Avoid These Common Mistakes for Successful Blogging
Think no one actually reads blogs? A recent study showed 409 million people read a total of 17.6 billion blog pages (yep, that’s a “b” there), every month. No, they aren’t all tuned in to your dealership’s blog, but you can bet some of these readers are indeed your most desirable prospects and customers. By focusing on successful blogging techniques, you can attract their interest and convert them to loyal readers.
Blog readers are sales leads.
Successful blogging isn’t as hard as you think.
The key is avoiding common mistakes that can sideline your blog rather than generating an ever-increasing readership. As you read through these, remember that best practices evolve over time – for blogging as well as managing a profitable construction or trucking dealership. What might have been good advice a few years back is not necessarily true today.
Mistake #1: Over-emphasizing SEO
Keyword stuffing is out, readability (and content worth reading) are in. Google et al can easily detect phony efforts to rank higher, and they’ll make you pay with even lower rankings. Keywords still matter, but use them judiciously. Focus on:
- Writing for your audience – it’s a conversation.
- Varying your approach, with humor and insight as well as practical information.
- Optimizing for social sharing, too, to increase your blog’s reach and reinforce your authority. Experts say this is at least as important, if not more, than worrying about SEO.
Mistake #2: Publishing a new blog post every day
Get real. Who has time to do that except professional bloggers? (And even they don’t post every day.) Quality matters far more than quantity. But be consistent, whether you choose to blog a couple of times a week, once a week, etc. Predictability builds trust, and readers can look forward to your next post.
Mistake #3: Always writing very short blogs – or long ones
The truth is, what works best for someone else’s blog isn’t necessarily best for your dealership. Yes, readers are busy, but that doesn’t mean you should offer only “quickie” articles. Where’s the meat? Some topics don’t require a lot of commentary, others do require more in-depth presentation. Length should be determined by content. That said, never write an overly long blog. If there’s that much to say, divide it into a series of articles, or create an e-book instead.
Along with varying the length of your posts, vary the formats, too – bulleted lists, short surveys that drive engagement, Q&A style presentation, etc. Change keeps your blog interesting.
Mistake #4: Set-and-forget posting
What would happen if your dealership had no signage, and you did no marketing or promotion? Nothing. You would attract no business. The same is true for your blog – you have to sell it. Not literally, but by sharing your posts – not only to blog subscribers but to your social media followers. (Hint: sharing older, “evergreen” articles from time to time is a smart plan, too. Your audience is constantly changing, and meaningful information will be new, or a good reminder, to today’s audience.)
Track views and sharing, to see which platforms are performing best for you. Play around with the time of day and day of the week you post, too, to find the sweet spot for your readers.
Mistake #5: Assuming email is “old school”
Hardly. Social media may be vital for marketing your dealership, but email is still extremely valuable because it offers different advantages. You can promote blog articles to your entire email list, or certain segments, nurturing leads and building loyalty among existing customers. Make it special, by personalizing your messages. Make it even more special by offering certain content only to your email list, or by giving them “first eyes” access to new blogs.
Mistake #6: Posting text-only blogs
Altogether, now: A picture’s worth . . . You learned this factoid as a child, but have you been forgetting it? Successful blogging only happens when you can instantly engage your potential audience. Studies show blogs that include relevant images draw 94% more viewers. That’s almost double. The key here is “relevant” – if your photo(s) or graphic(s) don’t directly support or enhance your content, you’ll merely confuse people.
And here’s something else to keep in mind. Stanford University conducted a poll asking people how they decide if a website is trustworthy. Almost half (46%) said their #1 criterion was the way the website looks. It’s not only your blog that needs to be visually attractive and engaging.