Having a blog and knowing what to do with it are two different things, as any cursory look around the Internet can attest. Neglected blogs that have a few paltry posts before disappearing, pages containing nothing but one-sentence entries and posts rife with spelling errors are common. Others exist solely to push a product line instead of engaging with readers. There’s no single recipe for the perfect blog for every industry, but these “five F’s” are a good place to start building better content.
Updating your blog frequently is one of the simplest and best ways to improve it. Search engines and human readers alike crave novelty, and frequent blog posts keep them coming back to see what you say next. Because Google pays attention to how often a page updates, regular posts help push you to the top of the heap. Once you’re in the spotlight, other bloggers may link to your site or invite you to write a guest blog post, widening your circle of influence and establishing you firmly on search engine front pages.
It’s no coincidence that some of the busiest blogs are also the most frequently updated – often multiple times daily. Niche and industry blogs don’t need to be updated quite that frequently, but posting no less than once a week is a good plan. When your content team is starting your new blog from scratch, publishing two to four times a week to build up a library and establish a following is an even better idea.
It isn’t enough to post often; you also have to have something original to say. Posting the same information multiple times doesn’t earn you Google juice and could even cost you if it’s mistaken for duplicate content. This is why it’s vital for your content creation manager or professional blogger to produce original material with every post. “Original,” in this case, means custom-written content, not necessarily revolutionary ideas or Pulitzer-worthy journalism. Blogs are great for pieces under 1,000 words, but if you have an idea you want your writing team to polish to lapidary brilliance, make it a white paper or feature article.
Looking at a favorite topic from an even slightly different angle is enough to produce a fresh new post with a unique outlook. Even a narrow niche can provide years of original content when your blogger takes a few minutes to keep things fresh.
Freshness is important, but so is familiarity. Some successful bloggers are generalists who discuss a wide range of topics, but business blogs almost always cover familiar territory in their posts. People visit an industry blog to read about the latest news and ideas within that industry, not to flit from topic to topic. Personal blogs can be as varied as you like, but staying on familiar territory for business blogs is best.
Familiarity also applies to how your readers feel about your site. Your blog should feel like home to your chosen audience, somewhere they can relax among friends or colleagues. An informal, second-person voice is appropriate for all but the most conservative industry blogs, and using “you” instead of “he or she” feels much friendlier to readers. Having a distinctive voice is a major asset when creating a familiar virtual space for your visitors.
Your marketing department will do a great job of waxing rhapsodic about your company’s new product line in your advertisements. For your company blog, focus on making every post useful to visitors. Ads are useful to you, but they don’t really do much for your blog readers; they’re already inside your shop, so you don’t need to keep persuading them to walk through the door. Instead, use that space on your blog to highlight a specific benefit of a new product or impart some interesting tidbit about the manufacturing process. Offer a brief case study or an anecdote about how the product solved a problem. Share how you came up with the idea with your readers. Whatever you and your blog content team do, make it worth your readers’ time.
A business blog with obvious grammar and spelling errors doesn’t just fail to capitalize on the value of your blog; it actively reduces that value. Glaring errors are like broken windows in an otherwise pleasant neighborhood. One or two that get repaired quickly won’t bring down property values, but if they’re all over, they turn your blog into blighted property. Hiring a professional writer to handle your blogging for you takes the worry out of posting.
Your blog isn’t just a luxury anymore; it’s one of your most important marketing tools. It lets you build a library that establishes you as an authority, attracts new visitors and gives you a platform for connecting with your readers. Make it engaging with these five F’s, and your blog could achieve a sixth: fame.
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