The Other BBB: Business Blogging Basics
|Written by Corinne Kerston
Posted: Jan 20, 2013 @ 9:15 am
By now you may have noticed that most successful businesses have a blog. This is no coincidence. Blogging can help you gain customers, drive traffic to your website and raise your rank in the search engine result pages. Here is a list of business blogging do’s to help you get started with your own blog.
1. Choose an easy application.
One of easiest, most effective ways to blog is to use WordPress. It is the most common and widely used by many successful bloggers. The reason it is so popular is because it makes blogging easy. It provides you with templates and other tools to quickly and easily set up your blog. It is not necessary to know website design or even HTML with a plug-in blog platforms like WordPress. It also allows you to add a plethora or plugins and widgets to completely customize your blog; and again, it’s all quick and easy. WordPress.com is a free service, but you will be required to have wordpress.com as an extension on your web address. If you want your own, hosted site, you can go purchase a domain and install WordPress.org.
2. Post relevant content.
Once you have your blog up and running, you can start posting content. But not just any content. You want well-written, relevant content. Your posts should be about your business or industry. They should be informative and offer your readers some sort of help or valuable information.
3. Use keywords.
Just as you would use keywords on your business website, you should sprinkle your blog posts with short and long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are phrases that are comprised of three or more words to make a phrase that will be most likely searched. You can also add in your location to help narrow down your target audience if you sell products locally.
4. Blog regularly.
Your goal is to attract readers to your blog, and by default, your website. Once you get these readers, you want to keep them. You can do this by blogging new content regularly. Inconsistency tends to frustrate followers. Whether you choose to blog twice a month, or twice a week is up to you, but which ever frequency you decide to go with, stick to it. Just keep in mind that posting too little may not give readers enough fresh content, and posting too much will just overwhelm their reader feeds and turn them off.
5. Keep your posts fairly short.
This one is subjective, and ranges from blog to blog. Some blogs, like IPWatchdog for example, do extremely well with longer post lengths. Others benefit from slightly shorter posts, around 400 or fewer words. Many blog readers do not read the entire post and they just skim. Because of this, you want to keep your posts short and to the point. There is no need for superfluous words. In addition, you want to utilize bullet points or numbers to keep your post organized, and use subheadings when necessary.
6. Stay away from advertising.
Blog posts should be to inform, not to sell. Continually trying to convince your reader to buy something is a surefire way to lose readers. It is acceptable to announce a new product or a big sale, but blatant sales-y type posts will get you nowhere with readers. Think you can’t find anything to write about if you aren’t pitching your next big thing? Think again. You can blog about your company: its history, your employees, your services, news in the industry. You can also give helpful hints like how-to guides and instructions to particularly hard to work products.
7. Ask for comments.
This is not taboo in the blogging world. In fact, it can help you. End your blog posts with a request for comments or a question that readers can answer. For example, if you post about a new product, ask your readers there opinion or review if they have tried the product. This gives your customers a way to be involved, which makes them feel important and keeps them reading your blog.
8. Respond to the comments you get.
You asked for it, you should acknowledge it. Respond to any comments you get in a timely manner. This will make your readers, and customers, know that you value what they say and also value their business. Even if there are not questions to be answered in the comments you get, a simple “thank you for commenting” is always nice for readers to see.
9. Add some personality to your blog.
Blogging can be fun. It’s the one place where you can interject your personality and your voice. Don’t completely throw out grammar and structure, but you can spice up your posts a little. However, make sure to stay on topic and keep your posts related to your business.
10. Be creative with your titles.
The first thing people read on your posts is the title. A good, catchy title is often the decision maker on whether or not people will read your post. Make your titles interesting so that people will want to click on your blog and read on.
Adding a business blog to your business website is a great way to get more traffic, gain customers and even bump your website high up in the search results. Keep this list of blogging do’s in mind and you can have a successful business blog.