Blog Creation: Five Secrets to Creating a Successful Business Blog
by Ed Sykes
Every day business blogs are created with great expectations. Your blog is just one of over two hundred million (and counting) blogs on the internet. However, many business blogs fail because of the author not knowing what is required to create a successful blog that creates leads, engages readers, and provides valuable content for its followers.
Creating successful business blogs requires the knowledge and actions that meet not only your business’s goals, but also the goals of your followers. The following are five secrets to creating a successful business blog that turns readers into customers:
- Have Clear Objectives For Your Blog – Start with the question, “What do you want to accomplish with your blog?” This will give you the answers to creating a blog with clear objectives. Are you starting your blog to sell products and/or services? Are you starting your blog to enhance the brand of your company? Are you blogging to develop yourself as an authority in your industry? All of these questions must be answered so that you can develop a blog that communicates your goals through content, look and feel.
- Be Consistent With Your Blog Content – I always say that creating a successful blog is like a hit television show. As with a hit television show, you know what time the show will come on. The same with your blog, you must consistently post content the same times during the day so that your readership know when to find your content. A hit television show also has a compelling storyline. As with your blog, engage your readers with content that tells a story. There should be stories on how your products and services can help your readership, or the stories can help your readers better understand their situations. Some television shows have their viewers coming back through cliffhangers. Your blog content can end with a cliffhanger too, offering your readers something more if they return.
Whatever you do, create a schedule of how often you will post blog content based on your reader demographics. Do they prefer content every day or twice a week? Does your readership prefer to read your posts early in the morning or late afternoon? Once you uncover this information, keep to your schedule of posting content.
- Maximize Your Blogging Resources – Blogging requires dedicated effort in order to work. Not everyone is a natural blog writer and community builder. A successful business blog puts a personality on the company and both listens and responds to the community. Expecting a blog to be a silver bullet purely based on the SEO friendliness of blog software, for example, is as shortsighted as expecting on-page SEO alone to solve a web site’s search engine ranking problems.
Successful business blogs requires an understanding of how to maximize your people, method, and technology used to keeping the blog successful. Remember, it is easy to start a blog; the challenge is keeping the blog interesting, engaging, and valuable for the long term. A set short and long term resource goal along with responsibility is the key. If a business is going to start a blog, they should plan for long-term success rather than treating it like a hobby. Your blog is an important piece in your marketing plan. Treat it as such.
- Create Feedback Channels – Comments and trackbacks are big reasons why business blogs are so successful. Allowing readers to share comments enables them to feel connected with your product and/or service. However, many business blogs don’t allow comments because of their fear of negative comments or the time and expense of staffing required to handle any such comments. My opinion is that a blog without comments isn’t really a blog. Comments are a goal, not a liability. Feedback from readers, good and bad, creates a conversation that includes the company.
The second part of the feedback mechanism is analytics. Web visitor analytics, RSS feed analytics, on-site search, social media monitoring, inbound links and comments on other blogs all provide abundant opportunities to measure the effect of a business blog and its reach. This kind of feedback can motivate the right mix of resources to evolve the blog as a key component of the organizations PR and marketing program just like any other marketing effort.
- Do It Yourself Disorder – Any business can setup blogs themselves quite easily, but judging by the number of “dead” blogs out there, it’s a very different thing to setup a blog than to start a blog and continue to be successful with it. Sometimes business simply gets in the way of sustaining a successful, engaging blog.
We recommend companies start their own internal blogs and see what’s involved. That way they can appreciate the challenges of developing a successful blog. However, it is important for you to bring in the right people that have the talents and attitude to make your blog successful. This could be an internal employee who has the skills to work with the blog (maybe the newsletter writer) or an external expert or blog coach. Just like athletes and executives have coaches to guide them in the right direction, why wouldn’t you have a blog coach or expert to create your best blog? Your blog coach can show you how to maximize your blog experience while incorporating your blog into the overall marketing strategy of your organization.
Your blog can be a powerful marketing tool with the right skills and effort. Invest in the time to apply the above blog secrets and you will enjoy your blog experience and reap the benefits of this powerful marketing tool.
The following are some blogging resources to help you start your blog: