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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Getting Started With Your Business Blog

Content marketing is a great way for small business owners to make themselves known and get noticed by the right people online. If you are unfamiliar with content marketing, don’t worry because we are starting with one of the easiest and well-known areas –blogging. When approached the right way, blogging really is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to create marketable content. This is content that supports your brand while enticing the interests of online users, which maybe potential customers to your business.

Blogging, content marketing, branding, creative content, audience engagement, Getting Started With Your Business Blog image 1. Woman using laptop.
The idea of creating and maintaining a blog may sound very overwhelming but it is our hope that this article will help guide the way toward to success business blogging experience. Once you embark on the process, you will find that it is not intimidating at all. You may even find it hard to stop!

Here are ten tips for starting and maintaining a successful business blog:

#1. Make sure that the information you provide is valuable, useful and relevant:

Always ensure that any and all information you provide is useful for the reader and relevant to the topic at hand. If your information is easy-to-comprehend and well-organized, it will attract reader, many of whom will go on to become regular readers. In other words, the old writing mantra of "show, don't tell" is very effective. For instance, if you are promoting a business strategy, a solid example of a business that has already achieved success will be the best way to prove your point. Also, don’t shy away from adding images that support the information in a blog article.

#2. Don't be afraid to go off-topic sometimes:
While it is always a good thing to keep your focus on brand related blogging topics, too much of it can in fact make things monotonous. A excellent way to keep your blog fresh and engaging is to find a new way to look at the same, old topics or introduce some that are a little more outside the box. Consider discussing local news and events, hobbies related to products/services your business provides, a list of favorite local restaurants or even personal movie and book reviews.

Buying lunch for the office? Why not ask each associate to write a few sentences about their choice of food. Everyone has to eat and your customers may enjoy learning a little about local favorites.

#3. Let your readers subscribe at the touch of a button:
A recurring problem with many interesting business blog is that they either have no subscribe option, or it is not within the reader's general view. Make sure that your blog has a subscription option and see to it that it is in a place that is easy-to-find, like on your website.

#4. Share and promote your content:
No matter how popular or engaging your content may be, there is always a chance that your readers (subscribers included) may miss it. It is therefore best that you give a gentle reminder to your readers about your blog every time you post. There are plenty of ways to share your posts, from social media and your website, to newsletters and even in your email signature.

Be proud of your blog and own it! Don’t just share a blog article on your business’ social media. Log into your personal Facebook account to like and share the blog post from your business’ Facebook Page.

#5: When it comes to format, make sure to mix and match:
The biggest enemy of any blog is the tendency to descend into monotony. A great way to avoid this from happening is to mix up your posts a little, both in terms of format and content. Alternating long all-text posts with shorter posts or video posts is a great idea, as is peppering your posts with a few images.

#6. Express your point of view:
While being neutral is generally a good policy, it does pay to take a stand sometimes. If there is a hot topic in your industry and you feel strongly about it, come out and say so. At times, a little bit of controversy can get your blog in the center of everyone's attention!

#7. Make sure that your blog is easy-to-read:
Remember, a blog that gets the point across simple and easily is always the best. Make sure to keep your posts from getting overly verbose, and make use of formatting (bullets, subheadings, etc.) as and when necessary. This makes your post easy on the reader's eyes and helps them narrow in information that is most important to them.

#8. Edit and proofread!
Grammatical and/or spelling mistakes are one of the biggest turnoffs of any blog posts. You must, therefore, make sure that your blog doesn't have any. Before publishing, re-read your posts to catch any errors that may be present. You can also ask a colleague to proofread your posts to confirm that they are indeed error-free.

#9. Introduce yourself:
Your business blog is a manifestation of your business' personality. A business that is in fact created by you. While your business blog is about business (and should remain as such), adding the occasional post that mentions your personal life and experiences, or even an anecdote is not a bad idea. Such posts give your blog more personality and help attract a diverse kind of reader, while allowing your consistent readers to look at you in a new light.

#10. Be patient:
Your blog is not a race, it is something that you build gradually with time. The blog will have to build momentum, pull in readers, and make a dedicated following - all of which will only come with time. Remember - slow, steady, and consistent wins the race!

If you have been blogging for some time and cannot seem to get more readers, don't get discouraged. Most business blogs need a bit of a boost to get any attention. A successful blog may receive a good deal of attention due to traffic to the main website or webpage, which it is linked to prominently. However, high-quality website design and SEO are necessary to get the most out of both properties. With the right online marketing strategy, a business website and blog can work together to maximize exposure across the web.