February 22, 2011 Michael Bickerton
I’ve been asked again and again about blogs. Blogs are certainly very misunderstood. Part of every emarketing strategy must include a blog. Why? Because a blog is inbound marketing. Blogging building your reputation and credibility.
Before we get too far, let’s be clear, a blog or weblog is basically a website that allows for content to be posted. Content is defined as articles, photos, illustrations or media, content is basically information. As such, if you have a blog or are keeping a blog of any kind you are a blogger, and a blogger provides information, comment and insight.
As noted, blogs are inbound marketing. One of the reasons that I advocate that your blog should be part of your website is that a blog drives traffic. People are interested in content, and bringing traffic to your website helps in building your website’s organic ranking. Building your blog following can be done using several techniques. The most obvious way to drive traffic is via email and social media which are natural choices. Blogging assists with your SEO (search engine optimization) and it builds a conversation with your customers and prospects. Blogs build familiarity and trust with your company and your brand.
What steps do you need to follow? Firstly, you really need to “love” something. Always blog about something that has real interest for you. Why? Because if you’re bored or uninterested, people can tell when reading. Once you’ve decided what you are going to blog about, the real work begins.
The following are the basics;
Read, read, and read some more. Check out other blogs in your area of interest. You can subscribe to other blogs via RSS feeds to keep up to date with current news in your chosen area of interest.
Next step, give it some thought, comment, make suggestions or recommendations, agree or disagree, share example or ask a question of other bloggers. By doing so you will engage other interested people and bloggers in your chosen subject area.
Then write, write and write some more. Populate your blog on regular intervals, for example if weekly, make sure you post at the same time every week, i.e. Monday am as an example. Ensure you link to supporting articles or blogs to add to your credibility. Be yourself, use your voice, don’t try and be too cute, or too technical. As well, make sure you respond to comments and answer questions promptly.
As your emarketing advisor and digital agency, I caution everyone at this stage to be fully aware, a blog is work. Even if you like writing (and I do), it’s pick and shovel type work. You need to be ready to write and write consistently. Starting a blog and then making entries intermittently without a strategy, will be evident to your readers. The result will be that your readers lose interest in you, your brand and your company. Losing your reputation and credibility at the same time.
One of the keys to organic ranking with search engines is content. I can’t urge you enough to continually add content to your website via a blog. Blogs assist in building your reputation and credibility. Besides, where else can you get your message delivered to interested parties for FREE, that’s right, FREE!
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, Toronto, February 2011