Written by Kari Ausloos
Blogging is an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert in your business or industry and to give value to your customers. Having a blog for your business can be very beneficial. You can further discuss your brand and connect more with your audience by providing valuable content. Not only that, but having and maintaining a blog will increase your search engine optimization rankings. What that means is that your business will be easier to find on the internet if you use the proper key words.
I’m assuming some of our readers may not have a blog, so I’ve developed some tips to for you to get started.
1. Blog for your audience. Write blogs that your audience is interested in knowing. You shouldn’t always be promoting your business on your blog. Answer questions that your audience may want to know or give them tips that will benefit them. Nowadays, people value experiences over tangible objects, so provide them with tutorials and informative anecdotes.
2. Create the content yourself. Writing blogs from your point of view allows you to create an identity behind your brand. Blogs are personal and gives a chance for readers to get to know you. In return this allows you to build relationships and potentially have more people do business with you. The Southwest Airlines blog, Nuts about Southwest, does a great job of building relationships between their brand and consumers.
3. Think ahead of time. Start thinking of topics you want to write about ahead of time. I usually try to come up with ideas the night before I start blogging. This gives me the time to really think about what I want to write and allows for a smoother flow when writing. Be thoughtful and thorough with your topic.
4. Engage your commenters. Responding to readers who comment on a blog post is the key to building a relationship, much like on Twitter or Facebook. Responding to comments also increases the chance for others to engage in the conversation as well. Accept other people’s feedback, even if it is criticism. Use this as an opportunity to grow and cater your blog to your readers’ needs.
5. Be credible. Being credible means you can’t always be a salesman. If the only thing you talk about is you, your company, and your products, people will stop paying attention to you. You should write about informative topics that relate to your industry and include attributions. If you write anything that isn’t a well-known fact, let your readers know where you found that information. A great way to do this is the use of links.
6. Use visuals and links. I was taught to always add a visual in your blog to keep it more interesting instead of just filling up your page with text. Visuals can be photos, cartoons, infographics and even videos. You should also add links to within all of your blog post to make yourself credible. Link to sources that you used, to your own business website or even to another blogger that you find interesting. Disney Parks blog is a great example of how to do this.
7. Keep it short and sweet. Long blog posts will bore your audience. I suggest keeping your posts to be fewer than 500 words. This will keep readers engaged, but still allow enough room for you to write good content. The key is to be clear and precise about the message you are conveying.
If you would like to learn more about blogging for your business, join us for our next Social Hub event on Thursday, May 16, 7:30-8:30 a.m. at the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce. Click on the link to register now: http://bit.ly/12P9jRC