Would you believe it if we told you that the number of blogs today on Tumblr alone is more than double the total number of blogs online in 2013? You better believe it, because it’s the truth! According to Statista.com, in July 2017, Tumblr boasted 350 million blogs. In 2013, there were an estimated total 152 million blogs online. Clearly, the internet is working for people.
If you are like most business owners or even most people in general, you probably love the idea of using a blog to generate highly qualified leads for customers and clients for your business or just to make money “on the side.” While at first these mega-million numbers might make you feel as if you have missed your window to enter the online content arena, the truth is that you should feel motivated by these millions of blogs. After all, remember, most of them will have little or nothing to do with your unique business, specialty, or world view. You have a unique offering for your unique target market, so there is no time to waste when it comes to getting your content online and your blog live.
But what if you have already been blogging and it’s just not turning out the way you expected? Did you miss the window for your industry? Is there just too much information out there for you to ever stand out?
Of course not! The internet is very big and, regardless of the size of your target market, the “win” will go to the person who is able to both reach that market effectively and then provide that market with solid, actionable content that leads them to work with that person or company. When it comes to internet marketing and content marketing, audience size is a very secondary consideration. However, there are some prevalent myths about how to leverage a blog and use the content on that blog effectively. If you have bought into some of these misguided and incorrect ideas about online content, your blog, your website, and your business could all be nearly invisible, thanks to poor blogging behaviors.
In this section, we’ll break down three common myths about blogging and business. Take note: If you have been following these practices or if your content team has said any of these things to you, then you may want to pause and take a hard look at the results you have been getting. The odds are good these myths could be rendering your business nearly invisible online.
One of the most common and misguided motivational myths out there is that all you need to do to have a successful blog is start writing. “Just write what you know,” the so-called experts say. “It doesn’t matter if it’s short as long as you do it every day.”
Fact: Length does matter, and the right length for a blog post varies depending on your audience and how search engines are evaluating content. General consensus is that blog posts need to be at least 500 words in most cases and that periodically writing a much longer post – say 1,000 words or more – is the best way to deal with the length issue. If you are posting extremely short pieces of content, that content might be better suited to social media blasts or require a little more expansion. A short piece every now and again is OK, but just getting words on a post (and not many of them at that) will not make your blog anything other than invisible in search results.
In the early days of the internet, “keyword optimization” was a huge deal. A keyword is a word or group of words that is relevant to your topic. For example, if you are writing about real estate investing in Tennessee, keywords might include “Tennessee real estate,” “Tennessee real estate investing,” and possibly “Tennessee rental properties” or other terms related to specific strategies. In the past, loading up a blog post with these keywords would likely have snagged your post a high search ranking when someone used the terms to search for content. However, website owners and bloggers quickly began to abuse this system, filling their blog posts with keywords until the results were barely intelligible.
Fact: Keywords are important, but so is keyworddensity. These days, search engines are unlikely to rank blogs where keywords are peppered through the content to the extent that it does not even make sense (you probably can think of a few examples of this right now). However, they tend to “punish” even good content if the keyword density is too high, so you must monitor the latest developments in search engine optimization and keyword marketing to make sure you did not accidentally bump your keyword volume too high. Many experts recommend keyword volumes of between 1 and 3 percent in order to avoid spam flags, and many opt to go as low as 0.8 percent.
Another very damaging myth out there that is often used with new online business owners to motivate them to buy a website on the spur of the moment is the that only content matters, not formatting on the website. Essentially, people selling blogs say, “The important thing is to get words out there on your website, which we’re trying to pressure you into buying. The way the website looksis not important, so you don’t need to pay for design.” This is patently untrue from multiple angles.
Fact: Not only does formatting affect how your audience absorbs your content, it dramatically impacts how your business is perceived. According to a poll conducted by Stanford University, almost half of all web users judge a website’s trustworthiness based on how it looks, not what it says. Furthermore, a badly formatted post does not show up well on mobile phones and is hard to read even on a computer screen, which will lead most people to click away rather than struggle through your content. Make it easy to read and easy to skim, and people will remain with you much longer.
If your business website is guilty of any of these bad blogging practices, you do not have time to waste. Every moment your keyword-overloaded posts and difficult-to-read mini-blogs are online, you are not just missing out on customers. You are also damaging your credibility with potential customers and clients and with search engine spiders. This damage can be very hard to undo. In fact, in some cases, business owners find it makes more sense to start over with a new blog than try to repair the old one.
If you are worried about the state of your content, do not wait another minute. Reach out to an expert to get a formal review of your site and find out if you have fallen victim to a dreaded content myth.
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