Mistakes are part of the blogging process. You can read as many tutorials as you want but it takes experience to learn the real ins and outs. But there’s one mistake I see business bloggers routinely make that I just don’t have the heart to let them figure out on their own. Ready?
Stop selling in your blog!
Whoa. Isn’t that the point of a blog?
If you don’t know why you’re blogging, you’re not going to get the results you want. So, here’s why you should stop selling in your blog, and what you should do instead.
No One Likes A Salesman
I hate furniture shopping. As soon as you walk in, an employee pounces on you. The look in their eyes is intense and you know they’re hungry for their commission. It’s a huge turn-off.
Just because you’re not physically pouncing on someone in a store doesn’t mean you’re not leaving potential customers turned off. If your blog is coming off in a tone that suggests you’re only after the money in a reader’s pocket, they’ll head elsewhere.
Read a few of your blog posts with an unbiased and open mind. Do you come off as helpful or hounding?
Blogs Are Discussions, Not Pitches
This leads directly to our next point. Blogs are meant to be two-way conversations. While perhaps not in the traditional dialogue sense, you really are opening the door to building relationships with your readers when you start a business blog.
When you add a new blog post, be sure to make leaving feedback or questions as simple as possible. And if a reader does ask a question or make a comment, respond quickly and professionally.
If you’re sharing your blog posts on social media (which you should be), make sure to engage with readers on your platforms as required. A well-executed blog starts the more important dialogue that creates lifelong customers, which is why it shouldn’t be focused on making generic sales.
Readers Won’t Come Back
Here’s the cold and harsh truth about why you need to stop selling in your blog posts. Readers simply won’t come back.
It’s hard enough to get readers engaged and interested in your content. So, doing anything that forces them to seek information elsewhere can be detrimental to your business.
You don’t have to be the first company in your industry to blog. But you do have to be the best. This means creating an environment that readers want to be in.
Instead of Selling Products and Services…Sell Yourself!
So, how should you be approaching your blog content? I recommend the 80/20 rule that you’re probably already familiar with but for some reason gets ignored when it comes to blogging.
80% of your blog content should be 100% sales-pitch free. Focus on building relationships, displaying your knowledge, and helping readers on their journey in your industry. Remain authentic.
The other 20% can mention your services or products, but in a matter of fact manner instead of direct and pressuring.
Remember, it’s not what you say but how you say it (even in blogging). There’s a way to get your message across without coming off as an aggressive furniture salesman.