FREE eCOURSE ON
    BUSINESS BLOGGING

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

    Full Name

    Email

    Referred by


    FULL COURSE DETAILS HERE

  • 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...

    Join me on Twitter at @BlogCoach




    Better Business Blogging - Quick Bloggers GuideWriting a business blog can be time consuming but it is also an excellent and successful way to develop your business and to connect with your customers as well.

    Here are some suggestions of things that you might consider keeping in mind as you get into writing your posts and start to develop your blog.

    a) Publish on a regular basis
    You should aim to publish posts on a regular basis – this doesnt mean that you need to post every day, although it’s better to post more frequently than not. Aim to post two to three times a week and then keep to that regular rhythm. If you leave it a long time between posts then people will tend to wander in and out rather than become dedicated followers, but if you are going to be away or know you won’t be able to post for a while then simply let your readers know in a post! However, one last reminder dont post for the sake of it. Better not to post than sacrifice quality!

    b) Stay on planned topics
    Try to avoid mixing lots of different subject areas in your blog: as a business blog you want to keep the content as targeted as possible to your niche market area which will help you to get more exposure and build your reputation in that area. Focusing on your main topics is likely to bring you much more success than if you start to stray onto a number of different areas. If you decide that you do want to cover them and the area warrants it, then you might consider setting up a new separate (focused) blog.

    c) Always keep your readers in mind
    Whether you post twice a day or twice a month, always bear in mind who is going to be reading your posts. Then make sure that you write about things that will be of use to them, inform them, amuse them, inspire them, encourage them or any mixture of the above. As Seth Godin commented, “The mistake most blogs and books make: they are about the writer, not the reader” – try to avoid falling into this trap.

    d) Make your titles attractive (in all senses)
    When you write your posts, spend time on the titles that you give them. You need to use them to attract your readers’ attention (in RSS feeds or Search Engine Results) but ideally they should also include your post’s main keyword so that it helps on the Search Engine front as well. [No-one said it was easy! ;)] The title will often form part of the posts permalink as well as the Title Tag which makes it doubly important to get the keywords in there if possible.

    e) Reference other sites and any sources
    If you write a post which references other articles then you should ensure that you state where the reference comes from and add a link back to that article where possible. Its akin to good manners in blogging, adds credibility to your own work and benefits your readers. If the article is on a blog then add a trackback this creates a link back to your post from the original, as well as informing the author that you are developing the themes of their post.

    f) Spelling and Grammar
    While Blogs may be slightly less formal in terms of writing style, you should still try to avoid spelling and grammar errors in your posts, partly because it displays professionalism and partly because mistakes can distract people from the content they are reading.

    g) Check back to your planning document
    From time to time, check back to your original planning document where you outlined the aims of your blog and what you wanted to achieve with it. It’s always good to make sure that you are still maintaining those aims and that you are both measuring and achieving the results you were working towards. If you are not, then take a good hard look at your blog … or at your plan.

    h) Reference your Foundation articles
    When you started your business blog, hopefully you created a number of Foundation articles which put down a solid base for your blog in the key subject areas that you would be dealing with. It’s good, as you write, to reference back to them in your posts on a regular basis to encourage new readers to your blog to review them. Make sure that you have links back to these key articles elsewhere on your blog as well.

    i) Encourage comments and follow up
    Since the first step in establishing a conversation with your readers is going to be through the comments that they leave, encourage them to do so. Try leaving an open ended question at the and of your posts or simply ask them to comment – nothing ventured, nothing gained! Remember when they do leave comments, make sure that you respond to them wherever possible – a conversation is two way after all!

    What other suggestions would you give on ‘Writing your Blog’?

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

    3 Comments 
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Starting to write your Business Blog – BBB Quick Guides
    2. Comments – BBB Quick Guides
    3. Starting a Business Blog – BBB Quick Guides
    4. Better Business Blogging Quick Guides
    5. eCourse Part 4: First Steps in Writing your Business Blog

    As I suggested in the Green Cross Code of Blogging, an important initial step before you start a blog yourself is to stop and check the blogs that are already in existence – preferable ones which are talking about your own market or subject area – to see what is being said, how they are being used and how they are approaching blogging as a business tool.

