Blogging is not social media in itself, but it is a perfect avenue for providing great value to your audience and social media strategy. When I speak about Internet marketing and social media to CEO’s and business owners, one of the biggest hurdles is blogging. Why? Because it takes time, understanding, and a general commitment to provide a consistent knowledge transfer to for your readers.
Business owners simply need to embrace the importance of blogging as a tool for communicating your knowledge and experiences in your particular field. To do so, they must understand what its all about, why it is indeed important, and in what capacity. Once they have a clear vision, it is easier to make the commitment.
Tips for Getting Started
Be An Expert in Your Field
We can use the term “expert” loosely but it does help if you know what you are talking about. If you are a business owner, chances are you have a lot of knowledge and experience you can share with your readers.
Start Be Reading Other Blogs
Blogging is different than traditional writing and usually takes on a more casual tone. The best way to gain a clear understanding of how bloggers in your industry do it is of course to read their blogs. Simply run some Google searches or use Technorati (great tool for searching the blogosphere) to find top blogs related to your business industry.
After reading other top blogs you should have a good understanding of how people write. You may also notice that good blogs are very rarely self-serving. As a business owner, the most value you will bring to the table (and therefore gain positive feedback) is through thoughtful educational topics such “How to..” guides or “10 Great Ways to…”. Blog readers want it simple, well written, casual, and valuable. They want to be able to learn something quickly and easily.
The worst thing we can do as business owners is to start something and then not follow through. That is why you must make the time commitment. Will you always be able to stick to your “blogging schedule”? Of course not. But that is why you have to make other sacrifices. Why do you think I am multitasking on a Sunday (watching football while blogging)?? Contributing to your blog three to five times each week is good enough. Don’t stress out about it. Once you get into the groove it can be an enjoyable activity.
Understanding the Market Value
We already touched on the fact that good blogging allows you to show what you know. The more free knowledge you provide your audience, the greater value it will bring your business. Blogging also brings a certain amount of trust to a company. That is why I always recommend that companies (large and small) have a corporate blog. It is also great if the owners and/or top executives are the key contributors. This goes back to the “transparency” part of social media. Consumers want to see the CEO’s and owners out in front leading by example and taking responsibility for their brand. But there is a more technical marketing value behind blogging and that is search engine optimization.
Blogging is one of the best ways to add great content to your site as often as you like. Great content, of course, leads to more pages for your website that can potentially get indexed and ranked by the search engines.
Here are some tips:
- The best way to accomplish this is to use an SEO friendly blog platform such as WordPress (this blog is a WordPress platform) and integrate it with your website (i.e. www.yourdomainname.com/blog).
- Have your keyword strategy in mind when writing. Use blog titles and phrases relevant to your topic and industry. For example, if you run a financial consulting firm you might write a blog about “How to Maintain Financial Liquidity”. In that blog you would want to include keywords related to your topic as it relates to your keyword strategy. I don’t want to get too far into SEO because that is a whole other topic. As long as you write well and at least keep these tips in mind, it will add value to your website.
- Promote your blog on your website in the header or footer so people know you have one. I also recommend having a link to your blog in your email signature. If you are engaged in social media, provide links to your blog through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. After each blog you write, post it on Facebook with a note about the topic. The more you write and promote the blog, the more successful you will be in increasing links and website traffic.