8 Practical Tips For Successful Business Blogging
You have decided to bite the bullet and start a blog for your business. Your web developer has set up your blog so it is nicely integrated into your website. You know your blog will deliver more traffic to your website, you have some ideas for the first few posts and you’re keen to get started. In my last post, I outlined the reasons why all businesses should be blogging but is it as easy as it sounds? Before you start, there are a few things that you might like to consider before you ‘bite off more than you can chew’.
- Be consistent. Decide in advance how often you will post a blog post. Try to decide how much time you are going to devote to it on a weekly basis. If you are going to post every Wednesday, it doesn’t mean that it had to be completed on a Wednesday morning, you can write it in advance and schedule the post to go live that morning. But your readers will expect a post every Wednesday so do give it to them. Don’t post four times a week for a month and then ignore your readers for two weeks, they will think something terrible has happened!
- Content: Have a plan for the content of a number blog posts before you start. Once the creative juices start flowing, more will come to mind but give yourself the peace of mind of having some topics to fall back on. Use a notebook to record ideas for blog topics or start using a mind map (as described by Frank Bradley in his post 8 Ways to Use Mind Maps)
- Regular Focus: If you are posting numerous times in a week, it can help to have a regular focus or theme for one or two of the postings. As an interiors blogger for my online store, I tend to have a ‘Wallpaper Wednesday’ blog post each week that I actually write at any stage during the week and schedule it for the Wednesday. Those readers who are interested in new wallpaper designs know when it will be posted and I find it keeps me focused too. However, don’t overdo it. One or two is plenty, otherwise it will be impossible to keep up the momentum. Having a focussed theme for even one post a week helps to prevent writer’s block too.
- Keywords: Remember to check that your keywords are the most searched for amongst your target market. Check with the Google keywords research tool. (for example, I discovered that Americans also call chopping boards ‘cutting boards’ so I was able to include that keyword within a blog post and in the metatags)
- Preparing for Busy Weeks: ‘But what will I do if I am really busy for a few weeks?’ – this is a common question. If you know a busy time is coming up, you should either write and schedule some posts for those weeks or use another tactic. I knew that I would be too busy this summer to keep up with my regular posts so I devised something else that would keep me focused for 26 blog posts – I decided to use the alphabet as a focus to provide blog posts on interiors from A-Z. If I was on C and thought of an idea for J, I simply created a draft post with my ideas so I wasn’t left floundering for ideas when ‘J’ day arrived. Remember to tell your regular readers that you will be doing this.
- Guest Posts/Interviews: Once your blog become established, do make use of guest posts or guest interviews. I included guest blogs and interviews on my blog each Thursday for about six months and it provided the blog with variety as well as that scheduled regular posting. I interviewed some of my suppliers/designers as well as some editors of Interiors magazines. You could even interview your clients if it suited your business.
- Personality: Don’t forget to tell readers about you, the staff, the people behind the business, what inspires you, what makes you tick – showing readers the personality behind the blog will mean that they should engage with you via the comments. Don’t make it all about you but do reveal your personality to your readers.
- Last Tip: And should you have writer’s block after all those suggestions, then find a blog post that you admire that suits your subject area. DO NOT plagarise it, but refer to it, quote from it, link to it, and put your own spin in it – say why you admire it, why it resonates with you, what you have learnt from it and add your own nugget of wisdom too.
In my opinion, there are two ways to have a really well read blog of which you can do one or the other or both. You can either become part of a community and comment on other people’s blog posts, engage with them on twitter and facebook and they will reciprocate in turn or/and write such astoundingly informative and educational posts that you become the ‘go to’ blog in that field.
Blogging for your business will reap rewards in increased traffic, increased brand awareness and increased sales. All it takes is time and creativity and after a while, a love of blogging too.