As a consumer in today's day and age, you probably follow several of your favorite brands online. And, if you find the content that these brands are sharing on social media is especially appealing to you, you may even take things one step further and follow a few of these brands' blogs.
What makes people want to choose to follow your blog? If you take a look at these 5 brands that are doing blog content the right way, you'll see that the content is refreshed regularly, is highly targeted, and offers value. What you won't see are advertorials disguised as blog posts. Writing a blog post with the underlying intention of promoting one of your business's products or services is one of the fastest ways to turn off readers and lose credibility with your audience.
So what are the signs that you are using your blog post to toot your own horn rather than deliver value to your readers? Here are 5 of the most common symptoms:
1. The majority of your blog posts either talk about a new product you are launching or news about how well your company is doing.
Folks, if you're guilty of this (and many of us are), you may as well call yourself a blogging cheerleader. Sure, your blog is a great forum for sharing exciting news about your business with your audience, but is it really necessary to do this with almost every single post? People are following your blog because they want to hear from a thought leader and stay informed in your industry.
2. You're not covering topics that your audience wants addressed.
Often, many business owners get caught up in writing to too broad of an audience. Instead, take the time to create clear buyer personas, and write content specifically to appeal to these groups. By doing this, you'll likely find that your blog posts will create much more engagement with your audience.
3. Your blog post is really just one big call-to-action.
Your blog posts should never be a full-on sales pitch, and unfortunately, many businesses fall prey to this poor content marketing practice. While you should incorporate a call-to-action in your blog posts, the meat of your content should really be used to educate your audience about a relevant topic that interests them. Think of your blog as a tool to move your audience to the next step in your sales process, but be very delicate when inserting calls-to-action in your blog posts.
4. Your blog post is serving you first and your audience second.
If you're wondering what the big secret is for the brands that earn a huge following on their blogs, it's because they are putting their customers first and creating content based on what their audience wants to hear about. Use your blog as a forum to address relevant, pressing issues that your audience is dealing with and provide your brand's own unique spin on the topic. Do this and you'll keep your readers coming back for more.
5. The meat of your blog post is not relevant to the article's title.
Yes, headlines are a way to captivate your audience, but if you attract your audience for one reason and discuss an entirely different subject in your blog post, you will lose credibility and trust with your audience. Do yourself a favor and skip click bait strategy.
Your business blog is one of the most valuable branding tools that you have. Use it as a resource for adding value and avoid using it to strictly promote your business.