    It is equally important, whether you have a Business Blog or not, to track what is being said either about you and your company, or about developments in your market. At least you can then join the conversations where they are taking place even if you are are still deciding how best to put together your own blog. But first of all, you need to find out who is taking about this, and where.

    So the question is where the best place to find out what blogs exist in a certain industry or cover certain topics. For me, I always turn to Technorati, which is one of the two main blog sites that I recommend anyone intending to use blogs bookmarks immediately. If you want to find out what blogs exist and what is being said in them, then this is the place to start your search.

    As you hit Technorati’s homepage, there seems to be a lot going on but, for now, let’s just focus on the main search function. So the main area that you want to concentrate on is the Search Bar:

    You can see that you can search through 3 different sets of information: Blog posts, Tags and the Blog Directory.

    • Blog posts: this is the widest search and it looks through all of the information contained in the posts of the blogs on Technorati.

    • Tags: these are like categories that an author can assign to an individual post (or indeed to pictures or links) and gives the best idea of how the author would describe the content.

    • Blog Directory: the directory looks at the individual Blogs as a whole and assigns them to subsections of the directory. When a blogger “claims” a blog on Technorati (we’ll come to that in a later post), then they can add the categories they wish to appear in as well.

    I always advise starting with the “Blog Posts” search as it gives you a wide search but the “Tags” are an excellent second bet and are becoming ever more widely used and hence useful.

    Once you have your first set of results, Technorati then allows you to refine them. I have used the example of a search on “RSS Marketing” below.

    You have 3 options to help you refine the results, each with its own pull down menu – you can use just one or all three of them.

    • The first allows you to choose the “additional search terms” that Technorati has suggested which also appear in blue just below and gives you posts which contain both “RSS marketing” and, for example, “Business Blogging”. This helps to narrow your search.

    • The second allows you to set a level of authority which Technorati determines by the number of blogs which link to the blog you are looking at – “any authority” will give you all blogs which fit your search terms.

    • And the third, allows you to select blogs only in a certain language.

    So now we have a set of results which hopefully reflects the posts that contain the information that we are looking for. An example from the excellent Problogger is given below as an example.

    However, this gives us more than just this post to use in our research. For example:

    • By clicking on the Post Title, we go through to the blog where we can see if there are additional posts which interest us. There is also likely to be a “blogroll” or “recommended sites” section on the blog which will often link to other sites which will be of interest. Blogs often become the hub of a network in their own right so start with one that interests you and follow their recommendations

    • By clicking on the Blog Name, you will get additional information about the blog and other posts that as well as an overview of the main areas that it covers

    • By clicking on the Blogger’s name, you can see if they write other Blogs which might be of interest to you

    • By clicking on the Linked Sites, you can see which blogs have linked to the one you are interested in and also which sites it has linked to in turn. By following these links, you can quickly get a list of blogs to read and return to.

    So using Technorati, we can quickly gain an list of blogs which will be of interest to us and also of use in developing our own Business Blog. To save time, make sure you add them to your RSS Reader (you can always delete them later) so that you can follow them easily and keep up to date.

    [Adapted from a post on my other blog, The Blog Coach]

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

    1 Comment 
    Tags: , , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Technorati gets a 3rd Birthday facelift
    2. Technorati adds Favorites page
    3. Help people to want to read your Blog
    4. Lessons learned when Starting a blog
    5. Google Alerts: Great research tool now with RSS

    Lately, I’ve been working with a number of companies and individuals who are either looking for a blog makeover or who want to set up a blog for the first time.

    Particularly, as I have carried out the Blog Appraisal which forms part of the blog makeover, I have noticed a number of areas which are important when starting a Business blog before you ever “put finger to keyboard”, as it were! Yet often they have been overlooked so I thought I’d share some of the main ones here – let me know if there are others that you think should be included!

    a) Dont skimp on time spent planning your Blog
    The planning process for your Business Blog is a crucial time but one that often seems to be skipped over or done hurriedly. You can save a great deal of pain later on by spending a little time planning out what you want to achieve with your blog and how to do it. Time spent in outlining the focus and the target audience of your blog is time well spent and ideally also make time to map out the posts for the first few weeks so that the initial postings go smoothly.

