The signs of frightful blogging are obvious… foaming at the mouth, ghastly tales of competitors and unnerving lists of links. All are toxic recipes for disaster and can come back to haunt you and ultimately hurt your business.
This doesn’t mean you should let your fear of blogging hold you back; it is a powerful tool if done correctly.
By now you probably know that blogs can help you increase search engine rankings, drive traffic to your website, and position you as a credible expert in your field.
While blogging is indeed a way to build your digital footprint, there are some practices you should avoid. Here are 3 ways your blog could come back to haunt you:
1. Foaming at the Mouth
A common mistake many bloggers make is that they focus too much on self-promotion. When writing your blog posts, focus more on giving value to your audience than trying to pitch a product or service. This is what adding value is truly about. If you do this consistently, you won’t need to tout your products and services; your prospects will seek them out because they’ve come to trust you (or your company) as an expert! A good model to follow is the 80/20 rule (The Pareto Principle). 80% of the content you publish should be focused on providing insights, solutions, and strategies. The other 20% can include a related promo, offer or affiliate link; just always proceed with caution and focus on the audience who is absorbing your material. I suggest even using the 90/10 rule of thumb or creating complete posts without any up sell, but instead encouraging them to engage with you by posting their comments on your blog.
2. Ghastly tales of competitors
Think political ads on this one; they are the perfect example of bashing the competition to further your own agenda. It’s just bad business and can… and probably will… come back to haunt you. Remember that anything you publish today will remain online for many, many years to come. It’s good practice to keep your writing free of negative emotions; this will ensure you’re publishing information that focuses on your audience instead of what the competition is or isn’t doing. Don’t confuse this with creating posts with your unique voice and opinion. That is a good thing and shows authenticity. You’ll decide how far to push the envelope. Case in point, one of my friends is a best-selling author and runs a popular blog. He bashed American Airlines in his blog and got banned from the airline for 5 years.
3. Unnerving lists of links
There is a fine line between including a link that enhances the information in your blog and adding several links to promote affiliates, text link ads and so on. Too many links will annoy people, turn them away from your blog and possibly even get you labeled as a spammer.
Now that you’ve learned what not to do, it’s time to tackle your fear and start blogging your way to building your business.
What have you done to make your blog stand apart from the crowd? Or, what’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in your blog? I’d love to hear from you. Post your comments below.