Another set of personal rules from me! Most SME’s I speak to want to embrace in bound marketing with social media and blogging at the top of the list after standard SEO for their websites. But as many things in life, blogging is easier said than done. Firstly you have to enjoy writing otherwise it becomes a chore, secondly you have to be passionate about your subject or writer’s block will hit within weeks and thirdly you have to commit time which is a very rare commodity in the vast majority of small to medium size companies.
So here they are my rules to make a business blog fit for purpose.
- It is important that the purpose of the blog is thought through. This keeps it on track and allows you to pick and research your subjects with a goal in mind. You also need to decide on the style of the blog – is it based on industry news? Sharing information with your readers to enhance their business knowledge? Or is it about building your own profile so you are seen as an expert in your field? My own blog is designed for business owners of SME’s whose core competencies do not necessarily include sales and marketing and the purpose is to get them to think about how they could grow their business by implementing certain sales and marketing initiatives. But it is not a traditional sales tool where I position the services The Sales Formula can offer and no business blog should be – nobody wants to read about how great a company and their products and services are – they want to learn something that is interesting, informative and makes them think.
- In order for the blog to really work it has to be published on a schedule. Depending on who you talk to the suggested frequency is anything from daily to weekly. Personally I blog twice a week and I believe anything less than weekly is a wasted effort. And if you have a blog page on your website that has not been updated for a few weeks or months take it down now! It gives the impression that your company cannot see things through or that you are struggling in some way.
- Publish in as many places as you can. You company page or personal profile on LinkedIn, on LinkedIn groups, on industry forums and any other networking sites that your prospects might use. Use Twitter, Facebook and emails to direct people to the blog and encourage people to comment. There are a lot of blogs out there and it takes time to build subscribers so you need to tell people about it and keep delivering good content to keep them reading.
There are of course other rules that should be followed, making sure you use SEO keywords so people can stumble upon your blog through search for one but I recommend that if you are new to blogging or just about to start ask yourself the following questions. Do I know what I want to get out of blogging? Can I or someone in my employ actually write a blog? Do I or an internal resource have the time? Answer these questions honestly and if the answer is no consider out-sourcing it because as I said if you are going to implement a blog it needs to be both taken seriously and be fit for purpose.