    b) Keep Navigation Easy
    Your blog gets structured automatically for you but I’d still make sure that the category names are well chosen and visible – I find that new visitors to a blog use these most often to get around. Help your readers find your blog home page quickly and easily – convention suggests that clicking on the banner at the top should take you back to the home page, but be aware that there are new readers of blogs everyday who will be more familiar with a “home” link.

    c) Make Key Posts easy to find
    As you increase the number of posts on your site, make sure that readers can find the posts which really get to the heart of your business – these could be the initial “Foundation” posts or ones you have added later. One possibility is to create a page (linked directly from your sidebar) called Top 10 posts or Key Articles or whatever you feel best describes them. This page can then contain links to all of your key posts. In this way, you make sure that they are highlighted in amongst all of the other information that you provide.

    d) Profile and Contact details
    Not putting a profile and contact details on your blog is missing out on an opportunity and potentially shooting yourself in the foot particularly if your blog is a stand alone site rather than integrated as part of your company website. If I find what I am reading interesting then I may want to get in touch with the author, so make it easy for me to do so! You should also use your profile page as the place where you can outline the goals of your blog as well as presenting yourself use this to achieve maximum effect for yourself.

    e) Create your own look and feel
    All blog software comes with base templates which dictate what a Blog looks like whatever you do, dont leave it as this default base version! There is nothing worse than spending time creating a wonderful blog full of excellent information and then leave it looking like thousands of others would you do that with a website or with a book? No! Make sure that you change it either yourself or get someone in to do it for you it will differentiate you and what you have to say as well as help with your positioning, so make the most of it.

    f) Avoid free hosted blogging systems for a Business Blog
    Sorry, this is a bugbear of mine but I feel that you should have control over any important aspect of your business and a Business Blog is just that, so dont leave it on a hosted system which gives you little flexibility or control. Also remember that you should try to choose a blogging platform which will grow with you as you discover other areas where a blog can help your business. Changing blogging platforms is a pain that is best avoided, so choose one which means you don’t have to!

    g) Not setting up friendly permalinks
    Setting up search engine and visitor friendly permalinks and URLs for your blog is beneficial from all points of view and something you should do as part of the set-up. If you leave them in a format such as www.yourblog.com/?cat=34 then you are missing out in a number of ways – so set them up correctly from the start and make sure that you are not left ruing this as your Blog develops and it becomes more difficult to change.

    h) Add Clear RSS Feed details
    RSS is already a key tool and is only going to get more important, particularly as its visibility starts to increase following the release of Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2 over the past weeks, both of which include an RSS reader (of sorts!). Give readers options and where appropriate explain what RSS is and how it can benefit them!

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

    5 Comments 
    Tags: , , , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Help in starting to post to your Business Blog
    2. 10 Key things to do before starting a Business Blog
    3. Starting to write your Business Blog – BBB Quick Guides
    4. Business Blog: separate domain or on your website
    5. Starting a Business Blog – BBB Quick Guides

    One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to setting up a business blog, and certainly one which I have been asked on a number of occasions recently, is whether it is better to have a blog as part of your website or to set it up as a separate site on its own domain.

    I would love to be able to give a brief one line response to this, however, I don’t believe that there is one which will fit all circumstances. So, true to recent form, I have to say that the answer to this will depend on a number of different factors, all of which can contribute to the final decision.

    And what are these factors, I hear you ask. Well, the main ones I would look at are:

    • Branding requirements

    • Intended use of the Blog

    • Target Audience

    • Focus of Blog

    • Domain Name Selection

    • Search Engine / SEO Requirements

    • General Marketing Requirements

    If we look at these in more depth, we can see where the tipping points are likely to be in each of the areas and therefore what will influence your final decision:

    Branding requirements
    If you are looking to reinforce your main brand, then keep all the information supporting it together and include the blog as part of your website rather than dilute it by dividing the content onto two separate sites. However, if you are considering a Product Blog to focus on and around a particular product or range, or you are looking at a sub-brand of some description, then these would benefit from having a separate domain and standalone image which would allow real focus and input from users and advocates.

    Intended use of the Blog
    If you want to use the blog for something which complements the rest of your website, such as an FAQ section or an online media centre, then integrating it in the website is ideal, as it will re-inforce and support all your company’s activities. If, on the other hand, the blog needs to present you as an independent source of information and advice, then you would be better to distance it from your website, so that you can be seen as objective in this role rather than as part of the company which has interests in the area.

