Separating the good form the bad is easy. The tricky party is to sift out the good from the best. Hopefully your business is at least good. You’re making sales. You’re honest and reliable too. But you’re looking for something more. You want community. You don’t just need buyers. Your venture needs supporters – fans – to make things work in the long run. How do you turn customers into groupies?
By creating a relationship. But how do you do that?
Creating a business blog that shares your story and your know-how is the lasso that binds customers not only to your service, but to the culture that your products stand on. It’s like whispering sensitive info right into their ear. That sense of confidence makes you less of a faceless executive in a skyscraper and more of a sleeves-rolled-up entrepreneur. Let’s analyze the components of a great business blog.
1. Plan Plan Plan
If you’re sitting down to write a blog you’re probably knowledgeable about your field. And even though knowledge is power… too much of it can be dangerous. Your wealth of info may be an interconnected cloud of genius, but to your reader you sound like a mad scientist. Avoid the pitfall of flooding by planning your post in advance. Create a flowchart. By knowing what you want to say and how you want to say it beforehand you’ll save yourself time and confusion. And your readers will thank you for it.
2. Nail the Novelty
The first thing to consider is: am I saying something new? You may not have noticed, but the internet is a big place. People are talking and talking and that means that the fact that someone out there in internet land stumbled onto your page is already pretty cool. But the fact is that they have been surfing for a while before they found you. If you can’t grab them with something flashy they’ll be moving on faster than you can say “boring business blog”… if you’re lucky. So when you sit down to plan your post make sure you’re bringing something of value to the table and put it up front.
3. Be Discoverable
You may use a template or a third party to design your website, and you’ll have personalization options in organizing your site. A web.com review is a great place to start learning about your options. When designing your homepage, make sure you place your blog strategically. You’re site is probably dedicated to a product or a service, not just blog posts about stuff. Keep your products front and center, but don’t hide your blog section in left-field either. The navigation bar at the top of the page should link to it, and there can even be a scrolling window featuring your latest posts.
4. Be a Tweet Freak
Have you leveraged social media to promote yourself yet? Good. Your Twitter feed has many uses: Clever one-liners, special offers/coupons and links. Link to your blog on your Twitter feed and keep the internet traffic moving across your various platforms
5. Consistency is Key
Releasing your content at a steady, healthy pace is crucial to building up a following. It’s Pavlovian Conditioning. Train them to expect a post every single Tuesday without fail. And don’t commit to more than you can handle. If you start with a daily post and slowly peter out to once a week or less, your readers will notice your lack of professionalism. So choose a responsible pace and stick to it. Also, unless you are going to have multiple writers that will be identified individually it important to craft a unified organizational voice that honestly expresses your businesses unique niche. If you’re big enough, now might be the time to hire an on-staff-writer.
6. Bond with the People
Hopefully your article will be well enough written to garner yourself comments. Just so you know, search engine algorithms prefer blog posts with lots of comments as they symbolize traffic, importance and value. On a more human level it shows that people care about what you wrote! Instead of looking at your comment section as a peanut gallery, inspire the masses to get involved.
End your post by offering an opportunity to join the conversation. Ask an open ended question or ask for suggestions. Secondly, respond to what people say. Have you ever read a blog with a comment section that has unanswered questions? They look like orphans out there! Don’t leave your readers alone and in the dark. When they hear from you – The Writer – there is an automatic feeling that the world isn’t such an anonymous place after all. You’ve ignited the spark of a relationship.
Keep these tips in mind when planning the layout, content and management of your business blog. You’ll be building a strong, unified brand and a dedicated band of followers in no time at all.