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Starting a blog is a great way to connect with your readers and appeal to search engines. Today, many bloggers understand the importance of having a business blog, but are making crucial mistakes when it comes to execution. Most times, this is because they don’t know where to begin and fail to properly plan. In a race to get to the front page of Google, they might even end up using black hat strategies and SEO tactics that don’t work anymore and can get them permanently kicked off of search engines. With that in mind, here are five bad business blogging habits you should stop doing:

Keyword stuffing

Many marketers and bloggers are eager to get the top of search engines. They understand that keywords help Google determine what their content is about and how relevant it is. Therefore, if they’re targeting a word like ”influencer marketing,” they might use the phrase dozens of times in an article, including in headings and subheadings. However, over the years, Google has emphasized the importance of veering away from using natural language to appeal to search engines, rather than to appeal to your website visitors. Google’s Matt Cutts warned webmasters about the dangers of keyword stuffing at an SXSW conference in 2017, saying:  

“We are trying to level the playing field a bit. All those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO—versus those making great content and a great site. We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now.”

Choosing the wrong web host

One of the first things you’ll want to do when it comes to blogging is choose the right web host. Your hosting provider is where your blog lives; you wouldn’t move into a new house without ensuring it was the right house for you, and you shouldn’t do the same for your blog.

Explore your options by visiting several hosting sites, and perhaps even opting to trial them if you can. You want to consider multiple things when looking at a web host, such as server locations, speed, who’s managing the servers, backup systems, etc. Then, once you have your contenders, a good idea is to use a venn diagram maker to compare and contrast between your choices. A venn diagram allows you to organize information visually so you can better understand the relationship between the items you’re considering. For example, by creating a diagram, you might find that all your potential hosting choices offer limited free storage, but that only two can easily integrate with social.

Clickbait titles

Everyone wants to attract readers with their blog post and other copy. However, clickbait titles have become fairly mainstream, and marketers and business owners are mixing up the need to attract readers with duping them. In fact, in the professional writing world, clickbait is considered tabloid journalism. Be straightforward about what you have to say. Don’t trick people into coming to your site: it will only hurt you in the long run.

Over automating

When blog automation first hit the blogosphere in 2006, it was supposed to be a good thing. Bloggers could use RSS feeds to automatically pull relevant content from other publishers onto their website. Today, many bloggers are over automating in order to fill their own websites. They believe this relieves them of the burden of having to write original pieces on a consistent basis.

However, auto blogging should be severely moderated—used only when necessary. A great blog has a healthy mix of auto and original content, with the bulk of content being unique. Another reason why too much auto-blogging can hurt your business is because it deprives your blog of its brand voice. Readers won’t get to know who you are as a person, and when they cannot understand the brand, chances of a connection are slim.

Using article spinners

A handful of bloggers are still using article spinners to dupe search engines. Here’s how it works: you see an article online that’s popular and has generated some buzz. Instead of rewriting, quoting, or paraphrasing that article, you decide to save time and cut corners by running it through an article spinner. The article spinner then churns out a “new” article for you by using similar synonyms and phrases.

The idea is that this “new” article won’t appear as duplicate content to Google, and you won’t have to do any writing yourself. However, article spinners almost always strip away natural language, leaving readers with just a shell of its previous content. For example, take a look at this paragraph after it’s been through an article spinner:

“Nonetheless, text rewriters quite often strip away characteristic language, leaving perusers with only a shell of its past substance.”

Pretty bad.

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