Tweak Your Biz » Marketing » 8 Practical Tips For Successful Business Blogging

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.



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The Author:

Lorna Sixsmith is a social media trainer at Write on Track, providing mentoring, training and content creation services to SMEs. Particularly passionate about blogging and Pinterest, Lorna also teaches these courses online at We Teach Social. Married to a dairy farmer in SE Ireland, Lorna recently self published her first book 'Would You Marry A Farmer?', a humourous look at life married to an Irish farmer. http://www.writeontrack.ie

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  • http://www.tweakyourbiz.com Niall Devitt

    Hi Lorna, great tips! I really like your suggestions around themes and guest posts which I believe help to make most blogs better. I wrote a post on blogging for business a while back that I think complements this post well: http://tweakyourbiz.com/growth/2011/04/18/blogging-for-new-business-10-things-to-consider-before-you-start/

  • http://www.sianphillips.ie Sian Phillips

    Great post Lorna. I know I’m not consistent with my blogs and I probably range from one idea to another. But I did have an idea to interview people now and then. And this Saturday I’m interviewing our very own author in the midst Derbhile Dromey. Must knuckle down and use more of your structured ideas too – thanks for the tips.

  • http://www.garrendennylane.ie/blog Lorna

    Thank you Niall, Yes, I remember reading your post at the time and you have included lots of other tips too, a book could be written on advice for blogging there are so many tips and ideas out there.nI think having guest posts gives a blog some kudos too once the guest posts are good quality.

  • http://www.wisewords.ie Mu00f3na Wise

    Great post Lorna. I like the part about telling your readers about yourself and your staff. I think that having a great team is vital to the success of any strong business and it is wonderful to see a business showcase the people that do all the work.

  • Anonymous

    I’m in total agreement Lorna and at the moment it’s personality I’m working on. It’s been hard to integrate on my blog which has a lot of tutorials but I’m getting there. u00a0I get more comments when I let my personality in and that goes for social media too.

  • http://twitter.com/JBBC Marie Ennis-O’Connor

    Great post Lorna! Blogging using your tips is a great way to promote your business, raise its profile and position your brand personality and your expertise. It’s also a great way to crowd source new business ideas and gather market research for your product or service, thanks to the innate interactive quality of blogging, so I’d like to add that it is important to remember that the difference between a blog and a website is that your conversation is two-way. Encourage and respond to readers comments.u00a0ICustomers are used to businesses being faceless corporations that donu2019t seem to care about the general public. But having an active blog community can gain you customer loyalty and make your site stand out from the rest.

  • Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

    awesome

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/theentrepreneurssource Raela Drigger

    You should also make sure that you cover your market niche and ONLY your niche. Never post anything unrelated, as the crawler might end up calling yours a spam post. Remember that relevance is your best friend, whenever you’re blogging for your business.

  • http://twitter.com/xcelbusiness Helen Cousins

    nnI find blogging helps with my thought process for thentraining and mentoring work that I do. You wouldn’t run a race without puttingnin a lot of training and a warm up, and for me, blogging forces me to examine antopic from a few angles and to do some research too. So it’s practice for thenoffline world too! Another benefit of blogging is receiving comments on your post. Comments add depth to a post, and are an important part ofnthe blogging cycle, and can really add to the value of a blog for all the readers. nnnFear of writing is almost as common as fear of publicnspeaking, and I think that is a barrier to blogging for many. nnnGreat list for those that have decided to give blogging a go! Thanks Lorna.nnn

  • http://www.encouragingexcellence.ie/ Mairu00e9ad Kelly

    Great points Lorna.u00a0 I have found over the summer months all my creativity has gone out the window.u00a0 Hopefully with the return of a normal routine when the schools are back next week it will return.u00a0 Pity I didn’t see your last point until this weekend, it certainly helped when looking for inspiration.

  • http://www.smartsolutions.ie/blog/ Elaine Rogers

    This is a fab post Lorna, coincides with my theme for KLCK meeting next month, I hope you don’t mind if i quote some of your tips, as I would have used them anyway!!nnThe theme, or special day is getting quite popular, for exactly the reasons you state in your article – a VA who writes a blog has a “Tuesday Tickler” how could you not look forward to that every week!nnI have been thinking about guest blogging a lot and have come to the same conclusion – it injects variety into the blog, client interviews are a great idea, not testimonials but discussing their issues and how they were solved :)nnThere is a lot of bad advice out there about blogging, this is a great post, and personality is imperative. After all it’s YOUR blog, it should reflect YOUR personality. Win win!

  • http://www.kooldesignfactory.com banner ad design

    I think, in start you also need to planned that how many categories you would cover and how many posts on each or how long will you post on each post. Actually i am having difficulties to manage the categories that how many posts should i post on each categories by managing the time.

  • Anonymous

    Readers are interested in the new wallpaper designs when it will be published. These are plenty impossible to maintain momentum to have a focused theme for another post.

  • http://www.garrendennylane.ie/blog Lorna

    Glad you found it helpful Mairead, I wouldn’t do the referring to other blogs too often but it is a handy one every now and then :)

  • http://www.garrendennylane.ie/blog Lorna

    I agree, many people are almost terrified to take up ‘the pen’ but I have to admit I took to it like a duck to water. It can be easy when preparation is put in

  • Geboonclassified

    thansk for the tips..hopefully they boost up my bussiness.. post free ads india

  • http://twitter.com/newstouse Dave

    Hi Niall,
    Given all the technology that keeps getting thrown at us, yes, mobile is the biggie now. It seems like just about the time a business has one area of marketing down, a new area opens up. Always have to be thinking ahead in today’s business world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/writerlyderv Derbhile Graham

    Thanks for this. It’s great to have advice close at hands. I’ve also found that the Restore button has helped. It’s like you can turn back time and erase all your mistakes!

  • charlesharper

    I opt for keeping a spare computer, daily automatic backups and paying to “retain” an expert. If you ended up going through all 10 of these steps, you will have burned an enormous amount of time, only to have to ask the expert in the end.

    It really isn’t that expensive.

    These days a good spare computer (NEW) can cost as little as $400 (not the $2-$3,000 we used to have to pay), and we would be well served to take those savings and invest in a system that will keep us going when we get jammed up.

    A $1,000 with a service plan is deceptive, because you can pay that for a solution that will still leave you paralyzed as indicated by your article.

  • http://twitter.com/perfect_richard Richard Perfect

    Yes that sounds like what we computer people would call a a warm disaster recovery. Duplicate hardware but you need to keep the data independent so that you can cutover with a small amount of down-time.

    But what to you do when some new problem pops up? What happens if someone sends you and attachement that you can’t open? Problem solving skills are always good to have.

  • http://twitter.com/perfect_richard Richard Perfect

    Yes that’s good too. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/FurnFairIRL Furniture Fair IRL

    one word : priceless common sense in a nutshell