Do you blog for your business? Are you doing it correctly? Blogging can be great for business. But doing it the wrong way can actually be bad for business.
“Having a blog for your business is incredibly beneficial for multiple reasons. It gives you another platform to really promote your goods and/or services. And instead of the old way of advertising, it serves as a more organic way to tell people what you do,” advises award-winning blogger Luvvie Ajayi, a social media strategist who’s been blogging for nine years.
Blogs are not only a way to get the word out about your company but can also be a great opportunity to brand yourself (or your company) as an expert in the industry. “Businesses with blogs can use them to establish themselves as experts in their industries. They can talk about news and tips related to what they do to get people to trust them and their work. And this will help them promote what they do because once they build that trust, they have a built-in base to market their work to,” says Ajayi, whose pop culture humor blog, AwesomelyLuvvie.com was the winner of the Best Humor Blog of 2009 from the Black Weblog Awards and was one of BlogHer’s 2010 Voices of the Year.
Blogs are also a way for customers to get personally invested in a company. Even though it is a virtual relationship, it is a way to connect personally with customers. “A blog allows a company to have a real online home, where they can get customer feedback. Businesses who blog get to connect with their customers and tell their story in a way that seems more personal. People respond well to that,” notes Ajayi, who along with fellow blogger Afrobella, made history by being the first Black bloggers to officially cover the 2012 Academy Awards.
When to Blog
Keeping up with social media—blogs Facebook Twitter Instagram—is a job in itself. So don’t feel pressure to blog every day. “Blogging regularly is more important than frequency. This means that once you know what is realistic for your business as far as how often you can blog, then create a schedule and stick to it. You don't have to blog daily if you don't have the time and resources or even the topics to blog about,” explains Ajayi. “Sometimes, you can only blog once a week and that's fine. But make sure it's the same day every week so you create a routine for people to follow. If you can blog twice a week, pick Tuesdays/Thursdays or Mondays/Wednesdays or any 2 days. Just do it the same days every week.”
Track Your Blogging
Don’t just blog to blog. Use it as a tool to measure various things such as customer service, reviews and views. “Make sure to track your website's traffic and reach using tools such as Google Analytics. It will quantify your efforts and inform you of how many people are reading your blog, how they're finding it and how long they're staying. It'll tell you what content is performing best and so much more,” explains Ajayi.
How NOT to Blog
There are ways not to blog, says Ajayi. According to Ajayi, some mistakes include:
• Showing no personality in your blog. “Sometimes, businesses who blog are just spewing our information without any personality. Don't be afraid to show some humor and personality in your business' blog. That is what will make people want to read about your work. Show them your passion and be interesting,” she says.
• Not editing posts. “You can lose some credibility by putting up posts riddled with grammatical and spelling errors,” she points out. “Use spell-check before pressing publishing it or have someone, besides the person who wrote the post, edit it.”
• Not making it shareable. Your blog should be user-friendly. “In this digital age, you want to encourage people to share your content and you want it to be easy. If you do not have ‘share’ buttons anywhere on your site, you're losing out on others helping you to promote your work. Definitely have a Facebook ‘Like’ button and a "Tweet" one, at the least,” she says.
How to Blog Successfully
• Make it timeless. “Try to have a timeless blog, not necessarily a timely one. Your blog should have content that would be just as relevant in three years as it is today,” explains Ajayi. “Being timely and breaking news or talking about things as they're happening in real time isn't as important as one that will maintain work that stands the test of time.”
• Use other social media to promote your blog, such as Facebook and Twitter. “You have to make an effort to market your blog and get traffic so your words aren't going into black space and are being read by more than your employees,” says Ajayi.
• Get feedback. “If you want feedback and comments on posts, ask for it. Most of the people who read blogs don't comment on them,” offers Ajayi. “So if you'd like to get more engagement and feedback on your posts, end them with questions or prompts. ‘What do you think?’ ‘Tell us how you feel about this.’ Or ‘We'd love to hear your thoughts.’ It encourages people to come out of the shadows and leave their opinions because now they know you'd like to hear whatever they are.”