Fellow blogger Pamela Wilson suggests "blogging with a learner’s mind". It’s a wonderful suggestion, and here’s why:
Wilson observes that there are no shortcuts to becoming an effective business blogger. To get to be any good at blogging, you have to blog. That, in turn, means being willing to make beginner’s mistakes, understanding that those mistakes are going to be made "in public", because blogs are by definition, "out there" for all to read. That has to be OK, she correctly maintains, because each "failure" (things we got wrong, things readers understood the wrong way, grammar and spelling errors that got published, the links that didn’t work, on and on..) brings us closer to success.
Given that business bloggers are going to make some mistakes starting out of the gate, there are a couple on blogger Kevin Muldoon‘s Top 10 list that are particularly worth stressing (in my experience as a blogging trainer and professional ghost blogger).
Blogging about too many subjects – "The top blogs on the net are all focused on one topic or genre", says Muldoon.
For me to say "I couldn’t agree more" would be an understatement. Even where a business offers a variety of services and/or products, the business blog is going to be most effective when built around a unifying theme or "leitmotif".
Erratic posting frequency – "It’s very important to update your blog on a regular and consistent basis," advises Muldoon.
Once-in-a-while blogging just doesn’t do the trick, even if it’s high-quality stuff, I’ve always emphasized to new business bloggers. To satisfy search engine (which you have to do to get read!), your blog must be updated frequently, in fact very frequently. Drill sergeant discipline is what it’s going to take, I warn. Get used to it – or hire a ghost blogger!
Since Kevin Muldoon lists "repeating what other bloggers are saying" as a Top 10 mistake, I’d have to plead guilty for this blog post. But since "no opinion/scared to rock the boat" is also on his blogger mistake list, I’ll respectfully add my part dissenting, part supporting view:
- Reading competitors’ blog posts is a great form of market research for business owners launching their own blogging strategy.
- Having your business blog considered by readers the "go-to" source of information about your field (not only about your own business) is hardly an undesirable result.
- Repeating what established bloggers have said (ideally, at least) forces "newbies" to think about what they might add to the discussion.
Actually, every item on Muldoon’s list can serve as a valuable caution for experienced as well as newer business bloggers. Effective blogging, I’ve found, is both an acquired skill and, in many ways, an art. There’s marketing expertise required, at least some degree of technical expertise, certainly some writing expertise. But, trumping all these, I believe is the simple, yet extraordinarily difficult task of consistently and continually "showing up"!