Business Blogging 101: An Introduction to Blogging for the Newbie Blogger
Woe be the modern day business website which doesn’t have a blog on their actual business’ website. Having a Blog on a 3rd party network is not a good idea, because you don’t own that space (even if you’re paying a fee), you can’t fully control everything about the blog, and you are wasting valuable SEO by generating a bunch of traffic to give higher rankings to that 3rd party network, not your own site.
Most websites these days are Content Management Systems (CMS) built in WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or any number of other CMS platforms. The great thing about CMS websites is that they are blog-enabled from the jump. You will have your blog ready to make easy updates to either from your computer or your mobile phone app, and you can even edit your blog entries, create tagged links to help connect like-blogs together, and help keep your site alive and currently updated by search engine standards.
Having a Blog on your site increases your Page Ranks in search engines, and enables you to share each post easily with your Social Network communities. This way, you’re constantly pushing out relevant value to your followers, and keeping more and more traffic going to your website. Search engines like this, and your future customers will love it.
When you blog, you want to Blog about things your customers would like to know about, or would find helpful. The titles of your blogs should be similar to what people would be searching to find out on the search engines. This is going to help your Search Engine Optimization (discussed later in it’s own section), so make sure you have a few KeyWords in your titles and throughout your content.
A Blog post’s length is debatable, but we would suggest about 500 words or so (this one has 761). Also, try to keep your paragraphs short and to the point. On the web, the longer and more intimidating your posts and paragraphs are, the less likely they’ll be read. Stick to a 3 or 4 sentences per paragraph and about 3 or 4 paragraphs per post, and you should be fine.
Blogging and Content can have an eBook all to itself, but one more tidbit (before our extra bonus trick!) is to think about what style of blog post you want to write. You can write a list Blog, like a Top 10 list, or an article-style journalist-like prose post, just to name a couple. Think about what fits best for your writing style and subject. If you’re a beginning, the I just making a bunch of list Blog posts, like Top 10 Things To Know About (Insert Something Related to Your Business Here), for example.
One extra bonus trick:
Blogs will have the ability to allow user comments below each Blog post. If you allow this, be sure to either not allow links to be pasted in the comments section (or you’ll get a ton of spam), or turn comment approval “on” so that a site admin has to approve any and all comments before they are live to the public. A better option than those, however, is to use the new Disqus or Facebook Connect commenting options. Once a visitor has an account with Disqus or Facebook, that visitor can “sign in” to your site using their Disqus or Facebook log-in and freely comment. The great thing about the Facebook Connect commenting is that there will be a box pre-checked to post that user’s comment to their Facebook page. This will also place their comment on your Blog in the Newsfeed of everyone in their social network. This allows more exposure for your Blog post, website, and business thanks to the great visitors who took the time to contribute to your posts with a comment. The visitor has the option of un-checking the box before posting the comment, so it’s not anything forced on the commenter. You never want to force your customers to do anything. Forcing them will result in buyer’s remorse at best, and very very bad feelings, bad publicity, and lost customers at worst. Be respectful, be thankful, and always add value in every way possible, like your business and/or brand depend on it. Because…it does.
Action Item: Does your site currently have a Blog on it? If so, are you blogging in a way which is going to generate the most attraction from search engines, and will provide the most value to your visitors? Are your posts the right length that they’re not too short to not be valuable, and not too long to be unreadable?