Blogging for Business: Seven Tips and Tricks

There's no question, blogs are big news advertising with some top
industry blogs attracting over 10,000 unique visitors a day!

A blog is like a window into your mind-giving your customers access into
your thoughts, opinions, and expertise. A blog is a great way to position
yourself as unique in your market, generate consumer interest, and promote
your product or business. But not every business blog succeeds. Here are a
Few tips for better business blogging.

Update regularly. Think of your blog as a sort of online newsletter. Just as
readers would lose interest in your business newsletter if you did not stick
to your publishing schedule, so they will forget about your blog if they
keep returning, only to find last month's content still up. Set a schedule
you can live with-be it daily, weekly, or monthly-and stick to it. You want
your customers to get used to reading your blog, and if you do not update
regularly, you will not stay at the top of their lists.

Know your market. Just as with any advertising medium, your blog needs to be
tailor to your audience. It's more than just an online diary containing
your random thoughts on your industry-it's a marketing tool. So pick topics
that are of interest to your customers, offer tips and advice in your
industry, or provide reviews of other products related to your business-in
most cases it's best to stay away from direct competitors, however.

Keep it well-written. People tend to shake off bad grammar and spelling as
though they are not important. But the truth is that mistakes in your writing
can damage your credibility as an expert. Bad writing in general-even
without overt mistakes-can make your blog difficult to read. If you know
that writing is not your strong point, delegate the blog to a talented
employee or hire a freelance writer rather than publish it in a
less-than-stellar form.

Incorporate keywords. There's nothing wrong with a little search engine
traffic, right? Just as with a page in your website, work a relevant keyword
or phrase into your copy and your title. Be sure to keep it natural-don't
cram your copy so full of the keyword that it's difficult to read.

Think of your blog as a conversation-starter. It's great if you can get
readers posting back to you about the topic. Be an active
conversationalist-respond back to people who ask you a question or voice an
opinion. Readers like the idea that you're active and accessible to them.

Keep the tone professional. A snappy, even slightly provocative tone can be
a great way to keep reader interest up-depending on your audience, of
course. But always keep your tone professional and never say anything that
can come back to haunt you. Although blogs generally started out as online
diaries, remember that these are very public venues and whatever you say
reflect back on you, for good or ill. Flaming may have been funny when
blogging was new, but they never make you look good in the business
sphere-no matter what industry you're in.

Keep it short and sweet. Readers tend to like short, concise posts, bullet
points and lists-easy to read and understand. Many professional bloggers
will tell you that it's better to write short posts often than it is to
write long posts at long intervals. Content matters, however-make sure
you're offering high quality advice or opinions. If you link to other web
sites and articles, offer insightful opinions on what you're linking to.

Blogging is a great way to increase your traffic, raise your search engine
rankings, and generate consumer interest and loyalty. Follow these tips and
above all, stick with it for more than a few months-and your business will
see the benefits.

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