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Are you getting results from your business blog? Is it getting harder for you to spend time on your blog because you're just not seeing how it is going to pay off? If so, you're not alone. Hundreds of blogs are started each day and many of them are abandoned after several months because it takes time and energy to keep a good business blog going.
Make no mistake, blogs are a great tool for building community, interacting with potential clients, and marketing your services. And, it's not enough to set one up and post occasionally. You have to use it effectively to drive traffic and gain readership.
We've discovered several common mistakes professionals make with their blogs. Mostly, they aren't using some the features available to them with their blogging software, because it hasn't been sufficiently explained. Eyes glaze over with the mention of RSS, pinging, trackbacks and permalinks. Professionals may be ignoring these things, hoping they don't really need to know. But they do if they want results from their business blog.
Here's a list of what we found on a recent trip around the professional business blogosphere:
1. Not posting frequently enough. (Recommended: 2-3 times a week.)
2. Content is not focused, and the target audience is not clearly defined.
3. Posting articles that are too long, instead of using extended post features.
4. Not linking profusely (because the professional isn't researching their field on the internet).
5. Poor spelling, bad grammar and typos.
6. No name of author in tag line or on side bar.
7. No author photo.
8. No signature or name in the footer; no way to tell who wrote post on a multi-author site.
9. No subscription form; no way to get blog updates through RSS or email.
10. No way for readers to leave comments and use trackbacks.
11. Too many categories or none at all.
12. No information about their business services and products.
13. Calendars for no reason at all (what is the point of those calendars anyway?).
14. Blog isn't submitted to blog directories.
15. Not pinging each time a new post is published.
16. Not using trackbacks referring or linking to other blogs.
17. No blogroll or list of favorite blogs or websites.
If you're considering using a blog to build your business, optimize it by taking time to learn the features and steps that will ensure success. A blog is like any other marketing tool - you've got to use it correctly to get positive results.
Here are a couple of suggestions:
1. Get an ebook and take the time to learn about your blog software or hosting provider.
2. Hire a professional blog expert to coach you on how to rev up your blog.
Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff are two blog experts who have teamed up to form The Blog Squad (http://www.fixmyblog.com). They provide advanced training and coaching for professionals who want to beef up their blog for marketing optimization. Each month a blog is selected as Blog of the Month and undergoes a rigorous makeover. At the end of the month, the blog must pass the Blog Squad Seal of Approval to be certified a success. Patsi and Denise also publish a popular blog at http://www.buildabetterblog.com.
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