This month we’ll continue to talk about blogging. I thought it would be helpful, and maybe more impactful, to talk about what not to do when blogging.

But first let’s look at the big picture. Remember, your blog is another opportunity to tell potential clients about yourself and your company. And what should it tell them? The same thing(s) you would try to communicate if you met a potential client face to face in a social setting (not a sales call).

Think of blogging as another chance to demonstrate your value, experience and approachability. “Approachability” in these settings is accomplished by projecting a sense of humor and a pleasant conversational tone. By the way, both of these are perceived as indicators of your customer service skills. (No, I’m not a psyche major, just a long time observer of human behavior!)

With that, here are the top five things to avoid when blogging:

  1. Don’t complicate the look! Keep it simple – don’t distract the visitor from the message. For one thing, make it easy on the eyes. Black text on a white background or white on black are the easiest combinations to read. While your brand and logo should be present, back them off one notch and place them subtly in the background.
  2. Don’t sell! Just like at a cocktail party or networking event, the quickest path to standing awkwardly by yourself is to toss in a heavy-handed sales pitch. Your blog is a way to begin a conversation, share original valuable information and create comfort.
  3. Don’t forget to use your networks! As we’ve said before, all of your social media should be interwoven and cross-promotional. An off-shoot of this is that your blog information can and should be recycled as twitter messages and Facebook or LinkedIn posts. Sure, change it up a little, shorten it and/or chop it up into bite-sized pieces. Recycling lightens your workload and it reinforces your message as it’s repeated in multiple settings.
  4. Don’t be caught unprepared! You should invite reader comments and that means at some point you will receive a negative comment. Often it’s from someone trying to build a name for him or herself using your platform. If the person’s point has value, give him or her credit and then build on what was said, re-taking control of the discussion. If the person’s comment is idiotic or inane, maybe just allude to the right of free speech and choose to disagree! In any event, figure out your strategy ahead of time so you can react with your head and not your heart.
  5. Don’t over-commit to posting! It’s more important to post consistently than frequently. So adopt and stick to a schedule that is do-able within your work-life balance. Maintain a running list of topics to help avoid the stress of a deadline.

Donna Galassi, is the President of Blue Zenith, offering website and blog design services.