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5 Reasons Why Blogging is Not Working for Your Business

This is a guest contribution from freelance writer, Jawad.

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Over the last few years, the significance of high value content, in generating qualified sales leads, has increased tremendously for businesses.

More than ever before, businesses are now focusing on generating regular content for their target markets to keep a steady inflow of customers.

This, of course, cannot be done without a well-managed and regularly updated business blog.

However, over the last few months I have come across a number of business owners who have not managed to get a single client despite regularly updating their blogs with useful content.

At first, their arguments about the ineffectiveness of blogging seemed to carry weight. But a closer look revealed certain patterns behind the failure of all those business blogs.

In this post I’ll try to sum up the reasons why some businesses find it hard to achieve success through blogging.

This post assumes that,

  • Your business takes blogging seriously and has either hired permanent blogger or contracted a professional freelance blogger to manage your blog.
  • You follow a fixed posting schedule and update your blog regularly.

1. Your Blog Doesn’t Have a Clear Objective

This, in my opinion, is the biggest reason why a number of business blogs fail to make an impact.

They seem to lack focus. There’s no set pattern to their content and it is difficult to understand what they’re trying to achieve through it.

Like everything else in business, you need to have a clear objective that you want to achieve through your blog. You can’t expect a blog to get you customers if it is only updated with your latest corporate event pictures and news.

Your blog should be a part of your greater business strategy. You should be clear about the objectives you want to achieve through it.

There should be a reason why you’re putting so much effort into your blog.

Are you looking to attract customers? Or are you focused on creating awareness about your product?

Whatever the objective is, you need to be clear about it. Because your objective will ultimately give direction to the type of content you post on your blog and the type of marketing channels you choose for promoting your content.

 

2. You Don’t Have a Blogging Strategy

Blogging alone is not going to get you customers. You need to have a broader strategy and use blogging as a key component of that strategy.

Your strategy should not only include the type of content you’re going to create for your target market, but it should also include a comprehensive plan to promote your content so that it reaches the right audience at the right time.

The same goes for your social media strategy. Blogging, content promotion, social media etc. are all connected with each other and cannot be used in isolation.

Each of these components has a unique role in achieving your objectives and they should complement each other in your overall content marketing strategy.

What I see with many business blogs is a random set of posts that does not contribute to any particular direction.

Develop a sequence in your content and connect it with the greater strategy. That is the only way to move forward

3. You Are Not Blogging for Your Target Market

One of the most obvious, yet common, reasons for ineffective business blogging is the lack of focus on your target market.

You don’t want irrelevant people to come to your blog. Traffic alone is useless if it is not converting into regular visitors.

For example, if you are a blogging agency or a freelance writer, why would you want to write about freelance writing on your blog if your objective is to get clients? The only people who are going to read such content are freelance writers themselves. And they are certainly not your customers.

Identify your customers and write content that provides solutions to their most common problems.

That is the only way to not only get their attention but also to convert them into regular visitors and, eventually, loyal customers.

4. Your Blog is All About Hard Sales Pitches

If you’re trying to make sales through every post on your blog, then you’re probably better off without any blog at all.

Nothing damages the credibility of a business in the eyes of potential clients more than hard sales pitches. It simply shows that you’re not concerned with the problems of your target market.

Blogging is NOT a direct sales channel.

By its very nature, blogging should be focused on developing a credible image of your brand as a company that cares about its customers and offers solutions to complex problems.

Once you establish this image, getting sales is not an issue.

Look, customers are not afraid to spend money on the right solutions. Your job is to convince them, through your content, that you indeed ARE the right solution.

And that can never be done through hard sales pitch content.

Offer solutions, the clients will come themselves.

5. Your Blog Content is Not Driving Action

You might not be making any of the mistakes I’ve listed above.

You have a great plan for your blog, you have a great strategy that compliments your business goals and you realize that hard sales pitches never work.

Then why is your blog still not bringing results?

Chances are that you’re being just a bit too neutral in your content.

It’s obviously recommended not to push sales pitches in every blog post, but that does not mean that you leave your readers with no clue about your services.

At the end of the day, your blog is a part of your business strategy and businesses need sales.

What should you do then?

Make sure every post on your business blog makes your readers take action. For example, if have a product that can genuinely solve the problems of your readers, then there’s no harm in adding a link to the product page at the end of your post.

