We all have our bugbears when it comes to company blogs. Here are 11 oft-observed trends in business blogging that I would like to see go extinct.
- Press releases masquerading as blogs. Dull and not terribly useful.
- Sales pitches masquerading as blogs. If I wanted those I’d answer my phone.
- Academic articles masquerading as blogs. Writing for the wrong audience is problematic - so unless your audience likes dense blocks of text drowning in jargon, loosen the tie a little. It’s tempting to show off your knowledge, but it’d be better to focus on informing your readers in an understandable way.
- Your blog strategy consists of sharing the company’s charity bike ride/triathlon/bake-off. Unless it’s related to your business, it's not that interesting and doesn't replace the need to create authentic expert-led content.
- Blogs without dates on them. You probably think this is a shortcut to making all your content evergreen, but it has the opposite effect – it's impossible to know how out of date your insights are and, therefore, how reliable. Reinstate dates and, should you update the post, you can always leave a note to that effect.
- Blogs that cannot be read on mobile and/or tablet. It’s high time to update your website to something less medieval.
- Blogs that lack a clear overall focus. Make sure all your contributors are rowing in the same direction in terms of content. Why not set up an editorial calendar for the team?
- Blog posts with strange and vague titles. ‘Oh no’, ‘Well that’s a problem’, and ‘I knew it!’ are not great at either reeling the reader in or at improving your SEO. Front load your titles with the key term and give people a taster of what the content will be.
- Copycat content. Don’t copy what other company blogs are doing. Your own data is interesting, your own stories are interesting, your own insights are interesting. Stop parroting and share content that has substance.
- Blogs that don’t seem to want to be shared and read. Don’t disable social media and email share buttons – sharing is something you should be encouraging. Make it easy for your readers to spread the word and keep informed of your future posts too.
- Blogs that aren’t linked up to any analytics. It's no wonder some company blogs are so lackluster: the writers don’t have access to feedback. At the very minimum, use Google Analytics and set up a report to keep track of your best performing posts (here's how).
If you don't recognize yourself in any of these, then congratulations - you are a rare beast!