A blog is a medium of communication for you to interact with your customers as well as your employees. It allows you to convey your thoughts and ideas, as well as listen to your audience in the form of comments. Five years ago, companies were wary about blogging. Blogs were termed as just an online diary, nothing more. They didn’t know if it was sensible to be blogging for business or not. However, companies are now realizing that blogging is necessary to maintain an advantage in the fiercely competitive E-Commerce marketplace.
Below are six things you need to know before you start your own blog! Implementing these will make your blog very successful and also get you the desired results.
- Starting a blog is very easy. You can use one of the free blogging services available or use a paid blogging service or you can host it on your own domain. Regardless of whether you choose to host it or use a blogging service, it would be beneficial to your website if your blog URL looks something like www.yourwebsitename.com/blog or http://blog.yourwebsitename.com. With your blog URL like this, it increases your search engine rankings. If you opt for a URL like http://www.freebloggingservice.com/yourblogname or serpempire this will increase traffic on the free blogging site, not necessarily on your website.
- However, before you start a blog, it is better if you have a strategy in place. Use the following list of questions to form your strategy.
- What will you write about on your blog?
- How often do you plan to blog (write entries)?
- Who will author your blog? Just you or your employees as well.
- Will you screen your audience’s comments before posting or will you let your audience post all their thoughts about your blog?
- Do you want your blog design to look like an extension of your website or a separate entity? (An extension of your website is always better.)
- Will you use the sidebar of your blog to advertise your other services?
- When you write content for your blog, make sure all of your content is remarkable. Writing remarkable content will give your audience something to WOW about. They will enjoy reading your entries and come again. If you fear, you or your employees will not be able to write remarkable content, hire a copy writer who can do it for you. However, if you or your employees decide to write the content, it would be wise to hire a proof reader.
- Every instance of a visitor reading your blog is an opportunity for you to build relationship with the visitor. This relationship can either strengthen or weaken based on the quality of your content. Good content strengthens relationships, bad content weakens relationships.
- You also want to remember to reply to your reader’s comments. This tells them you care. If you use their first names when replying to comments, this gesture makes it personal for them.
- Make sure your blog has a RSS Feed that customers can subscribe to. This way, when you post a new entry, the people who subscribe to your RSS will know about it instantly. In addition to an RSS Feed, it should also have an E-mail subscription method for people who don’t use RSS yet.
- If you have a Facebook, MySpace or Twitter account, use them to promote your blog. You can also use DIGG or Stumble Upon to promote your blog. There are virtually limitless ways to promote a blog. However, you want to experiment with a few ways and measure where you get the best results from, and focus your efforts on those areas.
Eventual goal of your blog should be to bring your customers to your website where you ask them to take action towards your desired goal.