While the best practices are geared to corporate blogging, I really believe they are applicable to any business blogging. The list comes from Marketing Nirvana and I am going to add my take to each of them.
Here are the 5 best practices:
- Plan ahead and post regularly Posting regularly is something I have been talking a lot about lately. Do you need to post daily, no. Can you post daily, if you are able, do it. You will not regret the exposure it will get you. I do believe and I have said it before, you should post at least 3 times a week to maintain some presence. Keeping that pace is not difficult if you do plan ahead. One thing I do is I keep a folder on my desktop with subfolders for each of my blogs. I use TextEdit on the Mac to keep ideas for blog post. Each idea has its own “note card” and I add to it as I write that post. This was a great idea I picked up from Problogger. I also keep track of blogging ideas by having a “secret” email address in Gmail. I send links to myself that I find which I think might make a good post for my blogs. These are ideas you can use to plan ahead and to keep ideas flowing. You can also draft blog post and set them to post down the road a ways so you aren’t caught with nothing in the pipeline.
- Be original and fresh Content will drive your readership and in my opinion the search engines. I often am asked where to get good content for a blog. First, and one of the best sources of content are those questions you get everyday from clients/customers. What I found was I was asked those questions often, almost daily. I decided if I was being asked those questions, those must be the search inquires being typed into Google and Yahoo. So, I would use those questions for original and fresh content. Second, tell your readers what is going on in your business. And, third, tell your readers what is going on in your niche.
- Personality counts While I agree with Marketing Nirvana when you consider this point to the corporate blog. I don’t agree it applies the same to a small business, home based business or even a professional service firm blog. If you have others in your business or office who are contributing to the blog’s content, by all means make sure their personality shines through. If you are a solo, small business or home office business, a great way to have others contribute to your blog is to seek out guest posters. I do this and it is wonderful. Not only does it give you a break from the work of coming up with ideas and posting, it gives your readers a fresh look on a topic. I do seek out guest posters who I feel will fit with my readership and that is important. It is important if you are focusing on a niche or target market to get those contributors who match the personality of that niche or target.
- Social media means “social” In my opinion, this is a no brainer. If you are going to have a blog, you have to allow and encourage comments on your blog. And participate in those comments yourself. In other words, comment on the comments. I have often found that the comments I get are actually better than what I have written in the post. Don’t be threatened by that, use it to your advantage. Expand on that comment. Or, send an email to the commenter to see if they would guest post for you. I also agree with Marketing Nirvana on this one too. If you don’t allow comments, your blog is not a two way conversation. You should just do a static Web site and yellow page ad, and save the effort.
- Write well Marketing Nirvana says if you can’t write well, find someone who can. I don’t agree. A blog for a small business, home based business or professional service firm should reflect the “voice” of the business and the blogger. If you can’t write well, work on it. I do not believe you can develop the relationship with your niche, target and/or audience if you hire someone to do your blog. I don’t feel using a ghost writer is of any benefit except for time. And you can find the time to post 3 times week. (I am sure this point is going to get some comments and I welcome them. Convince me I am wrong).
Those are the ideas from the post over at Marketing Nirvana and my thoughts as they apply to the small business, home based business or home office and the solo or small professional service firm. Leave your comments and lets keep this two-way conversation going.