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

    Full Name


    Referred by


  • 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

    keyword phrase selection for blogsI should say right from the start that you should always write first and foremost for your readers – that’s Rule #1 when it comes to creating a successful blog.

    Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget that a blog is also an important tool in helping our positioning and Search Engine ranking for keyword phrases which are important to us and our business. These may be ones which cover central themes in our blog and our business activities, or they could be targeting areas that we would like to benefit from as part of the “Long Tail” effect that blogs are excellently positioned for.

    The key first step is identifying the right keyword phrases is going to be key to our efforts to get better rankings through Search Engine Optimisation. This will allow us to focus our articles at areas which we know will appeal both to our readers and to the Search Engines at the same time. It can also help to achieve a more comprehensive coverage in our chosen area by identifying keyword phrases in adjacent areas that are relevant to what we offer.

    To help in this task and find the best keyword phrases, there are a number of tools around and a lot of them are free! In addition to the tools that I have mentioned below, also take the time to check out your competitors’ sites and see what words they are targeting in their Title tag and keyword meta tag (go to View -> Source in Internet Explorer to view these). While not to be directly copied – after all every business is different – they can be a good source of additional information and ideas.

    Here are the keyword tools that I have looked at and consider worthwhile.

    WordTracker is probably the best known tool in the field and is the self styled Leading Keyword Research Tool. They is a scaled charge for a weekly, monthly or annual subscription as well as a limited free trial, but it is also very complete in what it offers across a number of Search Engines.

    Google AdWords: Keyword Tool
    The Keyword Tool is built into AdWords but Google have also made it available externally so that you can do some initial research. It gives ideas for new keywords associated with your target phrase but does not indicate relevance or give details of number or frequency of searches

    Overture Keyword Selector Tool
    This tool is a little dated now (and of course Overture is now rebranded as Yahoo Search Marketing) but there is still validity in checking it out. It returns details of how many searches have been carried out in the Overture engine over the period of a month and allows a drill down into associated keywords containing your keyword phrase as well.

    NicheBot has a mix of Wordtracker and Overture based tools as well as a nice keyword analysis tool which focuses on Googles results

    Digital Point Keyword Suggestion Tool
    One of a set of tools available at the Digital Point website this engine gives search numbers on keywords from Wordtracker and Overture sources

    In addition to these, although some of the keyword tools mentioned above already include it, I would also recommend taking a look through a Thesaurus (online or paperback) to open up other avenues. Sometimes you just cant beat going back to basics!

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

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Keyword selection and Search Engines: a cautionary tale
    2. SEO in Blogs 4: keyword rich URLs
    3. Basic SEO in Blogs 1: Content, content, content!
    4. Blog SEO: What’s the most important element?
    5. Blog Post Titles: what are the important factors?

    Well, “not” is the short answer.

    Why mention this at all. Well, merely because Steve Rubel makes the point in his post By some measures, blogging may be peaking that it may be doing just that. He goes on to add that it is really the number of daily posts that he feels may indicate this peaking.

    I must admit that I feel that it is a bit of a sweeping statement to make on the back of a slight fall back in the number of posts which could be caused by seasonality, personal factors or any other number of criteria.

    One comment he makes amused me in particular:

    “Everyone who wants to publish a blog actively may already have one”.

    Sounds a bit like the quote (or misquote) that “there is a world market for 5 computers” to me.

    To be honest, I’m much more inclined to Shel Israel’s take on it over at Naked Conversations. In a post today, he comments

    I see evidence that blogging is going where Robert and I predicted it would go in Naked Conversations and that is everywhere.

    I fall more into this camp. I still think that we are in the early stages of blogging in general and certainly in Business Blogging – early adopter phase, if you like, rather than the early majority.

    As for Business Blogging, that’s certainly still just getting started (innovator / early adopter level) and we are merely scratching the surface in terms of realising the different ways in which they can use it. Particularly so here in the UK where companies and individuals who already using blogs to benefit their businesses and their customers can still consider themselves to be well ahead of the game (and the competition!).

    How blogging is used and perceived is certainly both changing and developing, but to say that it is peaking is I feel more than a little premature.

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

    1 Comment 
    Tags: , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Who will be blogging by the end of 2006?
    2. Business Blogs aren’t about Conversations
    3. Blogging survives puberty to reach adulthood

    I have been intrigued to read a couple of interviews over the past week with Tim Berners Lee, the father of the World Wide Web, and in particular his reported stance on blogging.

    In an interview with the BBC entitled Web Inventor fears for the future, Berners Lee was talking about setting up a web science research project to look at the possible implications at a social level of the web’s development. This was also reported in the Guardian Unlimited where the article had a subtitle of “blogging one of biggest perils, says innovator“.

    This has been widely reported around the blogosphere as you might imagine, particularly coming from someone as influential as Tim Berners Lee. As I read the pieces, I wondered why blogs were being singled out for particular blame, especially when I felt so encouraged by the self-regulating efforts I saw in operation after the Edelman / Walmart fake blog episode.

