Starting a blog is easy. But building a readership for that blog is not. If you are a small business owner, you may have decided to start a blog to bring more attention to your business. But if you thought, “If I write it they will come”, you may be wondering now where all those readers are. Here are the top 5 mistakes I’ve seen, in no particular order.
- You are using your blog as a platform for advertising yourself instead of offering useful content. Try offering some of your expertise. Your services are the solution to a problem that people have. What is that problem? State the problem, and then offer free advice. Most of what you write should be useful. You should only occasionally try to plug your services.
Of course, make sure that people know where to go if they do want to find out more about your offerings. If you have a separate web site, be sure your blog links to it. If your blog is your web site, make sure your contact info is easily accessible.
- You are not participating in the “blogosphere”, yet you expect others to participate on your blog. You need to find other blogs that are relevant to yours, and participate meaningfully in discussions. Even better, add those blogs to your Blogroll. Stop thinking of them as the competition, and start thinking of them as colleagues. And be a good citizen of the web– contribute to the discussion, don’t just leave a comment that says “Visit my blog” — it’s very doubtful that your comment will get approved.
- You don’t post often enough. People are not going to check back or bother subscribing if you post too rarely. Write several posts before you launch your blog, and then post them one at a time, about two posts a week. (And yes, I realize that I’ve already violated my own rule! But, it’s still a good rule).
- Google hasn’t found your blog. Google finds sites by following links on existing sites. Make sure you link to your blog from your static web site, if you have one. Or go one step further and have the home page of your static web site programmed so that an excerpt from your most recent blog post automatically appears on your home page, with a link to the rest of the post. (Here’s an example: www.jdainternational.com)
- You are not taking advantage of categories and tags. Here’s some good advice on how to use categories and tags. Scroll down to the “Categories vs. Tags” section. This will help your site get indexed with the proper keywords that will bring the right traffic to your door.
There’s a lot of information out there on this topic. Here are a few other blog posts to get you started.
- 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog at Problogger
- 19 (More) Strategies for Finding Readers at Problogger
- How to get traffic for your blog by Seth Godin