Last week, I attended BlogWorld & New Media Expo, a three-day conference and tradeshow for bloggers, podcasters, Web content creators and social media innovators. While I wasn’t able to attend all 130+ sessions, I did listen in on some very good ones and have been recapping them here.
Also available: 7 Deadly Social Sins, a recap of the session featuring UnMarketing’s Scott Stratten; How to Humanize Your Brand, featuring Livefyre’s Jenna Langer; Reporting for Bloggers, with tips from journalist David Copeland; 7 Don’ts of Online Community Management, featuring Debba Haupert; How to Attract Members to Your Online Community, which featured a panel of four experts; 40+ Content Creation Ideas for Your Blog, with Rich Brooks; and 8 Ways to Master the List Post, with Nate Riggs.
In this session, Marcus Sheridan, popular speaker and online marketing consultant, and author of “The Sales Lion,” talked about the 10 critical blogging and content mistakes that are killing company profits and brand growth:
1. They refuse to think like consumers. Too often, business owners think like business owners. They use business vernacular and acronyms that mean nothing to the average consumer.
If you want to be really successful, go to every person in your company that answers client questions and ask them what questions they get every day from your clients – and then answer those questions on your blog. This will help you get in front of consumers when they are doing Google searches, and will also help you create content for your blog.
“If you do this one thing, you’ll have unlimited content,” said Sheridan. “If you are not a listener, you will struggle with content ideas.”
2. They ignore the most important consumer question in the world: How much does it cost? If people can’t find pricing on your website, they’ll go somewhere else – which means they’ve left your site. You don’t have to be specific, but at least give a price range.
3. They pay too much attention to metrics. Don’t pay attention to how many likes, tweets, etc., a blog post gets. Understand which metrics make a difference in your industry. That might not be social metrics.
4. They’re afraid of Goliath – but most big businesses out there are like Goliath: slow. There are thousands of modern-day Goliath stories happening every day online, said Sheridan.
5. It’s called a blog, not a brag. Focus on the consumer, not on yourself. “Nobody cares about you unless you can help them,” said Sheridan.
6. Favoring witty titles over SEO. Your first priority should be: What is the keyword goal for this article? You have to help Google find you if you want to be found. Give readers the meat, the keyword phrase. Ideally, you can get a combination of both witty and SEO-friendly.
"If anyone tells you SEO is dead, you should kick them in the shins,” joked Sheridan.
7. Use “lack of time” as an excuse. “We don’t approach blogging as a culture, which is why many of us fail at it,” said Sheridan. “You have to make the time.”
8. They see everything as a tool. Social media is not a tool, it’s a culture. It should be viewed as a way of thinking.
9. They don’t embrace their employees as content producers. If your sales staff isn’t writing blog articles, that’s a fail. Every salesperson in the world should be blogging.
10. They don’t understand content as a sales tool. “Content is the greatest sales tool in the world. Period.”
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