Boggled by Blogging?
What a funny word, blog. Where did it originate? One day we hear it, next we’re supposed to have one. That’s enough to bog down anyone’s momentum adding yet one more business initiative we need to make time for.
In the late 90s, the practice of making periodic entries or keeping a log of thoughts on the World Wide Web gave birth to the “Weblog.” When some clever writer divided it into We Blog, another gift of geek-speak entered the lexicon.
Today, blogs are the norm. Everyone from decorators to diplomats have their own private little online press, putting forth their viewpoint on issues from pillow shams to presidential shams. There are basically three reasons for any business to jump on the blogwagon. Let’s examine each one at length.
One: Your Blog is Their Bonus
Why should you even bother blogging? Isn’t it just fluff? Shouldn’t the manhours be dedicated to putting up product descriptions and making sales calls? If you read Part 1, we listed 25 benefits of blogging, but here’s the main one.
If you don’t, you’re going to be perceived as, well…behind the times.
Let’s just say having a blog on your website has become, as the French say, de rigeur, literally ‘necessary according to strict convention or fashion.’ It’s common practice; it’s standard operating procedure in the modern-day digital marketplace. Think of it like a pen imprinted with your business name. A freebie. The old specialty advertising giveaway. It costs money and doesn’t produce right away. But people appreciate it, keep it around, use it later and remember the company who gave it to them.
Business blogs are kind of like that. Usually they look like just an ordinary short article, maybe with a byline, sometimes with pictures or a video. The tone is casual and helpful as if to convey “Here’s something I thought you guys might find interesting.” The topics are generic and don’t mention your own company too much.
Two: You Create a Community
If you’re not a journalist, graphic designer, computer whiz or person with excess time on your hands, you may think this is an area beyond your skill set. Not so! f you can explain how your widget works or interest people in your industry, you can, and must, start blogging. Used sparingly, blogging can be like bragging – calling attention to what’s most attractive about your enterprise.
When you read something that you want to share with your community, you can comment on or extract from other blogs by simply giving credit or including a link to that original source. In most cases, no royalty or permission is required if you give them credit. Then you can add your take to tie it to your own business. For example, if a new tool comes out that affects your business, such as the computer tablet, you can reference an announcement from Apple, Inc. explaining the device, then discuss how your service providers will be using this to provide estimates.
One thing content writers stress: when you do start blogging, be consistent and post on a regular basis. Your blog is like the monthly magazine that arrives in the mailbox or the TV program that comes on at 8 p.m. every Thursday night. It never varies, never skips, never disappoints. After you’ve been blogging for a short time, readers will decide if they like what you’re saying or not. If they do, they can even elect to ‘subscribe’ and receive your posts via email right in their inbox.
Your business credibility will rest on how serious you take not only your blog but your entire content marketing program. Sending out a steady stream of valuable information, presented in an interesting, upbeat manner attracts a following that can grow exponentially. When people are pleased they return to your site, share your blog with friends and colleagues and develop a favorable opinion of your business as a whole.
Three: Content Is a Quantifiable Asset
When you commit to writing a recurring blog you are investing in the expansion and overall quality of your online “content.” This includes the collective writing, imagery and video owned and produced by you to stimulate activity and interest around your product. In terms of marketing, blog content is a valuable commodity that can be divided, repurposed, appropriated and parcelled out to other parts of your social media network.
But what if you feel you have nothing to write about? The blank page can be pretty intimidating. Here are some business blogging tips:
- Announce a new product with a teaser post. Follow up next time with the formal introduction.
- Call a satisfied customer and get a few good quotes. Kudos are a legitimate way to weave in key points about your product’s premium quality.
- Take a techy tone and recommend 5 proven software programs for your industry. You can also talk about your Facebook page and social media initiatives.
- Distill the FAQs shoppers have and offer thoughtful, helpful answers to make better buying decisions. Follow up with a post about what not to do.
- Gather a few employees and make a how-to video or conduct a tour of the home office. Or film an interview with an influencer in your profession.
- Be your own biographer: the history of your business path makes for interesting reading if the truth be told. Share your biggest lessons learned.
- Forecast a trend and weigh in on how it bodes well (or badly) for your business community.
Okay Shakespeare, ready to start writing? If the answer is no, give us a call. We handle writing blog content for almost every business vertical.