Market Research firms often relegate marketing themselves to a second or third (sometimes lower) priority. However, in today’s market place you must be found and be able to articulate your unique value position. One tool is blogging. Here are a few best practices for writing and promoting your business blog taken from suggestions business owners and blogging experts recently shared with us. One important goal of a blog is to inform an audience and thereby elevate the blogger’s authority within a specific area of expertise and a specified target market.
In doing so the blog owner typically hopes that blog readers will follow him or her via email communications often in the form of a newsletter. “You must create and distribute content that is going to benefit your prospects’ lives and businesses. Don’t sell on your blog, educate.” You can promote your offering but do it in an educational format.
First, you must publish regularly.
Exactly how regularly is a topic for debate, but the anecdotal evidence strongly suggests the more often the better and the definition of “more often” is 3-4 times weekly.
Do you have to post that often to have success? No, you don’t. However, if you do publish at least weekly and better yet twice weekly you will see results.
Want to see the strongest results? You guessed it, publish posts 3-4 times per week (or more).
That said, if the content is poor publishing more often won’t help you.
If you want to promote your blog (a.k.a. your message), than publish the best content possible.
To recap: Great content published regularly is the formula for getting attention!
Find popular blogs and ask the owner about guest blogging. Offer content that he or she doesn’t have that is highly relevant to the blog’s audience.
Add a well-placed link back to an article you wrote that relates to the blog topic at hand. In addition, refer to one of the blogger’s earlier posts as a source for your new post.
This builds back links between your two sites.
It also increases visibility with both audiences and will attract the other bloggers attention, giving you an opportunity to strike a deal.
Of course, you can simply begin a relationship with another blogger by commenting on their blog. You may also want to ask them to write for you and as you build the size of your audience this will become an increasingly attractive offer.
However, don’t wait until you have thousands of readers – a small but relevant audience is sufficient to attract another blogger’s attention.
Your blog post will only provide you with a positive impact if someone reads it! Therefore, publishing a post is only the first step.
Next, you must make some noise. One good way is to announce the post (via hyperlink) on Twitter and other sites.
Creating one or more tweets (2-3 tweets highlighting different aspects of a post) will bring visitors to your blog.
Of course, this assumes you have developed a reasonably large Twitter following, a subject for another time.
Equally, valuable and perhaps more targeted is the announcement of your post to your LinkedIn connections.
Once again, the impact will depend on the number of connections you have developed.
Of course, you don’t want to turn your Twitter account into a stream of broadcasts that only promote your blog posts. You need to vary the content and interact with your followers.
We all have limited time. Therefore, we recommend that for best results you should use fewer networking platforms (3-4 not 6-10).
Do it well rather than trying to be everywhere. Of course there is no harm in adding to your roster of sites and activities overtime.
1. Quality content – no point in building traffic if they won’t like what they read.
2. A decent quantity of content, added to regularly – whenever you add more content the chances are your traffic will increase.
3. Comment on other blogs, linking back to your blog and of course, aim for blogs with a similar readership.
4. Write guest blog posts whenever you have the opportunity and create opportunities by commenting on other blogs.
5. Add links to your posts on your chosen social media platforms – automating them is okay, but tailor the associated comments.
6. Acknowledge people who respond to your posts and reply to comments thanking people who re-tweet your tweets.
7. Use keyword hyperlinks in your posts, but don’t overwhelm your readers with them and risk lowering the quality of your content.
8. Track your blog stats; note the times people read your blog and the posts they read. (If you use WordPress try WP Slimstats).
9. Work on promotions that focus on the most popular posts and the most popular times.
10. Be as generous as you can. Use your blog and social media networks to help people link to others’ blogs.
11. Link to clients (e.g., when they have good news or you finish a project with them), retweet great content – you get the idea.
12. List your blog on your social media profiles and make it very easy to spot your homepage(s).
13. Build relationships on social media before you need them!
Experienced business owner, with roles including President, CEO, and COO
Authored the book “Questionnaire Design for Business Research” released in 2010 by Tate Publishing, as well as numerous eBooks, articles, blogs, and other publications.