10 Best Practices in Blogging for Business
Posted by Steve Kleber on Apr 10, 2012
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Blogs have been around for more than a decade and have dramatically increased in numbers since their first appearance. They cover any topic imaginable and are run by both individuals and businesses. While we’re all familiar with blog basics, there are techniques for writing and sharing them that differ depending on the blog’s author and its audience. Building a successful blog can be tricky, so here we’ve compiled a list of 10 blogging best practices for businesses:
- Set a Content Strategy: Lay out topics to blog about ahead of time so you avoid looking scatterbrained by posting random, irrelevant content. This keeps you and your bloggers on track and provides some stability to your readers. Try to include a variety of subjects and types like: Company press releases, Press conference videos, Video advertisements, Staff news, Product information and updates, New customers / affiliate relationships, Industry news, How-to’s, Webinars / tutorials on subjects relevant to your readership.
- Blog Regularly: Simply, regularly blogging means that you’ve got more content. More content means that you’re more searchable, and people will be able to find you more easily. If you gain new readers, they’ll be able to go through your archives and catch up on your blogging threads.
- Include Keywords and Phrases: Keywords help new readers find you through search engines and help you organize your blog topics. The bottom line is that keywords and phrases are necessary for blogging, but don’t go crazy. For every 100 words or so, stick in a keyword.
- Be casual: Most blog readers don’t generally respond to a formal, authoritative tone. They want to know that they’re talking to a human being much like themselves, who happens to know a bit more about the subject than they do, or who shares their views on the subject. Try to write in a tone that’s natural, casual, and almost conversational.
- Invite Guest Bloggers: Guest bloggers are a great trick to lure in more readers. It’ll immediately increase the prestige of your blog, especially if the guest blogger is a known quantity. As a result, your readers will take you more seriously. With guest bloggers, always include a bio, credentials and contact information, including their personal blog and social media sites. Try inviting your CEO, product developers, customers (for reviews) and industry experts.
- Publicize Your Blog: Upload your new blogs to your Facebook and Twitter pages, include snippets in your marketing emails and advertise your fresh blogs on your website’s main page. Give your blog every opportunity to be read by as many people as possible.
- Interact with Readers: It’s every blogger’s responsibility to field questions and comments from readers. For a business blog, these readers are or may become your customers. Consider your interaction with your readers as customer service on hyper drive. You’re connecting directly with them, reading what they have to say about what you wrote and learning more about what they’re interested in. Great bloggers always respectfully respond to comments because they recognize that they’re not standing on a soapbox, shouting from a bullhorn.
- Create easy ways to enjoy your content: An organized blog is an easy blog to enjoy. Use categories and tags to make it simple for your readers to find the content they care about most. Create categories by making a list of your most important or often-used topics, and use tags to label more specific content on your posts. By implementing that simple bit of organization, your visitors will be able to click through both your categories and your tags to find more content that interests them.
- Link or trackback to other blogs whenever possible: There are some important reason for this. First, it builds community across blogs, and expands the conversation. Second, it gets bloggers’ attention. Linking is what creates the blogosphere. Bloggers link to blogs they like and blog posts they like and want to comment on. Bloggers also check their site statistics for referrer links, to find out who’s linking to them. They tend to check out sites that link to their blogs or their posts, read them, and link back to them if they like them.
- Use syndicating technologies:XML and RSS feeds are a technical ways of syndicating your blog to other blogs, a sort of personal AP Wire for your campaign. It is a standard feature of most blogs, but make sure your blog has it enabled, either through RSS (Really Simple Syndication) or Atom.