- Business and Employment
Content Conundrums: 5 Blunders to Avoid on your Blog or Website
As with any small business, you as the owner wear a lot of hats to cover the necessary tasks that need to be completed each day in order to stay in business. Now with the internet and social media, there are far more needs involved with bringing your customers clear, concise, and honest content to ensure you stay in front of them, and win their business with valuable information.
Large corporations have the luxury of paying someone to create the marketing content, another person to create the plan, and yet another to implement the marketing. But, if you're like me and the only employee in your small business then you know the importance of having clean content to create a buzz about your products or services. Avoiding these five content conundrums will keep your blog or website fresh and reliable for potential customers to view, and keep your current customers coming back.
1. Typo's and Grammatical Errors
Being the only employee in my small business, I often have to read and then reread a post or article several times before sending it to publication. In fact, I have asked others in the past to take a quick peek at the work and make sure it's not riddled with comma splices, typo's, and missing words. But that is not always a possibility and it is up to me to ensure the content is clean and well written before I hit that final button to share the content with the world.
When I'm reading a website or blog and find typo's and grammatical issues, my trust in the website lowers. It could be the Queen of England's blog and I will no longer trust the integrity of the site, thanks to those pesky typo's and missing words. This is how your customer will view your site if they too, find issues with the content written.
If you can't take the time to go back and edit your page after it's written, it's hard to trust that you're going to do the same with your customers. Customers are finicky skeptics waiting for the next scam to arise. It doesn't matter if you're a great sales person face-to-face, if you're content depicts you as sloppy or unprofessional, that is how your customer will view you as well. Since we all want sales and not a mockery of our attempts, make sure you read the content and then reread it to ensure all typo's, grammatical errors, and missing words have been fixed.
It is also okay to go back and edit after it's published if you notice an issue. I do this all of the time and offer the advice to anyone willing to listen. Maybe I'm a rare breed and most people don't edit as they read, but when I'm reading something regardless of the medium, I pick out typo's and missing words quickly. If there's a contact button, I offer a heads up to the author, I would want the same thing done for me.
2. Copy and Paste Content = Lower Search Results
Search Engines such as Google are looking for original content to showcase on their front pages when a consumer performs a search. Too much copy and paste can hurt your rankings and cause your site to be dropped to the dark, lonely back pages of a search query result. It is best to create high quality original content and share it as a link rather than to copy and paste directly from your blog or site.
For members of the direct sales business world, refrain from copying text about products from the site and pasting them. One major reason is copyright infringement and you don't want to be on the wrong side of that dilemma. The other reason is the search results you're gunning for won't happen as it's not considered original content and lowers your chances of first and second page results with top search engine providers. Thanks to the new algorithm, SEO has become a new beast of burden to the unknowing, though not so bad if you're in that line of business.
Just remember your content should be
- Easy to Understand
You'll find your site gets higher rankings and more conversions thanks to the time you've put in to the rewriting of content and product descriptions.
3. Image's and Finding Relevant Photo's
Perform a search on successful blogging tips and every one of the results will have a post about having high-quality content with beautiful photo's. What if you don't have a flair for photography and plainly speaking, suck at creating photo's for your site? Do you simply run a search for the content and hope to find a good photo or do you subscribe to one of the hundreds of sites offering stock photos for your site?
If you're doing either of those, stop it. Google is a beast for a reason and one of the reasons is the handy tool on the search engine's settings to filter images that will save you the headache (and the cash) when looking for a photo to add to your post, site, or blog. I'll cover this more in depth in a later piece, but a quick overview now is in order.
When you perform a search on Google you can select where to search and the type of content you want. So, for this post I only want photo's that are relevant to small business and content conundrums. At the top of the results page there is a set of menu's and this is where you find [legal] photos to use on your site. Just change the selection under search tools to labeled for reuse and be sure to credit the author that allows usage. They still own the rights, you just get to use the photo without fearing a lawsuit for doing so. It's that simple.
Be proactive and avoid using non-commercial use photo's by knowing how to use the search engine to your advantage and save the editing nightmare of redoing posts and pages with illegal content.
4. Social Media Sharing
One thing I've learned over the years with social media is presence is everything. You need to be online every single day to be effective, but you'll also want to be sure it's relevant and not a mix-and-match posting. The first thing I suggest is to have a separate page from your personal page, as this is not where you're customers are going to be.
Sure, some of them will be from your warm market which is great! But it won't be all of them and you don't want to annoy your friends with sales posts and pitches. Plus, if you're a direct sales consultant you'll want a page separate as outlined in the handbook or terms and conditions. Many DS companies do not allow consultants to post sales and information other than party invitations on your personal page. Know what they allow for social media sharing before you post and avoid any consequences of improper usage or sharing.
Finally, make sure you're posting to each platform you choose to use a minimum of three times per day. Yes, per day. I use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to name a few and this is what my schedule might entail:
Social Media Frequencey
High-Quality informational post. Could include party dates, group updates, and sales. This is also where I would highlight upcoming promotions and fun giveaways
Minimum 3 times per day
Due to limited spacing, 140 characters to be exact Tweets are best for a quick update, sales, and flash sales. It's also a great place for a new type of party utilizing hashtags. This is great and is highly interactive
Minimum 5 tweets per day
Instagram is all about images and creating fun images on drag and drop graphic design sites can not only give you a competitive edge, if you're good enough it could land you a side job!
Minimum 2 posts per day
5. Valuable and Relevant Content
I cover this a lot in my writing for blogs and Q&A sites. Value and relevance seem to be a huge mystery to folks and why they are important is like explaining quantum physics to them. I can understand why if you're brand new to the field with no training. However, I don't accept excuses from anyone trying to run a business. There are hundreds of sites offering free courses online right now that will teach you all of the basics of business, without paying for a degree. This is another topic I'll cover more at a later time but for now, I'll give a brief overview outlining why this is a huge part of your business marketing plan.
Value and relevance bring customers to your site. They incentivize the potential customer to buy and create a trusting relationship that will convert them later in to loyal customers. If I forget everything I know about business tomorrow, I just hope this doesn't go with it! The customer is the key to your business and by offering valuable and relevant content you're giving them the chance to get to know you, the person behind the product and your reason for wanting them to buy.
Naturally, we all want money so, this is not your why. Your reason is your own but can include:
- Financial Freedom
- Creating your own schedule
- A passion for the products you're selling
- Working from Home
whatever the reason is, if you don't offer it to your customers in a way that they can trust and develop a real relationship with you then you might as well just slap up a flashy sales site and call it a day. No one will care about your why if it comes at them in this form and provides no relevance or value to them.
When you're creating content keep it on topic and don't deviate from your business or plan. Posting random and irrelevant information on your blog will create confusion so try to keep your blog on point and if you're selling/promoting more than one business, create a separate blog for each. Utilize a good scheduling company and set them up in advance to cut back on work, but keep all relevant information together and you'll be on your way to success.
No one is perfect (I'm certainly not, I've found these issues in my own writing) and with the fast paced world we all need to remember that. Just keep these tips in mind and do your best to create clear content without errors to ensure higher sales and trust with your current and potential customers.