Similarly, never forget to drop hints to your readers within your content about how you can solve their problems.

Like your overall blogging strategy, have an objective for every blog post as well.

You’ll be amazed how small signals within your content can help your readers take the actions you want.

Conclusion

There’s absolutely no question that the significance of blogging for businesses is only going to increase in the coming days.

However, unlike the old days, blogging is much more about long term planning than short term gains.

Get your strategic hat on and develop a plan around your blog. If done correctly, it will be the perfect catalyst for achieving your business goals.

If you are a business, online or offline, that is using blogging to drive sales, I would love to hear your comments about the strategies that work for you.

Jawad is a freelance writer and professional blogger with a keen interest in content marketing, blogging and wordpress. With professional experience in Web Project Management, he also provides content and design consultancy to a number of tech companies. He blogs at WritingMyDestiny.com

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Comments

  1. Katrina says:

    You share some valuable tips with this post. I am working with clients on defining their niche. So many people think they have to cast these huge nets to get traffic. But by having a niche you are able to target posts and convert traffic into sales.
    I look always look forward to your posts and insight!

    • Jawad Khan says:

      Yes, having a well defined niche is something all experienced bloggers have always recommended, but it’s even more important now because of the value of community building and organic search engine traffic.

      Glad you liked the post!

    • I agree with Katrina. Keep up the good work

  2. Mark says:

    I have seen several company blogs that just don’t meet the mark and they are mainly from companies before the internet revolution. They know they have to be online, so they put up a website. They then learn that blogging can get them visitors and better search engine visibility, so they set up a blog. But there is more to it than just these things. Adding a blog to your business site is about making a connection with your customers, service providers and your competitors as well! This is the only way you can become a voice in your industry.

  3. Thanks for posting. Lots of food for thought.

  4. Alexandra says:

    Tons of great nuggets shared here. Just like everything else having a clear objective on what you want to accomplish is key. Knowing the outcome you want to achieve with a blog will definitely set it apart.

  5. Josh says:

    I think it’s easy, as bloggers, to fall into certain traps. I know that sometimes I’ve fallen trap to not following my own guidelines. And, I’ve started blogs where I completely lost track of what I was trying to accomplish. Let’s be honest, if you aren’t constantly focusing in on what you’re trying to do, you may just fail at the whole darn thing. It helps to figure it out from the beginning, and then keep it in front of you. Literally, on a cork board with push pins and papers telling you what you need to do each and every day. :-)

    Thanks, again,

    Josh

    • Jawad Khan says:

      I agree – the strategies can evolve over time but the objective needs to be clear. Being too rigid with your approach also won’t help. The best way to move forward is to know exactly what you’re trying to achieve and then finding the best strategy to get there through A/B testing, trial and error etc.

  6. Josh says:

    Oh, and I almost forgot, you have to stay persistent with it. Don’t give up, even if you find yourself straying from what your original plans were.

    Sorry, I mean to say that too,

    Josh

  7. Hey there Jawad,

    I really enjoyed reading your post! I really like the fact that you touched on the topic of strategy! I am a FIRM BELIEVER of strategic development! I am graduating soon with a college degree focusing on emergency management and homeland security concentrations and strategic development is pretty much the main guts of incident response and mitigation. I strategically develop for everything including getting a job, getting promoted, running my own business and of course having blogs! You did a great job here and I have even bookmarked your post :)

    • Jawad Khan says:

      Hey Josh – Thanks a lot.

      I do believe we often tend to overcomplicate terms like strategy and goals – particularly as bloggers – and as a result either make it too difficult for us to move forward or completely abandon the concept.

      For me, it’s all about clearly knowing what you want and then taking measurable steps to get there.

      P.S.: Good to know you’re graduating, I’m a marketing grad myself :)

  8. Hello Jawad, how are you?

    Unsuccessful blogging, I must say, is one of the most frustrating thing one can experience. A blog without focus will barely have regular readers, not even followers, besides, its subscribers having gotten exhausted of too many unrelated posts or email alerts, will opt out of his list in a rush. Therefore I second your opinion, indeed; having no focus is the biggest reason why a number of business blogs fail.

    - Emmanuel Obarhua

    • Jawad Khan says:

      I’m doing great Emmanuel.

