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Blogging Mistake #2: Advertising Disguised as Blogging

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Blogging Mistake #2:  Advertising Disguised as Blogging

Now that you’re blogging, pat yourself on the back.

It takes time and tenacity, but if you’re doing it right, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating your online audience, and converting them into prospects and (hopefully) new business.

But there is a wrong way to blog.

That wrong way is called:  Shameless Self-Promotion. If you go on and on about how great you are, how amazing your work is, how special your company is for the way you do things, and (by-the-way) here are some fabulous products I want to sell you – you’re going to turn people off. In a heartbeat. (Or a click.)

Your blog is not about you. Remember what I said in my earlier post, Blogging Mistake #1? The purpose of publishing a blog is to produce content – content that gives your audience solutions to their problems. Looked at another way, it could be content that helps them fulfill their hearts’ desire.

This is how you connect. People want to know, “What’s in it for me?” With all the other things they could be doing, on or offline, you have to capture their attention by meeting them where they are first, and then giving them something that draws them in further. Before we talk about how to draw them in, though, let me show you what NOT to do with your blog.

3 *Real* Examples of Advertising Disguised as Blogging:

 

follow The “We’re so great!” Blog

These bloggers, while they have good intentions, believe it is necessary to go on and on about what they believe. They like to tell the world how they do things, and why it’s the best. “Here at X Professional Service Firm, we XYZ…”

I believe that this can be done (you do want your audience to know what’s great about you) but in a much more subliminal way – always keeping the most important thing (what your audience wants and needs) primary.

http://rstthermal.com/lg-new-england/RfSeZ/ The “Look at our work!” Blog

Your blog is a great place to showcase your work. But slapping up photos of your projects with a one- or two-liner is not the best use of your blog, because it’s not relate-able.

It’s not just about the “after.” It’s about what it means, and the story behind it. What did your client want and need, and how is his or her life different now?

enter site The “Here’s a bunch of products I want to sell you!” Blog

There are effective and ineffective ways to promote products.  People aren’t going to buy something from you just because you tell them to on your blog. And putting photo after photo (sometimes totally unrelated to one another) together as a blog post, will make most people either scroll down for a few and leave, or totally glaze over.

To promote products effectively, you need to create for your audience 1) a context (Where does this fit into my life and needs?) and 2) a payoff (How will I benefit from this product? What’s the end result?).

Instead of Shameless Self-Promotion, my advice is to make your blog a content-rich place where people go to get ideas and insight they will actually use in their lives. This is what will make your blog compelling. You can do this by relating to them. Identify what they’re actually looking for – what they like, what they care about – and deliver that, through your blog.

To share things that will match up with your target audience’s real needs, look for ways to:

  • Provide a how-to
  • Let them in on a secret
  • Reveal a trick
  • Share a resource

… based on problems or challenges that you’ve identified they have, and want a solution for.

Always keep in mind, it’s not just about what YOU find valuable. It has to be valuable – to THEM.

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