Blogs, articles, and posts have become a mainstay for many businesses looking for an effective, low-cost way to market themselves. Blogging can help a business attract an audience, build credibility, and increase online visibility.
What is a blog?
Wikipedia defines a blog (a contraction of the term weblog) as a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
What’s the difference between a website and a blog?
A website is where you talk about your people, products and services. Often your website doesn’t change much because your core business doesn’t change much.
A blog is usually more informal, and kept up-to-date with topical issues. If you were a veterinarian, you might have a blog that talks about preventing fleas, recent pet food recalls, finding a reputable breeder, and keeping your pet at a healthy weight.
Blogs typically have a place for comments, creating a two-way communication vehicle between you and your readers.
How do I start blogging?
The first step is to pick a blogging platform. Popular blogging platforms include WordPress, SharePoint, and Google Blogger. A blogging component can also be added to your existing website.
If you use a Web development company, ask them for recommendations on the best way to setup your blog and integrate it with your company website.
What do I blog about?
First, you need to decide who will be the audience of your blog. Are you supporting customers? Or finding new clients? A mix of both? Make sure you gear your message toward your audience.
- Don’t be overly promotional about your business – that’s what your website is for. Instead, get creative. Some ideas for great content:
- Tie in current events and world news
- Provide seasonal tips
- Insert a video with shortcuts and tricks
- Showcase unusual applications of your product/service
- Weigh in on decisions readers might be struggling with
- Funnel information from other sites
If you’re an accountant, you don’t have to repeat the latest IRS tax code. Instead, you might just alert your blog readers that a new tax code is taking effect and include a link to the IRS site to get the whole story.
Be careful not to plagiarize. Most people are flattered if you share their information by including a short quote from their site, but be sure to insert a link back to the originating site and give credit to the author.
If the originating author was not the one who posted the article, don’t assume that your source took the time to get the necessary permissions. You should always track back to the original source to obtain permission and check for additional restrictions.
How do I feed the search engines too?
All that juicy new blog content that attracts readers attracts search engine traffic too. By including keyword phrases that people search for and tagging your posts with these terms, you can increase your blog ranking significantly over time.
There are three easy steps for optimizing your blog post for the search engines:
- Research keyword phrases or use your best guess of how people might search and find your post topic.
- Put those keyword phrases into your post 3-4 times.
- Make sure your title and category match your key phrases.
- Gather ideas for your blog by reading other people’s blogs. Even if they aren’t in your industry, you’ll get a sense of what you like and what you don’t.
- Don’t be afraid to have a unique voice, but don’t be unnecessarily controversial either. Remember, if you’re blogging for business, it’s wise to stay away from controversial subjects like sex, religion and politics.
- Blog posts provide interesting content on all your social media sites. Be sure to feed your blog into LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else you are online.
Now get out there. Get blogging, get business!
Need help creating a blog for your website? Contact us today, or call 281-217-0656.
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