3 Day-One Mistakes that Spell Long Term Trouble for B2C Blogs
Many people go into creating a B2C blog with the wrong idea that it’s a cakewalk.
Now, simply creating a B2C blog – or any other type of blog for that matter – is easy. Building up a following and getting people interested is a completely different ballgame.
Whether it’s a travel blog, food blog, fashion blog, entertainment blog, or anything else, there are a bunch of tasks that may seem mundane, but are absolutely crucial in the infancy stages.
Blog readers can be a picky bunch. You want to build a reputation around killer content that piques people’s interests. Truth be told, this task often times goes beyond just creating killer content.
In this post, I want to discuss several of the biggest mistakes that spell serious trouble for B2C blogs – before you’ve even written an article!
1. The Name Falls Flat
Just like any business, organization, or entity, your blog needs to have a name that sticks in people’s minds. Why do you think so many people in show business go by “stage names” instead of their birth names?
The name of a B2C blog needs to be concise and align cleverly with the target audience. This – without a doubt – is among the most important aspects of getting a blog off the ground.
Now, I can tell you from experience that picking the perfect name for a blog is a tough task – as it should be. You can’t just pull a name out of a hat and expect it to resonate with your target readers. Coming up with the perfect name requires a healthy amount of research, a deep look into your goals with the blog, and (in my experience) lots of pondering in the shower.
To jumpstart the process, there are two key questions you need to ask yourself. These probably sound super obvious, but it’s amazing how many bloggers miss the mark when answering them.
1. What are you writing about?
Obviously, the answer to this question is going to be the biggest indicator of what your blog’s name is going to be. The trick here is to think beyond the surface. It’s too easy to say, “I’m writing about travel” or “I’m writing about food”.
Millions of people are writing about these topics. More than likely, if you try to name your blog around a super general topic – there’s a good chance it will fall flat.
Sure, you might be writing about travel – but what kind of travel? Budget travel? Luxury travel? Solo travel? Family travel?
Currently, there are 152 million blogs on the internet. If you want to gain traction, you need to get specific with your niche – to a certain degree. If you can get specific with the type of content you will be creating, coming up with a catchy name will be much, much easier.
2. Who are you writing for?
Let me start by saying that the answer to this question is important for more than just the name of your blog.
The name of your blog should be super catchy to the target audience. Say for example you’re writing a cooking blog geared towards people interested in luxury dining. Your target readership is more than likely going to be older people with disposable income.
That being said, choosing a name like “Super Lit Grub” probably won’t resonate very well with your intended audience.
If we look at some of the top blogs in this niche, we see names like:
- Pinch of Yum
- Serious Eats
- Smitten Kitchen
All of these are simple, clever, and catchy with the readership.
Take your time here. Having a crystal-clear understanding of your target audience is going to be the underlying catalyst for your blog’s success.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools to get the wheels turning. If the ideas aren’t coming, start with a name generator. By filling in the fields, you can get a huge selection of names – from simplistic to super in-depth.
Now, as this is an automatically-generated list, not all of them will be winners. In fact, you might not want to use any of them. The main purpose of these generator tools is to get some jumping off points.
Always remember, the name of your blog is the first impression. Trying to get too general – or too complex – will create a negative perception right off the bat.
2. Not Defining a Brand Voice
When it comes to blogs, the brand voice is the unsung hero that keeps people coming back.
This applies to more than just blogs. People have their favorite podcasts, talk shows, YouTube channels, etc. because they relate to the host’s personality. The brand voice is how you establish personality on your blog.
No one likes to read a post that sounds like it was written by a lifeless robot. Your voice needs to make a strong impression on readers.
Now, keep in mind, you don’t necessarily have to write your blogs in the same voice that you normally speak in.
Personally, I suck at speaking; but (I like to think) I’m good at writing. Maybe it’s just the introvert in me… But that’s the beauty of writing – you can portray whatever type of persona you want!
So how do you define the voice of your blog?
As you could imagine, this is a day one task of setting up your blog.
Voice should always be consistent. Failing to define your blogging voice early on makes it tough to stick to one.
Generally, there are 12 basic archetypes to keep in mind as you determine your voice.
- The Magician – Disney, Dyson, Polaroid. Commonly found in technology/innovation blogs.
- The Outlaw – UFC, Harley Davidson, Red Bull. Commonly found in innovation blogs.
- The Explorer – Jeep, The North Face, GoPro. Common with travel blogs.
