Monday, August 3, 2009
MMM 8-3-09, Business Blogging, Why and How
What is a blog?
It’s pretty well accepted that the word "blog'' is derived from the term "web log.'' In essence, a blog is a web page or site that's part online journal--hence the term "log''--and part open forum. Some bloggers post new updates constantly; others write updates weekly, monthly or only occasionally. The trick of course to successful business blogging would be to update regularly.
Most blog entries are short and sometimes include photos or links. The idea of a blog is to get your readers to interact so most bloggers allow comments. After all blogging is part of social media and that means comments are part of the social part of this definition.
The blogosphere (the network that contains blogs on the internet) contains blogs on practically every conceivable topic. Some blogs exist on the website of an individual or business, while others are hosted on public blogging sites, like Blogger (also known as BlogSpot) and Word Press. There are also many professional sites like Pro Blogger and most forms of social media allow you to blog. To name a few: LinkedIn, Facebook, Ning Social Networking Groups.
Why You Should You Have a Business Blog.
Why not is a better question?
First of all, it’s absolutely free advertising and in any economy, down or up, free is never a bad thing.
Second, you can engage with current and potential customers in a unique way with no pressure.
Third: You can communicate your strengths of your product or service, your expertise; establish yourself or your company as an expert in your field. You can also tout the successes and talents of top employees.
Fourth: You can often convey a better understanding of your business over what happens on the website or in often expensive advertising.
Fifth: This is a great cost free way to augment your marketing and advertising.
Sixth: A blog can help you gain insight into customers' needs and interests. You can then use this information to develop new products or services or fine-tune existing ones.
Seven: A blog can make your company appear more dynamic and personable. A website promoting your products or services is an essential marketing tool. But a blog, in effect, gives your company a personal voice, which also can help boost not just customer interaction but customer loyalty.
Eight, A blog can become a brand or can become a niche brand or service brand for your company,
Tips on Creating a Business Blog
1. You may not use it at first but please do choose a domain name that matches your blog and can be turned into a brand that is easy to type and remember.
2. Host your blog in the country that you are interested in doing business in and the language that you do business in.
3. Research keywords in your niche to find out the things that you may want to blog about and also what tags you want to place on your blog.
4. Consider basic SEO and make your content social media optimized
5. Then develop a strategy in how you’ll target your keywords
6. Decide what your goals are for your blog. Do you want exposure, do you want branding: Do you want to increase sales in services or products?
7. As you have a business plan for your business, develop a plan for your blog as to what types of articles you want to write pertaining to what your goals are and how you want to educate your readers.
8. Optimize for social media, search on social networks to see where they talk about your niche market
9. open an account on Twitter and join Follow Me on Twitter
10. Start developing content with great titles and quality information
11. Start marketing that content on social networks and article submission sites. Technorati is a great place to start.
12. Start building an audience, use your e-mail list to announce your blog and topics also use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.
13. When you start receiving comments you can turn the questions you receive in articles, what a great way to target what your readers want to read.
14. When you start receiving comments it’s a sign that your audience is turning into a community
15. Start leveraging that community – offer them something so cool that they will go tell the others, a coupon, a free white paper, a special offer, a free seminar, a meet-up, use your imagination
16. Stick with your blog – it will take a while. Rome was not built in a day and neither was an audience, not even for the most talented celebrities, they all started somewhere.
17. Commit to publishing new content in a consistent way and at consistent times. Your readers will begin to expect it and if you do not they will go away.
What are your business blogging tips and suggestions?
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© Joanne Quinn-Smith 2009, Monday Morning Marketeer™ 412-628-5048
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Joanne Quinn-Smith is the Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and an expert on Web 2.0 Branding.
Joanne has also been designated by the 2009 U.S. Small Business Administration as the Small Business Journalist of the Year for her work with information relevant to small business.
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