6 Smart Ways to Blog for Business

istock_000006348547xsmallSo you have started a blog for your company. Maybe you are using a free blog publishing and hosting tool like Blogger.com, WordPress.com or Vox.com. Personally, I’m really starting to like WordPress.com over the other free blog publishing tools.

Maybe you’ve decided to invest a little money in a more robust blogging tool such as Typepad.com. Or perhaps you’ve gone all out and invested in WordPress or ExpressionEngine server software.

No matter what your blog publishing tool, when it comes to blogging for business, you want to be strategic about what you say in your posts and how you say it. Here are 6 ways to blog for business that can help make your company blog a success.

1. Speak To a Specific Audience

With any marketing initiative, knowing your audience is key to crafting your message. Know who you are trying to reach with your blog then write your blog posts with that audience in mind. Do you need to be more formal or more conversational in your posts? Even your blogging voice can be determined by who you are trying to reach. Speak in an appropriate tone for your audience.

2. Provide Useful Information

Useful to you may not be considered useful by anyone else. When you post to your blog, ask yourself this question before hitting the Publish button: “Is this information that provides some kind of value to my audience?” Value is in the eye of the reader, of course. One person may value entertainment while another values statistics. Knowing your audience can help you gauge what might be useful. And when all else fails, ask your blog readers and your company’s customers what they’d find useful in a blog.

3. Mix Up Your Posts

There are many types of blog posts and there is no reason to stick with one. Some of the most common blog post types include narrative which read more like an article although they tend to be concise and a bit more conversational. Another type of blog post is a list like this post. List posts are often easier to ead and to write. Another post is a reference post where you read an interesting article and link to it and comment on it in your blog post. Yes, you are directing people to another site or blog, however, your readers will come to appreciate both your commentary as well as your ability to find interesting content online.

4. Invite Dialogue

There is no one right way to blog, however, a good rule to remember is that if you want people to comment on your blog post, invite them to participate in the conversation. Try ending all of your blog posts with a question that begs to be answered. Sometimes, all it takes is a little nudge from the blogger to get a blog’s readership talking.

5. Post Follow-Ups and Reference Back Posts

When appropriate, reference previous posts you have written to draw your readers back into older parts of your blog where your content is archived. Also, if a particular post topic proves popular by the number of comments it received, consider a thoughtful followup to that post to keep the momentum going.

6. Bring On Other Voices

Don’t blog in a vacuum and don’t blog alone if you don’t have to. Invite other bloggers, writers and experts to be a guest blogger on your company blog. You should provide them with specific guidelines and have final editing and approval over the content. Adding other voices to your blog can add a fresh perspective, bring in some new readers and can also help lessen the blogging burden on you. As a business owner, finding the time and energy as well as topics to blog can be a challenge. Guest bloggers are great assets all the way around.

Blogging for business does not have to be a burden and can actually help you build your company brand, increase your own profile, and drive traffic to your company web site. Ultimately, whatever you blog about should be in keeping with your company’s style, tone, and overall business purpose.

this post originally appeared on WyomingBusinessReport.com
image from iStockPhoto.com

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