The biggest crime we see in branded blog creation these days? Heavy-handed promotional messages. This unfortunate trend has businesses littering their blog posts with boring, pushy promotional posts that are both off-putting and no fun to read. Blasting ads for company seminars, annoying product profiles and poorly-written posts begging for folks to sign up for your newsletter are but a few examples of blogging in promotional hell. Yes, we get it: You need your company’s blog to pull its weight and sell your company’s products and services. But you can still do this while creating a blog people will actually enjoy reading. In fact, you’ll sell more products and services this way. We promise.
Blogging is all about audience building. The most successful blogs on the planet — branded and otherwise — offer readers dynamic, interesting and entertaining content on a consistent basis. Think about the blogs and websites you yourself enjoy. Whether it’s for goofy pictures of cats, the latest tech news or celebrity gossip, you go back to these sites because of the promise of something fresh and fun to read. Your company blog can be the same way. Nellie Aklap of Mashable.com explains it like this:
“If the bulk of your posts are company or product-centric, you’ll need to change the way you think about your blog. Focus your content so it offers information that’s useful and relevant to whatever your particular community cares about.”
Educational posts are a terrific way for businesses to offer readers something valuable while giving them a break from commercial messages. Aklap recommends a mixture of informative, how-to posts and promotional information.
“Some experts advise on keeping a 90:10 or 75:25 ratio when it comes to educational vs. promotional content. You don’t necessarily have to stick to some magic equation, as long as you keep your audience’s needs and interests at the forefront of your blog strategy,” she writes.
Teach them something, give them how-to tips or share creative ideas and your readers will come back.