So you own a business and a website, but you’re wondering what all the talk about blogging is and if blogging for a business is something for you.  First we need to understand what a blog is.  A blog for a business has two characteristics.  First, a blog for a business is easy to create and publish and second it allows readers to give feedback or become part of a discussion.  In most aspects a blog (post) has a lot of the characteristics of a web page.  The biggest difference is a blog is dynamic, most web pages are static.

So why would a business want a blog.  First, if you want traffic to your website, blogs are the way to go.  Search engines love new content, and if you create a blog that discusses stuff that interests your potential buyers, you can build a community having conversations on your website, with your advertising and your ability to control the direction to some extent.  Blogs can also be a tool for your company to communicate your company policies, recent events and decisions

Items to think about:

  • Write about what your customer is interested in, NOT what you want to tell them about your company. (EXAMPLE:  Best western is blogging about travel, not staying at their hotels)
  • You MUST create value on your site, if you want people coming to your site they must get something out of it.
  • Give a face and a name to the person writing for your company.  Make it personal.
  • When you reply to people use their first name.
  • Consider adding Polls and Surveys to your blog, it is a great, none confrontational way to get feedback on your customers feelings and sentiment.
  • You MUST approach your blog with the attitude that I will do it from now on.  Going to a blog that has had no new material is 6 months gives the impression you don’t care or the site is no longer relevant and up to date.
  • Create a “blog policy” and a “How to Join” and place them where they can easily be found.
  • Don’t be afraid of negative comments.  You need to handle them quickly and appropriately.  If you do you can show that your company can be trusted to handle problems.  Most people know mistakes will happen, they just want to know they will be fixed.
  • If you blog, dominate it, don’t let the feedback dominate the page or run wild.
  • Consider adding a Blog Roll, a Blog Roll is a list of other recommended Blogs or Articles that your visitors/customers might also be interested in.

I DON’T HAVE TIME-  Actually you should be saying “I DON’T HAVE TIME NOT TO”.  Like it or not, the web and blogs are the future, embrace it now or get left behind so get creative.  So here are some suggestions:

  • It doesn’t have to all be original.  You can repost videos from Youtube that cover relevant information, repost articles from other people as long as you give credit and provide a backlink, rewrite industry articles.
  • Use your resources.  If you are using industry magazines or articles have a staff or family member type it up for you using the writing a post guidelines, all you have to do is review, copy and paste.
  • Have others Blog for you:  If you have a staff select some people that would do a good job and let them write articles and answer questions.  Select other people that are great clients or business partners and offer to let them write articles and add links back to their website.
    • Pick people passionate about blogging and the internet
    • Pick people passionate about your company
    • Pick people passionate about helping others
    • Pick people who can write