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110 Biggest Blogging Bungles

Yes, your blog may be a marketing vehicle. But people don’t follow blogs to be sold or pitched. They visit to be informed, entertained and occasionally even titillated. Sex sells. Version 2.1 of Vendor X’s product does not.

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This one may be a know brainor. But speeling and grammer erors make yous look liek a minor leeger. Seriously, however, for a corporate blog that is aimed at partners and customers, it’s critical that the basics of correct writing are adhered to. Spell check and if your organization provides for it: Have a third-party proofread before posting.

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Think Hemingway, not Tolstoy. Blog posts pushing past 500 words or so are likely to be abandoned halfway through anyway. In today’s world of Twitter and acronym-laden text messaging, brevity in the extreme has taken hold. That doesn’t mean you can’t elaborate a point in a blog, but to be most effective and hold interest, keep the entries succinct and concentrate on writing a compelling headline to pull your audience in.

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A half-baked blog is sometimes worse than simply not having a blog at all. You can’t build a following without a steady stream of content, so it really has to be a situation of all-in or all-out. Worst-case-scenario, if you aren’t writing regularly potential customers might even wonder if you’re still in business if they see your last post was six months ago. Blogging is effectively a form of marketing and going dark sends wrong message.

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At the same time, don’t just post pointless ramblings. If you’re having a hard time coming up with something pithy or relevant, try examining the news for something to tie into or even interview a customer or vendor about a discrete topic and write about it.

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Are you writing for customer CIOs? Or are you targeting IT technicians? How about CEOs? You can’t hook them all, so pick a targeted audience and tell compelling stories that will bring them back to the blog. As a solution provider, take a hard look at the services you provide, the market you serve and person your sales people typically talk to when making a call: That’s your audience.

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Registering a Word Press account and throwing up a few posts guarantees you nothing. You’ll need to get the word out, be it by linking back to other blogs, putting out newsletters, marketing via social networking or even pitching the media story ideas based on your posts. Also, encourage community comments to your blogs – both positive and negative – as these threads become entities all their own.

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Grinding that old axe about a deadbeat client or a lousy vendor may feel satisfying. But there are those little things called libel and good taste standing in the way. And no matter how veiled the accused parties remain, you’ll just sound like a crybaby.

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You are not writing a white paper. It’s a blog post and it’s meant to be conversational and colloquial. That’s the appeal. Not only is it easier on your readers, but it makes customers perceive you as an approachable guy or gal. Don’t go overboard with profanity or excessive slang. Keep the tone professional. However, do feel free to inject your own personality into the writing.

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Face it. When it comes to readers’ limited Web browsing time, you’re up against stories about Jon and Kate and the world’s oldest dog. The least you can do is punch up your headlines a bit. As mentioned before, shorter blogs are more digestible to readers, but compelling headlines are what often causes them to click in the first place.