Better Business Blogging: The Seven Rules You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Maintaining a business blog is still an effective way of engaging with consumers, but with so much online competition from other businesses and the growth of social media, retaining customer attention is harder than ever before. To be truly effective, your business blog needs to be highly focused on delivering shareable content that is also in line with your evolving marketing goals. Remember the following key principles and your business will stand a better chance in today’s crowded online environment.

Define Your Marketing Goals

Before launching a business blog and before each post, it’s vital to think about what your marketing goals are at any specific time. Are you trying to improve brand recognition, drive sales, gather important data about your customers, educate potential customers, or develop your brand’s personality? Maybe it’s a combination of the above. There are many different ways to approach a blog post, but each one should have a clearly defined purpose. This helps to ensure each post is optimized to engage, inform, and convert prospects. When businesses complain about their blogs not delivering results, it’s often due to poor planning.

Use Knowledge to Strengthen Credibility

Every blog post has the potential to increase the credibility of your brand. Informing and educating readers is a powerful way to gain the trust of people who have become cynical of old-fashioned advertising. Aim to become a powerful voice in your industry sector and you can soon become the go-to resource for news, information, and inspirational content. If you can achieve this, you will not only convert more readers into customers, but they will also promote your brand on your behalf.

Address Your Ideal Customer

Many businesses still focus too much on their own affairs instead of addressing the needs of their audience. Keep your blog content more in line with your marketing goals and remember that people are looking for solutions to their problems. One way to ensure your blog posts are relevant to your target audience is to ask your readers directly what questions they would like you to answer about your products and services.Better-Business-Blogging-The-Seven-Rules-You-Can’t-Afford-to-Ignore

Maintain Writing Quality

Many business blogs fail because they are poorly written and fail to engage the reader within the first paragraph. You need to quickly communicate the value of continuing to read your content. It’s also important to post original content, not only for your credibility, but also for improving your SEO. Use an editorial calendar to make sure you have enough relevant content to publish every month, and time each blog post to align with your marketing goals.

Don’t Forget SEO

The blog’s page title should include relevant keywords, and when appropriate try to include your company name in headings to gain authority for those keywords. Also make sure the page’s meta-description includes keywords to inform the search engines. The title of the post and actual copy should also contain relevant keywords, but not too many. Before you upload an image to a post, name it first with relevant keywords, and remember to include alt text for occasions when an image cannot be displayed. Navigating to other content within your domain and your own content on external sites will also help you rank higher with search engines.

Include Calls-to-Action

Many business blogs still struggle to engage effectively with prospects because they simply lack focus. Each individual blog post needs to a have a clearly defined purpose. Before writing each post, consider its main objective. Do you want it to generate leads, promote interaction, or boost sales? Perhaps you just need to raise awareness of a particular product or service. Whatever it is, remember to make it clear in the post and whenever possible, include a strong call-to-action.

Remember the Bigger Picture

There are various ways to optimize your business blog to maximize its impact. Remember to make it easy to navigate to your primary business pages and keep readers engaged by providing clear links to similar content within your blog. Linking to your social media channels will also encourage interaction on other platforms, enhancing your online presence. Don’t forget to use recognizable sharing icons to strengthen credibility. Including a social media share count on every post will also encourage people to share your content.

The Next Step

The best business blogs can become the heart of a company’s website, or even stand alone as a go-to resource, enabling customers and prospects to share content around a brand. If you don’t have time to write consistently good content and your marketing budget allows, you could even invest in a full-time or part-time writer. If not, just remember these golden rules for better business blogging and with a little creativity and dedication, your blog can give your business the edge over the competition.

The Comments Game In Blogging

What The Numbers Really Mean?

Whether it’s a social networking site post, a video-sharing network or a blog, the idea seems to be to get noticed. Hence, the words “trending”, “viral”, “likes” and “comments” have become buzzwords in the rather thickly populated worldwide web. You are hot and on the roll if you reap comments and reactions online. But really, how effective a measure is it to be given tons and tons of comments?

The Truth Behind The Comments

Let’s take a closer look at this aspect, particularly in blogging. So you notice numerous comments after a post. Would this necessarily mean you are doing well in terms of your blogging career? Well, that really depends on what your motivations are. If the main point to all your efforts is to just get noticed, then you will have succeeded. After all, hasn’t it been said that, “Good or bad publicity – is still publicity.” It’s clear that you are an engaging or possibly controversial person.

The thing is, the fulfillment that you derive from merely getting the attention of people is superficial. You would not believe, however, what lengths some people would go through to, so to speak, “collect comments”. Paying for comments is a well known practice. Hence, the term “vanity metric” was coined. Because all the success that one gets to project on account of the number of comments is all just about vanity. It’s basically just something to feed the ego. But wouldn’t we be fooling ourselves if this was the case?

Overcoming Vanity

So, if your goal goes beyond merely attracting attention, then you might want to take a closer look at the quality of comments that you rake in. Hopefully, you are reeling in more positive comments than criticism. Then again, even criticism is okay. For as long as it has substance. It can even help your blog become more interesting and engaging. You are bound to collect more regular lurkers when you attract the relevant comments. You do want those intelligent lurkers, don’t you? It would not be the first if you would eventually encounter comments that are completely off tangent. Some may post irrelevant comments on purpose for lack of better things to do; spamming on purpose or trolling.

Demystifying The Numbers Game

This is not to say that comments do not help make your pages more popular and a good number of comments on posts do not help at all. What we are trying to say here is that quantity does not necessarily translate to quality, especially if your blog writing is motivated with goals like being able to reach out to people and touch lives. This is also important if you want to make a living out of blog writing and give it an income earning potential. In this case, the real test is when your blog post is able to encourage more viewership from your target market and is able to link a reader to a page or pages where income can be generated – for example your business website.

The next step therefore is to look for ways to attract the right kind of audience. To do this, you can scour the Internet for tips and suggestions and you can read up on the subject. There are some practical measures you can take initially though. For example, you can choose the option to approve comments prior to them being posted. This way you get to filter out comments yourself. Another is to ensure that you respond to comments that you approve of. Nothing makes a reader happier than when a writer notices them and engages in conversation with him or her. This gives your pages a more personalized appeal and encourages your visitors to come back again for more.