In recent years blogging has become one of the easiest to use, yet most innovative tools for any website, small business or personal, to gain an audience. A blog garners attention because it enables you to get your voice out there. Whether it is a personal blog or a small business blog, the desired effect is essentially the same; to gain attention and get you or your business noticed.
Why should I bother blogging?
The principal is simple. You want to generate traffic into your small business or website. The easiest way to do this is to give your clients or potential visitors something that they will come to your website for, this is where the blog comes to the fore. The blog is simply a piece of content that will cause your clientele to want to read it on a regular basis, and therefore return to your website to do so.
How to creating a personal or small business blog.
The first step is to physically set up your blog page. If it is a personal blog then word press is a very easy to use site for setting up a new blog. You will need to purchase the domain name, these are usually fairly cheap. If you already have a small business website that you wish to relate the blog to, then you can just add a blog page to the existing site.
Visit this Wikipedia page to find out more about the origins of blogging.
Engaging content is everything.
The next step is the content. The key to a blog is that it must be either informative or witty. If you run a small business, then an informative blog that offers interesting advice within the field of your business will be beneficial to that business.
A blog can also set the precedent for how clients view your small business, as it gives them an insight into the workings and methods behind the business.
For example, if you were to have a marketing or P.R firm, a good blog would be one that gives advice to business owners on how to market their small business. If you were an information technology firm then you may wish to demonstrate your knowledge of the latest technologies by reviewing the latest products, a good example of this can be found on our it departments support website. This will in the long term bring you more clients as it shows firstly that you know what you are talking about, and secondly that you are willing to impart that knowledge and help others. It puts you on a good morale standing with your clients because before you’ve even spoken to them, they already have a feel for your company simply from your blog.
What writing tone should I use?
Funny blogs have an obvious lure to them and tend to be the blogs that attract the biggest audiences. Funny blogs tend to be seen more in personal blogs, however they make a very good platform from which to launch a marketing campaign. For example if you were about to launch a book, then you could create a blog in the months running up to the launch. By creating this witty blog and capturing an audience, you have a waiting client base into which the book can then be directly marketed.
When it comes to writing the blog you need to keep the tone on a friendly yet professional level. You have a website that no doubt already shows the professional front of the business. A blog allows the client more of a personal insight into the business, so although you should remain professional, the personal touch is important.
The importance of good content structure.
You need to ensure that as well as quality content, you also structure your blog with clear concise points. You do not want your readers to get bored, so don’t ramble.
In terms of content, you need to provide value to your readers. What questions do your customers ask you? What are the key words that will bring people to your site?
Search engine optimisation is something you should be considering if you are serious about the marketing of your small business. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a simple case of incorporating a certain word or phrase into a piece of content, in this case the blog. For example if you run a boarding kennel, you might include the phrase ‘look after my dog’ several times in a blog post, or across several blog posts. If someone then types this phrase into a search engine then your site would be optimised by the search engine for stating this phrase several times.
The importance of a blog title.
The title is everything, and possibly the most important part of the entire blog. It is a handful of words that will either blend into the endless streaming background of words that is our news feeds on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, or it can be that catchy little caption that lures in your potential customers. Think hard about the title to each blog.
The association between blogging and marketing.
Another aspect of blogging is the marketing. The modern method of marketing is of course social media. Blogging is no different. There is absolutely no point in writing a blog that nobody knows about. Sure a few people might happen across it by chance, but if you want to generate real numbers then you need social media.
If that’s the case, then why not just advertise the small business through social media and forget the blog, I hear you say. Simple… advertising is boring. If you look through any twitter feed you will see hundreds of advertised businesses with links to their sites. They’re tedious and no-one wants to see them quite frankly.
When a blog is linked to a twitter feed, you see only the title. The title is catchy and appealing, most people will read it, even if it’s just out of curiosity. They click the link and voila you have gained a viewer into your website.
You can also use an email subscription whereby readers who like your blog may subscribe to receive email updates when a new post goes live. This keeps readers coming back to your blog and site. Email subscriptions are also a crucial marketing tool. If you are able to get people’s contact details from them willingly then you can send marketing material to them that is relevant to your small business. Google Feed burner is a popular email subscription service and is added to any site by simply copying and pasting the code provided by Google into the html box on your site.
A blog then is a valuable marketing tool, and a great way to project a company image. There is a certain art to creating a good blog, but if you follow these basic principles then you should have a successful blog.
The art of blogging – http://taoblogging.blogspot.co.uk
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Lucy is a serial blogger that loves to blog about blogging!!! Lucy runs numerous blogs for various clients across the United Kingdom.