We have advocated using WordPress to create your business website. As you may know, WordPress was originally developed as a blogging platform, so it’s worth thinking about using it for that purpose too. There are two basic approaches to blogging: publishing under your own name, to express your personal views and perhaps connect with friends and colleagues, and blogging under the identity of your business.
These days the blog as personal web diary is increasingly being replaced by Facebook and Twitter and for most users is unlikely to achieve anything much from a commercial point of view. Unless you’re a celebrity, it’s probably much more effective to create a blog under the name of your business rather than your personal identity. WordPress makes it simple to mix posts and pages in the same site, so you can integrate your blog with your main sales website. If you’re using hosted ecommerce, a blog makes an ideal companion to attract traffic.
What’s the point?
As a businessperson, you’ll want your blog, like everything else you spend time on, to have a specific business function that contributes to your bottom line; if you feel the need to vent your spleen on anything, a personal blog is the way to go. Having said that, don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to be balanced and neutral with all your company blog entries. Your aim is to have people return on a regular basis or subscribe to your blog, and nothing is more likely to put people off than a bland corporate-style blog. The key is to keep it on topic and avoid any really outrageous views that might alienate customers. To contribute to your profitability, your blog must either make it more likely that your customers will buy your company’s products or it must make money for itself.
Bringing in customers.
A well-written, relevant blog will help establish a relationship of trust with potential customers, which can then lead to sales. A blog of this sort establishes you as a figure of authority in your market and the natural choice for the customer. If you’ve based your business on your interests and expertise, creating a creditable, useful blog shouldn’t be difficult – but it does take time. Our top seven tips for a successful business blog.
Know your audience
In developing your product/service, you will have defined who your typical customer is. Every blog entry you consider writing should be relevant and interesting to this target audience. You should always be writing to that individual, using a voice that suits and appeals to them.
Write with personality
Thin about the personality you want to project in your blog. It’s unlikely to be “boring, middle-aged corporate speak”. Look at some of the best business blogs and analyse how the way in which they’ve been written affects how you perceive them and their company. You can also find inspiration in magazines and books that appeal to your target audience.
Write what’s interesting
Nobody will read a boring blog. Come up with interesting angles or be the first with news or opinions. If you solve a problem that’s relevant to your customers, blog about it. Whatever you do, don’t start a blog that is nothing than a list of links to other blogs.
Link it to your business
A common mistake is to expect visitors to understand how your blog relates to your business. Most people don’t want to think that hard. Make it clear who you are and what your business does. Includes obvious links to the business.
Capture their details
Blogs should be open to all visitors; it’s not a good idea to require them to register to view your posts, unless there’s intrinsic value in the information or resources on the protected pages. By writing an ebook, recording an interview or buying resale rights to useful resources, you can offer the visitor something in exchange for their details. Once you have these, you can begin to establish a longer-term relationship that might lead to multiple sales.
How many blogs have you come across that look interesting on the fact of it, until you notice that they were last updated months or even years ago? An outdated blog is worse than no blog at all.
Host it yourself
We don’t recommend using free hosted services such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com if you can avoid it, as it can give the impression you’re unprofessional. Contact us for a fully managed hosting service.