In the last ten years blogs have gone from unchartered territory to a practical business tool. Interesting progression? We think so. Remember what it did for Julie Powell?
Now, with the changing Google algorithms and social media boom, blogs have become an essential part of web visibility.
But is web visibility enough? No. Of course not. A blog can provide a resource and build a relationship with our readers. It becomes a source of entertainment, knowledge and trust. People who trust you, work with you. They’ll even recommend you.
We know this which is why over the years we’ve reconsidered our own blog. Let’s look at a few things we’ve learned over the years.
1. Check your content. Read your own blog. Are you interested? If not, change your content. You can be on the best side of algorithm but if your content is weak, no one will read (or trust) your blog. If the content is strong, your readers will share your blog and commit to you. Get the idea?
2. Regular updates. The difference between a blog and a book is a blog is a living thing trying to survive within a very active organism. Since its alive you must feed (or update) it regularly. Otherwise it’ll die in the Internet.
3. Get engaged! Once you have terrific content regularly updated, spread it around! Do not be afraid to engage with social media. Providing a slew of social media links at the bottom of each blog post makes it easy for your readers share your blog. Make it easy, get engaged.
4. Put this in your pocket. One of my favorite Oprah shows was her Christmas show. Not only would she suggest incredible gifts, but she would give away each of those gifts to her studio audience. They would all jump for joy. Some would weep!
Oprah is one of the most eloquent, intelligent, and fun television personalities of all time. Did she need to give gifts away to have a successful show? No. But those shows were the hardest to get in to.
Find an opportunity to give something a way in your blog. This can be a newsletter sign up. This can be a downloadable handbook of your services. Get creative! Give your readers something they can walk away with, they’ll come back for more.
5. User generated comments. This is one we go back and forth on, but user generated comments should be part of your blog strategy.
Its not right for every blog, but some blogs should allow user generated comments. For instance this blog not only allows comments but shows how many comments each post receives. Since its a blog about food and lifestyle, this makes sense. Readers can discuss blog posts instantly. Perfect. This blog does not allow comments but it does show how many likes it’s receiving on Facebook. Since its an extremely popular entrepreneur blog, Facebook likes may be all he could fit.
Where do comments fit in your strategy. If it makes sense to have an instant conversation, allow for commenting. Show them and monitor them closely. They may help you sell.
6. Promotions. Along with downloadable gifts, include promotions into your blog’s curriculum. They surprise and excite your readers to come back for more.
Warning: never ever sacrifice great content for regular promotions. Your promotions should compliment your content, not overwhelm it. Offer promotions but don’t sacrifice your work.
Every blog takes time and strategy, take time before you start blogging. Make regular updates, and if you get lost give us a call.