Having a blog is a good start, but to really be successful you want to be able to engage your readers.
Here are some simple steps to starting a blog that will keep people coming back to read it:
- Create or design a blog that matches your company website and is appealing to the eye. Don’t know anything about design? No problem! If that’s the case, we recommend you use a professional company to help you set your blog up. Sometimes, the only thing that will keep a reader from giving your blog the attention it deserves is the layout. Make sure that your design isn’t holding you back from delivering quality content.
- Create interesting content so people will return. Here’s where things can get tricky. Even though you're probably blogging to promote your business, you don’t want to seem like you are only interested in promoting yourself. Chris Brogan, a ten year veteran of blogging and writer of one of Technorati’s top 200 blogs, suggests that you give the readers what they want: useful, specialized information that comes from your own experience. He says that business owners who deal with practical issues every day are in a unique position of knowledge to write top-10-style "how-to" lists. That particular format often gets a lot of attention from blog readers. The article you’re reading now is a good example!
- Follow and comment on other blogs. In a blogging community, as in forums, if you want others to pay attention to what you have to say, you must interact with them. This means commenting on other blogs that you find interesting and following others who share similar interests. When you comment on others’ blog posts, people who read that blog will often take a look at your profile to find out who you are and why you were commenting in that forum. This leads to traffic to your blog and gets you respect as a contributing member of that community. It may seem like a lot of hard work at first, but usually, it only takes a few minutes to read another blog post and leave a few thoughtful comments.
- Update frequently. Not only should you post interesting content, you should try to blog at least three times a week as a business. You don’t necessarily need to blog a lot more than that (blogging too frequently may cause people to ignore some of your posts) but you should make sure to update your content enough that Google notices and continues crawling your site. Also, if you update regularly, your readers will know that you still have something to say that is worth listening to and they will return to your blog site.
- Know who you are targeting and write to your audience. If you’re an auto mechanic and you’re writing to other mechanics or car buffs, you don’t want to blog about gardening or pet care. Make sure that what you blog about is relevant to those who will be reading your blog. While you may find something particularly interesting, your business readers may not and that particular subject may be better saved for a personal blog.
These are just a few ideas that will help you be successful. A great way to augment your blog and drive more traffic to your site is by using Twitter. You can even track the links you post to gauge the success of your Tweets.