As a content marketing consultant, I often find myself a little flummoxed by small business owners who say they want to throw in the towel and abandon their blog: It just isn’t getting results, they say to me. It just isn’t converting.
Of course, I believe them. Not every business blog is successful. When a business blog isn’t successful, though – when it fails to convert readers into paying customers – there’s always a reason for it.
And if you’ve already invested in a business blog, wouldn’t it make more sense to troubleshoot it than to scrap it?
That brings me to…
Possible Reasons a Business Blog Isn’t Converting
- The business owner isn’t actually invested in it. A lot of the business owners I talk to swear that they’ve made an effort at blogging – but what does that mean, exactly? A blog requires regular updates; you’ve got to keep the content monster fed. It also requires time: No blog starts converting on the day of its launch. Being invested in a blog means plugging away at it for weeks and for months and for years, dedicated to blogging as a long-term relationship.
- There is no call to action. You can’t just trust that readers will know what you want them to do, and how to do it. You can’t assume it to be totally logical. If you want someone to pick up the phone and call you, or sign up for the e-mail list, or whatever else, you’ve got to offer a direct call to action in every single post!
- The blog is all about the business. Yes, I still encounter a lot of business owners who just blog about themselves, and whose content is strictly promotional. But readers don’t care about the business nearly as much as they care about themselves, and converting blogs always mention what’s in it for them.
- The blog isn’t trusted. When it comes to e-commerce, the concept of trust is imperative. If people don’t trust you, they’re not going to buy from you, or whatever it is you’re asking in your call to action. So how do you build trust? Ensure your site looks professional and that the posts are quality; typos undercut trust. Provide testimonials or positive reviews, if you can. Back up posts with facts and figures. Be an active thought leader on social media, proving that you know what you’re talking about.
- Your blogs aren’t readable. What does a blog need to be readable? It needs an introduction that clearly lays out the topic and the benefit to the reader. It also needs a format that lends itself to scanning and skimming – numbered lists, sub-headings, short paragraphs and so on.
Sometimes, business blogs don’t convert – and it’s always a shame. But it’s never random and it’s never without reason. Knowing the reason, of course, is the only way to make some course corrections.