More than 100,000 blogs are started every day, many of them for new or established businesses. With such an incredible volume of new voices on the Internet, how can your customers hear yours? If you already have a blog that’s under-performing or that you don’t know how to fill, that question is especially relevant. A business blog isn’t an instant ticket to success, but as it grows, it can become a vital part of your site.
The three keys to building a successful business blog are adding value, keeping it current and integrating it with your overall media strategy. Think of how conversation happens at a party – in this case, a really big party with 100,000 new arrivals per day – and you’ll see how to make your business blog stronger.
Say Something Interesting on Your Business Blog
If you’re mingling at a party, you need something to say if you hope to hold others’ interest. The same is true for business bloggers. Your posts should present new content or reveal familiar topics in new lights.
The point of your blog isn’t just to drive traffic or tell your customers why they should find you so wonderful. You already have an advertising budget to handle that. If you’ve ever been cornered by someone at a party who wants nothing more than to talk about his own magnificence, you know how dull that can get. Blogs that focus on tooting the company horn are likewise uninteresting to their readers. Use your blog to teach visitors how to do something better or offer some business wisdom worth sharing.
If you’re strapped for concepts, hire a blogging service to create your business content. Content writers do much more than build static websites, and they’ll match their style to your guidelines to keep your brand identity consistent.
Keep the Conversation Going
That uncomfortable lull in the conversation when both partners have exhausted their repertoire of party chat never needs to happen on your blog if you encourage your readers to respond. Engaging in a dialogue instead of delivering a lecture or a soliloquy creates a congenial place for your readers. They’ll come for a single piece of great content, but they’ll stay to participate in the discussion.
Sometimes it takes a few comments to encourage others to post their thoughts. Don’t be afraid to ask open-ended questions and request feedback from readers. Spread the word yourself about the new blog and ask colleagues or friends to visit. While you don’t want your business blog to have nothing but comments from your personal circle of friends, you can encourage customers to give more feedback when they see a comments field with a non-zero number.
You can also encourage conversation by posting regularly. Studies have shown that people get the same small burst of endorphins, the chemicals that contribute to good moods, from checking email and blogs that they do from winning a prize. Finding a new post on your blog triggers the reward response from your readers. The best way to make your business blog effective is to keep rewarding them with fresh content.
Make Your Blog Easy to Share
Social media remains a driving force for content, so give your readers reasons to share, like and tweet your posts. They’ll create more readers for you if you let them. Put those widgets at the bottom of every blog post. Why not the top? The people most likely to share a post are those who’ve read it, and if they’ve read it, then they’re at the bottom of the page.
Your blog should also fit with the rest of your site. When posts create hooks on which to hang links, you’re making it easier on your readers and adding value to your static site. The same philosophy goes for newsletters; they should work with your blog to form a more cohesive content marketing strategy. For example, a designer might feature an article on poppy as the color of the season in the same week that the blog focuses on brights for autumn and the newsletter offers a discount code on the shop’s colorful new line of accessories.
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