Blogging is a key component of SEO and Social Media Marketing to that should be implemented in every inbound marketing plan. Below are my quick takeaways from today's session that may help other small business owners to write effective blogs for their business.
1. Write for your reader: They could be your customers, prospects, vendors or suppliers. Know who they are and what information is of interest and value to them. They're not interested in reading about your product or company.
2. Have a clean layout that is easy to navigate: Most popular is a two column with the side bar on the right and the main content section on the left.
3. Offer value: Side bars are great for offering additional information that is of value to the reader:
a. Have a link to an internal page on your website that offers more information.
b. Links to product pictures or videos.
c. Information about the blogger(s) so the readers know who they're connecting with, this gives the blog a personal feel.
d. Add links to other social media sites that you're involved with: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube etc.
e. Option to subscribe to your blog, email and RSS.
f. Extra resource: links to other blogs or websites you find of value.
4. Encourage involvement: Empower your readers to comment by posting a question at the end of your blog post. A blog post with comments is more interesting
5. Reply to comments by personally addressing the author of the comment.
6. Include a navigation/menu bar at the top that provides the reader with the option to learn more about your company or products.
7. Blogging is a regular commitment: Before you start think about whether you have the time and the people to commit to a regular blog. There is no value writing a blog once. Creating a blog team is a great idea to share the workload.
8. Outsource blog writers if you need to. Look for bloggers who are already passionate about your company or product.
9. Choose your bloggers carefully. They must be able to write and be passionate about the topic.
10. It takes time to build up a decent subscriber list and can take some time before you start receiving comments. This can be demoralizing to a writer who isn't passionate about their topic. Blogging is a long term marketing strategy, perseverance is key.
There really is so much information that could be included in this topic. I hope though, this is enough to get you thinking about your blog and what it can do for your business.
I'd like to know your thoughts on blogging for small business. Have you started? What are the results? Still unsure about its value to your business or how to get started?