      I agree – unsuccessful blogging certainly is frustrating, but it does teach you a few important lessons as well (if you look at it that way)

  9. Arafat says:

    thanks a lot. now i understand my mistake. i will try to follow your tips.

  10. Troy Spro says:

    Well put Jawad.

    In my last job role most companies had gone through the process of “I need a blog because everyone else has one”, this was usually without knowing what they are or how they can help sales.

    The next stage for these companies were a few posts either done by the owner and a few employees for a few months with, like you have said, no plan or forthought, just the illusion that “If I blog, they will come and my rankings for products in search engines will be straight to number one”.

    I have kept an eye on how these blogs have been going after a year or a few years, most don’t match their main site layout and most have had little bursts of articles in a year, so not an ideal plan for something so powerful.

    So if they were looking for their customers to engage, learn and be attracted to come back to their blogs they have failed.

    In the future if a company plans to use a blog to create sales and lifetime customers they will certainly have to address the issues you have said here and also, as you have said, plan long term too to reap the rewards.

    It is just another way to engage your customer the same as you would with their social media avenues.

    The successful online sales companies of the future in any sales niche will have, if they haven’t already a great blog and a great writing team behind it.

    Again, well put and food for thought for any business thinking “If you build it, they will come”

    • Jawad Khan says:

      Thanks Troy!

      My opinion is also based on my experience of working with several startups and tech companies. A lot of them, especially the hardcore software development houses, are yet to understand how blogging actually works in bringing sales.

      As you said, its an extremely fruitful engagement platform that can win you loyal customers and word of mouth marketers without much monetary investment.

  11. I think your #1 point is spot on. A lot of blogs are too general and about everything thus never receiving any community which will make a blog grow and grow.

  12. poorblogger says:

    hm.. i think all of 5 point related to me.. I need to make a strategy if want to ensure my blog could bring me profit..
    thanks.. i’ll read this one more time again

  13. Cindy Brown says:

    There is so much to learn about successful blogs, businesses, and websites. Your post is another helpful article – a real “What Not to Wear” post to help us know what not to do if we want to see proper growth and success for our own “outfit.” Thanks for your insights!

  14. Rose says:

    This is interesting to read. I hope that I will not repeat the same mistakes

  15. Wajeeh says:

    Nice post Jawad. Good to see you progressing as a successful blogger.

  16. James says:

    Great content, point 1 and 3 are the most common factors and reasons why blogging might not be working for you.

    These factors are not just limited to blogging, they are essential strategic concepts even in the business and corporate world.

    Lack of cystal clear objectives and not communicating rightly with the target market will hamper growth and sales conversion.

    • Jawad Khan says:

      I agree James – being clear in your objectives certainly goes beyond blogging. And as I said earlier, blogging is a component of a broader business strategy.

  17. Well said, Jawad.

    May I also add that if the business owner and a hired blogger have different writing styles, it also ruins the continuity and essence of the blog. This may not happen to every business blog, but it can happen to some.

    This happened to me and one of my previous clients. She used to write on her business blog, but due to hectic schedule she had to hire a couple of bloggers to do the job for her. I was the last blogger she hired, as far as I know, and she mentioned her blog’s stats gradually dropped when she stopped writing every post herself.

    I think somehow the readers knew who’s writing on the blog – if it was her or the hired bloggers. The “voice” or specific style of writing truly differs between individuals, no matter how much one tries to mimic the style of the original writer. There will still be remarkable differences that only avid readers can sense.

    So with this scenario, I believe it is important for businesses to hire or appoint someone who can carry on the blogging task from start to finish because there is indeed a relationship being established between the original blogger. A new or different individual can surely ruin that relationship in the long run. Unlike if the business owner explicitly says ‘this post is from a guest blogger’ or something similar – as long as he/she is transparent about it – it makes a difference between just tasking the blog to someone without telling the readers at all.

    • Jawad Khan says:

      That’s a great point Shellie.

      Readers certainly recognize the writing style of different bloggers. It’s extremely important for a business owner to be consistent with the writing style and, once again, the blogging objectives of the business.

      This becomes even more important when you hire someone to write for you.

  18. Great post!

  19. Jimmy says:

    I really appreciate the tips you have mentioned here as these are the things which need to be focused if you want to be a successful blogger I dont know why people miss out to build a good strategy for a good blog…all we need to do is just to take care of blog properly and should put the best in the efforts that we can and it automatically will deliver or award your efforts…..So just be positive to your efforts and be focused to your tasks…and that could be the only key to the success of your blog..!!!

