Blogging for your small business is a strategic way to kill a lot of birds with one stone – assuming you’re doing it well. The trouble, of course, is all those blogging mistakes that can make the entire effort a complete waste of time. But knowledge is power, and once you know, you can do your very best to avoid any kind of blogging trouble. If you have a business blog, here’s how not to blog.

your posts are too short and too boring

This is an issue for search engines and end users alike. To rank well for web crawlers, you should be writing somewhere in the range of 600 to 2000 words per post. And while folks scanning your site may not necessarily have the attention span for something pushing 2k words, you still need to give them something worth reading. Shoot for something long enough that have the space to adequately share value with your readers, but don’t get so hung up on word count that you resort to fluff.

RememberGive people a reason to read now, and a reason to come back later for more.

your posts have no clear message

Every post should have a raison d’être, and it should be clear in the title and in the post itself. Have a focus and a goal with each post. A meandering message that takes readers on a 700-word jaunt and leaves them wondering what on earth they just read is never the goal.

your posts are all about you

It may seem counterintuitive, but the point of your blog isn’t to help you sell things or share entirely personal details about your business. This is where so many small businesses run into trouble. Remember the cocktail party analogy – no one wants to get trapped in the corner with the guy who talks nonstop about himself. Instead, we’re drawn to the sparkling conversationalist because of the useful, interesting things he or she has to say.

The point of your business blog is to serve as a trusted resource for valuable information. There’s no room in that for the hard sell, and you shouldn’t be tooting your own horn (much). Instead, remember that you’re doing all of this to engage readers, build connections and trust, and establish a sense of loyalty. It’s hard to do that when your business blog is basically a tribute page to yourself.

your posts aren’t very pretty

Intimidating text blocks and an uninspired layout are an immediate turn-off. The web is a visual medium, so develop a style that’s engaging and visually appealing without sacrificing function.

your posts are badly written

Whether it’s the content, the formatting, the vague messaging or all those distracting typos, badly-written posts are a turn off. Start with a goal for each post, revise carefully for clarity, tone and grammar, and make sure that you’re posting something worth reading.

and now you know

Now that you know how not to blog, get out there and conquer that business blog! Or read more about how to fix your lame blog and all about the beauty of passing your biz blog off to someone else.