Ten Tips to Create an Effective Blog
By Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP
In a world of rapid technology growth and development, it has become not only important, but essential to submerge yourself in this ever changing world. According to job search site, Indeed.com, the top 10 fastest growing job trends of 2010 include Mobile Apps, Twitter, Facebook, Social Media, and Cloud Computing. Social Media experts are in greater demand than ever before. Many of these social media experts have the prime responsibility of creating and maintaining blogs. With thousands of blogs being created each day, where do you start? How do you make your blog stand out? Follow these 10 simple steps to ensure a successful and effective blog.
- Start with a Vision.
Before you begin, define exactly what you want to communicate and achieve. Understand your objectives and goals. Be sure it reflects your overall marketing and branding strategy. Consider different channels and features that will help you achieve these goals. If your ideas are broad and you are struggling to focus on something specific, consider creating multiple blogs on different topics.
- Be Useful.
People normally visit blogs in search of specific information. Give your readers that information. State the purpose of your blog near the top where it can be easily seen. Each blog post should be in line with that description. Focus on delivering original and relevant content.
- Post Often.
The more consistent you are with your posting, the more often readers will visit your blog. When starting out, you should post three times a week, eventually working your way up to posts every other day. Commit to keeping it up to date by scheduling your post writing and blog editing time each week. A blog that sits and collects dust is no use to anyone.
- Use Catchy Titles.
Catchy titles will draw attention and generate more traffic. Attention grabbing titles have a higher click-through rate on search engines. A good rule of thumb is to keep your blog title under 10 words.
- Don’t Forget to Link.
Don’t be afraid to add links on your blog. Anytime other people, companies, blogs or websites are mentioned, add the link. You may be afraid to send readers away from your blog, but if they are referred to quality information, they will be more likely to return. Always look for opportunities to link your blog with others.
- Be Interactive.
In your blog writing, put a face behind the author by being personal. You can achieve this by using a friendly tone and using pictures of the author or other staff members. Encourage comments and feedback when adding fun features such as polls, surveys and questions. On occasion, run competitions or offer special discounts. Allow moderated comments on your blog as they often create a viral effect. Be sure to respond to comments often and thank readers for their interest. Readers that participate often are more likely to return.
- Make Your Blog Memorable
Give your blog a professional look and feel that stands out. Keep your posts simple and interesting. Frequent posts are more effective than long posts once a week. Add an RSS feed feature to your blog. This enables readers to be aware when new posts have been made, returning to your blog often. Use additional mediums to engage reader’s attention such as videos, audio, and images.
- Integrate Your Blog.
Utilize other social media networking avenues by adding links between your blog, website, Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In and any other company blogs. For example, when a new post is added to your blog, share the news on Facebook and Twitter. Feature your blog in a press release or company newsletter. Don’t afraid of your blog URL. Use it as you would your telephone number. Put it everywhere.
- Don’t be a Salesman.
It’s okay to run an occasional promotion or sale on a product, but be careful how often you do it. You don’t want to appear pushy and overbearing, that is a sure way to lose your reader’s trust. Keep your content highly-valuable, targeted and useful.
- Focus on Centers of Influence.
It is good practice to research and comment on relevant industry related blogs. Develop a network of other related bloggers. Do some off-page optimizing such as adding a blog’s URL to a free blog directory and posting articles on an article directory site.