FREE eCOURSE ON
    BUSINESS BLOGGING

    Everything you need to set-up, develop & promote a successful Business Blog

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  • Warren: Blogging and Social Media definitely go hand in hand. Having a successful social presence can do a lot for a...
  • Jennifer Rai: All points mentioned above are very well put together. Blogs having purpose and a focus on certain...
  • jessica@lukeroxas: I ran a small home based business, and lately I’ve decided to put up my own website,...
  • Rob: Rather weird that a blog on blogging hasn’t been updated since 2009!
  • Ayala Land: Perhaps I was one of those companies who, as you put it “think they can avoid it” but thanks to well...

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    CONTENTS


    1. What is a blog?eCourse Part 1 - Course Download
    2. Personal blogs versus Business Blogs
    3. Some key elements in a Blog
    4. Why should a business have a Blog?
    5. Some ways in which you can use them
    6. Blogs – a magic formula?
    7. Before we get started

    So what is this blogging all about and why is it so important to my business? Well, hopefully we will be able to help you discover the answers to these and a lot more besides during this course. To start with, Id like to introduce you to a few fundamentals about blogging and how it can be used.

    1. What is a blog?

    The name comes from a contraction of web log and it started life as a personal online publishing system. The blog would be a place on the internet where the author (normally an individual) could publish their thoughts and opinions on whatever subject they liked. These would then appear in chronological order.

    2. Personal Blogs versus Business Blogs

    We need to make a very clear distinction between the two.

    A personal blog is generally set up to allow the author to discuss their views on anything and everything, so the topics change with each post according to mood or inclination. This is where blogs started and it is essentially a personal diary or scrapbook, which can be great fun to both read and write.

    However, what we will be looking at during this course is a Business Blog and specifically how to use a Business Blog as a marketing and business tool. A successful Business Blog will be started with a particular aim in mind and should be very targeted in terms of its subject matter. In many of the best cases, it will focus only on a specific market area or niche. The writing will hopefully entertain as well as inform but whether its a series of articles, an overview of industry events or an internal information resource, it should all revolve around the area of focus.

    Why? Because the audience it was looking to reach will expect it – that is why they were attracted to it in the first place and that is why they will return and recommend the blog to others. As a result, the blogs audience will grow which in turn will help to extend the businesss reputation and reach in its chosen market or niche.

    3. What are some key elements in a blog?

    There are a number of key elements and features in Business Blogs which will crop up quite frequently during the course. These are critical to why they work so well and, when combined correctly, set them apart from general websites and allow them to offer the unique abilities that they do. The ones that are worth highlighting are:

    • Automatic Structure: the ‘categories’ and ‘archives’ are integral parts of a blog and each post will automatically be placed correctly according to the selection you make. This gives great organisation and structure to a blog which is perfect for visitors and Search Engines alike and allow you to concentrate on the content

    • No technical knowledge required: once set up correctly, there is no technical expertise needed to maintain a blog. The writing is key of course, but this is done through a “Windows” type of interface so anyone can add content and there is no need to rely on a web designer to update it for you.

    • Comments: readers can respond to articles that have been posted which helps to initiate a dialogue with potential clients, with suppliers, with partners or between staff according to what your blog is designed to achieve. The perfect opener to developing a relationship and a network!

    • Permalinks: every post and every category has its own individual address, forever! This means that you can refer to them in articles, emails, newsletters etc safe in the knowledge that they will be found. This is also great for the Search Engines.

    • Internal and External Links: blogs thrive by links and referring to other articles so that conversations and ideas can be taken up and developed. At its best, this allows a viral effect in terms of promotion and helps develop both relationships and networks. The internal linking again helps Search Engines and readers alike.

    • Multiple Authors: not only can one person add content but you can allow access to any number of people so that you have several authors contributing to a topic or a series of topics. It also opens up the possibilities for blogs as tools ideally suited to internal communications within a company.

    • Search Engine magnets: with regular posts, categorised content and search engine friendly links and addresses, business blogs become ideal places for Search Engines to find the type of content they love and so rank your Business Blog very highly!

    4. Why should a business have a blog?

    This is of course a key question and one which you need to be very clear about before starting your own blog. During this course, I hope that we will be able to show you the very strong reasons why it is important for your company to have one.

    However, you do need to be convinced of its value because the success or failure of blog will depend on the way that it is maintained and developed. To fulfil its potential, there is both focus and work which needs to be carried out on an ongoing basis.

    As a top level overview, Business Blogs will help to:

    • display your expertise in your field, and build your reputation and credibility
    • open dialogue with potential customers and strengthen relationships with current clients
    • improve your search engine rankings and increase visitors to your site
    • broadcast information to those you want to receive it
    • facilitate a greater understanding of your business and what it can offer

    They also integrate perfectly as part of your online marketing activities whether your blog is part of your current website or stands alone. Of course for those businesses without a website, then it may be appropriate to use the blog as your website rather than pay for one which other may need to update for you.

    5. Some ways in which you can use it

    It is an excellent marketing tool. With Search Engines now the pre-eminent research tool, it is important for a company to have visibility on the web when customers are making buying decisions. Business blogs give a timely boost to this.

    It is excellent as a tool to help to generate traffic for a website and to inform (and hopefully impress!). It will also give the opportunity to pre-qualify potential customers by sharing information with them. The more that they know and understand about you and the services / products that you supply, then the more likely they are to feel secure in buying from you when a need arises and indeed the more quickly that they may realise that that need does exist.

    In terms of specific uses, they are excellent for educational marketing, product testing and announcements, broadcasting public relations (in terms of press releases, company news, case studies etc), getting customer feedback, delivering promotions and announcements and they open the door to a whole host of other possibilities.

    They are also very powerful tools for developing information sources, teams and relationships inside an organisation. In some circles, it is considered that for larger organisations, this will become one of the main uses of a blog because of its ability to store and share information.

    What it is not is a direct selling tool use it to inform and develop relationships, get feedback on ideas, show depth of knowledge but dont directly sell with it. That will turn away the readers at a very early stage.

    6. So, Business Blogs are a magic formula for success?

    No – unfortunately not!

    At the end of the day, a Business Blog is a marketing and business tool which should be used as part of an overall marketing campaign. It is not a magic wand that will send low sales levels through the roof or suddenly transform your relationship with your clients.

    However, it is hugely influential and an excellent way to engage with potential customers, inform and influence them in a way that no other method can achieve with the same degree of interaction and reach.

    7. Before we get started

    When you start your own Business Blog, its important to become as familiar as possible with blogs in general, their format, their tone as well as their diversity. One of the best ways to do this is to simply explore those blogs which already exist. By reading what other businesses and individuals are doing with them will give you a first hand feel about the subject matters that are looked at, how they are presented.

    Try to look at a mixture of different types of blogs as well as ones in your own area of interest. If you are having difficulty in finding blogs in your area of interest, then contact us at coursesupport@betterbusinessblogging.com and we will help you to identify blogs which may be of interest to you. You should send details of the business sector that you work in which will help.

    Whats next?

    First, we need to look at some questions that you have to consider before you start to put together a blog for your business. Some of the main ones are:

    • What will be the focus of my blog?

    • What do I want it to achieve?

    • Who is my target audience?

    This is what we will be looking in the next part of the course.