Hello WISE Readers!
Today, we are starting a new series about tools and platforms that may be useful for your business. In this new sequence of posts, we will be covering a few free media outlets and the way they could be used by businesses to widen their reach, engage their consumers, and ultimately get more revenues. Please feel free to leave comments below about your favorite platform, so we can make sure to include it in the series! Today’s post will be about… (drum roll, please) blogs! 🙂
Most businesses now have a website and some form of social media presence. However, a blog is unique because it provides a blend of the two: an outlet to connect with followers and consumers, while being able to share more information than on Facebook or Twitter. Plus, it is free, and there are many platforms to choose from: WordPress, BlogSpot, Tumblr… All of these have a great number of free themes and widgets available.
When you are ready to create a blog, choose a name in accordance with your company culture and choose a great layout/template. There are several free template sources, such as www.btemplates.com (BlogSpot), www.woothemes.com (WordPress) and www.designmodo.com (Tumblr). Most templates are highly customizable and you can even upload your own header to your home page.
After you create your blog, you should commit to a publishing schedule. Be diligent about it; if necessary, hire someone to create your posts. Make sure to write without grammatical errors and about things your targeted consumers/followers would be interested in. Have pictures to illustrate your posts, feature interesting articles, stay on top of the news in your industry and, very importantly, do not keep talking about your products! Your blog should be a destination for people to learn new things and grow an affinity with your company; they should not be turned off by excessive promotion.
After you get a great layout, start posting regularly, have nice pictures and interesting content, you need… followers! The best way to be noticed is to start by noticing others. Karma does really work in blogging, because the more you comment and add value to other blogs, the more chances you have of people noticing and following you. Hence, be active in the blogging community; you may use tools such as Google, www.alltop.com or www.technorati.com to find blogs like yours. Keep up with the most famous blogs, but also the up and coming ones; identify trends in people’s interests and take part in conversations. If your input is valuable, it will not take long before people start checking out your blog. Also, make sure to have buttons or widgets for people to connect with you: Facebook, Twitter, RSS and email subscription will allow you to have a larger reach.
Finally, on the more technical side of things, SEO is very useful. Set up Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics accounts to identify your sources of traffic and most popular keywords. Make sure your blog is indexed, so it can appear in search engine results. Promote it by sending emails to your consumers, friends and family, and by sharing it on your social media pages.
Yes, this post was quite long, but was hopefully rich in information. These steps are not staples, but a combination of all or a few of them should get you started on the road to blogging success!
For even more information on blogging, please check out Postcardmania’s blogging series here.
WISE readers, we want to hear from you: what are your best blogging tips? Please leave a comment below. The first commenter (and second, and maybe third) will get mentions in our next post!
Thank you for your time, and until next week, stay WISE!