While there are many reasons why businesses who start blogging end up failing, in most cases it has nothing to do with the expertise and intelligence of the individual or team responsible for it. If your blog is not receiving comments, subscribers or traffic, you need to think about why this is the case.
Best practices for post formatting, compelling titles, linking and writing structure only get you so far in the process. When all else is said and done, if your blog is not living up to expectations, you can usually pinpoint 1 of 2 issues:
- You are not connecting with the desired audience in an effective manner.
- You are not understanding how your business relates to the existing conversations online.
While blogging can be a key component to a social media strategy make sure to not forget that blogging IS a social media strategy.
The mistake often made is the assumption that your blog is about what you want to share and how you provide value to any given topic. You don’t get to start the conversations without first contributing value to what is already being discussed. It’s only in productive contribution that people start realizing you are really as talented as your “about page” seems to say you are.
So what does that really mean?
That means you have to research what is being said and discussed in your industry online. You need to use tools like RSS feeds, blog search engines and social media news aggregators to figure out what people are talking about first. Even then with these tools in hand, it’s advisable to start by engaging in the conversations on other blogs before beginning your own.
Why would that make sense?
Beyond the fact that your quality comments will give you exposure in the existing community, you’re also getting a look at why certain conversations are more productive than others. You’ll get the chance to learn how to write more effectively from the people that are already doing it.
The only cost to you is your investment in time.
It’s very unlikely that you will get this right the first time around and with the first few posts. Remember that successful bloggers are constantly learning, adapting and analyzing what works and does not work in their writing style and writing selection.
The bottom line is that successful blogging is more than best practices, formatting and sometimes even good writing skills. If you want to gain traction with your blogging strategy, you need to be aware of the conversations present in your industry, that are valuable to the readers you want to attract, and learn to tailor your writing around these topics.
Research and contribute first, the comments, subscribers and opportunities to lead will follow.
If you are in the New England area SEMNE is holding an event May 1st, “Why Blogging is Essential“, which is recommended for those interested in learning more about blogging strategies for your company. If you stop and say hello, I’ll buy you your first drink 🙂