Has your curiosity driven you to read a blog, but you still haven’t taken that daunting step towards starting your own? What if blogging could help your business gain visibility, connect with potential customers, and share your expertise with a larger audience? Research shows that small businesses that blog regularly have 55% more website traffic than those who do not.
Where to begin? First and foremost, one must understand that a blog is simply a chronologically ordered “on-line journal.” Every time you write a post (“an entry”) you are broadcasting your content to your readers in real time. Before you start, it is a good idea to decide on the purpose of your blog and to establish some goals: Do you know who your target audience is? What is the focus of your content going to be? Do you want to demonstrate your expertise in your field? These are all good questions to ask yourself before you begin your blogging journey.
Once you have determined your objectives, then you can turn to finding a suitable blogging software that will meet your specific needs. WordPress is a free blogging software that offers a variety of options with regards to customization and templates. You can upgrade and pay to have certain additional options available. Blogger is another free software that is simple to use and is generally recommended for first-time bloggers. Other programs include TypePad, Live Journal, and Moveable Type. Choose one that is best for meeting your needs and you feel comfortable using.
Finally, it’s time to provide the content. Select topics you think your reader would find interesting and that you have some knowledge about.
Hopefully the information provided has been enough to get you headed in the right direction. Remember, blogging takes time and practice to truly understand what works and what doesn’t. Continue to read other blogs and social media websites to improve your blogging skills and to keep abreast of current issues within your industry.
Here are some noteworthy blogging DOs and DONTs:
DO make sure your blog posts are between 250-600 words. Any more than that and risk losing your reader.
DO comment on blogs you have visited. Interacting with others can draw visibility and ultimately fashion business relationships.
DO market your blog via other social media outlets: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
DON’T ignore comments by your readers. Responding creates a rapport and shows your expertise.
DON’T plagiarize from other bloggers.
DON’T give up and stop posting. Results take time!
By: Jessica L. Sloan, Marketing Coordinator