We often give advice to businesses that blogging is one of the ways to expand an otherwise static corporate website.
Blogging not only exposes business expertise and raise its reputation in the industry, it also expands opportunities to be found through search engines provides visitors more reason for visitors to return and cultivate relationship with customers and business partners.
By empowering staff members to write about their respective expertise improve their confidence, get press mentions and industry connections, while representing a human side of a corporate organization.
I have had a chance to write blog posts elsewhere — without losing my identity through ghost writing — and I learned valuable lessons in the process.
1. Stick to Blog Theme
Unlike a personal blog where any random thought can be published by authors and expected by readers, business blogging in a strict sense is exclusive to business interests and topics related to the company we write for. So I won’t expect to write about my recent trip to Madrid at SEO Hong Kong or childhood memories at Asian Correspondent because I feel they’ll be out of topic. For search engine visibility, blogs that have established niche through consistency in topic themes are easier to recognize than those with a variety of mishmash topics.
2. Commit to Post Regularly
Now that I mentioned blogs help attract regular visitors, these visitors come for a reason and that’s because they expect to read something fresh. As a return favor to them, let’s commit to a regular frequency in posting blog entries. Twice a week, every Monday or any frequency comfortable enough for us to create an insightful topic without compromising our regular jobs. Should an organization decide to set up a blog, the commitment to publish posts consistently should accompany that decision. Nobody wants to visit a blog that hasn’t been updated since two weeks after its launch or approximately seven months ago. What’s more such blog with inconsistent update becomes an eyesore and bring unfavorable impression of the entire company it represents. In short, it does more harm than good.
3. Make Blog Posts Easy To Read and Apply Relevance to the Business
Readers may have much shorter attention span when reading a blog compared to reading a print magazine. Wrong grammar, long sentences, no proper spacing between content topics may distract readers and leave the page. Make the entries short and direct to the point. Divide entry into paragraphs and arrange topic into logical order to make it easier to digest and understand. I admit I don’t do this all the time, so this should also apply to my future posts.
Plus, always consider the next steps while a visitor reads the article. Shall we put a set of related articles? If we write about a specific service, is it a good idea to provide contact details at the bottom of the article in case the reader is interested?
4. Write for Industry Related Blogs
Your company blog is a good avenue to attract visitors, but if it’s just starting up, your audience may be very small. To promote the blog, you may want to look elsewhere to promote it. Blogs about your industry is one of the best places to write for. As guest writer, you often do it for free, but you also get compensated by allowing you to place a link to your company blog within your profile information the bottom of the article. And since like minded people read such blogs, the likelihood they’re going to visit your blog is also high. Plus, links from related sites are given better weight by search engines, if “nofollow” is not applied.
5. Share Blog Entries to Social Media
A blog entry is sort of a discussion starter which hopes to stir conversation. Apart from blog comments, social media is where such discussions exist. So it will be good to be involved by sharing posts to Twitter followers or Facebook page fans. Besides adopting Feedburner to allow readers to get updates via RSS feeds, it is also possible now to set up automatic posts via Twitter through your Feedburner account. The more people an interesting article reaches, the better chances it will get valuable inbound links, which is of course important to SEO.
6. Be Informative and Share Relevant Links
To make an article more reliable, cite external links that support your claims. This means certain content in the website need to have outbound links. While many would assert that doing so dilutes the link popularity of a page, it is a good practice to make the web a continuously social place by linking out without any condition. Do not be selfish about outbound links. Others will eventually notice not only those whom you link to. As you continue the practice while building more good content into the blog, you’ll notice people start linking back to you.
Winter in Bulgaria. Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/klearchos/
7. Create Attractive Headlines
Social media sharing tools often use only the blog’s title and URL so having a headline that attracts people definitely helps. Lists (XX Ways, Top XX, XX Reasons, etc) is a proven attention grabber. This is because people can easily skim through content without necessarily reading the article. Would you wonder why the title of my post is patterned after this tip?