Blogs are no longer just a daily diary of the events in an individual’s life. Many of them are educational, witty, savvy, perfectly targeted marketing strategies. By creating a blog for your business you can set yourself up as an expert in your field, promote your business through links and information, encourage people to return to your site on a regular basis and promote your products or services to your target market.
Blogs are exceptionally easy to start and use and people who subscribe to your blog through an RSS feed are alerted each time you post something new. You can add photos and content easily and it is equally easy for your readers to post their comments on your blog.
Blogs can be used for:
- building customer loyalty
- promoting events
- market research
- gaining a competitive advantage over companies in your field that do not blog
- boosting traffic to your website
Even though anyone can set up a blog and there are millions of them out there, there are a number of ways to stand out from the crowd.
1. Write about what you know.
It is important to tie your blog into your products and/or services so stick to what you know. If you aren’t the world’s next Ernest Hemingway, it doesn’t matter. If you are writing about what you know or what you have experienced that authenticity will shine through.
2. Spend time learning about blogs.
By spending a little time looking at other blogs and deciding what you like you will be able to create your perfect blog in less time. Also, by learning the tools available to you you can save time when you are blogging on a regular basis.
3. Focus on communicating not selling.
A blog is a community forum so be sure to keep your tone personable and try not to slip into a sales pitch. You are communicating and sharing information with your audience. You are imparting wisdom in the hopes that they will take the next step into your store or work place. You don’t need to give away all of your secrets but you do want people to find your blog interesting enough to return to time and again.
4. Entertain, amuse and amaze.
You might not be able to accomplish all three in every post but keeping at least one in mind will make the writing more interesting for you and your audience. We all have limited time and people are therefore choosy about which blogs they subscribe to. The great thing about blogs is that personal anecdotes are encouraged. Share a relevant, funny experience, review an amazing new product, or reveal some tried and true tips from your industry.
5. Choose good quality photos.
If you aren’t a gifted photographer consider purchasing small, inexpensive photos from companies like istockphoto.com. Your blog represents you and your company and people are drawn to clear, catchy images.
6. Network. Network. Network.
Talk to other established bloggers that compliment your site and set up links to their site. You will gain credibility through association. Be sure to link to things on your website and on other sites that promote or compliment your business. Reply to people who post on your blog so that you reinforce the personable, community based feel to your blog.
If you make a commitment to posting to your blog on a regular (e.g. weekly) basis and make it a fun and/or learning experience for you, as opposed to a chore, both you and your audience will get the maximum benefit. Also, the more often you post the better it will be for your search engine results.