Okay, you’re ready to take the plunge. You’ve decided it’s time to create a business blog and connect with your customers on a whole new level … but … how do you do that?
Relax. It’s not difficult. To help you get started, here are some red-hot tips for creating a successful business blog.
Objective. Your very first step is to define the objective of your company’s blog. Go no further until you know what your blog is supposed to accomplish.
Audience. You must know who your customers are so you can relate to them in ways that make sense to them and their experiences. You have to be able to get inside their heads and speak to them in ways they will find useful and appealing.
Plan. Sketch out a plan that lists topics, publication dates, research sources and experts to interview. Maybe you’re comfortable planning for two months of blog posts, or perhaps you’re the type who wants six months or even a year’s worth of topics ready to roll. The key is to create a topic outline, so you can work ahead and stay on top of publication deadlines. If you need to get buy-in or approvals from other staff members, a solid plan will make that part of the job much easier.
Reviews. Establish who is on the review panel. Depending on the size of your company and your industry, your reviewers may include people from the technical, legal, regulatory, marketing, sales and other departments. Really good advice: Keep the number of reviewers as small as possible. Remember that reviewers are meant to verify or question the accuracy of content; in all cases, the writer needs to be the “voice” of the blog.
Length. Generally, a typical business blog post is 300 to 500 words long.
Frequency. How often to post varies widely from company to company, but as a rule of thumb you should plan on blogging three to four times a week.
Comments. Allow comments—after all, you want customer feedback, right? A big part of the blog’s job is to connect with customers, and encouraging an ongoing conversation is a really good way to do that. Remember to monitor comments and respond to them. Depending on your company, you may need to develop an internal process for handling technical questions, requests for information, sales leads, and so on.
Keywords. As much as possible, use company keywords in every post. Just be sure you don’t get too “sales-y” or overtly promotional, unless sales and marketing are the explicit objectives of the blog.
Value. To keep your customers coming back and interacting, your blog must contain information your customers find useful. Blog about things your customers can relate to and care about, and you will build good business relationships through conversation.
You may also like to read one of my recent posts on the top reasons why your company needs a business blog.
Now let’s talk: Have business blogs worked for you? Does your company use blogs to create a customer community? Do you have any tips, secrets or techniques for creating successful business blogs? Please leave your comments. Elizabeth Lexleigh LexPower The Write Ideas