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blogging errors for small businessMaking a mistake on a business blog may not ruin the company or business, but it can certainly be a waste of valuable resources, and leave potential consumers with a bad taste in their mouths.  Most of the following errors are fairly common sense, but hey, when did your common sense fail you last?

Self Promotion – Have you ever spoken with someone who constantly complemented themselves, maybe a cook who repeatedly commented on the quality of his/her dishes, or possibly a business owner who constantly referred to the success of the business?

Did you ever want to talk to that person again, if you had a choice in the matter?  A business blog is like a personal aside for your business.  In many ways, it portrays what someone would see if they were to go to lunch with your company.

And like a guest out to lunch, anyone browsing your business blog will want to hear many things – perhaps a personal take on a recent event in the business’ industry, maybe some shared expertise on a small problem they are having, maybe just a shared, good-hearted laugh!

But no one wants to talk to the guy who is full of himself, who can’t stick to the subject for thirty seconds without tying it back to his skills, success, or services.  And if your blog traffic does not want to talk to you after reading a blog entry, then they’re not going to come back.

So keep the self-promotion out of the blog, and instead let your company’s expertise speak for itself.  Visitors to your site will be impressed by your resolve, and they will feel obligated to give something back.  Whereas, if you link to services or complement your products, people are going to walk away feeling like they have already given back, and they will be less interested in looking through the rest of the site.

Dissing Competitors – This may seem like a pretty obvious “Don’t” but you would be surprised by the number of businesses who” Do.”  After blogging for a while, when ideas are becoming harder and harder to come by, and a competitor has done something underhanded, raking their name through the mud on your blog can start to seem pretty attractive.  After all, they deserve it, don’t they, and the consumer should know how nasty they have been!

This is blog suicide, for a few reasons:

1)      People see the entry as advertising and a form of self-promotion; they are less likely to want to give back to the site, or explore the products and services available.

2)      Not only is the bad review advertising; it is dirty advertising, which reflects poorly on the character of the business.  One of the main goals of a blog is to highlight the good characteristics of the business, and muckraking does the opposite.

3)      The article is not helpful to consumers.  Even if the information is accurate, consumers cannot trust it because it is on a competitors’ site.  The end result is a lost visitor.

Keyword Stuffing – Of course you want your blog to bring a lot of visitors into your site, and you want it to rank highly for the keywords it uses.  But you want the keywords to at least seem natural.  Otherwise, they’ll sap the life out of the content, and people will think they’re reading the script of some new computer algorithm.

The experts suggest writing the article/entry first, then going back and weaving the keywords into the text.  Usually, if I try to do both things at once, the end result makes me sound like a five year-old who just heard her mother say a new word.  Not good for one’s credibility.

Let us know in the comments below what you have seen lately in the blogosphere that has turned you off and kept you from going back.  But please keep the sources a secret.

blogging for small business

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