Blogging for Cannabis Businesses: 5 Blogging Mistakes & How To Fix Them
Our last blog post covered the major reasons why blogging for your cannabis business is probably the most important, and cheapest form of marketing that you can do for your cannabis brand. And, because content marketing costs less than traditional, direct marketing techniques, while generating up to 3 times more leads, blogging should be one of your top priorities in your marketing strategy - if you are doing it right... and trust me, I've had many a client come to me saying that their blog just doesn't generate the traffic they want. During my time in this business I've identified five blogging mistakes a LOT of people make when creating content for their cannabis business
With millions of blog posts being published every day, you need an effective and strategic content strategy to produce great blog post for the right people, at the right time for you to get the most from your efforts. Otherwise you can kiss all those content-generated leads bye-bye.
Here I talk about some of the most common blogging mistakes that can crush your content marketing efforts, plus how to fix them.
Blogging Mistake #1 - Not Blogging Regularly Or At All
One of the biggest blogging mistakes I see clients make is that they don't blog regularly, or sometimes at all. Blogging only works if you do it, and you do it regularly and you do it with a plan.
If you want to maximise your blogging efforts, you need to blog more often. It is a very simple equation: the more often and more consistently you blog, the more value you deliver. And the more value you deliver, the more traffic, more leads, and potential customers you get.
Whats more is that, according to Hubspot, they found that the vast majority of leads come from old content. This is because blogging has a compounding effect over time. And the more consistently you blog, the bigger that compounding effect becomes. So there is a long-term benefit attached to regular content.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to blog every day. Even if you can only blog once a week, a lot of benefits reaped from blogging requires you to be consistent about it.
According to HubSpot’s Pamela Vaughan: “When it comes to business blogging, there’s no doubt that consistency is important. Just consider the fact that companies that increase blogging from 3-5 times/month to 6-8 times/month almost double their leads.”
Identify and organize your tasks, then write several blog posts ahead of time. Create a content calendar that includes the topics and themes you want to include in your marketing strategy, the promotional channels you want to distribute your content across, and posting times for each. Once you have enough data, tweak it to get the most of your efforts.
It also helps to automate your publishing schedule in order to stay consistent and take a lot of the work off your shoulders. If you’re interested in using an automation program such as Later (you can use this link to sign up for free).
Blogging Mistake #2 - Not Leveraging The Benefits of Long-Form Content
Another one of the major blogging mistakes I see a lot of clients make is publishing a bunch of 300-400 word articles and thinking the job's done. Trust me I know, long-form content can be a daunting task, especially if you’re pressed for time and the thought of sitting down and writing a few thousand words just seems like too much effort.
But it's worth it. Did you know that blog posts of 2,500 words or more generates nine times the number of leads than short blog posts do? That is a HUGE return on investment. But, considering that only 18% of companies’ content consisting of 750 words or more and with the average blog posts is just over 1,000 words, most of the content produced is nowhere close to long enough to be considered “long-form”.
Not leveraging the benefits of long-form content is a big mistake - one that most companies make. According to SERPs top-ranked content, almost every page in the first ten positions are 2,500 words or longer. This is because these posts not only rank on the top page of Google, but because they are long, actionable posts that help solve problems for people.
This means that if you want to get more leads and drive more traffic, you can’t be writing a couple of 500 word articles and think that’s going to do the job. It will be a waste of time and it won’t work.
They key is to focus on creating content that people can use. Don’t only present people with the problem, but also present them with the how-to, the fix, the solution.
The good thing about these evergreen, long-form articles is that they are not that difficult to write. Yes, it may take more time, research and effort, but by breaking it down, you’ll fill in the word-count pretty quickly. However, if the thought of writing long-form content consistently is just not something you can manage, it might be a good idea to outsource that type of content to a professional. If you are interest in more long-form content for your blog, we can help. Feel free to get in touch to set up your free consultation here.
Blogging Mistake #3 - Boring Headlines And Content
There is one universal truth about any blog - it needs to be interesting for people to read it, like it and share it. And that holds for both the headline and the content. And another major blogging mistake is simply being boring...
The average person has an attention span of just over eight seconds. Yes, just EIGHT SECONDS! This means that you not only have to grab a reader’s attention within that eight second time frame to also keep it. And the way to do it is by crafting an interesting and engaging headline. If your headline is blah, they’re going to move on.
Then, once you’ve managed to engage your readers enough to have them move on to reading your content, you need to keep their attention by creating really interesting, informative, educational and engaging content about topics that interest them.
Without an interesting headline coupled with great content, you are going to lose out on the lead-generating potential of your blog. And no-one wants that.
Luckily this is one of the easier blogging mistakes to fix. A lot of the hard work has been done, and there is a bit of a formula to writing a great headline. The five main elements of viral headlines include: an emotional element, a content element, a topic element, a format element, and a promise element. Basically, the essence of “interestingness” for both your headline and your content is based on asking the right questions. Just asked the traditional “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how” questions, and spent a little bit of time pondering what would make them interesting to YOU.
Blogging Mistake #4 - Not Sharing And Promoting Your Content
Writing great content is only half of the job. Promoting that content is the other half. And unless you already have an extraordinarily popular blog, traffic isn’t going to pop up out of thin air. So, without promoting your blog articles and getting it out into the public domain, the point of blogging is completely moot.