- The Everyman – Gap, IKEA, Budweiser, Toyota. Found in all sorts of blogs!
- The Hero – Nike, FedEx, Duracell. Commonly found in innovation blogs.
- The Caregiver – Johnson & Johnson, Dove, Habitat for Humanity. Commonly found in health and motivational blogs.
- The Creator – Apple, Tesla, Lego. Commonly found in home improvement blogs.
- The Innocent – Coca Cola, Aveeno. Commonly found in “life hacks” blogs.
- The Sage – Google, BBC, Harvard. Commonly found in personal health blogs.
- The Ruler – Mercedes, American Express, Rolex. Commonly found in luxury fashion blogs.
- The Jester – M&Ms, MailChimp, Old Spice. Commonly found in commentary or satirical blogs.
- The Lover – Godiva, Victoria’s Secret, Jaguar. Commonly found in lifestyle blogs.
Now, you don’t have to choose just one. There are plenty of bloggers out there who identify their platform with one archetype – with shades of another.
For example, one could argue that travel blogger, Nomadic Matt, identifies with the Explorer, but also portrays the Everyman.
Just be careful that you don’t try to identify with too many archetypes. If you try to be too many things in your voice, you won’t be anything distinctive – and a distinct voice is exactly what your blog needs!
3. Mistargeting Keywords for Webpages
Ok, now we’re going to get a bit more technical here.
To put it bluntly, you have to learn the basics of SEO as a blogger – unless you want your platform to function as a personal diary. You need to understand how to do keyword research and how to incorporate the right search terms into your blog’s content.
The good news is it’s much easier than it sounds!
Generally, the keywords you place on the homepage, About page, in blog posts, etc. are supposed to clearly indicate what your site is all about.
If you are sending mixed signals to users (and search engines), two things can happen.
- You don’t attract any traffic.
- You attract the wrong traffic.
To avoid these scenarios, you should be looking for keywords that pertain to your specific blogging niche.
Let’s do an example here.
Say you’re a travel blogger but only write about areas in the United States.
- X Places to See in Montana
- X National Parks on the West Coast
- Tips for Traveling to NYC
As your main keyword, you might be tempted to use American Travel for your focus keyword in your Header 1 tag on the home page – as it has a decent search volume (6,000 searches/month).
Let’s give this term a Google and see what comes up:
The top results are:
- American Express
- American Forces Travel – American Express’s travel packages for military.
- American Travel & Tours – a booking engine.
- American Express Travel
- American Airlines Vacations
- American Airlines Travel Alerts
- American Airlines – Award Travel
- U.S Travel Association
- The Lonely Planet
- American Airlines Vacation Packages and Deals.
The ever-present goal of SEO is to get ranked on page 1 of the Google results for your main keyword – or as highly as possible. Given the types of websites that show up for this phrase, your travel blog would more than likely be throwing up bad signals to Google.
So, let’s get more specific here and try the term USA travel tips.
On this first page, we’re seeing exactly the type of content you write on your blog. That said, this is the type of keyword you want your blog to rank for! Using our handy dandy tool, Ubersuggest, let’s dive a little deeper into this:
Given what we see, USA travel tips is a great keyword, but the search volume is pretty low – 70 searches/month. You want to aim big with the focus keyword. So, you might consider getting a bit broader and using the focus keyword travel tips – 5,400 searches/month.
You can then pepper the USA travel tips and other USA-related keywords into the rest of the website. These keywords make it clear to Google and users what your site is all about and the content it provides. As a result, you will (ideally) be pulling in the right traffic.
Over to You
Launching a solid B2C blog isn’t as easy as many of the heavy hitters make it look!
In most cases, your ability to steer clear of the common mistakes is just as important as creating killer content. Hopefully, this post has shined a light on you ambitious bloggers out there and you now have some insight to get your blog off the ground – the right way!
At the end of the day, all of us bloggers want the same thing: lots of interested traffic and a cult following!
This post was written by Kevin Svec. Kevin is the Chief Content Strategist at E2M Solutions Inc. He is highly experienced in planning, creating, and distributing blog posts, eBooks, whitepapers, and any other sort of educational content. Kevin is also a seasoned copywriter, with a lot of experience writing website copy and ad content. When he isn’t rock climbing or enjoying one of Southern California’s gorgeous beaches, Kevin is writing for Impulsive Wanderlust, a travel + leisure website he created. Connect with him on LinkedIn.