're actually writing for no one. The first thing you should do before you start writing content for your blog is to determine who your target buyer persona is. Once you've done this, you'll be able to write for a specific audience. The more specific your audience is, the better your chance of reaching them. For example, if you sell educational software, targeting teachers will be much more effective than targeting people who use computers.
2. Using too many keywords
Optimizing your blog content is a must in order to drive more traffic. However, you don't want to overuse your keywords. Not only will Google penalize you for what's called "keyword stuffing" (this is when you overuse keywords as a way to artificially increase your search engine ranking, and Google is wise to it), but you'll end up hurting the quality of your content and turning off your readers.
Aim to use long-tail keywords. These are often combinations or phrases, instead of single words. Work them into your content no more than once per paragraph, and remove any usage that seems awkward or forced.
3. Using your content to promote your products
Your readers aren't visiting your blog so they can read advertisements. Consumers can read about your products and services on your products and services page, after all. Blog posts should focus on providing valuable, informative, helpful content.
The other edge of this sword? You're building your readers' trust and creating a reputation as an authority. Pushing sales has the opposite effect. If you do work in a sales-focused piece every now and then, make sure you've earned the right to ask your readers to buy.
4. Not telling your readers what to do
You should always have a call to action at the end of your blog posts that encourages readers to do something you want them to do, such as opt in to your email list or contact you.
If you don't tell your readers what you want them to do, they're not going to do anything. And then they'll leave and likely never come back.
5. Not promoting your content
Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how good your blog is all by itself! If you don't promote it, nobody is going to read it. This isn't "Field of Dreams"--nobody is coming just because you built the thing.
You need to make sure everything on the page is properly optimized so that it has a chance of ranking high on Google and other search engines. You also need to share your blog on social media by posting links and calls to action on your Facebook or Twitter page. You can even send a link to new blog posts out to recipients on your email list, if you think would get something out of the content. Make sure every post you publish includes social share buttons.
Avoid these mistakes and you should be ok. Incorporate good blogging into a 2017-proof marketing plan and you'll be better than ok.
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