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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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    Blogging is all about engaging people.

    Granted, you need to attract them to your blog in the first place and, in this respect, the promotion and marketing of your blog plays an important role. However, to maintain their interest and develop the relationship, then you must engage with them.

    There are many ways in which you can do this with your writing and some of the best are outlined below – combined, they can give you a real edge in developing your readership and hence your customer base.

    • Content: the most basic element is good content. The quality of what you write will form the basis of all of the other elements – so, provide quality content and do it consistently.
    • Passion: deliver what you have to say with passion. If you are not passionate about what you are writing then how can you expect your readers to be?
    • Ideas: don’t simply regurgitate other people’s ideas, bring some of your own into the mix. Simply copying things that you have read elsewhere will do you no favours and ultimately deter long-term readers.
    • Actions: as the old adage goes, “actions speak louder than words” so make sure that you practise what you preach. If you believe that something works, then don’t just say it, do it!
    • Delivery: How you write about the subjects that you cover will influence your readers. You could use humour, reasoned argument, confrontation or a number of delivery methods, so pick one which will appeal to your intended audience.
    • Look and Feel: the quality of what you write should be high, but we all respond on many different levels, so ensure that the design of your blog supports the content and displays it to best effect.
    • Focus: in writing your blog, focus on a particular area, industry or issue. By maintaining the focus you decided upon when planning your blog, you will successfully reach the people you want to target.
    • Information: give your readers useful and accurate information. Adding your own analysis to this by presenting differing opinions and then expressing your own opinion would be ideal.
    • Communication: blogs are all about communication and interaction so try to create a two-way discussion by the way you present your posts and by asking for feedback.
    • Relate: the best type of writing will talk about subject areas that your readers can relate to, so always try to give examples that your readers will be able to identify with.

    If you can combine a number of these elements in your posts then the chances of being able to engage your readers and getting them to return on a regular basis will be greatly increased.

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    ... 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.

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