October 25, 2010

Why is blogging essential for your business?

Your blog is your own PR machine, TV channel, talkback radio station and printing press all rolled into one. A blog is a great tool:

  • To build brand awareness
  • To boost your search engine rankings
  • To improve customer relations
  • To show knowledge & earn credibility
  • To get new clients/make sales

Fact: small businesses with corporate blogs receive 55 percent more search traffic than small businesses that don’t blog.

Matt’s blogging tips

  • Provide useful and well-written content that is relevant to your readers – and Google will reward you with good rankings.
  • Write blog article titles with relevant keywords for search engine optimisation.
  • You must have a plan to update it regularly. Find a happy medium of blogging frequency (weekly, monthly, or more?).
  • Establish a content strategy and editorial calendar so you have lots of ideas for articles up your sleeve.
  • Read the top blogs in your industry to see what your competitors are doing.
  • Stay on top of industry news and track the comments to see what your customers and potential customers are interested in and talking about.
  • Find bloggers/reporters in your industry and develop relationships to cross-pollinate content.
  • Create an open dialogue to get visitors to respond to your content – always invite people to comment.
  • Write ”How to” articles, they are very popular and tend to draw a lot of attention.
  • Always answer comments and questions.
  • Add video, photos and images.
  • Consider the types of things that spread virally across the internet. They are usually funny, outrageous, shocking, and unique.
  • Add a poll to your blog. This is a great way to get your readers involved.
  • A recent study found that only 16% of people read word for word online – this should remind us that we need to write our blogs so they are scan-friendly. Think short paragraphs and bullet points.
  • Be controversial. Be bold. Have an opinion. Have a personality. Don’t be afraid to make a controversial statement.
  • Write your blog as if you were talking to people. Don’t just report news – people can get news from a million places online. Share your opinion and insights instead. Make sure your blog shares insights that they can’t get anywhere else.
  • Make it easy for readers to share your articles with their friends by using Twitter and Facebook sharing buttons.
  • Measure – look at your stats and determine which posts get the most traffic and the most comments. From here you can get a feel for the topics and length of your most popular posts and then use that as a guideline going forward.