Everyone has heard of a blog that has become a runaway success. There are plenty to choose from, and the blogosphere grows bigger everyday. Blogging, especially for businesses, is a great way to connect and interact with the community at large, but there are a few things that set a successful blog apart from the millions of others that dot hosting sites across the web.
The Pioneer Woman, the wife of a rancher and mother of four, for example, created a blog back in the early 2000s that eventually parlayed into a television show with The Food Network and a series of cookbooks. The Julie/Julia Project was a blog that eventually launched a book, then a movie starring Meryl Streep. While these blogs turned into gold in other media avenues, they aren't exactly the gold standard for business blogging, but they do have one thing that ever blog needs; they have found a niche that ropes audiences in and turns them into loyal followers. We've collected a few Dos and Dont's when it comes to blogging, and hopefully they will turn your business blog into a glowing success.
- Use Images and Graphics.
Walls of texts are boring for anyone, and the more you break up your words with images, graphs and tables, the easier it will be for you to get your point across. Journalists use images often in their work because a picture really does speak 1000 words. Use them regularly, but do ensure the pictures and graphics you pick are relevant to the topic.
- Streamline the Topic and Stick to It
The most successful blogs on the web have picked a topic and stuck with it. Blogs that jump all over the place have a hard time keeping an audience because that audience never knows what it is going to get. Focus on the topic you are going to write on and leave everything else out of it. For example, if you are a pet grooming business you might want to focus your blog on proper pet care. Throwing in posts about your mom's potato salad recipe is just going to confuse the audience.
- Write for your Audience, not the Search Engines
Blogging is a delicate balance. Some marketing gurus will tell you how important search engine optimization is, and you will likely feel compelled to write to ensure a high rank, but that won't do you any good if you aren't engaging your audience. Blogging experts advise new bloggers to focus on writing to their audience. If you pack your posts full of SEO you might rank high on Google, but your audience will roll their eyes every time they see "Video recording San Diego" smashed haphazardly into the post.
- Steal Topics and Posts
Not only is plagiarism ethically and morally objectionable, but it won't do much for raising your page rank. Don't steal topics or posts from other writers, and if you do use snippets of their work give credit and a link back to their work. This can also help you build up a following by connecting you with other bloggers and professionals in your space. In short, keep it classy and give other bloggers the props they deserve.
- Use Unprofessional Language
Unprofessional or obscene language has no place in business blogging, and it will just lead to alienating your audience. Even if you are writing about hot button issues, avoid mudslinging or calling out others in an unprofessional way. It just doesn't bode well for your brand, and the online branding you are trying to develop.
- Write Long-winded Posts
When writing a blog adhere to the journalistic concept of the inverted pyramid. Place all pertinent information in the first two paragraphs, and all supporting information goes below that. This will help you avoid writing long-winded posts, and it will ensure that your reader gets the gist of what you are saying right away. Keep the post short, manageable and easy to read. If you master this technique more people will become loyal readers.