Somewhere you’ve heard that blogging is the thing. You’ve heard that keeping a blog for your accounting firm is non-negotiable. You’ve even read the crazy statistics — like this one by DemandMetric: On average, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without, or this one by HubSpot: Marketers who prioritise blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see positive ROI — and decided that this is an opportunity you daren’t miss.
So you’ve sat down, and you’ve started writing. It felt like pulling teeth, but you kept going… until you didn’t. Because blogging is hard, and even if you’re still going strong, do you even see those crazy cool results that were promised above?
You’re not alone. Blogging doesn’t come naturally to most people (why did nobody tell me this before?!). You need to invest time and effort to improve your blogging skills, and you need to learn what works and what doesn’t.
So to help you with that, I’ve put together a list of the six mistakes accounting professionals often make when blogging. Once you know what to avoid, you can move on to what you should do instead.
Mistake #1: Not Creating New Content Consistently
How many times have you landed on an interesting-looking blog, but then saw that all the content is outdated? How much time did you spend reading that blog, or did you go back to Google to find a blog that’s more up-to-date? It’s the same with your blog. If you don’t publish new blog posts consistently, your readers will go and find their answers somewhere else and forget all about you.
Additionally, it won’t do your search engine ranking any favours if you post irregularly. The more content you publish, the better your ranking in Google will become.
Mistake #2: Writing in a Formal Tone
There is nothing as annoying as having to read a blog post that is full of jargon or that sounds like an audit report. Don’t confuse professional with formal. Just be valuable and answer the questions your audience has in layman’s terms — the way you’d talk to a client if you were sitting around a table or on a couch with a cup of coffee in hand.
We often think we should sound smart; otherwise, people won’t take us seriously. But that’s not true. All your readers want is to be understood and learn something new that will improve their life or business.
Mistake #3: Neglecting Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
There’s a saying that you can hide a dead body on page two of Google. Why? Because nobody goes there! If you ignore SEO, your search engine ranking will not improve. It’s as simple as that. Yes, your blogs won’t feature on page one from day one, but over time your ranking will improve.
And you don’t need to be an SEO guru to get favourable results. There are some basic tactics — like keeping the sizes of your images below 100kb to improve page loading speed — which you can easily implement and that will help improve your ranking over time.
Mistake #4: Writing Whatever Comes to Mind
Would you jump into an audit just grabbing whatever file or box is nearest and start to work through it? Of course not! You’d first do your planning and decide on the approach you’re going to take, and the risks that you need to address.
It’s the same with writing a blog post. You need to plan. You need to know what your audience cares about before you just put stuff out there. If they’re not interested in what you have to say, they’re not going to read your blogs. You need to get familiar with your niche audience and address topics that they want to read about.
Mistake #5: Writing about General Topics or Just Skimming the Surface
There are probably thousands of general articles on the internet about the topic you want to write about. Many of them are covered by large publications, like The Business Insider or Entrepreneur. If your topics and content are general, why would anybody want to read your blog post? Instead of skimming the surface, give in-depth examples and walkthroughs.
The secret is simple: You need to get very specific when writing your blog posts. Instead of writing about 5 things entrepreneurs struggle with, write about the 5 things you see your niche audience struggle with, complete with examples plus the solutions you’ve seen that worked for your clients.
Mistake #6: Not Promoting Your Blog Posts
If you don’t tell people about your blog posts, how would they know they exist? It’s that simple.
But, that said, you have to have a proper strategy in place to promote your blogs effectively; otherwise, you’ll waste time and money.
What’s the Next Step?
Did you recognise any of these mistakes? Do you know how to fix them? If not, don’t fear.
I’ve developed a quiz to help you identify where your blogging weaknesses are and what you’re doing right (*happy dance*). Once you’ve completed the quiz, I’ll send you a personalised guide to help you improve those areas that fall flat.
Click here to complete the quiz to find out how solid your blogging strategy is:
Remember, you need to invest time into improving your blogs, and you need to keep going. You’re not going to see an uptick in readers if you stop, and you won’t arrive with fanfare on page one of Google if you only post a blog every now and then.
Keep going, and keep learning.
This article was originally published on thecreativeaccountant.net.