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Just because you’re creating content for your startup’s blog doesn’t mean you’re doing everything right. I work with small businesses and entrepreneurs and often see them making the following content marketing errors before I step in to help.
- Jumping without a parachute
You decided one day that you’d glom onto this whole “content marketing thing,” so you just started writing articles without a plan. Now, you’re wondering if you’re wasting your time because your blog isn’t attracting visitors who turn into customers.
Without a content marketing strategy, you likely won’t get far. Having a strategy, or a plan, if you will, helps you identify who your audience is and what kinds of content they care about. Knowing that, you can target the topics you write about exactly to what your audience is interested in.
Another component of your strategy should deal with how you promote the content so that it continually attracts a larger audience. We’ll get to that in a minute.
- Being too repetitive
Take a moment and look at your company blog. Is every article exactly 700 words with one image? If so, you’re the victim of monotony. Your readers want diversity, and may go elsewhere to get it.
Make sure to mix up the types of content you post to your blog. First, write different types of informative blog posts, including:
- Frequently asked questions
- Interviews with company execs or industry leaders
- How tos
- Product demos
Then, vary up the length of content. Some people don’t want to read more than 400 words, so you’ll lose them if every post is 1,500 words.
- Expecting magical results
You publish a post and then get upset if, within a week, it doesn’t garner you thousands of visits to your site. Or even hundreds.
But what are you doing to ensure that people see your content? You may have a handful of loyal readers who subscribe to your blog feed or newsletter, but part of content marketing is continually pushing new posts to multiple channels.
Your social media profiles are among the easiest and most effective places to introduce your content to new people. Set up automation tools that instantly post new blog posts to your social channels, but also schedule additional shares. Automated posts tend to just have the title of the post, but you can craft shares that ask a question or share a statistic from a post that will be more likely to entice people to click and read.
You can invest a minimal amount to promote a popular post on Facebook, which can lead more people who haven’t even heard of your brand to then visit your site.
- Keeping all content in-house
If you run a startup and are also trying to write all the content for your blog, it’s going to be tough. Either you can’t consistently write content or you struggle with the writing itself. Either way, you’re wasting energy unnecessarily.
Hiring a content writer may seem to you to be an unnecessary expense, but trust me: in the long run, your business will benefit. You will be able to take writing content off of your own very long to-do list, and the posts will be more polished and targeted, since they’re written by a talented professional.
Even if you or an employee can write some of the content, consider hiring a writer for at least some of the content. Having different voices can provide more interesting variety, which is what we discussed in bullet point number two.
- Paying no attention to results
I get it. I’m a writer, not a statistician, and sometimes looking at analytics makes my eyes cross. But when it comes to writing, and running your business in general, you absolutely must pay attention to analytics that tell you whether or not you’re on the right track with your efforts.
How do you know if the topics you’re covering on your blog are being well-received by your audience? Take a look at your blog’s analytics. How do you know if people who read your blog are purchasing your products? Once again: those analytics are insanely insightful in telling you what you need to know.
Make a point every month or quarter to see how general traffic to your site and blog are doing, compared to past check-ins. Look to see which posts are getting the most clicks. Then, log into your social media dashboard and see which posts got the most reshares, clicks and likes. Do more of what’s working, and less of what isn’t.
You don’t have to be a content marketing master to get it right. Just pay attention to details, get a plan and dedicate ample resources to making sure your blog rocks.