Every small business owner who decided to join business blogging are often faced with the harsh reality that blogging isn’t guaranteed success. But it doesn’t mean totally giving up. In fact, when you begin to encounter hurdles in blogging it can be a signal for growth, not necessarily failure.
Identifying these signals will help small business owners to focus more where effort is demanded. For example, you feel like you are not gaining readers, that means you need to focus more on content distribution.
Let us explore why small businesses fail blogging.
Here are the top 10 reasons small businesses fail blogging:
1. Your content production is low
Creating content regularly at high volume will not only keep search engine crawlers busy. In fact, it is a great way to keep your audience engaged. Growing your content means you have more to offer your blog visitors.
Solution to increase content production:
If you are very busy with other aspects of your business it is time for you to consider hiring a blogger. A blogger dedicated to produce relevant and strong content for your business blog can help increase your content volume in no time.
It doesn’t have to be a ghost blogger. Your hired blogger can write under his name while maintaining that you remain to be the thought leader of the business.
2. You are not offering anything new in your content
There is nothing wrong with blogging about a topic a few times. Nonetheless, your audience will most likely be drawn to topics that are current.
Most small business owners feel that because a certain topic appeals to them, that it will also be appealing to their audience. Not always.
Solution to create appealing content for your audience:
Your content must always answer your customers’ question, “What’s in it for me?” If you create content that does not answer this question, you are most likely not creating content for them.
This isn’t about things you want to tell them, this about things they want to read. If you create content that they want to read, you will have a chance to make them listen to what you have to say.
Unless you tailor your content to a fashion that is appealing to them, it will get you nowhere.
3. There is no plan, strategy or defined goals
A lot of small businesses see blogging as a way to get customers. True, but this is never accomplished without a clear plan and strategy that aligns with a defined goal.
In short, you need to be able to measure the performance of your blog. A strategy is more than just setting up a blog and then have daily or weekly entries.
A strategy needs to clearly define the path towards achieving your lead generation or conversion goals.
Solution to developing strategy that aligns with your business goals:
Set realistic weekly or monthly goals. Measure your goals and get your hands dirty and interpret the data provided by analytics.
This is the only way to really see the performance of your blog. Doing so, you will be able to develop better content that appeals to your audience. Moreover, it will give you clarity on what is the best channel to distribute your content.
4. You are overselling
This is probably among the most common mistakes of a small business blog. Even if you are not monetizing your blog through affiliate marketing, banners and popups to promote your products and services can make your readers leave.
Solution to not oversell on your blog:
Great business blogs deliver free content for their readers. Delivering free content is a very great way to subtly inform them of your product and service.
5. Overseeing the benefits of hiring outside experts
Whether you are also a brilliant writer besides an entrepreneur, you have to admit that blogging is time consuming.
Without the help of some experts, it is easy to get lost in digital marketing, which is a totally different story compared to writing a blog post alone.
Solution to not getting lost in digital marketing:
If you think it is about time you need an expert blogger, editor, virtual assistant or a consultant. You have to really consider hiring outside experts. It doesn’t mean that you are hiring them fulltime, in fact, you may hire experts on a project basis or just by chunks of their time.
Their opinion on your blog will help you navigate towards success. Overcoming hurdles that you once thought impossible.
6. Not Giving Emphasis on Keyword Research
In business blogging, keyword research in SEO is the backbone of success. In other words, without good keyword research, the whole blog will lose its sense. Primarily because it wouldn’t be found. SEO is among the toughest hurdle that requires time to be successful. But it does play a very important role in all marketing strategies.
Solution to Keyword Research:
Keyword research is not rocket science. In fact, once you get a hang of it, it is easier to apply effective tactics. The Google Adwords Keyword Planner is among the best free tools available to aid your keyword research. You do not need to pay for an Adwords Campaign, you can use the tool for free, although it may not give you thorough information as it does in the past.
Blogging is a great solution to many digital marketing dilemmas of small business owners. Nonetheless, blogging is among the long-term investments that does not drive immediate result.
Solution to acquiring more patience:
I don’t really see any solution to this but just being more patient. Consider the time you are blogging. If your business was blogging for more than 6 months to a year and not seeing results.
There must be something wrong with your SEO, consider hiring an SEO expert who will not deplete your budget. If you are blogging for less than 6 months. Wait a little longer before you lose hope.
8. You are not networking
Among the benefits of a business blog is that it allows you to put your thoughts out there. This makes it easier to build a network of not only potential customers but among industry leaders. Networking will help improve the credibility of your blog. A great blog requires organic inbound and outbound links.
Solution to networking:
Social media is a great platform to market your personal brand. Your presence in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, should not only be customer-centric but also as an industry expert that other experts may want to connect with.
Networking is not competing, it is actually a great way to contribute among your peers your knowledge in the industry.
9. You are not making social easy
There are still some blogs out there that has not integrated social media buttons in their platforms. Without social media integration, it is like throwing away free marketing.
Wouldn’t you like your readers and fans to be the one promoting your content to their families, friends and networks? It is just insane how many small business owners still don’t buy in to the power of social media. Especially utilizing social media for “brand awareness”.
Solution to making your blog social:
If you are using WordPress, I don’t see why you are not, there are tremendous number of great plugins that you can use to add social media buttons to your blog. I personally love Digg Digg, because of how easy it is to customize embedding the buttons or making it float. There are more to choose from the WordPress plugins repository.
10. Engage more in comments
When your blog begins to gain comments and trackbacks, go ahead and reply. The only time I would see this might be impossible is when your blog begins to acquire about 500 comments. Nevertheless, even if it does, replying to comments is very important.
Solution to keep your comment section alive:
Deliver ideas in your blog that sparks further discussion. You may find that people do not comment easily, does not mean you have a terrible blog. It may only suggest that your blog content is more instructional than conversational.
There is no problem providing instructions, however should you deliver instructions maintain being conversational and avoid sounding like technical manual.
When you find comments, especially if it is a new post, make it a point to answer. If it is a comment that does not encourage further discussion, at least thank the person who commented to develop rapport. Value your readership.
I would never consider a blog a total failure. Unless it is abandoned. Every mistake in blogging is reversible, unless the mistakes done totally ruined the brand’s reputation. Even so, there is always hope.
The key to success in blogging is really content and its distribution. Ignore buzzwords you find online, if you focus on a strong optimized content and distribute it well in social media channels, you are always a step closer to success.