• 7 Steps to Better Business Blogging
    Jan 10, 2014

    1. Set a Goal

    It is crucial to determine your goal before you start blogging. Here are some ideas:

    - Attract and educate new prospects
    - Establish yourself as an authority in your industry
    - Build loyalty with current customers
    - Make direct sales

    You need to have a main goal at the outset. This will dictate the theme of your blog, and help you create content that aligns with this theme.
    If you try to do too much, the results will likely resemble a haphazard mishmash of content.

    2. Choose a writing tone – and stick to it!

    Your writing tone, or voice, should also be decided upon before you start. Here are some ideas:

    - Informational / Educational
    - Protector of the People e.g. using a common enemy like rogue traders, the government, pharmaceuticals
    - Informal – written like a letter to a friend (this can work very well)
    - Industry Specific i.e. full of industry jargon (only if you sell very specific products / services)
    - Personality-driven i.e. using your own voice

    3. Attractive Headlines

    Advertising experts say that 80% of the effectiveness of an advert lies in the headline. You must hook your reader instantly, or you lose them.

    Attention spans are ever diminishing, so your headline has to work harder than ever. Here are some ideas for well-crafted headlines:
    - The ‘How To’ - Examples: How to Choose the Perfect Carer, How to Stay Warm this Winter
    - The List - Examples: 10 Ways to Stay Warm this Winter, 3 Steps To Staying Healthy in Old Age, 10 Effective Ways to Reduce Joint Pain
    - The Question - Examples: Are You Putting Your Heart At Risk in These Ways?, Can You Afford To Ignore This Arthritis Advice?

    Brian Clark from Copyblogger talks about the 4 U’s of effective headlines: Useful, Urgent, Unique, and Ultra-Specific

    4. Format for Readers and Scanners

    Web users have notoriously short attention spans. For this reason, it is very important to break up blog posts into easily digestible sections. Here are some tips:
    - Use headings
    - Use lists
    - Use bold and italics, but sparingly 
    - Use short paragraphs – one to three sentences as a guide
    - Use images to break up the blog post
    - Don’t use too many links

    Formatting your blog posts in this way makes them both visually appealing, and easy to scan. Both are very important.

    5. Engaging Content

    It goes without saying that your content needs to engage your reader to build momentum on your blog. How do you do this?
    - Make it relevant (topical articles work very well)
    - Don’t be afraid to court controversial viewpoints
    - Tell a story - storytellers tend to thrive in the blogging arena

    6. Encourage Comments and Interaction

    A business blog is not a pulpit. It’s a two-way conversation, so encourage your readers to get involved. Here are some ideas:
    - Finish the article with a question
    - Make it easy to comment (a large comment box with no login required)
    - Let readers know you appreciate their feedback
    - Provide engaging content (see No. 5)

    7. Provide Real Value

    Give your readers a reason to return. Make them think. Educate them. Whatever you do, provide real value. 
    Never have we been so inundated with adverts and information. To rise above the noise you need to provide original, engaging content that provides real value to your readers. Otherwise, your blog will become just another empty residence in cyberspace. We have enough of them in the real world!

     




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