Written by Simon Geraghty.
Creating a blog for your business
So you always wanted to tap into your inner Kerouac, Bukowski, Burroughs, Beckett or Joyce? Did you dream of becoming a literary figure of note in back in college, or a gonzo-journalist in the Hunter S Thompson mould, but reality brought you back to earth? Blogging for your business requires a lot of the motivation, and a smattering of the ability of the aforementioned. However, unlike the Pixar movie Ratatouille’s motto “Anyone can cook” not anyone can be a writer.
You might also want to park the lifestyle of the hard bitten journalist or beat poet. Smoking 50 a day with a bottle of Tenessee’s finest by the desk is no way to hold down a day job or manage a company. The ‘Madmen’ style figures in marketing and advertising had their place in time and thankfully health warnings and discoveries in medicine have all but consigned the stereotype to celluloid and the rose tinted mists of time.
So what are the benefits to your business?
- Improved website SEO: Content is key to any website the days of the static brochure website are over, a blog is an important tool for companies to add new content to their website. Regularly up-dated content gives Search Engines a reason to crawl back to your site.
- More traffic and referrals: Building on the point above, up-dated content gives visitors to your site a reason to come back other than looking at your prices and moving on. You should promote your blog via your newsletters, Facebook page, Twitter feed or other social media channels. Search engines are increasingly using cues from social activity to identify authoritative websites and content.
- Deeper customer relationships: A blog gives you a chance to add some personality to your website, and by extension your business. It allows you to establish your company as an authority in your business area, in many cases it will set you apart from your competitors.
None of these benefits are delivered overnight, it will take time and effort. This is not a quick win.
Some examples of business blogs we like?
- The Printer: Graphics Display Systems
- The Retailer: Nelo Maternity
- The Accountants: DCA, by our friends at Content Kings
- In the Services Sector: *ahem * DotDash
“Look at me I’m blogging” Now what should you be measuring?
Use a tool such as Google Analytics or Word Press Statistics to measure traffic and visits to your blog, keep an eye on the:
- Top referring sites
- Top search terms
- Most popular posts
- Bounce Rates
- Page visits
- New visits
You can also measure your re-tweets on Twitter, Facebook likes, shares and levels of engagement and your +1’s.
5 Steps to get you started:
- Before you get started stop and take a step back, think about who you are writing for? Who are they? What are they looking for? What style is best suited to address this audience? (More on this below).
- The next step for the blog is to develop a plan of activity for the next three months. You should aim for a minimum of one piece each week to get you started, with a ballpark figure of 300 words and a good image.
- Then choose your platform: You can dip your toe in the water with a tool such as Tumblr, which does not require web integration and huge levels of design. However, if you are committed we would recommend tools such as Blogger or Word Press built into your website.
- Now write and post 5-10 articles before publicising your blog. This means that your first visitors can see that this is a vibrant site that has some level of longevity and activity, i.e. more than a solitary post!
- If there’s no-one in your company to delegate the task to then that’s where we come in! So if you need to get your business blogging contact us today.
A final parting gift, define your tone and style:
Some quick pointers in terms of style:
- Be informative, direct and honest. Try to avoid hidden clauses and overly complicated conditions, particularly in any competitions you might run.
- Be knowledgeable, but go easy on the hard sell. You should be closing deals on your website, on the phone or face to face.
- Be as concise as possible; by all means present yourself as an expert and factual, but do try not to drone on.
We came across the following infographic created by the Silicon Valley based Hoffman Agency , and we all know you can’t beat a good infographic, on tips for storytelling for your business. And what is a blog if not a story from your business to the outside world?
Some words and phrases to keep in mind before writing ….
- Conversation v Jargon
- Captivate v Bore
- Anecdotal v Mundane
- Real v Staged