But once again, to do so effectively, you need to tie your blog promotion into your overall content marketing strategy, one in which you leverage the relationships you’ve already built on your social media platforms and through your email campaigns.
94% of bloggers use their social media profiles to drive traffic to their blog. This is a huge amount of blog posts that creates a type of “content crush” that can be overwhelming. This might make you think that you need a large following in order for it to work. However that is not the case (to see why read more here). Even if you have a small social media following you can still generate results. It’s about engaging the right people. It is about having an effective outreach strategy which includes research, amplification and monitoring of your content promotion.
Email marketing is another method of content promotion that can lead to as much as 68% of your blog traffic. Arguably, email marketing is the best strategy for promoting your content as it avoids the “content crush” that comes with social media promotions. The good thing is that, if your content is compelling and useful, people won’t mind to be notified by mail. Nor do you have to get overly fancy. Sometimes just taking the first paragraph of your blog post and asking people to click through to continue reading is enough.
Another one of the easiest blogging mistakes to fix, simply share your content across a number of channels including social media and your email subscriber lists. Repurpose your content into videos, infographics and even ebooks and submit your content communities and groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Blogging Mistake #5 - Thinking Every Blog Post Is Going To Go Viral
We all see these super popular, viral posts that get a gazillion shares and think: “I want my blog posts to go that viral too!”.
Unfortunately, the reality of blogging is much different, and not every blog post you write is going to generate hundreds of visitors or get thousands of shares. In fact, the majority of blog posts get under a 100 shares, with only 1% of blog posts online reaching the 1,000 share mark.
Now you may wonder what the point of blogging is. Fortunately, the other reality of blogging is that even if a post isn’t super popular, you still get a benefit from blogging - those 100 extra visitors per post allow you to engage with them, and provide you with the opportunity convert a lead into a customer. Not a bad ROI for a tiny financial and/or time investment, right?
But even if you aren’t going to have all your posts go viral, there are still some things you can do to drive traffic every time.
Use Google Trends to find out what people are looking for, what they are sharing and which types of topics are the most popular. Obviously you are not going to waste your time writing about a topic that people aren’t interested in reading.
You can also use Google Trends to help you identify viral topics you can piggy back off of. As you can see from the screenshot below, American football is trending. Use this to your advantage and incorporate it into your content. Think something along the lines of “How CBD can help American Football stars recover”.
How A Professional Can Help
Now, for some people the whole blogging thing can just be too much to handle by themselves. After all, if you wanted to become a professional content creator or blogger, then you would’ve done just that.
This is where hiring a professional can help you reap all the benefits of blogging for your business, but without all the blogging mistakes. This means that for a relatively small investment, a professional can help you leverage the most out of your investment in marketing your cannabis business. A professional content creator and marketing expert who specializes in working within the cannabis industry can benefit you because:
1. They have the time to do the job right - not only do they have the time to prioritise your content, they have the experience and expertise to get it right the first time.
2. They can improve publishing frequency and consistency - because they have the time and experience to create and effective content calendar for your cannabis business, you are guaranteed frequent and regular blog posts and updates
3. They will use their experience, skill and knowledge to your advantage - the cannabis space is finicky and full of rules and regulations, when if not adhered to can land you in a lot of trouble with the authorities.
4. They can help you target your best audience - a good writer help you identify, hone in, and speak directly to your target audience, using language that they can relate to
5. They can help you develop topics and ideas - and then turn those into blog posts and content that effectively conveys what you want to communicate
6. They can find a fresh way to describe your information - and helping you to avoid overused, overworked ideas and topics so that your audiences doesn’t get stuck with the same-old, same-old.
7. They can help you identify missing material - because you know your business by heart, you might not notice when vital information is left out. A good professional can fill in those gaps for you.
8. They can streamline the content creation process - because they know the industry and the material, an industry professional can do the same work in a shorter amount of time, helping you stay ahead of the “content crush”
9. They can help your brand project a consistent image - by identifying and developing your unique style, brand voice and image, your cannabis business can maintain a consistent brand image, making it immediately recognizable.
INTERESTED IN SOME MORE AWESOME IDEAS ON HOW TO GET YOUR CANNABIS BRAND AHEAD OF THE CROWD? CHECK OUT THESE ARTICLES TO GET YOU STARTED
- Benefits of Blogging for Business: A Guide for Cannabis Brands
- Why Your Social Media Follower Count Doesn’t Matter
- How to Brand your Cannabis Business on a Budget
- How to Create the Ultimate Content Calendar for Your Cannabis Brand
- Content Marketing for Cannabis Brands + 7 Tips to get Started
ABOUT LIEZE BOSHOFF
Lieze, is the founder of LBC3 Marketing, a leading content marketing and copywriting consultancy, working exclusively in the cannabis industry.
Lieze is a passionate and data-driven content marketing consultant with over 3 years of medical cannabis and CBD industry experience. Working with a wide range of brands and businesses globally, Lieze specializes in helping her clients get clear on their content strategy, creating educational and engaging content, and crafting conversion-focussed copy that resonates with their ideal customers.
If you're ready to see the impact a strategic Content Marketing plan and well-crafted Copywriting can do for you and your cannabis business, take that first step, contact her here for a free consultation.
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