What is a Blog? How to Use Blogs in Your Business
Essentially a blend of the term web log, a blog is a type of website geared towards specific topics with the goal of providing its audience with frequent postings of information. In most cases, blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and messages; it is this interaction that distinguishes blogs from static websites. Incorporating a blog into your business’ marketing mix can generate some beneficial attention from the search engines, which are always interested in fresh and updated content.
How to Use Blogs in Your Business
From a professional standpoint, creating a blog for your business will encourage opinions and interactions from your readers and customers. A blog facilitates a type of forum in which you share experiences, expertise, advice or news with your online audience. Some advantages of creating a company blog are below:
- Humanizes your brand –Blogging allows you to express your company’s personality and establish a more comfortable brand experience with your readers.
- Invites conversation –Blogs are a great avenue for comments and feedback. You can gauge how your company measures up in the eyes of your audience / customers.
- Easy exposure –Your blog content is easily distributed, shared and referenced by others. Providing great content and proper promotion will attract fellow bloggers and more readers, thereby building your overall brand.
- SEO benefits –Fresh and strategically written content can drive your organic rankings on search engines. Be sure to provide links back to your company site, so it can also benefit from an SEO perspective.
Corporate blogging has many advantages to your business’ online presence. Now let’s examine the particular strategies that your company can implement into your blogging initiative.
Write Like a Blogger
It is important to blog with personality. As mentioned above, your blog will have the potential to humanize your business, put a face to your brand and easily relate with your customers. Try to avoid stiff corporate jargon and instead speak directly to your target audience. Amongst the majority of bloggers, there is a tendency to write in a more informal and breezy style that can be skimmed easily.
Keeping personality and flare in mind also be sure to write succinctly. Typically, web readers will not read word for word; they prefer to scan. Many successful blogs keep their content brief and focused. Try to use short sections, with clear and compelling titles, and incorporate eye-catching images. Remember to speak from your organisational voice, which we discussed earlier in this guide.
Through RSS, your audience can subscribe to receive all your updates in one place and can browse your latest blog headlines to decide which ones they want to read. Information overload is not particularly favourable by readers, so incorporating an RSS feed enables a convenient and manageable channel for your readers to stay up-to-date without getting overwhelmed and losing interest in your company.
In addition to streaming to your readers, it is a good idea to have your blog content stream to your company’s website(s). This will result in links back to your site, which drives traffic and helps improve your search engine rankings.
For maximum exposure, you should try publishing your RSS to RSS directories. RSS is a technology that can help you quickly spread your blog content across the web and generate a lot of new links back to your site. It’s a tool used by every serious online marketer!
Real Simple Syndication (RSS)
RSS – or Real Simple Syndication – allows you to stream content both to your site and from your site. RSS is a convenient and easy way to publish and share frequently updated material from your blog to your business’ website as well as to your readers.
Keep in mind that one influential factor will be your audience. Researching your readership (or potential readership) is critical if you want to blog in a voice that resonates with your customers. If you already have a blog ask your readers for feedback; find out what they gain from your content and what topics would interest them in the future.
If you are just starting to blog and haven’t generated an audience to poll, aim your research at other blogs, forums or discussion groups that centre on a topic similar to yours. As you do this, you will be better equipped to gauge the appropriate tone, manner and content to incorporate into your blog.
Create Relevant and Consistent Content
A blog is not just a creative writing exercise. Ensure you produce content that is compelling, informative and relevant to your audience. Try to think about your blog from the point of view of your target customer and decide if your latest blog article provides any value. If you’re using your blog to find prospective customers, try blogging about industry topics or conduct interviews with industry leaders. Once your readers find your blog, you want them to return so they don’t miss out on your compelling content.
One aspect of creating interesting content is incorporating keywords. Writing about topics that are relevant to your customer base will naturally contain keywords, but you should still try to ensure that your titles in particular are keyword rich. This will allow new readers to easily find your blog, thereby improving the search results.
Additionally, posting on a regular schedule is a good idea. Some may argue that quality is more important than quantity, but it is still vital that your company projects a current and up-to-date image.
Perhaps try establishing a weekly blog schedule and remain at least one blog post ahead. Your business might also benefit from working with third party vendors that specialize in producing blog articles.
Ultimately your goal is to be interesting, fresh and valuable.