We hear all the time how blogging is so useful and important to your career and business. Article after article gives you tips on making your blog work for you in your job search, getting paid to blog and so on.
Don’t get me wrong; these articles are all correct. If you’re looking for a job, a blog can be a great way to make yourself stand out to potential employers. If you’re running a business, a well-maintained blog can set you apart from your competition and strengthen your connection with your customers.
What these articles don’t tell you, however, are the possible consequences of not handling a blog correctly. Here are some mistakes that you could make with your blog and what could happen because of them:
1. Poor or inappropriate content
“Content is king.” You may have heard that Bill Gates quote quite a few times, and it’s true. If your content is weak, employers and customers will simply pass you by.
Your blog’s content can be weak in a variety of ways. If you blog about a particular industry, your content may only scratch the surface of that industry (policies, news, etc.). Worse still, you could have content on your blog that has nothing to do with that particular field. (An exception here would be posts that wish everybody a Happy or Merry [insert holiday]—those make you look considerate and personable.)
Even if you produce good content for your blog, you can make it look bad if you don’t do so regularly. This is especially true for job seekers. Employers may look at a blog that rarely gets updated and decide the blogger doesn’t have the passion or discipline to fill the open position.
If your blog falls into any of these categories, you might as well hold up a big poster that says, “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
2. No images or poor-quality images
Staring at a wall of text can be a strain on reader’s eyes. It may not matter whether you produce excellent content if you make employers or customers work too hard to read it.
You don’t need to stuff your posts with pictures; at the very least, just place an image at the top that pulls it all together. If you can come up with an infographic that summarizes or supports the points you make in your text, that’s even better.
Also make sure your image relates to your content—don’t stick pictures of your kitty on a post about a medical seminar. And look to use high-quality images. Including inappropriate or unattractive images makes you look unprofessional.
3. Ugly or unprofessional colors
Wearing certain colors on the job can convey various messages about you. Similarly, people can gauge your professionalism by the colors you use on your blog.
Different colors may suit your blog depending on its subject matter (e.g. browns and greens for blogs dealing with nature topics, pastels for blogs relating to motherhood or parenting). Overall, however, your safest bet when blogging for a career or business is to go with plain old black and white for your background and text. (Black text on a white background is best, but you can possibly get away with white on black.) Presenting your readers with these colors will give them the impression that you’re serious and, consequently, that they should take you seriously.
Suppose you do a search for blogs about financial issues. You click on one of the pages that pops up in the search results, go to the home page and see neon green text on a lavender background. Would you expect to find reliable information on finance here? Of course not! It wouldn’t matter who the blogger is or what that person writes about—the blog’s colors don’t suit its subject matter. That makes the blog’s author look unprofessional and untrustworthy.
4. Failure to spread the word
Of course, it won’t matter how good your blog’s content and appearance are if people don’t see it. If you don’t network and let people know about your blog, whether in person or through social media, you risk becoming the tree that falls in the woods with no one around to hear it. If you’re proud of your blog, put it out there any way that you can.
Jessica Reynolds writes about a variety of topics relating to business, science, technology and education. She currently writes for the scientific poster printer postersession.com.