  20. Ben Troy says:

    This is mostly related to the way blogs interact with search engines, and the traffic I am speaking of will come from search engines, mostly Google

  21. Marcie says:

    I JUST determined who my target audience was so I stopped blogging awhile ago. Initially, I was providing general blogging and live blogging information, but it became a chore to try to decide what to write. Now, I have to do a little research to determine what’s important to my new audience and develop a strategy based on that information.

  22. Mo Mastafa says:

    Hey Jawad, great points.

    So often I see people blogging just for the sake of blogging, without any clear direction. A business blog is a means to an end, not the end itself.

    Whenever I blog I ask myself first of all, “what is the outcome I’m after?” For example, increase opt-ins for a particular marketing report to build my list and increase sales. Then, I ask myself “How can I best achieve that outcome using relevant and valuable content around the challenges of my target market?”

    This allows me to keep my posts centered around what my readers are interest in, instead of just what I want to blog about.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Jawad Khan says:

      Great input Mastafa.

      It always becomes much easier to find topic ideas when you keep an eye on the overall objective instead of thinking about the post in isolation.

  23. Great article! I’ve come across so many articles that encourage businesses to start blogs, but it’s refreshing to read some real feedback as to why some blogs may not be working the way they are supposed to. I’ll be keeping these in mind while I’m putting on my “strategic hat” to develop great content plans for my clients blogs!

    • Jawad Khan says:

      Thanks Carolina.

      I also felt the same way. Far too many people, and businesses, believe that starting a blog alone is enough. So it’s always important to highlight the potential pitfalls as well.

  24. David Manney says:

    Excellent overview! Thank you.

    My goal for our blog/website is having 10% of the site’s content be considered reference material, located in a tech reference section and out blog. My problem is trying to narrow the goal from the nebulous “reference material” into something specific our niche audience would hopefully take advantage of.

    Based on your criteria, I passed the first four points, but find myself lacking in regards to #5. Creating a COA device is hard for me to do because it feels awkward at times – especially when I’m trying to avoid sounding too much like a sales pitch. By trying to create that effective COA it makes me rethink the purpose of my blog post: am I writing the post specifically to lead readers to the COA or is the goal of the post to share pertinent information?

    Then again, maybe I’m thinking too much!

  25. Jawad Khan says:

    Thanks for your input David.

    As I said in the post, it’s never recommended to write direct sales pitch type posts. The purpose of the post should always be to deliver value.

    But how does this individual post, no matter how valuable, fit into the overall objective of your blog? There must be a reason why you’re providing this information through your blog.

    Is this post helping your business achieve the targets you’ve set for your blog? Remember, we’re talking about business blogging here.

    A lot of the times, you don’t include call to actions in individual posts. Instead, you build a series of posts that gradually leads the readers towards the actions you want them to take.

    Also, a call to action doesn’t always have to be a big “Buy Now” button at the end of your post. It can be a simple link to your services page within the post content.

    So while I would never recommend writing with a direct sales mindset, you should never lose sight of the reason why you’re handing out this information for free. It should have direction.

  26. Sohail Ahmed says:

    No doubt, these are easy to ignore but critically important points for the success in blogging. However, I would like to read about what to expect and what not from a blog.

  27. Rudiano says:

    Yup. Makes total sense. In my heart of hearts I knew my lack of strategy and clarity was a handicap. But as I blog for myself as opposed to a company, I have too many interests to choose from at the minute… Food for thought though. Thanks for the enlightenment!

  28. Serge says:

    Valuable information for starting your content marketing campaign. Absolutely agree with statements.
    Thank you!

  29. Craig says:

    This is some great info as to why it wont work for certain businesses actually- thanks for the post! :)

  30. I am new to blogging and learning what mistake I am learning day by day and your post just took me to the step where I can see how many mistakes I am doing. Thanks Jawad for this nice sharing.

  31. Wow thanks very much for sharing this – great advice! I started blogging for my new business recently, and at first I wrote about whatever I fancied writing about. It’s only after a few months that I started thinking about the points you’re making.
    So true – business blogging should be targeting prospects and customers, and they want to read about what’s relevant to them!
    Thanks for reminding me to focus…