Tuesday 25 November, 2014
No matter what type of company you have, whether online or off, you can use a blog. A blog offers a good way to gain exposure, drive traffic, interact with your customers and make a name for yourself online, even if you’re primarily an offline business. It’s easy to set up and maintain a blog and the results are well worth it. Here are some tips and best practices on running an effective business blog.
Write Like a Person, Not a Company
Don’t write your blog like you write your company’s internal manuals. This is not the place to be all business. Avoid the corporate speak and write as one person to another. Write as if you’re writing an email to a friend (but with correct spelling and grammar, of course).
Create Two-Way Communication
A blog isn’t like a newsletter or magazine. It’s supposed to be two-way communication. You’re not simply broadcasting your message and information to your audience. You should also use it as a way to get feedback from them. Make sure you allow people to leave comments. Write the kind of articles that ask questions or ask for opinions to encourage comments, and respond to those comments when you get them.
Get into Your Customers’ Shoes
For ideas on articles, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What topics are interesting or helpful to them? For ideas, think of the most common questions you get asked by your customers. Brainstorm a list of things you know well and understand that they don’t. Use your blog to teach your customers.
Set a Regular Schedule
To blog successfully, you need to blog consistently. When you write a new post on a regular basis, this attracts the search engines and also attracts readers. But you don’t have to blog every day. Choose a blogging schedule that you’re comfortable with. Quantity isn’t as important as quality, and stay consistent.
Writing Tips for First-Time Bloggers
If you’ve never written a blog before, here are some writing tips:
* Keep the language friendly and conversational.
* Use short sentences and short paragraphs, and break text up with sub-headers so that it’s easy to skim.
* What’s more important than “writing well” is communicating clearly and getting your point across
* Make blog posts short, like 300 to 400 words.
* Don’t be a perfectionist. Your writing doesn’t have to be book quality.
* Stay focused on the problems and questions of your customers.
No Sales Copy
Your company blog isn’t the place for the hard sell. Don’t write blogs that are basically sales copy. Save the sales speech for your promotional materials. Blogs that are heavy on the sales side don’t do well on the internet. They’re simply not that much fun to read. Instead, write content that is informative and entertaining, and that helps your customers. If you do this, they’ll check out your business when they need your products or services.