It still surprises me when I have to explain to smart business folks why business blogging is such a savvy move. It’s usually because they don’t really know what it is, or they tried it for two months but didn’t see any results. Usually, they just don’t understand how it works. But no matter what kind of business you have, not blogging is a huge missed opportunity. Like, someone-should-be-fired huge.

When you commit to blogging for the long haul, it has tremendous return on investment, just one of the reasons that Hubspot describes it as the single best method of inbound marketing for improved search engine traffic. That is, of course, when you’re doing it right.

If you have to ask yourself whether you’re doing it right, consider that a red flag. It’s easy to pick out the happy, healthy blogs from the lame ducks. And if yours is veering into the latter, here are two reasons your business blog is so lame – and what you can do to fix it.

you’re too formal

Business owners, and especially those running smaller operations but trying their best to seem big and important, tend to get a little formal and stiff with the written word. That may be on-brand over on the website, but your blog is where you get a little chummier.

Using technical jargon or dense language is off-putting. It’s trying too hard to seem smart or professional, and it has the unintended effect of making your blog post too hard and way too boring to read.

Instead… Remember your audience, and write to your audience like you’d speak to an actual person. Be friendly and helpful. Be interesting and relevant. And keep it simple. Break down big concepts into smaller, bit-sized tidbits. They’re easy to remember, and they’re the kinds of tips your readers will take away.

your content sucks

Some people mistake their business blog as a forum for company news – and that’s all. If all of your blog posts are about new employees and clients, well, that’s not really useful information to anyone off the payroll.

Instead… Remember the purpose of your blog. It’s a place for solving problems and sharing your expertise. Your job on that blog is to fill a need for a customer or potential customer. They’re searching for something online, and your blog post is pay dirt. It answers the question inherent in their search. Don’t use your blog to continuously toot your own horn, because that’s boring and really, no one cares.

is that it?

If you’re writing engaging posts about useful content on your blog – and you can commit to doing it regularly – you’re doing it right. It really is that simple. But if that’s just not happening, then your blog will suffer. The good news is that when you can acknowledge that, it means you’re in a position to consider the benefits of outsourcing that work.

Remember – effective business blogging is the best kind of inbound marketing out there. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?