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Ah, the joys of blogging. We come up with a good idea for a post, we spend a few hours getting it just right, and then we post it online for all our readers to see. Then, sometimes, nothing happens. No comments, no likes, nothing. Did we do something wrong? Are we missing a key element? Many bloggers will claim to know the secret to success, but many amateurs overlook a few essentials steps that will help catapult them into pro territory. Getting good results could be as simple as implementing new ways to improve an existing approach, which will help increase overall readership.
A good blog can be excellent for business. A solid one can help humanize a brand, fuel a company’s SEO, add to a content marketing strategy, highlight industry expertise, and build relationships with readers—just to name a few. However, doing it wrong can sometimes be worse than not having one at all. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind in order to transform blogging efforts.
This might sound obvious, but a business blog should have something to do with the company it’s representing. It’s a simple blogging tip that is often overlooked. The content for a clothing brand, for example, should tie into the fashion industry in some way. It would be overwhelming to constantly mention specific products and services, but a blog should make readers aware of someone’s expertise in a field. Feel free to get creative, but make sure the blog stays relevant to your company. Know what other similar content is out there.
There’s something depressing about a blog that hasn’t been updated for months. Post frequently and try to aim for at least 2-3 posts a week— avoiding holidays and weekends. Keeping content fresh and up-to-date should be a top priority when running a business blog. Consider hiring some blog contributors if it’s difficult to keep up with this pace. There’s no shame in getting a little help!
There’s good news for people who aren’t great at coming up with blogging ideas! Let others do the hard work! Write about an industry related news topic or summarize important business news. Shared content can work just as well as original content for keeping a blog active and engaging your audience. Some people will be willing to guest post in exchange for a link back to their site, so consider that option.
Keeping a blog on track is as easy as keeping a calendar up-to-date. Creating a content calendar is the perfect way to stay organized and ensure ahead of time that a blog stays consistent and relevant. Bloggers can start by picking a couple days when they want to schedule a new post and brainstorm topics. If staying on task is an issue, a content calendar might help fix that problem.
Not sure how to optimize a blog? Focusing on SEO helps a blog rank higher on Google, allowing people to find the exact content they’re looking for easier. Connect posts through links and utilize keywords. Taking these steps helps organize a blog in order to create a positive user experience. Understanding SEO will increase the chances of people finding certain posts that are relevant to them.
How frustrating is it when a company doesn’t respond to a comment or complaint? One of the worst things brands do is ignore their readers. If eyes are taking the time to read posts and make thoughtful comments, take the time to answer them. Encourage feedback and work on getting readers involved. Get to questions in a timely manner and don’t be afraid to start a conversation. Ignoring readers and avoiding interaction is a big no, no!
Let’s face it—most of us don’t have the time or energy to read a long, drawn-out post. There’s nothing wrong with a lengthy article, but it should be digestible. Break it up into readable sections and avoid rambling on to blog visitors. Avoid long paragraphs because they can be hard on readers’ eyes and they’ll lose interest very quickly. If there’s an in-depth topic to be discussed, consider splitting it into several posts. This will also help with the frequency of posts and will get people to return in order to read more.
Blogs instantly become more intriguing once they start to include visual components. Ever clicked on a blog post just because the photo was enticing? Not only will visuals make a post highly shareable on social sites such as Facebook and Pinterest, they’ll also help switch up content and draw in more readers. Adding visuals is a simple way to increase engagement.
Can readers really take a blog seriously that’s riddled with errors? Spelling and grammar mistakes in a business blog, or with any content, will reflect poorly on a company, which is why it’s so important to double check work. A typo here and there won’t ruin an image, but constantly putting out content that hasn’t been proofread won’t do any company any favors. Take the time to make sure everything is good to go before posting it online for everyone to see.
We tend to avoid posts that we know are meant to sell us something. Crazy, right? A good reason to run a blog is to build relationships with readers and to help increase potential sales, but avoid using posts to constantly sell something to visitors. Writing a good blog post is all about finding a way to naturally bring attention to a company and establish expertise without overwhelming readers. If people like a blog and like the interaction, they’ll become more interested in the company. Work on building those relationships and the rest will follow.
If you put in the time and effort necessary to run a business blog, you’ll start to see some good results.