Everywhere you turn, someone is shouting about the virtues of blogging from the digital mountaintops. And while it’s true that creating content can mean huge returns for your business, many bloggers take that to mean throwing up a few chunks of text onto a page and instantly reaping rewards. But it’s simply not the case.If you’re worried your blog could be falling into this trap, it’s time to do a blog audit, which is the process of analyzing every aspect of a blog to see if there are places where improvements can be made. And if any of these eight signs look familiar, don’t give up on blogging. Instead, do the opposite of what they say and a make changes for the better.
1. Posts Show Up...Occasionally
There’s no getting around it: consistency is key for gaining traction with any marketing activity, and blogging is no different. If posts only show up sporadically, it creates an impression of a lack of credibility and commitment. Instead, determine a posting schedule-whether it’s weekly, biweekly, monthly, or something else-and stick to it.
2. Your Blogs Don’t Say Much
When business is hot, it’s easy to put blogging on the back burner. But that strategy can lead to hurriedly typing out a few sentences about an industry theme and calling it good, which is a disservice to you and your readers.
Blogs that are too short often don’t have enough words to say anything that a reader would find valuable, making them low-quality posts. And search engines like Google give preference to quality content in rankings. If you’re going to maintain a blog, make time to write at the bare minimum 250 words (or preferably 300) so that the page will at least get indexed by search engines.
3. Posts Aren’t Shareable
For your content to reach as many eyeballs as possible, people need to feel inspired to show it to their social networks. So not only does your content need to be high-quality and valuable, it needs to be easily shareable. You can make posting your blogs to social sites simpler by including:
A catchy, accurate headline
A high-quality featured image or graphic
Social sharing buttons that allow users to post your content without leaving the page.
Otherwise, few if any readers will promote your blogs.
4. The Content isn’t Optimized
If people and search engines can’t find what you’ve written, there’s no point in having it. Create a keyword strategy based on what your ideal customer would be searching for, and start including those keywords naturally throughout titles, image alt tags, meta descriptions, and the body text of the posts.
It’s not an instant fix, but you’re sure to see a spike in traffic over time.
5. You Have No Idea Who You’re Writing For
Not knowing who your target audience is leaves your blog without direction, meandering from subject-to-subject and ultimately getting nowhere. Get on track toward real business results by figuring out who your buyer personas are so that you can create content that appeals to people most likely to be interested in what you do.
6. Visitors Don’t Know What You’re Writing About
Anyone who lands on your blog should know within a few seconds what it’s about. The headline and tagline should be catchy, but not so cutesy that the purpose of the page is unclear. Reworking these items as well as the About page can make your objectives much more clear and relatable.
7. The Pages are Plain
A blog with poor design or no design is like a trampoline. It encourages visitors to bounce right off the page. A lack of visual appeal can be solved with clean designs that use two or three brand-specific colors and take advantage of negative space. Many downloadable templates can help make your blog easier on the eyes, and ultimately, more enjoyable to read.
8. It’s Hard to Get Around
User experience goes hand-in-hand with design, and when you’re choosing the best theme for your blog, ease of use is just as important as how it looks. When getting around the site is confusing or difficult, readers are left with a feeling of frustration associated with your brand and likely won’t come back. No one has to tell you that’s a bad thing.
So if any of these signs describe your blog, it’s time to make a pivot. The only reason you should give up on blogging is if you decide not to make improvements in these areas because you’ll ultimately waste time. Readers won’t receive a quality experience, and your company won’t receive ROI from blogging. By making some basic changes, you’ll start to see the results from content marketing that everyone is talking about.