While blogs can be an easy way to communicate with your target audience, there are still many common mistakes that people make when taking on such an endeavour.
Under-estimating the time commitment
One of the biggest mistake people make when deciding to start a blog is under-estimating the time commitment. While it’s great and convenient to know that blogs can be updated from anywhere, it is more important to know that they have to be updated… and, yes, it can be done anywhere. Blogs should be updated at least three times per week and you need to have the discipline to keep it current. That means at least three times per week you have to research your topic or put your thoughts into words in a way that is interesting to read, both very time-consuming tasks, and post them online.
Over-estimating the marketing impact
The second biggest mistake people make when deciding to start a blog is over-estimating the marketing impact. It takes time and effort to build an audience for a blog – when was the last time you bookmarked a blog and went back on a regular basis?
Irregular or infrequent updating
Users must be able to anticipate when and how often updates to your blog will occur. People are busy and they do not have the time to keep checking your blog to see if it has been updated. They need to know that every day, or every two days, or whatever the case may be, there is going to be a new post that they can read, otherwise you will lose many of your readers. Pick a posting schedule and stick to it – a blog that isn’t updated regularly will simply be ignored.
Writing for the search engines and not for the blog
There is the growing tendency by many bloggers to write for search engines rather than focusing on the needs of their “human” readers. Putting search engines first, rather than putting your readers first, will almost certainly lead to bad decisions that will make your blog less usable, even if it is optimized for search spiders.
While blogs can be a great way to “speak to” your target market and keep them up to date on all the latest news on your products and services, you must determine if there is a more effective, time efficient way to communicate.
How to Promote Your Blog
Just like a web site, once you have a blog you want to maximise its exposure – you want to have as many people from your target market reading or reviewing your blog on a regular basis as possible.
There are many ways to get your blog noticed. The most obvious place to start is your own web site. However, there are so many other ways to promote your blog:
* Generate links to your blog from other related sites
* Promote your blog in your email signature file
* Submit your blog to all of the major search engines
* Register your blog with all of the major blog directories
* Send out Press releases and media alerts about your blog
Susan Sweeney, CA, CSP, HoF
Best-selling author of 8 Internet Marketing Books, including