So you’ve decided to move forward, join the Web 2.0 revolution, and start a business blog. Business blogging is a marketing tool that has so many benefits, and no disadvantages, that every business should have no excuses for starting one. Ok, maybe your brochure or static website needs a facelift so the blog can be incorporated… But if you make the effort to move your marketing into the future, you will find your efforts are 100% worth it.
But how do you go about developing an effective and beneficial blog for your business? Especially if you have never “blogged” before? Well, like everything else in marketing, having the right plan and strategy in place before you begin is the best way to go about it. Then you can make the advantages of blogging really work for you.
Your Blogging Strategy
Firstly you need to decide exactly what you want your blog to achieve. You can use your blog to work the following advantages:
- Engaging your Customers
- Driving Traffic
- Enhancing your SEO
However, if you start blogging randomly without a proper strategy, you risk turning the advantages against you.
Decide on a Blogging Calendar
This one is very important for all three advantages. Once you have made the commitment for your business to start blogging, you first need to decide when the blogs will be published – daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly. It’s entirely up to you. And as long as you commit to publishing on a regular basis, it really doesn’t matter how often you blog. But I think “weekly” is best.
Decide Who Will Blog
Will all the staff blog? Or just one person? It should be decided in the plan exactly who will be responsible for publishing the blog, writing the blogs, and checking the blogs.
Once you’ve decided who will blog, they need to put together a bio of around 30 words, detailing a little bit about them. It doesn’t need to be too formal. They will also need their photo or gravatar to go with the blog. This keeps the blog personal, so when customers or potential customers read the blog, they know exactly who in your business it’s coming from.
Number of Words
There are many opinions across the internet, on how many words are ideal for a business blog. I think it’s more important to keep it interesting, easy to read and relevant. I would advise at least 150 words, but it may be best to focus on around 300 – 400 words ideally. Blogs of up to 1,000 words may be suitable at times, as long as the words are broken into easy readable chucks. Huge blocks of pure text can send your readers to sleep.
Blogging Topics and Keywords
This is very relevant towards your SEO (search engine optimisation), which is your organic ranking on the search engines. Before you start blogging, you need to decide exactly what topics you will blog about. The topics and keywords you use in your blog will have a direct long term influence on your traffic, so make sure you decide these from the start.
If you own a business law firm, it may make sense to blog about:
- The latest laws news affecting your clients
- Business news
- Your company news
If you have a real estate agency, it may make sense to blog about:
- Real Estate and Property News – market conditions
- News about your neighbourhood – new roads, schools, parks, etc…
- Things happening in your agency – new staff, new website, or office refurb
From this you should get the general idea about what’s best to blog about for your business. It’s a good idea to choose a variety of subjects and topics, to give the blog a good mix, and drive interest for your followers.
Regarding the “keywords” you use in your blog, it’s best to choose words relevants to your business, and to your industry, that potential customer may search for. You can set up these keywords as “tags” in your blog. Choosing your keywords at the outset, and sticking to them, will keep you on track with your topics and help drive the SEO.
Having a blog for your business, should not stand alone, but be a part of your entire Internet Marketing Strategy for your business. On its own, it will still perform, but incorporated with other internet marketing such as social media networks, can really boost attention for your business.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on business blogging? Are you thinking about it? Have you tried it? Do your customers engage in your blog?