    Target Audience
    If your blog and your website are designed to appeal to the same audience then, all other things being equal, it makes sense to combine them in one location which gives extra value to your readers and adds to the appeal of the website. However, if the blog deals with a specific area which is directed solely at a particular subset of your website’s target audience (or a different one altogether), then it would be better to maintain it on a separate domain rather than risk alienate customers not interested in that subject. The alternative, and better solution, is to create a series of specialist blogs which offer additional value to each individual group.

    Focus of Blog
    By adding your blog to your website, it will not be able to stray too far from the general topics and direction that the website already has. As a result, you may be restricted in terms of what you can write about, as the blog will be closely connected with the information presented on the rest of the website. A separate domain will give independence from the original site and hence allow you greater freedom in terms of your stance and commentary on issues.

    Domain Name Selection
    Setting up your blog on a separate domain will allow you to choose a new domain name which is specifically relevant to the blogs aims and goals, and which adds to its SEO potential, for example by including your main keywords. On your current website, you would not have this flexibility although you would still be able to choose something relevant either as the subdomain or the directory, according to the set-up you select.

    Search Engine / SEO Requirements
    Putting the blog on your website will add both content and value to it in the eyes of the main Search Engines and its development should increase it status and the number of incoming links to your website, as other blogs link to you. With a separate domain, however, you can set up all aspects properly from the start although you may have to go through Googles “sandpit” which can restrict rankings over the first few months. The links that come into this separate domain can then be focused into your main site and will have additional value because they come from an external site with good quality and relevant content.

    General Marketing Requirements
    You may not have the resources to fully market a totally separate blog which would effectively require its own marketing and promotional activities push. It would, however, create a whole new focus to the company’s activities which would potentially attract a new target audience. If, on the other hand, it sits on your current website, then it can benefit from the current marketing efforts used to promote the website and link from there. Whichever route you choose, you use, you should incorporate blog specific marketing as well as the more general online and offline elements as you promote your blog.

    This seems like a long list and there are no doubt a number of other factors which could be added to it. However, in reality, although the list of factors might be long, there will generally be one overriding element which will end up dominating all of the others. It could be technical in nature or one of the commercial/marketing elements mentioned above but the outcome will be the same – the best solution for you in your particular circumstance will effectively select itself!

    So, how to summarise all of this advice? Take your blog back to basics and examine what was the real trigger moment that made you decide that you needed or wanted to have a Business Blog – look at that reason and what you wanted the blog to achieve and then work forward from there.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

    26 Comments 
    Tags: , , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Separate blog or blog on my own website?
    2. Integrating a blog on your own website
    3. Choosing the domain name for your Business Blog
    4. Remember to integrate your website navigation
    5. Starting a Business Blog – BBB Quick Guides

    Better Business Blogging - Quick Bloggers Guide

    As you start to post you want to set out your stall early on, both for yourself and also for your readers. You can do this by giving a clear indication of what subject areas you are going to be covering, how often you are going to be posting and what your approach is going to be.

    Getting the first posts in place is always a telling time and you will probably spend longer on these than on any of the others. Dont worry though, the more you write, the easier it will become, and you will find that you soon settle into a rhythm and develop your own approach to the Blog.

    Some elements that you should remember and which will help you in this are:

    a) Plan out your first posts
    As you start, map out what you want to cover during the first few days and weeks, and note down the topics that you feel comfortable with. This will provide you with a framework to work with and will allow you to concentrate on your writing.

    b) Decide how often you want to / can post
    There is no set timescale as to how often you should post though, in general, the more frequently you can post the better. The one caveat is that you need to maintain the quality of your posts, because this is what you will be primarily judged on. You may find this post on How often should I blog? useful.

    c) Try to define your style
    One of the reasons that blogs work so well is the personal style you add to it which differentiates them from the sanitised marketing speak of some corporate websites. While you can develop your own style and tone as you go along, try to settle on one you are comfortable with early on.

