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16 Top Tips For Better Business Blogging
Many people start business blogging with the intention of driving traffic to their website or increasing overall brand awareness.
It is a sad thing to see a business blog that hasn't been updated for months and months. You can almost see the cobwebs in the corner of the page and the odd tumbleweed rolls across the screen.
"I can hear a wild coyote howling
in the twilight!"
Many end up that way because the visitor rates are not growing quick enough and management don't have the long-term vision to stick with it. Immediate results are what's required, but unfortunately, business blogging doesn't work like this.
So to help you on your way, here are 16 top tips to boost your business blogging and keep management happy. I've been doing just this since 2011 so I must be doing something right:
- Realise that any form of blogging is a 'slow-burn' and it takes time to move your pages up the rankings and sometimes even get indexed in the first place. Google is a great machine for spewing out links, but it's often difficult to get recognised.
- Try to tie your blog posts into current events. If there is breaking news happening, is it possible to write about a particular service or product you supply as a solution to the issue happening in the current event? If so, write a blog post about it, but be compassionate as it's easy to offend people, especially those caught up in whatever is happening. Many large brands have been accused of exploiting disasters.
- Ensure that you have plenty of search engine friendly keywords embedded in your content but don't overdo it. You don't want to 'stuff' your content because it may become unreadable and put the visitor off completely. Remember that language has to flow and most search engines these days spot deliberate stuffing.
- Use permalinks and clearly put the title of your blog post in the permalink. Put the most important keywords at the start. For example, '10-money-saving-tips-for-mumpreneurs' could get read by a lot of people, especially when times are hard.
- Write for as many people as you can. If you've ever heard of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) you'll know that different people understand things in different ways. Some people are visual, some auditory, some kinesthetic, some auditory-digital. If you're primarily visual and often say things like "I see what you mean" you need to know that your language may not appeal to all. "I hear what you're saying" or "feels good" or "I understand" are just different ways of saying the same thing. Maybe an NLP training course featuring the use of linguistics would be a good investment?
- Include an appropriate image in every blog post you write. It can take time to find something eye-catching but there are many resources out there. Try to get royalty free where possible (Microsoft Clipart), but you may have to pay (iStockPhoto, 123RF). Match the ALT tag to your title and subtitle or try to put your keyphrase into this ALT tag as it helps with Google image search.
- Be grammatically correct at all times. If you're not sure about the correct usage of your and you're or even their, there and they're, then find someone who is really good at writing and give them your raw thoughts to turn into a blog post. Always ensure apostrophes and commas are still showing in your post when you publish it because if you're copying from email to an editor they can sometimes get lost in the translation.
- If you're using an external blogging service, make sure your blog URL is under the same domain as your website. Websites are usually 'www.mycompany.com' and your blog should be 'blog.mycompany.com'. As your business blog authority increases, it will also help your website ranking automatically. Google sees no difference between subdomains, so 'blog' and 'www' are treated the same.
- Remember that Google now prioritises newer stuff. This is great news for bloggers but bad news for web designers and SEO experts (and for businesses who'll need to pay a lot more for regular SEO). Think about putting links to your latest blog posts on your website homepage to help Google see that something has changed.
- Again, if you're working with an external blogging service, clearly link your blog to your website and your website to your blog so that people can switch between the two quickly and easily.
- Get out there and comment on other people's stuff. Linkbacks (or backlinks or whatever you want to call them) are seen by Google and increase your own authority. Don't be silly though, just writing "great blog" on someone's page is annoying and will get you a 'nofollow' status on the link. Be intelligent in what you say and the other blogger is more likely to publish your comment.
- Get a mailing list! Put a subscribe box on your blog and let people sign up. If you're into business networking, add the email address from every business card you receive. It may seem like a chore, but it'll be worth it in the end. If you publish a new blog post each week then send it out to your subscribers. If you publish a few posts each week, then save it for a Friday digest and send them all your links at once. Be communicative with your emails but don't spam.
- Use social media! Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all useful resources for sharing your posts and you'll find a lot of traffic comes in from them. Make sure that your readers can take something of value away from your blog posts and they'll share them on.
- Don't make what you write a blatant advert. Business blogging is about building relationships. If your blog post is a sales pitch then people won't read it. Be personable, be open, be honest, be transparent, be interesting. Help others rather than helping yourself.
- Write to a schedule. If you're going to publish blog posts once a week then pick a day and stick to it. If you're going to publish a couple of times a week then try Monday and Thursday so that both blog posts will benefit from their own traffic.
- Tell everyone! Put your blog on your letterhead, on your business cards, email your entire business network, all your staff, your family and friends. And keep telling them until they listen and go read stuff you publish. Insist (in a nice way) that your staff share your blog posts to their own channels if at all possible.
If you implement all of these ideas then you're going to watch a steady growth in your business blog traffic over time which will put more eyeballs on your brand, and how great will that feel?
Remember that blogging is an evolving thing - well written, grammatically correct, interesting, timely and relevant content will appeal to the widest possible audience and get them to share your blog posts with their own friends, followers and contacts which can only grow your traffic further and more quickly.
"Sound like a lot of hard work doesn't it?"
Well, yes, business blogging is a lot of work, which is why you could talk to me about doing it for you! And that's the only sales pitch you'll see on this blog post because I've written this so you can take some ideas away to implement on your own small business blog rather than having to read a blatant advert from me!
Love, light and logic ...
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