Blogging. We’re all intrigued. It’s a hot topic. And businesses want to jump in. But what’s in a blog?
A blog is personal, it attracts attention, and it has the capability of providing solutions. Blogs are much more than the “I ate a hamburger today” variety. Successful blogs tell a story, with each post serving as yet another element that meets the goal of the blog. But is there any goal that is better than another? And for businesses?
Well, to start out, go to source to see who’s who in the blogging world. Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere is a great resource to understanding the trends and themes of blogging. But this is on the aggregate, how do you pick your own personal spin once you jump in? As a framework, you can think of your blog posts as referential or experiential. And to make your blog stand out from the crowd? Think of these building blocks for a successful business blog. Good blogs tend to follow a similar structure to be effective and attention grabbing. But on the whole, check out these general considerations for developing a effective blog, they may even provide a few fine tuning elements for those who have already launched.
And the technical aspects of a blog? How do you create it? In general, consider these simple website essentials, including a few mistakes to avoid. Newbie moves are easy to prevent. Regardless, choose your blogging engine (Forbes Best of the Web), turn the key and get rolling. (Don’t forget to register your domain and sign up for an e-mail account too.)
But don’t let technology get the best of you; your ability to succeed in business can easily translate to the content of your blog. Put your customers’ needs, wants, attitudes, and motivations front and center and consider the communication of these values a primary objective. You know this stuff, blogging just serves as an additional device to extend your brand. Boost your business with a blog and keep on top of your industry.
Be sure to uphold blogging ethics. Blogs are often produced by nonprofessionals, who don’t have the same sort of moral code that journalists and reporters have to adhere to. A blog’s greatest strength is it’s uncensored, unmediated, uncontrolled voice, but this can also be its greatest weakness; take into account these ethical principals.
What about search engine optimization (SEO)? Luckily your blog will include text rich pages which are search engine friendly. But here’s a list of some other SEO techniques to consider. And if you use Word Press, check out these really helpful SEO tools, it’s worth a gander anyways to become more familiarized with the terminology.
And the legal issues? Well, each of them likely deserve a post of their own and there may be portions of your blog (pictures) requiring individual attention. (I’m hearing legal disclaimer bells ringing in my ears.) Here are few basics to start:
- Libel and copyright are the biggies.
- For disclaimers, here are a few tips.
- Also, keep in mind these concerns regarding comments on your blog.
Remember, blogs are fun! Make the most out of yours and enjoy the journey. And if you cross any hiccups along the way, know that you’re probably not the only one; 101 tips from small business bloggers.
Photo courtesy of Informed Voters.