Adding a blog to your business web site is a good way to make announcements and describe new products or services without altering the content of your primary business site. Blog posts are often written in a friendlier or more personal way than what a typical product description provides, but they can be formal if that is the style you prefer for your audience. Business blogs can also be used to remind customers of deadlines, upcoming events and to introduce or highlight your staff to customers who would like to put a face to the voice they hear on the telephone, or the name they see on an email.
Make good use of a business blog by incorporating one in your marketing strategy and adding this important communications tool to your web site. If you need help writing content for your business blog, consider hiring a professional copywriter to help, expecting quick turnaround and a professional, custom written post ready for publication for a nominal fee, either per piece or on retainer.
Here are the six basic considerations and steps you should take to create and maintain a successful blog:
- The Concept: Define the intended purpose of including a blog in your company’s marketing plan and put it in writing. Include the expected goal(s) so you can measure its performance and success. Assign one person to be the point of contact and expect regular reports on traffic and converted sales.
- The Technical Side: Where will the blog be hosted? As a subdirectory of your primary website, it may help build authority for your main site in a search engine’s view. It may also help boost your main site’s search results position by demonstrating to the search engines that you update your site frequently with new content. Another option is to host it as a separate domain or a subdomain. A separate blog can be useful for linking building and establishing relevancy for your main web site.
- Who Will Be Your Readers? Define the intended audience. First time web site visitors? Potential or new customers? Established customers who return to your site for additional information? People looking for bargains? Your ideal customer?
- Type of Content: Establish the tone and desired writing style. Will posts be enthusiastic and inviting? Formal and educational? News item objectiveness? Friendly and gabby? Motherly advice? How long will each post be? Will they include graphics, photos and videos? Who will create the graphics and videos for you? Will one person in-house write each post or will you have different designated people from throughout the company submit articles? Would you benefit from having someone off-site professionally write the content based on the topics you assign or edit the content written by your staff?
- Name the Blog: Unless the blog is part of your main web site, the blog title should be like a published newspaper, newsletter or magazine name and reflect your company’s image and values.
- Create a Calendar: List important events throughout the year that you will want to address in blog posts, such as holidays, anniversaries, quarterly reports, conferences and trade shows, special sales, and seasonal stories or information. Define how often you intend to publish posts and target key dates as deadlines. Blog posts do not have to be published regularly on the first day of each month – it is OK to scatter posts throughout the year. If you are expecting search results benefits in addition to informing your human readers, we recommend at least one post of 200-300 words per week.
Once the blog is up and running, don’t neglect the follow up. Check the blog regularly, from various devices, for appearance and to be sure the site has not been hacked. Check for comments and follow-up in a positive and timely way on any complaints or questions that may appear. Complaints should be welcomed as an opportunity for you to address problems within the company and to appease and retain your customers who took the time to bring a problem to your attention. Comments need to be moderated to prevent spam and hackers, and to make sure the posts are generating the buzz or feedback that you intended.