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Top 10 Business Blogging Tips

Want to get your business blog in gear? Here are 10 (plus 1 bonus!) battle-tested tips that you can start implementing today:

  • Host on your own domain: One of the biggest mistakes made by business bloggers is hosting on a third-party domain, such as “typepad.com” or “blogspot.com”. It can be a great way to get up and running with minimal technical fuss, but in the long run it will come back to bite you. Once you’ve built an audience, search engine value, etc., you’re tied to that domain. Get off on the right foot, and make sure you’re using your own domain name from the beginning.
  • Get a real design: Marketing is ultimately about differentiation, and you’ll have a hard time standing out when your business blog looks just like a hundred others. Skip the free themes, and put some money toward hiring hiring a blog design company to do the job right. Never underestimate the effectiveness of powerful design.
  • Integrate the blog with your business site: The classic business blogger story goes something like this — “Blogger gets website. Blogger writes and writes and writes. Blogger builds an audience. Blogger wonders why no new business is coming in. Blogger had forgotten to tie the blog back to his business website.” Don’t be that guy. Integrate the blog into your business site. Make sure readers know who’s doing the blogging, and what else you can do for them.
  • Keep it simple: It’s exciting for your inner geek to play with widgets, plugins, add-ons, modifications, customizations, etc., but your readers really don’t care about that stuff. They came to read blog posts. The cleaner and more pure you can make your blog, the better. Cut as much clutter as you can.
  • Define an “audience of one”: Narrow your audience down to a specific niche (ideally one that meshes with your company’s target market), and then create a persona profile that describes an individual from that niche. Give him or her a name. Find a headshot you can use. Figure out what he or she wants out of your website, and then write all your blog posts to that one imaginary person. This will keep you focused on your audience at all times, and will give your voice a more personal touch.
  • Stay on topic: Related to the last point — once you’ve defined your audience, only post things that are relevant to your audience. (Don’t dilute your blog with posts about your family, a great new movie, or how sorry you are for not posting more. Save that stuff for your personal site.)
  • Provide content, not commentary: Rather than just “reblogging” links to other sites or blog posts with a quick little comment of your own, focus instead on being the site that other people are talking about. Post original thoughts, views, tips, etc., not just your rehashing of what other people have already done.
  • Promote the blog through your business: Business blogging is a two-way deal. Instead of just using it as a lead-generation tool, make sure that your current customers know about the blog as well. It will help to build awareness, increase loyalty, and increase your ability to communicate on important topics.
  • Answer the big questions: Business blogs are most useful in a time of change, and yet this is when many businesses panic and neglect their blog. When something is happening, many people will be hitting your blog for answers. Don’t let them down. If your blog seems to be pretending nothing is going on, people will lose trust in it, even during calm times.
  • Enable discussion: If you want to have a conversation, you’ve got to be willing to take a few thumps. Enable comments on your blog, and don’t go around deleting everything that’s unflattering. The only things that should really be moderated are blatantly offensive trolling and obvious spam.
  • Don’t obsess about traffic: It’s fun to watch your traffic spike when you get on Digg, or get a link from a major blogger, but the reality is that these traffic spikes have little effect on the overall success of your business. Stay relevant to your core audience, work hard to get the word out, and then be happy with whatever you’ve got. Even one interested reader can totally change the course of your company.
About James Archer

Comments

  1. I would have to agree that starting a blog for your company is a great way to generate business leads. Potential customers really appreciate you providing free information for them, as long as it is informational in nature, and not too sales oriented.

  2. First, it is now very important to have a good domain name for its project of the Internet. Thanks!

  3. Swiss says:

    Thanx a ton for this awesome article James .

  4. Hi James,

    I started my business blog in Jan 07 so I am still learning the ropes. Thanks so much for posting the great article. It has been really helpful.

    Cheers,
    NIall

  5. I am thinking to add a blog to my site as a fun and entertaining way to get testimonials from my customers. I’be also thought of integrating a blog on my site geared towards web design for pressure washing companies at http://www.pressurewashingamerica.com to get feedback from my b2b customers as well. Your info here has been a big help!

  6. I am working on a law blog for individuals to share their experiences with divorce, child custody, child support, ect…It doesn’t all end in the courtroom, that’s for sure.

  7. Paula says:

    I really appreciated your advice…create a persona profile that describes an individual from that niche…b/c as a marketing professional who represents various clients, I’m finding it hard to venture into the world of blogging and social media on my client’s behalf. Social media like facebook is sooo transparent that people will know that I don’t really care about the product that i’m pushing from my company. I tried creating an alias but that was even harder to do b/c of course, didn’t have any friends for that alias. Anyways, still trying to figure all of this out. Somehow I need to create a persona for each product/service that I represent. The other problem I’m having is getting my company to understand that blogging takes a lot of time, it’s not the same as placing an ad on the radio or tv. However, since it’s a “marketing function,” they believe I should do it all myself.
    @ Katy Divorce Lawyer…great idea!

  8. Blogging is a great way to see and be seen and it is a great way to gather info that may not be available through mass media.

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