So, you’ve decided to heed the call and start a blog, whether for your company or yourself, but you keep asking yourself, “why?”
There are many reasons that companies begin a blog, but the most important reasons are (in no particular order) to:
- Attract an audience
- Inform and interact
- Motivate action
- Respond to stories and customers
- Become a thought leader
- Brand advertising
- Build organic search engine optimization (SEO) for your website
Every one of the reasons set forth are perfect in their own right, but most people begin a blog for a combination of the reasons above. I began my own blog at EsquireTech Solutions for a combination of all the reasons above. I wanted a forum to interact and inform, I wanted to be seen as a thought leader within the field of social marketing, and I wanted an opportunity to brand my business by sharing my blogs throughout all the social platforms I am active on.
How Do I Begin?
When setting out to create a blog for your company or yourself, it is most important to start out with a plan. You need to lay out the WHY – why are you building this blog. Is it as your website or the hub of your digital presence? Is it strictly as a tool for building your search engine optimization (SEO)? You need to decide on WHO – who to you hope to reach with this blog? Who is your intended audience? And, finally, you need to decide on WHAT – what will you be talking about? What information are you trying to provide? What story are you hoping to tell or what need are you trying to fill for your customers? What is your audience interested in? Most importantly, you need to make sure that you are going to satisfy your audience’s needs, wants, and motivations.
Blogging Best Practices
Once you have answered the questions laid out above, it is important to follow some best practices for blogging.
- Establish a strategy
- Find a voice
- Be yourself, not what you think people want
- Create compelling content
- Be informative and relevant to your audience
- Make sure to use keywords within your blog for better SEO
- Post regularly
- Only you can decide what that is. Is it monthly, weekly, daily?
- Engage with your readers
- Make sure to encourage conversation and always respond to every comment
- Spread your content
- Use all of your social sites to bring your content to your audience
- Use interesting visuals
- Use bullets, and headings to break up the content
Just as there are some “best practices” there are certain things that you should never do within your blog (or your social sites):
- Don’t SELLBlogging and social are to help your customers and build your reputation, not sell
- Don’t try and control the conversation
- Don’t argue with your commenters.Everyone is entitled to their opinions
- Don’t ignore the audienceNot responding to comments is as bad as not answering the phone
- Don’t force conversation
- Let it happen naturally
Finally, I think the most important rule of blogging is this: Just do it. We all have something to say and something to contribute to the conversation. Find what you are passionate about and write about that. When there is passion, or a willingness to learn, there is great content.
So, let’s get out there and blog. Talk to your audience. Teach. Help.
Why did you start blogging? Have any other best practices to share? Any other tips to avoid? Let’s talk!
About Craig Yaris
Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .