Have you ever wondered if there were deadly sins of blogging? If there’s something you might do that’s so egregious (even if you didn’t know what egregious means) that you might somehow do this whole blogging thing wrong?
I have to be upfront. The answer is yes. But I’m going to guess that these tips for how not to blog could be different than you might expect.
So to aid you in your resolve to go and sin no more when it comes to discovering how not to blog, here are the 7 deadly sins of business blogging and a suggested “penance” to overcome them.
How Not To Blog: The Seven Deadly Sins of Business Blogging
1. Writing Boring Headlines
So you’ve figured out the right SEO-worthy keyword for your blog post title to get you the traffic you’re considering. But it’s a yawner of a headline that, once the search engine finds you, no one wants to read. Writing boring headlines is the first deadly sin of business blogging and a definite inclusion on a list of how not to blog.
Suggested Penance: Go visit the folks at Copyblogger and work your way through their Magnetic Headlines series.
2. Writing Creative But Confusing Headlines
While creative headlines are good, clear headlines are even better. Your headline is your promise to the reader. It answers the question, “what’s in it for me if I read your article?” And if you don’t deliver, you’ll leave your reader feeling cheated, which is not what you want. That’s a huge item on the how not to blog list!
Not only that, but I’m sure I heard once there was a special layer in Dante’s Inferno reserved for writers of headlines that don’t deliver.
It’s absolutely possible to write a compelling headline that draws your reader in, helping him or her know right from the get go what you’ll be discussing.
Suggested Penance: Sometimes a straightforward headline is best. If you can rework yours to get to the point, do so.
3. Ignoring SEO
While writing for your human visitors is best, if you’re not paying attention to search engine optimization techniques, you’re missing out on some of the benefit of your blogging efforts.
Suggested Penance: Visit Assist Social Media to learn how to get the biggest bang for your social media buck, including introductory SEO tips you can use on your blog post, keyword selection, and use of tags starting today.
4. Blogging Erratically
From both a search engine and a human perspective, blogging erratically is a huge no-no for business blogs. For the search engines involved, erratic blogging will decrease the benefit you get from posting, lowering your ranking on Google search results. From a human perspective, if your readers notice that the timing of your blog posts is flaky, they’re bound to think the same of your business.
Suggested Penance: One of the best ways to keep track of your ideas is to simply start a draft each time you have something cross your mind that might make a good blog post. This way, when you sit down to blog, you’ve got a whole list of blog post ideas ready to go.
5. No About Me Page
You are in this for business, right? So you want to make sure your readers can contact you and want to contact you! Take the time to write a well-crafted page that talks not only about your accomplishments but lets your personality shine through as well.
Suggested Penance: Read through your About Me Page and make sure it still makes sense and puts forth the best word picture of who you are.
6. Spamming Other Blogs
While visiting other blogs is a good practice, visiting other blogs, not engaging with your fellow community members and leaving comments like, “come visit my blog…” is just plain rude. Provide value to others, listen, and engage with people (not at them), and you’ll be surprised at the quality of connections and links that are formed.
Suggested Penance: Choose 3 blogs in your niche that interest you on a regular basis. Leave a comment on each of them without indulging in any self promotion. Simply seek to be a good community member.
7. Ignoring comments
This is huge. As one of my friends puts it, treat every comment received as if it were your first. Or your mom. Or your preacher. Whatever -you get the point. Take the time to respond to everyone who has taken the time to respond to your post, and keep your replies as civil and respectful as if your mom or your preacher were reading, even if someone does get your “Irish up!”
Suggested Penance: Make sure you’re using a comment plugin such as CommentLuv to let your guests get maximum value for their time spent commenting on your site. Oh, and, go over to your blog now and start answering everyone who’s waiting for a response.
With effort and the suggested penances listed above, you too can overcome these 7 deadly sins of business blogging and be on your way to creating a blog of virtue and value, one your readers can’t wait to read. Go forth and blog and sin no more!
It’s Confession time! Which of these deadly sins have you saying, “mea culpa?” Leave a comment below!