Blogging tips for businesses

Whether you run a small business or a multinational corporation, blogs are a great way of improving your company’s image and gaining customer interest. Blogs have become a popular communications tool on corporate websites because of their ability to communicate with consumers in a more frequent and relaxed manner.  To help you get the most out of your company’s blog, we’ve created the following list of useful tips:

  1. Stick to business: Your corporate blog should maintain a professional tone and cover topics that relate to your company or its industry. This will help make your blog relevant to anyone who visits your site, and will also make your company appear as a leader in its field.  Avoid blogging about topics that are too personal, no matter how small your company is or how close you are to your customers.
  2. Have personality: Although it is a professional marketing tool, a blog offers a more relaxed way of communicating with your clients.  Integrating relevant light-hearted stories or humour can help. So can naming your authors rather than using an anonymous “admin.”  Be wary, though, of overdoing it; striking the right balance is key.  Also, avoid strong opinions on controversial issues as this can alienate your audience.
  3. Be informative: Visitors who come to your blog should be able to find information about your business (recent successes, company news, etc) as well as information about your industry.  Take time out to research various topics and write informative pieces rather than linking to external sites.  Once your blog becomes a hub of information, people will come to you for more relevant news.
  4. Post regularly: Writing regularly on your blog shows visitors that your business is constantly active and motivated.  A blog that isn’t updated implies that its company hasn’t done anything noteworthy, which is never the image you want to convey.  There is no magic number for how many posts you should write, although businesses should aim for at least twice a week.
  5. Choose a variety of topics: Sometimes figuring out what to write about is more difficult than actually writing the post, but no matter what your company does there are many topics that your blog can cover.  Showcase your successes, like recent projects, participation in events, and major company news. Posts that answer common questions, address industry changes, or highlight special offers are a great way to grab customer attention.  Also, find unique ways to tie in your products or services with larger news stories (for example, a company that makes foldable chairs could have blogged about their use at the Royal Wedding or how good they’ll be for the Olympics).  Get creative with what you write about and vary the subjects, and in no time you’ll have more than enough topics to choose from.
  6. Incorporate social media: Within every blog, include social media buttons so your readers can share your post with friends.  This will help increase your readership and spread your company’s name to more people.  Additionally, enable your comments section so people can interact with you (just make sure to put a filter to avoid spam comments).
  7. Get creative: Although blogs are primarily based on writing, you can increase their effectiveness by adding multimedia or images.  Try to incorporate something visual in all your posts, as they’ll help grab readers’ attention while breaking up the text.  One or two per post is enough to illustrate your point but make sure they have relevance to what you’ve written. Don’t forget that your overall blog design is also important, so take some time to make your design unique and reflective of your company.
  8. Edit, edit, edit: As is the case with any marketing material, your blog must be edited for grammar and spelling.  However, don’t forget to edit the content as well.  Sometimes businesses get so caught up in the relaxed atmosphere of a blog that they forget the information does filter into the public domain, so verify that a post’s content can be made public.
  9. Remember SEO: Your blog is a great opportunity to improve your website’s SEO.  Regularly updating a blog helps search engines rank you higher, while using keywords helps you come up in relevant searches.  Additionally, internally linking to relevant pages within your website will guide visitors to other topics of interest.  Don’t forget to fill in tags, categories, alt-tags, and add an SEO plug-in that would allow you to input other useful information.
  10. Promote your blog: A key step to any successful blog is to inform people that it exists.  In addition to promoting it on your own company’s website and marketing materials, also try to promote it in places that your customers visit.  Advertise all your new posts on your social media profiles (with a link back to your blog).  Guest blogging (writing a post for another blog) or blog rolling (getting on a list of suggested blogs) on relevant sites will also generate brand awareness and increase new visitors to your site.

By implementing these tips, your company’s blog will gain loyal readership and improve your business’s overall image.  Blogs are an easy way to implement online marketing, and they are a great way to increase traffic to your site. The fact that you’ve read this entry is proof enough of how useful and effective blogs are at reaching a target audience, so start writing today!