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3 Common Mistakes To Avoid While Blogging

Editor’s Note: This is a great post from Yann Brandt of SolarWakeup. It doesn’t specifically talk about cleantech, but Yann is a solar guy and he was writing this for other solar people. Given the huge number of cleantech companies and PR people who follow CleanTechnica (and could likely benefit from Yann’s excellent tips), I figured we’d go ahead and repost this one from SolarWakeup. Enjoy!

By Yann Brandt

Mistakes to avoidHave you written a blog post for your company? Do you plan on writing the first or another post? Before you type, make sure that you are not wasting your time. Whether your goal is to become a thought leader or to drive traffic to your website, make sure that you avoid some common mistakes.

While you can make mistakes, some words of motivation. Writing is a benefit for you and your company and it may be the cheapest form of marketing. It brings name recognition and provides an opportunity to get into your readers’ mind, if only for a quick moment. Most importantly, it gives you a way to put your thoughts on paper, preserving them for the future.

Most likely, the reason for your post is to monetize your time. As the saying goes, Time is Money, so do not overthink, do not overwrite, just get to your point and move on. You have a message and to get it out, do not take the time of your reader for granted.

Posting it on your own website

Unless you post more than three times per week, avoid having an active company blog. If you are selling to other businesses, your website is most likely used for product reference and not a source of information for those looking to read about a market problem or opportunity. Knowing that your post is going on a news website also helps you avoid the other common mistakes.

The biggest reason that you should avoid your own site is that it shields you in the (likely) event that you fail to write for a month or two (or more). Clicking on a company blog and seeing a post from 2012 makes you seem unorganized and out of touch with what is going on in the industry. In addition, if you only post on your website, the readership is not going to be as large as on other sites.

Calling it a blog post

This is about perception; a blog post is not taken as seriously as a news article. If you want to be taken seriously, write an article or a thought leadership piece. When you advertise the article on Twitter or Facebook, talk about it as an source of advice that everyone in the industry should read. Your goal is to impress current and potential clients while putting your competition on notice (yes, your competitors are going to read your article).

Writing your article should be strategic. Before putting words on paper, answer these questions and only after you have finished writing can you think about a title that will draw a reader into clicking on the headline.

  • What is the message?
  • What day are you posting it?
  • Who is putting it on their website for you?
  • How will you advertise it?

Stop selling and start educating

Selling in an article is the biggest mistake you can make. It eliminates all of the reader’s respect for the writer as they say to themselves, “The author is just trying to sell me something.” A good way to notice that you are selling is if you used your company nameanywhere in the article, used a trademark or copyright character or compared yourself to a competitor. Trying to monetize your thought leadership in an article is like trying to close a sale during the introductions.

The reader is looking to learn something, see a market opportunity, or avoid a mistake that you made. A great exercise is to write an article (for internal purposes) that aims to tell your biggest competitor about the most secret aspect of your company’s value proposition. The closer you get to telling your competitor on how to beat you, the more the reader will be drawn into the article. During the exercise you should have a queasy feeling in your stomach, if you have the feeling then you know you have achieved it.

Writing is easy, it takes far less time than you expect and there is no better way to be relevant in the industry. Writing will draw traffic to real sales events like webinars or conferences. Open source your thoughts and try to avoid these three easy mistakes.

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