    d) Write some “Foundation” Posts
    In the first month, try to write and include 3-4 key “Foundation” articles, ones that sum up some of the areas and concepts that you will be focusing on in your blog as a whole. These could be simply instructive in nature or could contain a number of different key concepts that you will expand on in later posts over time.

    e) Plan a Series
    Writing a series of posts on a subject which is important to your overall subject area is a good method of getting you going and establishing a relevant area of focus in your Business blog. It will allow you to write on a topic you are particularly comfortable with which will help give you some momentum and, as they will be themed around a single topic, they will also be nicely attractive to Search Engines.

    f) Keep abreast of what is happening in your chosen area
    If you are going to be a primary source of information for your readers in your industry or niche then you will need to keep up to date with developments in it and be prepared to give your opinion on them. In any case, this will not only help you to add relevant content to your site but will also add value to your readers and build their trust and confidence in you and what you have to say.

    g) Avoid trying to directly sell or directly market
    As a word of warning, avoid the temptation to use your Blog to sell directly. A blog is not a tool for direct selling or direct advertising and trying to use it as such is likely to be counter productive. Your readers will come to your Blog because they are interested in what you are writing about and want to find out more about the subject this will allow you start to engage with them.

    h) Make sure you have key elements in place
    There are some key structural elements in your blog that you want to make sure you have such as a profile to help your readers easily identify whose blog they are reading and a way to contact you, and a prominent positioning of your RSS feed to allow them to subscribe. (Check out some mistakes in blog design.)

    If you can concentrate on making sure that these elements are in place over the first few weeks of writing your blog, then you will have an excellent foundation on which to build.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

    10 Comments 
    Tags: , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Starting a Business Blog – BBB Quick Guides
    2. Writing your Blog – BBB Quick Guides
    3. Help in starting to post to your Business Blog
    4. Comments – BBB Quick Guides
    5. Who should write my Business Blog?

    Better Business Blogging - Quick Bloggers Guide

    Whether you are a large corporate organisation or an independent consultant or small business, as you start a Business Blog, there are a number of elements that you need to consider in order to ensure that you give it every opportunity to be a success.

    While the exact requirements will differ according to the goals and expectations, you should be able to answer the following questions from the start:

    a) What do you want to do with your Business Blog?
    Make sure that you have a clear vision of what you want to do with your Business Blog it should have focus and you need to ensure that it does not become a jack of all trades and master of none – the more focused it is, the more successful it is likely to be.

    b) Who is your target audience for your Business Blog?

    Avoid trying to make it be all things to all people it isnt possible. Once again focus is important, so decide on your target audience and write the blog for them with content they are looking for and a style that they will warm to. If you have lots of different audiences that you wish to appeal to then you might like to consider setting up separate blogs to cater for each area.

    c) What results are you looking to achieve?
    What goals do you have for your Business Blog and just as importantly, how are you going to measure them? There is going to be time and effort involved and you need to show results at the end of it – therefore, from the start, you should know what results you are looking for. So decide on the criteria you want to work with and how you wish to measure them.

    d) How will it integrate with your other marketing activities?
    Blogging is an excellent marketing tool, as well as having being strong in other areas. However, it is not a magic wand to cure all marketing ills, so it is necessary to decide how to best use it in conjunction with your other marketing, business development and customer service activities. (Check Marketing and Promoting your Business Blog.

    e) What Blogging software to choose?
    There are a number of options available each with different benefits by deciding what you wish to do with it, what it will be integrated with (if anything) and what degree or control or customisation you require, you will be able to focus in on which would be best for your needs. The best advice is to choose one which will grow and develop with you as well as fitting with your current business and technical requirements. Free hosted software (such as Blogger) will seldom do this or give you sufficient control, so look at WordPress (full version) or Typepad as good starter points.

    f) What to call your Business Blog?
    Rule of Thumb: choose something which you are still going to feel comfortable with in a year’s time. Either let it reflect your company and branding, or make sure it contains your keywords … or preferably both. You might like to check some additional ideas on choosing a Business Blog name here.

    g) Host it on your website or on a different domain
    As a general rule, if it sits comfortably alongside your website and complements the information on it, then integrate it into your website. If, on the other hand, you are looking to present an objective view on your industry or want a separate identity for branding purposes then choose a separate domain name.

    h) What domain name or subdirectory name to use?
    Try to use something descriptive – if you are using a separate domain, then choose a domain name which either reflects the branding you wish to achieve or contains your main keyword (or preferably both!). If it is a subdirectory then describe the purpose it will be serving such as Information Centre for example.

    i) Look and Feel of the Blog
    If you are using it as part of your website, then integrate the look and feel with that. There’s no need for your visitors to really know that they are on a blog – remember it’s the benefits that blogs offer that is important, not the technology. If it is on a separate domain, then design your Business Blog with the image you want to portray but don’t use the default template = zero differentiation!

