By now, everyone knows what a blog is, but not everyone understands how to use one to develop business. Here’s the critical factor: it’s not just WHAT you say, it’s also HOW and WHEN you say it that determines whether or not you build a large readership. Honoring the following 7 Golden Rules will help make your blog a success.
1.) Spelling Counts! – Like it or not, we are judged on details and first impressions. Sure, the message counts. But grammatical and spelling errors make you and your company look sloppy. Readers assume that your employees aren’t the best and the brightest if they can’t spell properly. Don’t give your readers a reason to devalue your company before they finish reading your article.
2.) Don’t Try to Sell – Of course you want to get business from your blog. But you don’t do that by making it sound like your marketing department! The most successful blogs offer value to their readers with candid, insightful information into the company and the industry. If your CEO is willing to be the face of the company blog, that’s even better. Over time your readers get to know your company, you gain credibility with them because of your knowledge – and that’s when business happens.
3.) Keep an Eye on Your Industry – You need to know who your competitors are and what they’re doing. Follow leaders and bloggers in your industry to keep abreast of the latest trends and topics. Commenting on blogs and allowing others to comment on yours is a great way to create worthwhile connections with other bloggers and your readers.
4.) Keep it Real – Be transparent. Don’t hide behind fake usernames and “anonymous” comments on other blogs. Use your real name. Make it clear that you work in the industry. Readers value and respect companies who present themselves honestly.
5.) Keywords are (well um)…KEY – They’re called keywords for a reason, right? Using relevant and interesting keywords in the title of your blog entry draws in readers; they also help the search engines find you. But make sure the keywords relate to your article: if readers don’t find what they expected, they’ll feel cheated and chances are they won’t come back.
6.) Post Often – New content encourages readers to come back. It also helps your search engine rankings. Develop a schedule and stick to it. Often it’s easier and less time-consuming to write several articles at once and then you always have one ready to post on schedule.
7.) Be Relevant – This is often a major roadblock in maintaining a company blog. The topics are obvious (anything related to your field). However sometimes it’s hard to find new angles for the same old subjects, without drifting off into irrelevance. Readers come to your blog expecting to find posts about a certain subject: it turns them off when they find something different. And they lose interest in you.
Follow these 7 Rules to avoid the most common pitfalls of blogging – and your blog will become a treasure trove of resources and useful insights into your industry.