[For those that have been reading our blog for a few months, this entry is a hybrid of our SEO Expectations post and our How To on Blogging.]
We’ve recently seen an increase in customers coming to us and asking us to help set up a blog for them on their websites. As Internet marketers we love to see our clients become more involved on the Internet, learning to use the resources at their disposal and providing additional services to their own customers. Having the ability to control the message their customers see is such a powerful tool that they should inherently understand its importance. But do they?
As it happens, some of our customers come to us for a blog because they have heard it’s the latest thing, or that a competitor is doing it, or, in one instance, that their kids are doing it. No matter where their inspiration comes from, we have to be sure that they understand the power of these online tools.
Read the above blogs to learn about how to nurture your own blog successfully and discover how it can be part of a comprehensive SEO program and to get your company found on the web. A blog can put a ‘face’ on a company that enables employees at all levels, including owners, CEOs and VPs, to get involved with their audience. Setting up a blog is such a small part of the blog experience. Sure, you should be concerned about the platform, where it’s hosted and a number of other items. But if the commitment is not there to take on the responsibility of a blog, those items won’t matter.
So what type and level of commitment are we talking here? Well, as with a lot of things, that depends. But you need to make sure that you:
– Have a vision for what you want the blog to be, and will you have enough content related to this vision to fill a regular blog.
– Have a plan for updating the blog with regular posts. We update a little more than once a week, but there are some that update multiple times daily.
– Have a plan on what to do with the customer feedback that you will inevitably receive, whether good or bad. It is appropriate to respond to comments that have questions asking for further questions, as well as to respond to negative comments that may require clarification that you can provide.
Overall, there are a number of things to keep in mind:
– stay current on your topic of choice
– make it clear you have enough to share on the topic
– have something new or different to say on the topic so people will want to keep coming back for more; people are not going to read the blog just because you have something to say – they will read the blog if you have something to say that the customer cares about (and it can be anything from problem solving to coupons)
– post regularly, and properly
– it starts with a good title and goes all the way through tagging the blog
– should stay away from appearing like a salesman and keep it light
– link out to appropriate content
– include relevant keywords
– use this as a way to enhance customer satisfaction by responding to comments
– REMEMBER: comments can come at any time – the blog should be up for the foreseeable future – so you need to regularly check for them (even months after a post goes live)
– this is a good way to monitor your brand – be sure to keep up with it
– as with anything in business, measuring the return on investment is an important part of a company blog
Scared? Don’t be. We think blogs are great, and are a valuable resource. Because they are so current and timely, it may be a better to utilize your time and energy in other areas if you don’t have the commitment within your company to stay with one.
Have questions on starting a blog? In a rut and need some inspiration? Don’t agree with us? Let us hear it by writing us a comment below – we welcome feedback.