    With all of these elements in place then you are starting off on the right track and should have the foundations in place to create a successful Business Blog. By doing so, you will find that it will save you a lot of time and inconvenience in the future and will make the blog that much more effective in what you are looking to achieve.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

    5 Comments 
    Tags: , , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Starting to write your Business Blog – BBB Quick Guides
    2. Writing your Blog – BBB Quick Guides
    3. 10 Key things to do before starting a Business Blog
    4. Better Business Blogging Quick Guides
    5. Business Blog: separate domain or on your website

    It can sometimes be difficult to keep coming up with ideas for the next posts on your Blog we will always have moments when we struggle to know what we can post while still ensuring that we keep the quality and the focus.

    My main suggestion to help overcome this is simple: keep a notebook with you at all times. Why? So that you can note down ideas that come to you during the course of the day – and, believe me, they can come at the weirdest moments. They could be triggered by any event, something that you see or a comment that somebody makes to you. Note down the idea and any associated thoughts that come with it and then you can then dip into these ideas as and when you need to.

    Is that all I have to say on the subject? Well, no actually. There are a number of the other methods that Ive used which Id also like to pass on.

    • Write about current events
      Keep an eye on what is being written about your industry through various news media and ideally through the use of RSS feeds which gets you the news ultra quickly. Select an event or piece of information and give your comments on it and perhaps its implications, while referencing the article where appropriate.

    • Read other blogs
      Keep an eye on other blogs and what they are talking about you will probably find subjects that you wish to develop further, ones that you wish to comment on in your own blog (dont forget to use a trackback!) or ones that simply spark new ideas that you can write about. Other blogs are great sources of current thinking and new potential ideas.

    • Write a series
      Select a topic and write a set of posts around the theme you have selected. Try to plan the series out in advance (at least the titles) and then write them as you need them.

    • Revisit old posts you have written
      Check back over some of your old posts and see if there are ones that could be developed more fully. You may feel that there are now updates or new information that you would like to add to them, so do so in a new post which references back to the original one and develops the ideas further.

    • Answer Questions
      Use contacts from people who have asked for information or have asked questions which have developed on your original post and opened up in turn new areas or topics. Take these questions or the points that they raise and develop the answers into new posts.

    • Get a guest blogger in
      You do not need to write all of the posts yourself, many Business Blogs will in fact have two or even more people working on them. However, if you dont have people who post regularly, you can still have a guest blogger who might come in to post on a particular subject where they have a specialist knowledge.

    There is of course a final option – simply take a break from posting for a few days. There’s no issue with that – just let your readers know and they’ll be waiting for your return with bated breath.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

    Comments Off 
    Tags: , , , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Blogging Tips: write a series on a specific topic
    2. Where to get ideas from for your Business Blog
    3. Blogging Tips: Tell them a story
    4. Time managing your blogging
    5. Change the WordPress defaults, please!

    Writing a series of posts on a topic which is important to your overall subject area is a great way to generate additional areas of interest in your Business Blog – it can also be an excellent way to get you started as you begin to post on your blog and are looking for ideas and themes.

    In fact, creating a series in your Blog can help in a number of different ways, such as:

    • it will help to develop a very definite area of focus within your Blog and create key topic areas which will support the overall primary theme of the blog;

    • it will give you a number of posts to write on a single topic which will help to get you started and gain some momentum in your writing;

    • it will encourage you not to make your blog posts too long because you will have to segment a topic into a number of shorter posts;

    • as people pick up on your blog, they will be able to trace back previous articles easily and then be more likely to revisit for updates;

    • you will be able to promote a series more easily than individual posts later on, hopefully when you have built up the number of visitors to your blog;

    • as they are likely to be themed within a topic, then they will also be nicely attractive to Search Engines (especially so as you will of course group them in a category) and will add additional internal links.

