Writing a blog is simple. The trick is to get people to read it.
The secret to successfully promoting your blog is to market without explicitly marketing. No matter what product you’re selling, no matter what service you’re trying to provide, your target audience will never be an army of dutiful droids programmed to do what you say, when you say, and how you say. The truth is, the blogosphere, as abstract as it may seem, is composed of air-breathing, cognitive individuals with their own personal interests and aversions, as well as the shared capacity to be bored and inherent desire to be entertained.
With readers able to jump from page to page with a simple click of the mouse, your company’s blog must focus on topics and include stories that excite and incite visitors, presenting it in such a way that makes them want to actively involve themselves in the discussions taking place.
Here are a few tips on how to create a blog that people want to read, and keep reading:
1. Build A Team
Bloggers should be from all different facets of the company, each with a distinct presence on the site. Along with pictures, bios, and contact information, include each blogger’s Twitter handle (username) so readers can follow different employees, the work they’re doing for your company and the work your company is doing for its clients. This keeps readers informed on the undertakings and achievements of your staff – whether it be a ground-breaking computer application they’re in the midst of developing, or that they finally solved that rubiks cube they’ve been working on since the 7th grade.
2. Get the Word Out
Take steps to get the blog noticed. Use Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to place your blog in the “sponsored links” section of related searches. This way, webgoers interested in similar services will see your company’s name and wonder what you’re about. Through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you can direct people to your site by including content that contains commonly searched keywords for searches dealing with your field. You can also try cross-linking your company’s main web page with its blog – guiding those who visit your blog to your company page and those who visit your company page to your blog.
3. Make a Splash
Treat the blogging community like you would any other social situation. After all, that’s exactly what it is. Engaging with other bloggers and creating an extroverted personality in the blogosphere, may be just as, if not more imperative to the success of a company’s blog than direct advertising. Make creative efforts to entertain, impress, and serve your readers. Provide content that your audience will value – such as trends, projections, an industry who’s who, or helpful how-tos. Make them want to be a part of what you’re doing.
4. Mix in Media
Mix a variety of multimedia into your site and make sure to frequently update it. The blogosphere is an ever-developing world and players must constantly be seeking out new and innovative ways to maintain an edge and keep readers reading. Appeal to readers on a multitude of sensory levels. Try embedding YouTube videos into blog posts, or providing an on-site video player to post informational, yet entertaining, tutorials or weekly video journals of what the company is currently working on. Demonstrate a sense of knowledge, passion, and initiative that will set you apart from the competition.
5. Get Social
Develop a multifaceted social media strategy for connecting with readers and sharing your latest content. Leverage already popular platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and eBay Ink, to get eyeballs on your brand. By harvesting interest through various social media channels you will drive customers back to your own site. Use your blog or social media to tell stories and share insight into your industry. This will create an engaging experience for the reader and build equity in your company.
6. Invite a Conversation
Finally, provide readers a sense of involvement with the decisions being made by your company. Promote interaction, asking questions and allowing users to submit ideas and suggestions on how to improve the overall quality of your company and its services. Your blog is an opportunity for you to find out what your clients want, what they need, and how they think.
Once they have given their voice to something, they want to know that it was heard. Maintain good conversation by responding quickly to comments and concerns. Waiting days to reply demonstrates to followers that neither their opinion, nor their business is of much significance to your company. Give them the attention that you wish them to give you.
Anybody can write a blog, but not every blog can be read. As is in the world of business, marketing in the blogosphere is crucial for the sale. Have a strategy. Communicate with readers in a way that interests and entertains, while still promoting your brand by building a meaningful relationships between your followers and your company.