26 February 2013 by Web Bureau
A well-written blog is one of the cheapest, yet most effective tools at the disposal of any business. A good blog can raise your business’s profile, enhance search engine and social media marketing, and perhaps most importantly, it can sell your brand. The benefits are clearly huge, so make sure and get it right by following our step-by step guide to Blogging for Business.
Choosing a Blogging Platform
There are a variety of blogging platforms to choose from, all of which are relatively easy to set-up and maintain. Before deciding, it is important to think about the style and function you desire for your blog. We’d advise you look for blog providers that allow visitors to sign-up for email notifications when you post a new entry. You’ll also want a blog system that allows for keyword searches and for visitors to access your older, archived blog entries. WordPress offers a dizzying variety of themes and options for creating your own bespoke blog. If you’re looking for something more stripped-back and straightforward-to-navigate then Google’s Blogger might be more to your taste. Other options worth investigating include HubPages and, hipster’s scrapbook of choice, Tumblr.
Writing Interesting & Informative Copy
Everyone can write copy for blogs, right? Wrong. The blogosphere is no place for bluffers. In fact, many businesses employ professional writers to craft their blog entries. The mark of a successful blog writer is the ability to create material that conveys information in a clear and easy to grasp manner, without resorting to bone-dry business speak. So, inject some personal insight and experience into your entries - after all, your blog should reflect the character of the business. What’s more, you must demonstrate that you know your customers. Address subjects that are newsworthy and of concern to them - not every blog entry needs to be a sales pitch. This will ensure you keep it interesting and keep ‘em coming back.
Social Media Plug-Ins
Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn… there are a multitude of social media plug-ins for you to employ. Fully utilised, such plug-ins can drive huge numbers of traffic to your blog. The trick here is to ensure that you have content that people actually want to share (see above!).
All blogging platforms have their own integrated commenting systems. However, those requiring a little more in terms of moderation and spam filtering may be better served by Disqus, or Facebook Comments. Whichever option you choose, the comments system is your link to the outside world, a tool by which you can foster your blog’s sense of community and make people feel connected to your business. So make time to interact with those who comment - you don’t need to respond to every single post - but by occasionally engaging with your blog readers and reviewing their comments you can gain valuable insights into what is of interest, or concern, to your customers.
Any business’s online presence is only as good as its SEO strategy. Again, this is where the value of well-written blog content comes into play. Try and update your blog regularly, fresh content helps increase web traffic. Keywords, meanwhile, act as signposts directing people to your blog. Always try and think which words are going to help people find your blog and employ them within titles, content, URLs and image descriptions. Those using WordPress and Blogger may find it useful to download their SEO plug-ins. Finally, remember to link your blog and content both to other sites and - via internal links - back to yourself.
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