Blogging is an effective content marketing tool to increase web traffic and build a business brand, but it isn’t a miracle tool. Writing consistent, quality content is hard work. Avoid these top new blog mistakes before launching your writing effort.
1) Blog Topics Don’t Benefit the Business
Creative ideas are great! But the point of blogging is to showcase your real estate business expertise.
Every blog should have a clear connection to the company at large. It’s okay to have a rounded profile of topics, but if the goal is to boost tenant retention, don’t talk about your recent family vacation. Instead, blog about the area’s best attributes or launching a new amenity in the residential complex.
2) Wrong Tone for the Audience
Blogs are not white papers or case studies! It’s okay to use a conversational tone. Today, with our shorter attention spans, we prefer writing that is fast and easy.
Think about the blog’s key audience and write like they talk. A real estate agent marketing to young families would have more casual tone than a commercial agency focusing on business-to-business marketing.
3) Topics are Too Broad
“Columbus Real Estate” is a huge topic to cover in a single blog. Instead, get real specific. Think: “4 Columbus Trends in Outdoor Living Spaces.” A more specific topic attracts a more targeted audience actually interested in the blog content.
4) Disorganized Writing
Brain dumping is a great brainstorming strategy, but a terrible idea for quality blogs. Today’s readers don’t have time for a rambling mess of ideas.
The modern blog has a fairly set format. Readers prefer short sections divided by subheaders. That way, they are easy to scan for important information.
Start with an outline with working subheaders. Keep paragraphs short, roughly 3-4 sentences. Where it makes sense, use other features like bullet points and numbered lists.
5) Use Hard Data, Not General Statements
Using citable data strengthens a blog’s credibility and positions its company as a market leader. General statements are wishy-washy and take up valuable word space. Case-in-point: many people like reading blogs, but it’s more powerful to say 60% of users feel more positive about a company after reading its content.
6) Plagiarism Doesn’t Cut It
Readers can tell when a blog doesn’t sound original. The voice changes, the formatting seems off, there are words used incorrectly. Search engines can tell, too, and penalize the company for plagiarizing someone else’s content. Be inspired, but refuse to steal others’ words.
7) Forget–or Refuse–to Edit
Put your best foot forward and spellchick. See what we did there? Accept that no draft is perfect. Re-read the blog post or find a fresh set of eyes to review before hitting “publish.” Spelling and grammar should never be sacrificed for speed.
8) Inconsistent Schedule
Six blogs one week, two the next, nothing the third–a haphazard blogging schedule is a turnoff to potential readers. The message is you’re not serious about your content.
The same is true with a blog that hasn’t been updated in a long time. Readers see a dead blog and exit away. Stick to publishing schedule with a content calendar.
9) Think Long-term
Beginning bloggers hit “publish” and eagerly start checking traffic statistics. Sure, the blog will see an initial bump from the subscribers checking, but that traffic boost fades in a few days.
Blogging’s benefits build over time. It takes time for search engines to index the blog to drive organic traffic back to the post. Avoid the temptation to give in because traffic is slow. Eventually the analytics boost will eclipse the initial release spike as long as your are consistent and persistent.
10) Call to Action
You are blogging to grow a business. The blog must generate something: a lead, a subscriber, a social share. Forgetting to add a call to action is a huge mistake.
For instance, having a list of subscribers that receive your latest blog post provides a huge initial boost. But you have to ask people to subscribe! Maybe it’s not subscriptions, but an ebook you want downloaded, or social shares. Ask to receive.