The ABCs of Building a Successful Blog

Filed in Blogging by on March 24, 2010 0 Comments

This post was written by guest author Chris Tompkins.

As we have all seen over the past few years, blogs are popping up everywhere! Everyone from the famous Hilton Hotel chain to the cat lover around the corner from you are launching their own piece of the blogosphere.

Why are they doing it? Well for many reasons but the ones you are probably interested are:

  • they are top credibility and customer relationship builders for businesses
  • they create many new opportunities to grow your business

So, let’s get down to basics…and I do mean basics (anyone familiar with the blogging platform – avert your eyes now).

A blog is basically an online diary where you can share your opinions, expertise, favorite videos, relevant pictures.  Basically, anything that you want to communicate to your target market of readers. What makes it different from your commerce website is that the language is more conversational and should inspire comments and conversation with your readers.

As a business person, think about a blog as a conversation starter with your customer. Every time you write to your customer (by posting a note or article on your blog) you are blogging. As you are the author of your blog postings, you are considered a blogger. I share this with you because sometimes the above “blogging lingo” can over complicate such a simple concept, so it is best to understand these terms before you dive in.

Blogs allow your customers and prospective customers to learn more about you and your business and to interact with you. The by-product is that when you share your expertise with the masses, you build your credibility in your industry. And best of all, it can work as a direct funnel of pre-qualified leads directly to your website.

These are the steps to get started:

  • Sign up for a free blog on either WordPress or Blogger (the two most used FREE blog sites….I prefer WordPress)
  • Using their ready-made design templates, choose a suitable layout for your blog (make sure to use one that fits your message and topic. No puppies spilling out of baskets if you are a chain of funeral homes)
  • And then start posting!

OK, simple enough. But what the heck do you write about? The simple answer: anything that is related to your business or area of expertise. If you are an economist, write about some of the recent advances in economic policy. If you own a computer software company, share ten tips to a faster desktop computer.

A great way to easily generate activity on your blog is to look at every piece of information that you have written in the past (articles, ebooks, marketing materials, brochures, company bios, etc.) and see if you can recycle it. Post it on your blog and you have instant content!

Now that you have a site, design and content…it is time to let people know it exists. Let everyone know about your little piece of heaven on:

  • Your email signature
  • Your company website
  • Social Media Networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing)
  • Digg and Technorati
  • Email newsletters

Also, anytime you write an article online, make sure to add the link to your blog including discussion rooms and message boards.

Now that you have people coming, make sure that you write new blog postings packed with useful information at LEAST twice a week. The trick to effective blogging is not to do 100 posts a week, but to pick a number and hit it consistently. If once a week is all you can spare, that’s fine as long as you make sure to do it every week.

Blogging does not create instant results but as your followers grow, so will the number of business opportunities. In my opinion, blogging is one of the crucial marketing mediums that every company and individual should not ignore. (Plus, it can be a lot of fun!)

Chris is the CEO of Go! Media International, LLC – an integrated marketing firm specializing in cutting edge social media strategy and online marketing campaigns. Chris is a fundamental supporter of education in the online marketing technology sector (for companies and individuals) and speaks at national and international conferences alike. If you’d like to find out more, visit his blog or follow him on Twitter.

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*Photo by laruth

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