Over the past couple months there has been a distinct buzz over the use of blogs to complement one’s business. Business owners and marketing leaders alike are beginning to recognize the power of a blog. You may be thinking that blogs are nothing new, they’ve been around for awhile now. Yet blogs continue to evolve and are becoming even more interactive.
One of the biggest issues small business owners have with their website is how to leverage a small amount of content to their best advantage.
The most important rule to not lose sight of the reason for a blog. What is so great about ranting about the latest Jazz Festival coming to town, if there is no one there to read about it? [People – We are talking Web 2.0 here] If you are not willing to develop a blogosphere of your own, where you take the time to give thoughtful feedback and comments to other blogs, then don’t expect to have visitors drooling at the RSS feeds waiting for your next post. Commenting on other blogs not only gives the chance to make a meaningful contribution to someone else’s post, but you are also encouraging visitors who read the comment chains to follow you back to your blog.
The second most important rule is to post and to post often. If you are not keeping your blog up to date with what is happening in your vertical, then you will most likely lose readership over time and be forgotten about In reality, one post a week is nothing. But I understand, as a small business owner or marketer, finding the time to brainstorm a meaningful post can feel overwhelming. I am here to give you some Blog Food inspiration.
What is Blog Food? Simply, an article, review, testimonial, interview, picture gallery or opinion that you feel would be attractive to your audience. Anytime you have an idea for a post, write it down and use it later on. Here are some tips to leveraging your small business through Blog Food.
- Use photo’s in your post’s – Living in the Digital Age, it seems the ability to upload digital photo’s is easier than ever. Photo’s offer a nice break in the text, while also giving your audience a visual to help get the point of the post across. Screen shots are a super easy way to provide visual instructions as well. [Note: There are no photo’s in this post]
- Provide a meaningful title – With the use of RSS feed readers, such as Google Reader, your audience is much more prone to skim the numerous blog post titles every morning as they drink their coffee, rather than hit each blog directly. The title is the first chance you have to reach your audience. Your title also provides a great SEO benefit. Giving your title a little SEO attention can go a long ways – simply do a little keyword research on your topic and optimize your post for a popular search term.
- Diversify your posts – As a small business owner or marketer, it is your job to diversify the audience of your blog. Simple topics such as market tips, local events, or article reviews are a great way to diversify your blog.
- Share your honest opinion & insight – Often times, the best blog post is one that comes from the gut. Post’s that are edgy and controversial give your audience something to comment on, but it also sparks a buzz throughout your readers. This can keep them coming back for more.
- Be the expert – Position yourself as the expert in your vertical. This is huge to leveraging your blog to help influence your business , but also the most difficult. It takes time to prove to your blogosphere that you are the expert in the vertical, and this requires a high level of interaction on your part. Commenting on other blogs and posting meaningful articles will surely help point you in the right direction.
- Share with Social Media – Most Social Media Networks, such as digg, del.ico.us, Twitter &Stumbleupon, offer the ability to share content via your blog. By installing the social network’s logo to the bottom of your post’s, your readers can easily promote your content to other sources of the web.
- Track pageviews/visits – Install a web analytics tool to help track the visits/pageviews for your blog. This sharp Google Analytics plugin for WordPress blogs helps track all pageviews to your blog posts, giving you a sense of what works and what is flat-out garbage.
Once you have found a nice rhythm for blogging on your own, your small business website will surely feel the positive effects of a larger targeted audience. Happy Blogging!