5 Pieces of lousy blogging advice you need to forget
1. The purpose of a blog is list-building/SEO/virality
So why do you have a blog in the first place? It is okay to admit that it's part of your digital marketing strategy, and a great blog can be a key part of that strategy.
The problem is when you treat your blog as a tool to achieve some marketing goal. Going viral and getting people to sign up to with your mailing list are the benefits of having a great blog, and that doesn't just happen because you've sat down and written any old garbage. As for SEO, while it's good to keep search engines in mind as you construct each post, remember that Google changes their algorithms all the time, and each change looks to reward quality content while banishing keyword-stuffed pages into obscurity.
Your blog is a chance to engage, entertain, educate and illuminate your readers. The readers need to be your number one priority when you write; write exclusively for their benefit and the rest of your digital marketing strategy will fall into place naturally.
2. Blog every day
"Blog every day" is a by-product of the first point. It's the idea that if you throw enough stuff out there, some of it will eventually stick. Overwhelm your audience into reading your blog and success can be yours!
There's nothing wrong with daily blogging and if you've got the content to support that schedule, go for it. But it's not essential and will undermine the success of your blog if you're not producing quality content on each post. There are many successful blogs that only update two or three times per month. You know why they thrive? Because when each post comes around, it contains unmissable content. One brilliant, well-researched blog post is worth a whole week of filler.
3. Outsource your blog content
It's fine to bring in a little extra help to produce your content. Indeed, guest blogging is a tried and true strategy for building an audience, and if you bring in the right people you will see the rewards. Also, there are plenty of professional bloggers for hire who can produce quality, engaging content.
The problem with outsourcing your blog entirely is that you lose the one thing that makes your blog special: you. You have an understanding of your niche or industry that no one else possesses. You have insights that can't come from anyone else, and experiences that others want to hear about. Your voice is the USP of your blog, and you need to make sure that it is present on every post.
4. Keep it informal
Because so many blogs, and the Internet in general, take an informal tone, there's a misapprehension that you have to speak to people as if you were hanging out with them in a bar. The truth is that there's nothing wrong with taking a professional or authoritative tone in your blog, if that's what suits your business. As with all forms of marketing, it's important to consider how you want to be perceived. What kind of impression do you want to make on potential customers? If you want to present yourself as an expert, then there's nothing wrong with sounding like an expert.
If you're worried that your blog might be boring, then look at other ways to spice it up. Bullet points, headers and infographics can help build engagement while still allowing you to present yourself as the leading authority in your niche.
5. Promote your blog on social media
Social media can be great for driving traffic to your blog, if you do it properly. Do it badly however, and your blog can end up killing your social media accounts.
There are a few things that your followers absolutely hate. The first of those things is link-dumping, which is when you tweet nothing but links to your newest blog entries. This one is really easy to do, because your content management system (CMS) probably has an option to automatically Tweet or post to Facebook whenever you blog. Don't let those options fool you into thinking that you're talking to your followers. You need to still get out there into the world of social and have conversations, or there's no way they're going to click through to your blog.
Also, try not to be to over-eager on social media. If you post a link to your blog and nobody clicks, it doesn't mean that you should repost the link every 2 hours. Not unless you feel like you have too many followers and you'd like to lose a few. And finally, never, ever use the words "Please RT". You may as well write "Please ignore me, I have no self-respect".