I spend hours every week reading blogs (literally). It’s how I get my information. I can instantly spot a good company blog vs. a bad company blog.
Here are 10 tell-tale signs you’re wasting valuable time and money on your blogging efforts.
1. No Graphical Appeal
I see so many blogs that are just long blocks of small text without any graphical appeal. It makes it very tough to read. I’m scanning things fast when I’m online, and when I come across them, I click away in a nano-second. I can’t bring myself to read them because they seem so boring. And, it actually physically hurts my eyes to look at all that small text.
One more thing (I’ve seen this a lot) - a lot of company blogs don’t use pictures. Every blog post should have a picture. Graphics give the eyes a much-needed rest.
Graphics and layout bring the whole blog experience to life and are critical for capturing your readers’ attention.
2. No Social Sharing (Or Hard to Find)
The main reason to write a blog is to see if it can get spread across your online network. Why would you have a blog without social sharing?
(FYI - social sharing works best on the top or the side. Don’t make people wait till they get to the bottom - they know way before they get there if they’re going to share your article or not.)
3. Boring or Irrelevant Titles
Titles are EVERYTHING. They’re the predictor of whether or not your articles are going to get read. When I go to a company blog, I quickly scan the titles. If nothing jumps out at me, I’m gone, never to return.
4. You Have "Archives by Month" vs. "Topics"
I see this all the time, especially on WordPress blogs. Companies put "Archives by Month" in the right column on the blog page. No one is going to look at the Archives and say, "Hey, I wonder what they wrote about in October 2013?" It’s not a valuable user tool.
On the other hand, blog Topics are a great way to help readers find content that pertains to their specific questions or concerns. If you struggle to create meaningful Topics based on the blog articles you have written so far, you probably need to review your content strategy. "Archives by Month" should be removed and converted to blog "Topics."
5. No Calls-to-Actions or Internal Links
Blogs are a gateway into your "world." They’re great tools to guide prospects through the buying cycle. If you don’t have calls-to-actions or internal links, you’re missing opportunities to drive readers to other areas of your site and keep them engaged as long as possible.
6. No Search Engine Optimization
Blogging is an excellent way to increase your number of website pages, which gives you more opportunity to get found online. However, if you’re not using keywords in your blog posts, you’ll never rank on the search engines.
7. No Search Function
As you write more and more articles, it becomes increasingly important to include a search function on your website so users can quickly find relevant information. It helps users and internal team members get more value from the website and blog.
8. No Promotion
The whole reason to spend time and money creating articles is so that they’ll be spread far and wide across your business network. Having them sit on your company blog isn’t going to do the trick. If you’re not promoting them on social media or through email marketing, it’s another waste of marketing resources.
9. No Subscription Option
The goal is to write articles that are so interesting and informative that your readers will want to subscribe to get updates. But too often companies don’t even have a way to subscribe! If you don’t have a subscription option on your blog, you’re missing opportunities to grow your readership and nurture more potential customers.
10. No Metrics
Blogs are one of the most powerful marketing tools you have, but if you’re not paying attention to how they’re impacting your business, how do you know what value they provide to your business growth and if they’re worth the investment?
Don’t blog just because you think you should. That doesn’t help.