Five Ways to Ruin the Credibility of Your Business’s Blog

Five Ways to Ruin the Credibility of Your Business’s Blog

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Are you a small-to-medium-size business owner who started a blog on your website to boost SEO and drive leads? You may believe that having a blog in and of itself provides an important advantage, but there are some pitfalls to avoid – lest it winds up doing more harm than good! Establishing and maintaining the credibility of your business’s blog is necessary to make it an asset that will enhance your enterprise’s reputation, raise its profile and garner more customers. Making the following five mistakes can do just the opposite.

1. You still refer to social media platform X as Twitter

So this might seem a relatively minor infraction to get top spot. Elon Musk’s rechristening of Twitter as X has not sat well with many people. Most still call it Twitter in conversation. But in print – that is, on your blog – persisting in doing so just makes it look as if you don’t care about accuracy, or keeping up with change. And if readers go down that road of thought, they’ll also tend to wonder how much you care about the details of your business and customer service.

It also can make readers wonder how long ago your post was written. Are you repurposing old blog posts without bothering to update them? Whatever the case, you may not think it’s a big deal, but your readers will notice. Combined with other missteps, this can have a cumulative effect that leads readers to conclude that your blog isn’t a valuable source of information.

2. You use unreliable sources for references

Depending upon the nature of your business, using information, data, statistics, etc., found in online sources can help reinforce the credibility of a statement you’re making. But be careful about the credibility of the sources you choose! If you pull from another organization’s blog post, you need to question the source of that information. It’s common for one bad piece of information to be picked up by numerous blog posts as fact, and repeated endlessly. Whenever possible, find the source of a statement or statistic and verify it yourself by visiting the online source where it first appeared.

By the way, Wikipedia is not a credible source of information. This might be hard to believe if it’s your personal go-to reference, but issues with verification of sources and accuracy of information are well-documented. As a user-generated source, Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time, and any information it contains at a particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or simply incorrect. The use of Wikipedia is not accepted in many schools and universities in writing a formal paper, and some educational institutions have banned it as a primary source.

3. You write something that could get you in legal trouble

Making false or misleading claims about your business – or a competitor’s business with the intention of damaging their reputation – is, of course, a big no-no that can result in unwanted contact with the legal system, thereby also damaging your own reputation.

But that’s not all! According to America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), California (Los Angeles Network), “Copyright infringement is the number one reason that bloggers get into trouble. Never copy or paste the content of others, whether it’s words, images, video or music, unless you have written permission to do so … If you do reference the work or opinion of others, give them credit …” (Like we just did here, by the way!)

Moreover, this SBDC blog post on how to ensure that business bloggers avoid legal trouble has much more valuable information, which we recommend you read in its entirety. Another excellent point: Be sure you have the permission of your customers before mentioning them by name – which you may want to do if they’ve given you a good review or testimonial!

4. Your content is irrelevant to the interests of your target audience

Assuming you started a blog for your business because you were told providing fresh content will send signals to Google that your website is active – thereby boosting your search engine results ranking – it won’t be as effective if your posts attract few members of your target audience because they have nothing of interest for them.

Our blog post – “Why is Your Blog Being Ignored?” – covers the issue of poor-quality content as a major reason behind business blogs that don’t perform as intended. Understand that “poor-quality” doesn’t necessarily mean poorly written – although we’ll cover that next! Your posts could be very well-written, but if they don’t address the interests of the readers – if they don’t add value – the talent of the writing doesn’t matter.

One particularly remarkable example of a business owner who did it right is Marcus Sheridan, a.k.a. “The Sales Lion.” Running a fiberglass swimming pool company, Sheridan and his two partners were facing ruin during the 2008 economic crisis. So he taught himself the principles of inbound marketing and started a blog based on a simple premise – anticipating and answering people’s questions about fiberglass pools. Not only did he save his business, Sheridan became a marketing phenomenon, renowned as one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the world. His book, “They Ask, You Answer,” was ranked by Forbes as one of “11 Marketing Books Every CMO Should Read.”   

The moral of the story: Sheridan not only knew his industry, he knew what people wanted to know about the practical aspects of fiberglass pools in order to make an informed buying decision. As a result, he was able to generate leads through his website and convert those leads into customers. What do people want to know about your business, products and/or services? Give them the answers in your blog!

5. Your blog posts are poorly written

Nothing tanks the credibility of a blog post like poor writing! Bad grammar, misspellings and typos send readers to the next website – perhaps that of your closest competitor! However, the issue is more complex. Writing must be concise, stay with the topic, and make several points that lead up to the call-to-action (CTA) to visit your products/services page, contact you, sign up for your newsletter, etc. Blog posts that ramble and lack focus won’t keep eyes on your page for long.

We know that most business owners aren’t writers, and words don’t flow easily. Or when they do, they may not be the right words in the right structure that encourages reading by members of your target audience. You have a business to run, which itself is a full-time responsibility without having to also take writing lessons! Leave the blogging to our Virtual Stacks Systems content writing team! We learn all about your business and marketing goals in order to write blog posts (and social media posts) that speak in your brand voice and convey your unique messaging. We do what we do best so you can focus on your business and do what you do best!

By the way, our full-service digital marketing agency also offers experienced website design and redesign, SEO marketing,  social media marketing, PPC advertising  and so much more! We welcome the opportunity to help you meet your marketing objectives and succeed. Every small business is unique, and so are our solutions! Just contact us to learn more and get started!

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