Is Your Blog Not Getting You Sales? Fix These 5 Common Blogging Mistakes
Blogging as part of a content strategy has proven to be one of the most effective digital marketing methods. Done right, it helps to get found, generate leads and convert potential clients to the next stage of your sales funnel.
However, plenty of distributor blogs struggle to get any traffic from their blogging efforts. Or, they earn plenty of traffic, but lackluster conversion numbers. There are a number of reasons this can be happening. It usually has to do with a poor strategy, positioning and site design, among others.
To help you pinpoint where your issues may lie and how you can improve your blog performance, here are five reasons why your current blog may not be working. These observations are based on common blog mistakes we see in the industry and how we’ve corrected them for clients.
1. Not Writing For Your Target Audience
This is probably the No. 1 mistake we see. Distributors writing about general business topics that have little to do with their service or products, or are not really of interest to their ideal clients.
The solution is simple: Take the time to study your ideal clients’ profile and the topics that they’ll be interested in, as they relate to your solutions. Once you have defined your target audience, think about how you can make their jobs easier. What do they want to know? What are their concerns when buying promotional products?
Think about what your audience values and needs to see to perceive you as the go-to expert. Consider the questions your clients ask you and how your conversations with them go. The point is, the more you understand what their interests, needs and expectations are, the more they’ll find and read your posts.
2. Poor Writing Quality
It is important to communicate your ideas clearly and concisely when writing blog posts. Spelling, grammar and structure are all critical. If your sentences don’t make sense, readers will have a hard time understanding your point or might be confused as to what you meant to say.
Similarly, misspelled words and grammatical errors will compromise your credibility and professionalism. Use a spell checker, or better yet, have someone with solid grammar skills review your posts before publication.
As for structure, it’s best to lay out your blog in a way that makes it skimmable. Start with a topic introduction that tells people what they will get out of reading. Then, break up your main topic into several sub-points readers can easily digest in small bite sizes.
Try to let one thought flow into the next. Make sure that almost everything you say builds off the last point, and always stay focused on the central purpose of your post. Getting feedback from others and rereading your post drafts after an hour or so—or the next day—can both help you think more like your audience and write more persuasive, compelling articles.
There are also useful tools such as Grammarly that will help you improve your writing a great deal.
3. Blog Titles Are Not Interesting
Certain approaches to headline writing seem to grab our attention, while others simply don’t work. If you find you have low conversions for your blog posts through search engines or social media, maybe your titles are to blame.
You can reference this guide to the most popular headlines on Facebook from Buzzsumo to get you started. Rand Fishkin of Moz also has a handy suggestion for writing short yet compelling headlines that don’t leave anything out.
4. You Don’t Have a Strong Call to Action
With limited exceptions, it’s a good business practice to close out your posts with a call to action (CTA). It can be as simple as “if you want help with [the post topic] we’ll be glad to help, contact us by clicking here.” The CTA comes after the argument being made is completely wrapped up, and its purpose is to keep your reader engaged and take them to the next step.
Example calls to action include:
- Take a look at our product catalog
- Tell us about your upcoming project
- Sign up for our email list for promo ideas
- View further information for an upcoming webinar/event
- Visit this service page for more information
- Contact us to start the conversation
- Read more about this topic
Whatever your call to action is, make sure you provide a link for people to take action by clicking. Also, make sure it is clear and written as a strong command or suggestion. While that may seem pushy, people respond better to messages written in this format and remember them more clearly. You’ll start to notice that most marketers do this, too. A commercial would never say “consider visiting our store during our sales event.” Instead, they would lead with a commanding verb: “Come visit our store during our one-day sales event to get incredible savings!”
5. You Don’t Have the Right Landing Pages and Lead Capture Forms to Guide Your Audience to the Next Step
Sometimes when you can’t convert blog readers, the issue isn’t the blog itself, but the website ecosystem around it. Make sure that your CTAs lead to compelling landing pages or website pages. These pages should capture audience interest and further direct them to the next step.
If you don’t have any of these pages available, make one! Even something as simple as a well thought out Contact Us page, with a form that includes custom fields such as event date, event theme, etc., can help you convert more people compared to linking to a standard Contact Us page.
For website pages you want to link to, such as explanations of your services, ensure that the page guides the reader through the most important information and benefits first, concluding in yet another strong CTA.
Another conversion element you want to include is the email address capture form. These work better when you only include two fields—name and email—so it involves minimal effort. Their placement should also not disrupt the reader’s ability to digest the content at their own pace, but also be visible and even pop up as the reader reaches the end of the post.
Conclusion: Let Data Tell You About the Company Blog Mistakes You’re Making
The above suggestions are common causes of poor blog performance, but in order to determine the improvements you need to make, you need to look at your own data.
One of the best tools available, which happens to be free, is Google Analytics. As it provides you with detailed data, you’ll be able to tell where, exactly, your blog is failing you.
A low click-through rate (CTR) on organic search means that maybe your titles or meta descriptions need work, for instance. A decent readership but low conversions means you need to review if your content speaks to your target personas. If it does, you need to add or improve your calls to action. A high bounce rate means that people were intrigued by your headline, but didn’t care for what they saw when they clicked.
In short, study your data, pledge to work on best practices, and write for your audience. This approach will help you make small but continuous improvements over time, and get better results from your distributor business blog.
For more marketing ideas that work to attract the digital-first buyer, specific for the promo business, visit the Resources section of ActionMarketingCo.com.
This article was originally published on Action Marketing and has been updated for publication here.
Gloria Lafont is a mother, grandmother and business owner. Throughout her business career she has started, bought and sold a dozen businesses in the branding and marketing field, including a distributor company. She’s currently president of Action Marketing Co., founded in 2007. Her company focuses on helping distributors increase visibility, generate awareness and drive traffic so they can connect with more of their ideal clients and generate more leads and sales.
Gloria is a big fan and supporter of education and the cultural arts, volunteering her time and donating marketing support over the years to help various organizations grow in membership and revenue. She also enjoys the South Florida lifestyle mix of business, beaches and arts.