How to Blog for Business
What’s the Purpose?
Any successful business needs to effectively communicate with their customers. The purpose of a blog is to do just that. With a blog, you can create helpful, engaging content for readers who, down the line, could become customers. Readers will have the opportunity to educate themselves through this platform. They can learn about your personal values, what issues you deem to be important and your viewpoint on a variety of topics. A blog isn’t the place for products or direct sales. Instead, it allows you to share information, advice and resources. Your business also might, incidentally, gain more fans. Through your blog, you can establish yourself as an industry expert, which increases the chances of readers purchasing your products. A blog isn’t a revenue provider, but it will expose readers to your business. Blogs are for people who want to stay informed. But these readers aren’t necessarily interested in buying anything; they just want to stay up-to-date on all relevant information pertaining to your business.
Building a Following
If your blog is informative and entertaining, visitors will keep coming back, even though they might not care about your business. Don’t worry though, in time, they may. The blog will become a steady, reliable source of information for these readers. When they need useful information, they’ll think of visiting your blog. Then, when they’re considering buying certain products, they’ll think of your business. This process starts slow and it may take a while to develop a loyal following. But, through increased exposure to your content, the readers will start coming back and will develop into loyal readers. Blogs are about growing this following. Through your company blog, you can become a thought leader, encouraging readers that you’re reputable and knowledgeable, and that they should keep coming back to learn more.
Important Blog Features
Social media can grow blog readership. Including links to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ in your blog post encourages readers to share your content with others. It’s also important to include a comment section in your blog. You need to give your readers the opportunity to provide honest feedback so that you can use it to make constant improvements. Respond to readers’ critiques and questions. Positive communication with your readers improves your reputation and builds your fan base. Also, ensure that there’s a place where readers can subscribe to receive your RSS feed or an email, so that they have access to your latest posts. And, of course, connect your blog to your business website through links and “about” descriptions.
In the early stages, launching a blog for your business isn’t easy. Business owners have been advised to start small when it comes to this endeavor. This initial process is similar to the old adage, “it’s better to under-promise and over-deliver than to over-promise and under-deliver.” If you start small, and receive good initial feedback, you can always increase your volume and generate more content, but it looks noticeably worse if you start big and pull back because of negative feedback or non-existent viewership. You don’t need to post to your blog every day, or even every week. Readers prefer quality over quantity. Semi-regular, in-depth posts are beneficial for you and your readers. If you believe your blog is generating leads and helping your business, you can increase the frequency of your posts by hiring guest writers to create additional content. With the blog, it’s important to find a schedule that works for you.
Relevant and Unique
Writing isn’t the only important piece of a blog; analytics also play an important role. You should continually analyze your posts to monitor whether your readers are investing their time in your blog. All of your content should be relevant and topical. If your post is not unique, go back to the drawing board. Many different blogs are plagued by advertising or weak writing. You should always write for your reader. This includes writing semi-informal, conversational, friendly posts packed with content that is significant for them. Be receptive to your customers and answer any questions they might have. Make your blog a valuable resource for readers seeking help in your business field.
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