Blogging, especially business blogging, is the in thing these days; just about every business with an online presence is into it. It’s something that everybody is doing, and why not, after all a blog not only brings to a website an added sense of credibility, but also improves the brand awareness of your business and its products and services.
But, it must be remembered that blogging just for the heck of it, and because everybody is doing it, doesn’t work. It must be purposeful in order to succeed. To make you job a little easier, you need to keep a few business blogging tips in mind, to ensure that your blog is successful.
Let’s take a look at the various facets of a successful business blog.
1. Identification of blog purpose
You will first need to zero in on the purpose of your blog. There are some blogs that offer ancillary information about the products and services being offered on the business’s website. Then there are others that are doing a bit of hard-selling where their sole purpose is to market the products and services sold by the business. And there are others still that act as problem solvers, where they target the problems experienced by the audience of a particular niche. So, if it’s a company offering web design services, the blog can be about the various problems experienced by web designers during the course of designing a website and offering solutions for the same.
2. Figure out your Audience
Who is your blog’s audience? That is the essential question that needs to be answered. Who is going to read your blog – Is it your existing customers, your potential customers or both? Which is the demographic that your audience belongs to, their age group, gender, profession? What are their interests and preferences? The answers to these questions will help you write blog posts that are in perfect sync with what your target audience expects from your blog.
3. Keep it Real Time
Your business and the domain that your business belongs to, is undergoing a continuous evolution; there are new things happening regularly. No matter what the purpose behind your blog, or the audience that you are targeting, they want to be brought up to speed with the latest happenings. So, you need to keep your blog rooted in the present and not in the past.
One of the better ways of offering current information in your blog is by bringing to readers a round up of the latest industry news, interviewing people from the industry, offering advice for conducting certain activities that are a part of your domain, or offering valuable insights into the functioning of your domain.
4. Focus on reader engagement
Let’s face it, most readers, especially of the online variety have short attention spans, and therefore you need to get them hooked onto your blog, as soon as they lay their eyes on it. You can’t take your own sweet time, coming to the point. But more importantly, you need to engage the reader’s attention, and this becomes extremely difficult in a business blog. So, pack your blog content with facts, figures, statistics, relevant images, and the works; do everything to ensure that the readers are going to love your blog. You could also think about using infographics off and on, to make things more interesting.
5. Strive for Credibility
Your blog needs to become an authority figure in your niche. Taking the example of the web design services company again, if a particular person wants information about web design, he/she must make a beeline for your blog. This can only happen if it’s credible, and this credibility needs to be earned.
So, you will need to get it right from the start. Don’t fib and be accurate. If you are taking a position on something, be sure that you can defend it. What is of paramount importance in this case is that you need to interact with your readers, through the comments section. If a comment comes in, that is critical of your blog post, don’t ignore it. Debate and discuss with the reader, to convince him/her about your position.
It’s also important to understand that you shouldn’t take a controversial position, just because it’s going to grab eyeballs. Readers will see through such subterfuge in quick time. So avoid it. Credibility is something that is earned over time, and doesn’t happen overnight.
6. Proof it
I have come across plenty of blogs, that had some good material, but I was left unimpressed nonetheless because there were not written professionally. They had a lot of grammatical errors, the sentences were haywire, and the blogs’ content did not have a logical structure and so on and so forth. The blog owner didn’t really care to proofread it. The cardinal sin of any content, whether it’s meant for a blog, a website, an article or something else, is failing to proofread the content before publishing it. If you fail to go through the content before you present it to your reader, you are either taking the blog for granted or the reader. In both cases, you will be doing yourself a big disservice. So proofread your blog for any errors and get rid of them.
7. Don’t lose the Personal Touch
A blog is a great way of humanizing the website. It is a way of giving your business a personality and some character. It’s a way ensuring that your target audience, who in effect are also your target customers, relate to your business in some way or other. So, don’t sterilize your content, but infuse it with emotion. It is this emotive quality that has the readers sitting up and taking notice of your blog. You need to find a voice, a style, and talk to the readers in the way a real person would. It should be like the friend that your readers will love coming back to again and again.
Branding in business is about being true to your philosophy, mission and values. If you are using your blog as a branding tool, you need to showcase your business’s worth through the blog. If the blog is trusted by a section of the audience, you can be rest assured that this audience will trust your business as well. The popularity of your blog will rub off on your business, which will boost business profitability. So, getting your blogging right is crucial. Hopefully, the pointers mentioned above will help you get started in the right direction. All the best!
by John Siebert, a Tampa web design master of the web with over 10 years of experience in web marketing.