    I was therefore pleased to see this week on Berners Lee’s own blog, a post entitled Blogging is Great where he comments:

    In a recent interview with the Guardian, alas, my attempt to explain this was turned upside down into a “blogging is one of the biggest perils” message. Sigh. I think they took their lead from an unfortunate BBC article, which for some reason stressed concerns about the web rather than excitement, failure modes rather than opportunities.

    Feeling rather relieved at this, I looked back over the other articles and noticed that Bobbie Johnson, the author of The Guardian’s article, had rather ironically highlighted that “... he (Tim Berners-Lee) warns that ‘there is a great danger that it becomes a place where untruths start to spread more than truths, or it becomes a place which becomes increasingly unfair in some way’”. And who is to blame for that exactly?

    However, as TBL concludes in his own post:

    And, fortunately, we have blogs. We can publish what we actually think, even when misreported.

    Touch! And an appropriate way to sum it up in my opinion.

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

    1 Comment 
    Tags: , , , ,

    No related posts.

    Most of the talk and information relating to Business Blogs centres on external blogs: those which focus outside of the company and are designed to communicate out to customers and prospects. However, arguably the type of Business Blog which currently has the largest number of users is the internal blog, designed to improve communications within an organisation.

    Using blogs for internal communications is an important and growing area, and a key use of internal blogs within this is for Team Blogs. Good communication and interaction is part and parcel of a successful team, whatever its focus, particularly when the teams members may not know each other or have the opportunity to frequently meet face to face. Happily, a blog offers the chance to develop the interrelationships and the communications no matter where the team members are based.

    Teams are brought together for a myriad of different reasons but they do have in common five key requirements at a communication and information level:

      1.Good communications between its members;
      2.The ability for all members to participate fully;
      3.Easy collaboration across the team;
      4.Dissemination of the results;
      5.A permanent record of the information, results and conclusions.

    Internal Blogs are able to help in each of these key team areas and, by being able to be set up quickly and easily, can be up and running as soon as the team requires it.

    The benefits that a team blog offers

    These key elements for a team to work well together are all areas where a blog can help. In particular, a many to many method of communication is important to ensure the dissemination of information and allow all members of the team to participate and contribute equally.

    Internal Business Blogs can offer the following benefits to teams, whatever their goals:

    • Group communication: it is critical that all team members know what is going on and are able to communicate in an open yet trackable environment. A blog can provide such an environment and involve everybody.

    • Sharing information: for successful team interaction, it is important that the information is easily shared between all parties and can be added to by all. A blog and RSS will allow information to be spread quickly and safely which offering a non technical route to adding content;

    • Discussion Area: discussion and sharing of ideas will help to develop the team and its aims. It is important that all team members can participate by seeing others ideas and being able to add their own. Using blog categories, independent ideas and streams can be discussed and developed in tandem.

    • Information Resource: there will be key documents that everybody needs to have access to – a blog is an ideal way to store this information and make it available to everyone. This may take the form of a project journal in the case of project teams.

    • Project Resource: information and knowledge which is accumulated during the course of a project is so often then lost to the rest of the company once the project is completed. A blog will provide and ongoing repository for this which will benefit all going forward.

    By having all of these elements in place, the foundations are there to allow the team to move forward and concentrate on its specific aims.

    Types of internal teams that can benefit

    So, what sort of teams could benefit most from the opportunities and communication abilities afforded by a team blog? Some of the main ones that are worth mentioning are:

    • Ad hoc teams: teams that have come together to run short-term projects need to have a central resource which is quick to set up and easy to use;

    • Project Teams: a blog can be used to record and communicate the progress of a project (ie. a project journal) as well as allow easy sharing of information between the project team members;

    • Product Development Team Blogs: one of the key areas in many companies and the ones which understand the process best will open the blog up to external participants and create a team of product evangelists in the process;

    • Function specific teams (such as HR managers from across the organisation): a blog could be used to share experiences from all areas in the organisation as well as a place to develop and debate ideas which could then be used as the definitive resource to communicate them to all relevant managers;

    • Cross functional teams: teams bringing together members from different functions are looking for input from all these areas to create real value in the team. A blog allows everyone to participate and makes sure that brainstorming ideas can be given the chance to be developed fully;

    • Department Teams: use the blog as a central resource for a department which might include sharing competitor information, industry news, templates, best practice etc.

    • Quality Circles: group of workers from the same functional area who meet regularly to examine and look for solutions to work related problems and opportunities for improvement.

    Of course, the widest team of all is the company as a whole which itself could benefit from using a Business Blog as an internal communications tool, perhaps in addition to any intranet that may already be in place.

    With internal teams being formed ever more frequently for specific projects, the possibility of not making full use of the members of the team or not retaining the knowledge gathered at the end of the project is an increasingly worrying possibility. However, by using an internal team blog, you can easily minimise these possible downsides and let the team get on with the job for which they were brought together.

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

    Tags: , , , , ,

    Recomended Reading:

    1. Internal Communications, Information Sharing and Internal Blogs
    2. Business blog content (and business) via collaboration
    3. eCourse Part 1: Introduction to Business Blogs and their benefits
    4. Predictions for 2007
    5. RSS Benefits for Businesses, Bloggers and Publishers