Blogging for Business

Hello readers!

Welcome once again to a bright Monday and I hope it’s a beautiful day where you are too. I’m currently in a coffee shop blogging to you as my internet is not working at home… all sent to test my levels of tolerance I’m sure! What did we ever do without technology? When it’s gone.. we flounder like a beached fish. I watched an interesting debate yesterday about how technology and social networking site are causing us to lose the art of communication and how teenagers are not learning to communicate properly in a face to face situation (lets be honest though.. does anyone know a teenager that ever could? :))
It’s very interesting though when you think about it.. these days there are many companies marketing themselves on social networks and other technological media, perhaps one day magazines, newspapers and TV advertising will become obsolete? Already the word is out that the circulation of written media is not as high as it used to be. This brings me to the topic of today and blogging for business…

Firstly, for those of you newly intiated to the world of the internet, what is blogging?
Blogging can be defined as ‘a website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.’ (source Wikipedia)
It’s like a diary, but written online.

Now there are many people who just use the blogging system to keep in touch with family and friends, and in todays world of travel and globalisation, it’s a fantastic tool to keep in touch with relatives who are in a different country. ( I have my own personal blog so that family in South Africa can keep in touch with what I do as well as see pictures and videos of what I get up to)
More recently it has also increased in popularity with businesses wanting to keep in touch with their prospects or existing clients about special events, tips for use of their product or service and many other functions. It can also be used by the smaller company to get a presence on the internet, being more effective than a website in some instances.. the reason for this is that search engines favour updated, constantly changing content, and to change your website continuously can be quite costly, however, a blog is free to set up and user-friendly to maintain, allowing you to keep it updated and introducing yourself and what you do on a regular basis.

There are also special characteristics of a blog:
– no technological knowledge required
– readers of your blog can leave comments
– organising – you can archive or categorise your older blogs
– search engine friendly

This allows a business to build a web presence and get content to their existing customers.

So, why keep a business blog?

You should think of a Business Blog much more as part of your online marketing toolkit, indeed as a central element of it. It can be used in a number of different ways according to your business requirements but all centred around the ideas of two-way communication with prospects and customers (essentially leading to conversations and connections) as well as general marketing and business development. Remember though that it should be strictly used for business purposes and not about your personal life. A business blog helps to personalise your business for consumers.

Go here for more information from a blogging coach.

What system to use for your business blog?
My personal choice has been to use wordpress, but there is also another system called Blogger that I’ve seen many people use. From what I’ve seen I dont think there is really too much difference between the two, it really is about personal preference and which you like the most. You can also in most cases host a blog from your site, which means that it will be a part of your site. I chose wordpress and I know that many other people use it too, and people use this common tool to search for other blogs, so there is more chance of mine being found by others.

Some things to remember when blogging for business:

– keep it relevant to your business services or products
– update it on a constant basis (there can be nothing more damaging to your business image than for people to find your blog and it hasn’t been updated for 3 months!) a rule of thumb is to update it at least every second day.
– know your audience and post relevant information
– watch your statistics to know where your audience is coming from
– do your keyword or ‘tag’ research and use keywords/phrases that your intended audience are likely to be searching for. This enables people who are searching for information to find your content easier.
– and keep doing it and learning! My advice, if you are not sure about blogging and how it works, is to set up a personal blog for your life and learn through that first.. then set up a new business blog. This is the way I did it and it worked well! Now I cant stop coming up with ideas of what to talk about!

Content for your blog should never be an issue, you have youtube, forums and membership sites to find out what people need to know. Just blog about the answers to what your clients or others are looking for and you’re in business!

The only way to learn, as with anything in life, is just to get started.

Here’s an interesting video on blogging tips and trends:

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