Building a Better Blog

Keyboard - smallIt’s hard to overstate the value of a good blog and the impact it can have on your business. Here when we’re talking about value, we’re talking about bang for your buck. A blog is essentially free, other than the time you put into creating content and the cost of the website on which you host it. And yet a quality blog can do so much to drive traffic to your website and to help establish yourself, and your organization, as thought leaders in your industry.

We’ve been blogging since February, 2009, and we’ve been doing it consistently (one of our highly recommended strategies for success). Here are our “top tips” on building a blog that will generate real results:

  • Identify the goal/objective of your blog, your target audience and some key themes related to your target audience so that your content can be targeted and focused on issues/information that your audience values. Commit to offering information that is useful, not self-promotional. Promotion can be an offshoot of what you’re doing, and should be, but needs to be subtle. Without real value you will quickly lose audience.
  • Make sure that you are committed to keeping your blog up-to-date with fresh content on a regular basis. How often you should post depends much on your business and your target audience, but at a minimum you should post at least once a month. Don’t overlook content that you may already have created—or will create—as a good source of material for your blog. For instance, if you’re getting a lot of questions from your customers about a particular issue, the response to those questions could be a good basis for a blog post topic. Similarly, if you often get questions about how your product or service works, etc., these might suggest good content ideas.
  • Use content from your blog to create content for other purposes. For instance, short lines from the blog could be used for social media posts (which link back to your blog to help build traffic); longer portions of blogs can be pulled together for eletters that you send to your audience.
  • Make sure all of your content is high quality and error-free. If you don’t have someone on staff who can write well, and regularly, find someone who can. If your copy is full of errors, poor grammar, etc., that will all reflect negatively on you. Having an outside perspective can also help you come up with fresh ideas and new insights that those on the inside may not have thought of.
  • Incorporate relevant third-party content. Don’t limit your content only to your own perspectives. Curating content from third-party sources and offering links to additional information can help you boost the value of your blog to your readers. It’s important, though, to make sure that the content you choose to highlight or share is consistent with, and reflects positively on, your own brand.

Finally, don’t look at maintaining a blog as “just another task.” It truly does pay dividends for relatively little work and very low cost. We’ve had great success with ours (you’re reading it now!), and that success can be had in any industry.

Are you a blogger? What best practices have you unearthed? What advice would you have for other bloggers? Share here!

(If you don’t have, or need help maintaining, your blog, get in touch. Content marketing is our passion and we work closely with clients to deliver real results.)

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