Many businesses use blogging as a marketing strategy. Business blogging also provides a way to drive traffic to websites with dynamic content, show expertise, and spark a conversation with clients and potential clients. If your company has not yet considered blogging, then it may just be good business to do so.
The Importance of Business blogging
Regardless of the type of business you are in, a blog is an effective tool to grow your company to its maximum potential.
The Benefits of a Business blog
There are many benefits to creating a business blog, including:
- Increased visibility
- Better search engine exposure
- Enhanced customer communications
- Establishment of expertise and credentials
- Repeat website traffic
Establishing a Dialogue
Businesses that use blogs begin an ongoing dialogue with their customers and potential clients. Because blogs are updated regularly and often open to reader comments, they also provide the opportunity for keyword-rich, dynamic content that not only helps with search engine rankings, but also establishes you as the expert in your field. Savvy business owners also seek customer interaction and feedback, using information shared in blog comments or interaction to improve customer service or assess customer needs. Likewise, you can use your blog to show responsiveness to customer feedback, solicit testimonials, and other pro-marketing strategies that build trust and credibility.
Once you've decided to start a business blog, there are many other factors to consider. Here's a guide to getting started.
If you're ready to get started with a business blog, then you will need to consider the following:
- What is the focus and purpose of your blog? Your answer to this question will determine the answer to those that follow.
- Will you incorporate your blog as part of your website, make a third-party standalone blog that points back to your website, or both? Making an external blog gives you links back to your website, which helps in search engine rankings, but hosting the blog on your site provides the dynamic content you need. Some companies opt for both an on-site blog that deals specifically with their business, and a third-party blog maintained by someone in the company that points back to the business and discusses parallel subjects.
- How will you incorporate the blog? Many blogging platforms exist. Talk with your webmaster about the best way of incorporating a blog into your website.
- What type of blog will you offer? blogs don't necessarily have to contain the written words. Video blogs, photo blogs and podcasts also provide tremendous opportunities to get your message out. You can even make your blog a combination of all of these blogging platforms.
Coming Up With Ideas
For some people, nothing is more daunting than a blank page. Before you start, make a list of topics about which you can blog. If you are in a company with several employees, hold a brainstorming session. Often, employees have wonderful ideas about the type of content you could include.
Making Your blog Relevant
Make your blog relevant to your customers. How can you do this?
- Address common customer service questions.
- Address common technical questions.
- Use case studies.
- Use customer testimonials.
- Announce upcoming events.
- Discuss your business philosophy.
Tips for Effective blogging
In order to make your blog as effective as possible, take the following steps.
- Determine keywords for each post. Keywords are those words your customers would search to find you on the Internet. You can use the Google Keyword Search tool if you need help finding keywords.
- Use the keywords naturally in your text, trying to achieve a density of between three and seven usages. Use keywords in the first paragraph.
- Determine the voice with which you will write your post, and stay consistent throughout. As a business, an authoritative or expert tone is often good if you are trying to establish expertise. If you are discussing customer service issues, a more personal tone may be warranted.
- Write at about a sixth grade level. Avoid big words or complex sentence structure.
- Meticulously check your blog for spelling, grammar, and usage before posting.
- Incorporate media such as an image or video with written blogs to give it visual interest.
- Include links to valuable resources on your site.
- blog at regular intervals so people know when to return.
- Add an RSS feed so clients can subscribe to your blog.
Humanize Your Business blog
Aside from promoting your business, many online business advisers feel it is essential to promote yourself on your business blog. Promoting yourself is called humanizing yourself on your blog. It lets your readers know the person behind the blog. The professional networking site LinkedIn humanizes its company blog by adding a small picture of each blogger at the top of each post. Adding a picture to your blog is a simple and effective way to personalize your blog.
Other methods used by business bloggers to humanize their blogs include:
- Adding a link to a biography
- Linking to their social and professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter
- Adding a link to a page about their hobbies and interests
- Including a comment box
Directories of Small Business blogs
Once you've created your blog, list it in small business blog directories, including:
Business blogs Consulting
Need help? Try a consultant, including:
blogging is an effective and affordable business strategy you can custom tailor to your business objectives. With a little planning and management, a blog can help you generate new customers and grow customer loyalty.