Have you considered starting a blog for your business, but haven’t gotten around to it yet? Maybe you think you don’t have time to blog, you don’t have the skills to be a successful blogger, or that blogging is something teenagers do to express their feelings. The fact is, blogs can be incredible tools for businesses to grow their audiences and keep customers engaged. When done correctly, blogs are a valuable part of a business’s social media personality and reach.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with blogging, you can learn to blog effectively, create a blog that matches your business style (fun, technical, etc.), and incorporate blogging into your workflow. There are plenty of good blogging programs that can help you with layout and post scheduling. Here are few tips to get you started on creating a dynamic, engaging blog for your business:
1. Plan & Schedule
Customers who are engaged on social media respond to regular, consistent posting. If they start to follow your blog, they want it to enhance their social media landscape, which means they expect a steady flow of informative posts. So don’t just start your blog by throwing up an introductory post and then posting whenever you feel like it. Build up a stockpile of quality posts that are ready to go, and schedule them to automatically post on a regular timetable (any good blogging software should offer this feature).
Build up the launch of your blog on your existing social media channels to get your customers excited and ready to engage with your new blog. Consider a special incentive to mark the launch – a discount or giveaway for the first 50 comments, for example.
2. Quality Content
A successful business blog offers genuine content. Yes, you’ll be promoting your company and your blog is a great way to make announcements and share news about your business to new and existing customers. But it’s also a place to give your customers a more meaningful look into your business and your business’s culture, and personality. Your website should already give customers the nuts and bolts of your business – your blog offers the chance to tell them your story, relate your business to current events, and give them a peek behind the curtain of how your business works. Consider ways to shake up your content – have employees do “guest posts” or interview a business mentor.
3. Professionalism Matters
Make sure to re-read your posts before they go live, and edit as needed. If you have someone on your team with a good eye for grammar, have them review your posts, too. Photos are a great addition to blog posts (as long as they are high-quality), and chances are your phone has a camera that can take blog-worthy pictures. It’s a good idea to read up on SEO (search engine optimization) too, to make sure you’re getting the most out of each blog post.
4. Be Prepared to Engage
A successful blog will attract comments – ideally, a lot of comments. You’ll need to decide how you want to engage with commenters. You may not be able to respond to every one, but do take time to read through them and respond to some. It’s also a good idea to have a clear policy about how you’ll be handling inappropriate comments. And of course, make sure your blogging program offers robust spam filters. You should also be prepared to engage with other business blogs – linking to other blogs is a way to expand your reach, and participating in a shared theme with other bloggers can build your community.