Establishing and sustaining a blog that best represents your company culture, persona and expertise can be a daunting task. It’s often assumed that the art of blogging is being taken over by a 140 character post, an image, or short hyper lapsed video clip. While this may be enough for some, others will still ask: “What is the story behind that image, phrase, or video?”
When assuming the position of answering that specific question, I see blogging as the driving force behind the sharing of content on every social platform.
Blog writing is a powerful tool that can be used to position your brand as a front-runner in your area of business. Giving your company a voice outside of a traditional “about us” tab located on your web page, a blog gives the freedom to discuss trends, news, tips and tools of your industry and also invites your customers and other businesses to connect with you on another level.
But did you know that developing a strategy begins before your first post is even in the woodworks?
It’s important to know your purpose, the story you want to tell, and to have a clear understanding of what you see as the return on your blogging investment. In other words, what do you want your end goal to be? Begin to brainstorm ideas for the theme and title for your page, taking into account what fits well with your company culture and appearance. Your blog should position your company as an expert, and portray a professional image providing helpful and useful information to those involved in similar fields.
Successful business blogs know how to create value for readers while supporting a strategy that delivers business growth.
Develop a strategy
Position your business as a thought leader in your industry by writing information on best practices, answering commonly asked questions, and empowering your followers with useful facts and information about your products and the areas that surround them. Develop a strategy and stay organized by creating categories for which each post will fall into, depending on what type of material you will be exploring in depth.
Know your writing team
Whether it’s one person or five contributing writers, you want your team to be knowledgeable and comfortable in your field. Writers, as with any position, come with different capabilities and strong suits. You will want individuals contributing to your blog to be great writers and experts in the area being discussed. When publishing content for a specific audience, writers should know the industry and have the ability to write for target groups and smaller niche markets.
Short. Simple. Bullets.
This may be the most important piece of advice to take away. Once you begin writing posts, keep your content looking clean, sharp and easy to read with bullets or numbering. People love lists and most do not have time to sort through paragraphs of information when it can be easily organized into fast sections with a short, to-the-point description.
We all know that powerful images catch our attention. Visuals pull a reader in and spark an immediate interest at first glance. Keep your images engaging, exciting and, depending on your company culture, add humor or other emotions presented in imagery to catch the eye.
Don’t hide personality-
Business blogging doesn’t have to be all business; personality and charisma make your blog stand out in its own unique way. By diversifying your blog page from the regular wearisome web content, you’re able to showcase the humanized side of your business. Great blogs are written in a relaxed and informal tone, portrayed to readers more as a conversation and less as a sales pitch.
Take your mind off of marketing. Blogging is not the place to sell to your readers. Provide information on subjects of interest in the industry: by posting about trending topics you are positioning your company as a current and relevant source to your followers. By publishing content that isn’t pushing a solution to a problem, you are able to drive an audience that trusts in your brand for guidance, which can be more valuable in the long run.
First, know what the best sites for your particular industry are to assure you are reaching your audience in the most effective way. Share your blog posts on other forms of social media, and make sure readers have the options to share directly from your blog to their social profiles with useful links and icons. Be sure that your blogs are open for comments; you want to have room for open discussions between yourself and your readers.
Stick to a schedule
Consistent posting takes time, effort and planning. Get comfortable with an achievable goal such as two or three times a week to begin and adjust your approach accordingly as your blog content flourishes. Creating a content calendar can also be very helpful to keep you on track with your intended posting schedule. An effective blog pushes fresh content out on a regular and reliable basis.
Monitor and Track
You want to track everything. Find a site for analytics or have one built into your platform that gives you great feedback on everything from the most viewed post to how many click throughs you received. Data and information are key to your blogging future. By tracking real feedback and knowing what people are engaging with the most are great tools to know what you should and shouldn’t continue to do.
Showing authorship goes back to the sole purpose of creating a blog- to show a human side of your company away from the typical sales and business approach. Allowing your readers to match a face to a name by including author biographies is a great way to show others an inside look at some of the people who make up your company.
Now that you have some idea of how to begin and sustain a blog for your business, get to it! Set a goal and begin to brainstorm topics and posting ideas. Hire writers if you need to, or do your best to create engaging and relevant content on our own. Don’t be afraid to let your company’s personality shine through. Make sure your social media platforms and blog are in sync to make sharing easier for both you and your readers. And finally, once you start seeing results, use them as motivation to keep going; there will always be readers.
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