Most of the prominent business organizations maintain blogs along with their websites. I am not talking about just the Fortune 500 companies. The internet levels the playing field to such a degree that the big guys and smaller entrepreneurs can compete head to head. But in order to compete, you need to get in the game and get in well-prepared.
So let’s start with the cold hard truth – In reality, nobody wants to be sold to. People need products and services that make their lives easier. But they prefer to buy only when they are ready, and from companies that make them feel valued. There is a reason why the age old trick of getting close to consumers is popular, even in these days of social media boom. If you desire to maintain a great reputation in the market and retain loyal customers, maintaining a regularly updated blog should be one of the entries on your must-do list.
Maintaining popularity of a blog can be a difficult task. But, if done right, a blog can become a living, breathing internet personality, gathering popularity and great content from you and your bloggers. It all starts with the foundation you lay down. Here are some pointers that will help provide an effective start to your blog.
What personality do you wish your blog to reflect? Do you excel in advising visitors on various topics and wish to portray yourself as a ‘guru’? Do you wish to show visitors how much better your business is than those of your competitors? Whatever tone you decide upon, establish it from day 1 and stick to it. Make sure the tone of writing is constant, especially if you have assigned multiple writers to your blog. Also, assign someone to proof read the posts before publishing them. In case of a business blog, the presence of typographical errors, grammatical goof-ups and inconsistency in sentence structure can seriously hurt its reputation. If you do not have employees who can run the blog, it is best to outsource the process and relax.
Do you know how many blogs on the internet are considered to be dead, due to lack of updates? WordPress and Technorati have reported that over 50% of blogs they process have been dead for a long time. Make sure this never happens to your business blog. If you do not have the time to update your blog, hire a professional writer to get it done for you.
Make sure your blog posts have relevant keywords embedded in them. This will allow search engines to index your blog, so that it shows up in search results and gets more visitors. Getting the assistance of a professional search engine optimizer or SEO company is highly recommended.
Delivering the sales pitch is your website’s job, not your blogs. Your blog should be free from sales pitch or a direct-sale mentality. People want to be part of a community where they can share their interests; your blog can help bring such people together on one platform. With that done, you can go ahead and casually mention your recent exploits and accomplishments, it adds to the community. Soft selling works but it should be done discreetly and with tact.
Make sure your blog content is clear, concisely written, and compelling to read. If you cannot manage writing high quality, keyword-rich content, you should get professional help. A blog which is boring to read is not only a useless waste of resources, but it can also hurt your online reputation which may reflect in the real world as well.
Are some of your stakeholders not so sure about the benefits of maintaining a business blog? Show them the positive side of the idea. If there is a business blog that you love to read, show it to them and point out how that blog has helped the respective business prosper. You will find plenty of such examples that will help them warm up to your idea.
Blogs are a great place to gather knowledge, opinions and conduct test marketing. If you are thinking about trying out a new business venture, launching a new product or service, and are not quite sure if it will be well received, all you have to do is ask. Ask other business owners who have blogs, ask the people who participate in your blog, and even those who are in similar industries. The power of Internet lies in the direct connection it provides you with the outside world, but if you do not ask they cannot answer. With such an exercise you may not only get good suggestions but might also end up getting more visitors through trackbacks, especially if the other blog(s) is pretty popular.
Make sure your blog looks professional from the very first day; you only have one chance to make a good impression. A business blog that does not look well structured is doomed to fail in its purpose. Do seek professional help when necessary to give your blog the best possible chance of success, and a consistent stream of web traffic.