These days, it seems everyone has a blog—your teenager, your roommate, even your grandmother. Does your business? Sure, in the wrong hands, a blog can become a frivolous outlet for unchecked ego. But smart marketers have learned how to turn this popular form of personal expression into an effective traffic-driving, brand-building retention tool.
Like any form of communication, blogging requires a mixture of skill, engagement and perspective—and these capabilities largely depend on you. But there are a few tips and tricks that can help you get started and build your following. Let’s look at a few of the do’s and don’ts of blogging for business.
DON’T become a press center
Avoid only posting press releases on your blog. Readers come back to blogs that offer information, insight or entertainment that’s relevant to their lives. Engage them and let them drive the content. Offer personal insights into current events or professional advice on your industry. Update your audience on industry trends. Don’t hesitate to ask what your consumers want to hear from you; when they tell you, be responsive and deliver it.
DO blog regularly
The best blogs are published regularly. Consumers won’t follow a blog that isn’t up to date and recent. And if finding nothing new becomes routine, readers will stop checking in. Create a blog schedule with topics for the whole year. Choose one or two days a week to post and stick with it so consumers begin to expect and look forward to your posts.
Blogging is not a one-way street. It takes multiple conversations to build a successful blog following. Encourage readers to post questions, comments and concerns—and respond to them. Consumers want to hear from you. It makes them feel appreciated and empowered when they know you’re listening. Also, consider commenting on others’ blogs and joining others’ conversations. It can offer insight into what other consumers and competitors are saying about you and your industry.
DO be accessible
Don’t make it hard for consumers to find your blog. You want this to be a big part of your website and social media marketing. Create a link to your blog or directly incorporate it into your company site. Consumers who visit your site will be more compelled to post something if they see your blog feed on the homepage. Use an RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) to make it as easy as possible for readers to participate.
DON’T give up
Trust isn’t developed overnight. It will take time for your blog to generate loyal followers. Keep to your blog schedule and remember to keep all your posts personal and useful to your readers. Use Twitter and Facebook to drive readers to fresh blog posts. Stay active and relevant and you will begin to see successful results.