    Try to avoid making the series too long or too spread out, although you can of course come back to it and develop it further later on. Particularly, if your readers ask for additional information, then this gives you the opportunity to develop the initial series further. It may even give you ideas on how to develop the series in other directions.

    However, try to plan out the series out in advance (at least the titles) and then write them as you need them. Alternatively, if this inspires you as a topic then write two or three posts at once and, using the edit time feature, set them to appear at intervals in the future.

    In my own case, I selected SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for Blogs as a subject. For me, it warranted a series because of the amount of information that the area contains and yet is perfectly suited to being divided into smaller self contained articles. If I am honest, there has been too much of a gap between posts within the series but I think its a worthwhile set its a series entitled SEO in Blogs if you want to have a look.

    Try it it really works.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

    Comments Off 
    Tags: , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Blogging Tips: Carry a Notepad
    2. Starting to write your Business Blog – BBB Quick Guides
    3. Help in starting to post to your Business Blog
    4. Blogging Tips: Tell them a story
    5. Time managing your blogging

    Always remember to put up a profile up on your Business Blog and let people know who they are dealing with.

    All Blogs, and not just personal blogs, are essentially personal in outlook and not just another website full of product information and advertising speak. Thats why they work so well in communicating ideas and opinions, and in gaining positive reactions.

    A Business Blog also needs to be interactive and people like to know who they are interacting with so let them!

    If you prefer to include your details as part of your sidebar then keep it short and sweet theres lots more information that you also want to be highly visible there. I personally prefer a link through to a separate page where you have a little more space to include whatever details seem appropriate to you.

    Some profiles will focus on past work and experience ( no CVS though, please), others will have more of a current focus and outline future plans. What ever you put there, try to make it personal though and, for extra impact, put up a picture as well. Remember that from a networking perspective, your Business Blog acts as the hub at the centre of that network – people are therefore going to be interested in the “real you” and what makes you tick so give them some insights into the person behind the Blog.

    You also want people to be able to contact you. They can do this by posting comments on your blog, but thats not ideal in all circumstances. So, make sure that you also have your contact details on your blog, either as part of your profile or in a separate section or both! I still find loads of Blogs which seem very interesting but give me no easy way to get in touch with the author. You are shooting yourself in the foot if your contact details arent easily visible.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

    Comments Off 
    Tags: , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Business Blog Design: Profile and Contact Details
    2. Business Blog: separate domain or on your website
    3. Business Blogs: use your sidebars effectively
    4. Lessons learned when Starting a blog
    5. Business Blog Design: Follow up Posts

    ... would smell as sweet – with all due apologies to the Bard himself!

    In my opinion, a Blog by any other name would in fact sound much much better! If there is one thing that annoys me, it is when companies have gone to the effort of installing a blog system, planning what to do with it and identifying the blog’s target audience, they then take the ground breaking decision to call that section of their website . . . BLOG!

    Why do it?

    To me, it shows a total lack of imagination, a lack of planning or probably both. It’s like an author writing a thriller, perfecting the characters, carefully developing the plot, creating an unexpected cliffhanger of an ending . . . and then calling it “book”. It doesn’t add value and it should do! So use a name which lets visitors know what they’re going to find in that section and don’t make them have to guess what you are hiding there.

    So when you implement a blog for a specific purpose, then don’t be shy about letting people know what you are providing them with. If you are using it to share details of Case Studies, White Papers or latest industry news then call it something appropriate such as “Information Centre”. If you have created an interactive Q & A section giving answers to your prospects’ questions then “Your Questions Answered” might be be suitable. But don’t go to the trouble of developing an area where you encourage input into new product developments from your current users in an effort to create new product evangelists . . . and then call it “Blog”!

    If it frustrates you like it does me (hey, or even if it doesn’t!), then leave a comment and let me know about examples of companies doing this that you’ve found.

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

    Comments Off 
    Tags: , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Calls to action while doing the painting
    2. Don’t ignore your Profile page
    3. Lessons learned when Starting a blog
    4. Planning your Business Blog
    5. Building Blocks for a Successful Business Blog

    Next Page »