Candeo Creative : Blog

7 Ways to Write A Successful Business Blog

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:

The Dangers of Social Media

On January 4, The Today Show aired a segment on the dangers of social media, specifically concerning location tracking. All smartphones are built with GPS capability to allow Google and other services to know your location and help you find what you’re looking for quicker. However, this service may be more harmful than helpful.

MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall learned her lesson when she tweeted at a concert and was shortly greeted by a cyber stalker. She now tweets where she has been rather then where she is. Not only is it dangerous to post about where you are, but where you  aren’t. For example, a Facebook post about a weekend getaway could let potential burglars know when to ransack your home.

Link to Today Show episode:

Although Google Maps say that their location services are approximate, they are actually a lot more accurate than most people think. With Google Street View, anyone can zoom in on your approximate location to find out names of businesses and even specific addresses. When Tamron Hall tweeted about the presidential debate she was watching at home, she also unknowingly tweeted where she lived. A Google Street View of her neighborhood was enough to creep her out. The Google Streetview photo showed the inside of her home through a window.

As another part of the segment, a Today Show intern was cyberstalked over the weekend to show exactly how much info she was putting out there to strangers. Information like where she worked, shopped, had drinks, ate dinner and even slept was revealed through her social media activity. Is our society turning into a “Big Brother” state without our knowing?

Luckily, the solution is simple. Learn how to turn off location tracking on your smartphone by going to your privacy or location settings. Depending on the device, you can turn off location tracking for specific apps or in general.

The Online Cafe

We hear people ask us all the time “What is social media really for? I guess I just don’t really see the point.”

The answer is pretty simple. Social media is for people to be social.

That’s why social media is sort of like an online cafe.

Just like a cafe is a physical location for people to meet and share ideas, social media sites are virtual locations for people to meet up and share their lives.

Some cafes are more known for having live music. Some cafes are known for being a great place to go get work done. Other cafes are known to be very kid-friendly. Still other cafes might be more known for their very unique concoctions.

In the same way, every social media ‘cafe’ is different from the next.

Facebook is known to be a place to share your life and get personal with friends and family. Twitter is a place to share quick bites of information and connecty with like-minded people. Pinterest is a place to share your favorite pictures. Instagram allows you to share the photo book of your daily life. LinkedIn is specifically for professionals to connect with other professionals. And a plethura (yes, a plethura) of other sites exist as well- too many to cover here.

But as a business, your goal is to get those you connect with to stop by your virtual store (your website). But you can’t ever invite them to get to know your brand or shop your products unless they meet you; and they won’t meet you unless you show up.

So take some time to make your brand known in some of the different ‘online cafes’ that exist. But remember, it’s more about brand-awareness and making real connections than it is about making that hard sale.

Because, who would want anyone hard-selling them when they’re trying to enjoy a cup of coffee and some conversation at their favorite cafe?

Show up. Make the connections. Let people know who you are. Get interested in their lives. And watch the brand loyalty grow.