Writing a blog post in order to boost traffic to your website is a good idea – just make sure you are not secretly, or even unintentionally, writing an advertisement rather than an informative article.

We speak of advertising when your text includes hidden commercial message(s). At first glance, this type of article appears to be informative, however it is actually meant to promote a product or service. This is similar to advertisements on television – they are amusing until you realize that they actually foist something on you.

The greatest threat of an advertising blog is that it impairs your company’s image and it can deter potential customers. Do you want to know how you can prevent this loss and maintain your integrity so your website visitors will be naturally transformed into leads? Check the 7 warning signs that show your blog is an advertisement. If you recognize your blog’s characteristics in here, do not worry – you can always change it.

#1 You shout it from the rooftops!

Are you only using your company’s blog to tell how great your business is or when you have a new product online? If that is the case, you are doing more harm than good for your business. Visitors who were initially interested will soon drop out. Just think of how often you flick through channels on TV to avoid ads. A blog advertisement is treated similarly by its readers.

Instead, your blog should serve as an essential source of information. By showing your customers that you know what is going on in the market and by giving useful tips, you inspire them. You should work towards the situation where your customers are shouting your content from the rooftops, instead of you.

#2 You promise something, but you do not show it

Think of a pizzeria that has a blog post called “5 bizarre pizzas”. Scrolling through the article you realize that this blog post only explains why this pizzeria supposedly has the best pizzas in town. There is nothing written about the bizarre pizzas.

When this happens, the blog’s visitors will feel deceived and will look somewhere else in order to find the information they were looking for. There is a big chance they will never come back to this blog. Therefore, you should avoid false promises in your title.

#3 You do not listen to your audience

When you are not listening to the needs of your audience, it can be that you write about too broad topics. Take for example promotional topics that are not specifically linked to a target audience. This can cause your potential customers to leave you because they cannot find anything interesting or applicable information.

If you want to decide who you want to reach, it is important to imagine who your ideal customers are. You can, for instance, imagine them as different characters. Then you can use this information in order to create content that aims at a specific audience.

#4 Your posts are stuffed with call-to-action buttons

Have you once tried putting yourself into the position of your customer? When you do, ask yourself if you would truly find your article interesting? Do you feel inspired after reading the text or did the text teach you something new?

Company blogs are often seen as appropriate channels to advertise, but appearances can be deceiving. Commercials and advertisements are not the things people are looking for when they are searching for information on or solutions to their problems. Blogs are valuable channels when you want to teach your customers something. When they consider the information you share to be valuable, the step towards a purchase will occur naturally. That is why you should not use too many call-to-action buttons.

#5 You serve yourself, not your visitors

Ask yourself if you are writing for your company or for your visitors. As a marketer, your goal should be to serve your visitors. If what you write is not valuable for your visitors, then there is a chance that they will leave your blog and never come back.

Surprise your visitors with content that stimulates them and gives them an incentive to return to your blog.

#6 You are not yourself

Are you one of those people who believe that there is nobody on this earth providing the same product or service? I hate to break it to you, but the reality is probably different. Even though your business is the best of its kind, it is almost impossible that no one else is offering the same product or service.

You do not need to criticize other companies in your blog to show your company is valuable. If your blogs have the interest of the reader as their fundamental goal and if they are informative, then the readers will regard you as an authority in your industry.

#7 You are selling instead of informing

Logically, you are writing from a subjective point of view. That does not mean you cannot provide sincere and authentic information. Your potential customers are looking for information that will help them make a decision. When they click a link thinking they are going to be informed about possibilities and they end up reading a blog which tries to sell them a specific product or service, they will feel dissatisfied. Try to be the source where a customer can find information that will help him or her to make a choice.