Marketing on the internet and social media, Part 2:blogs

To blog or not to blog?

Should you have a blog?  These days there are millions of blogs on millions of topics, so should you be one of them?  If you have a website to promote, then I say yes. For your business, a blog is a great way to keep new content coming to your site, increase your links from outside sources and build traffic to your website.  If you hate to write and you have no website, then perhaps a blog is not for you.  On the other hand, if you are unemployed or underemployed, it might be a great way for you to broadcast your depth of knowledge in a certain area and get you hired.

How often should you blog?  That is up to you.  The more often you post, the more often you are going to reach out to potential clients and build your base.  You have to know your audience and how often they want to hear from you.  You can post a lot at first, and see what sticks.  Just make sure to use Google Analytics and Feedburner as tools to see what people are reading.  Follow your stats, but don’t be obsessed by them.  Make sure that you know what an RSS feed is, what a reader is, and that you provide a place for readers to sign up to receive posts by email.

Promote your blog.  Post about your blog and what you are writing about on Facebook, twitter, and other social media.  Some tools will allow your blog posts to automatically go out over the web to your social media on their own.

What should I blog about?  This is a tricky question.  You want to provide one of two things: information or entertainment.  If your company is already producing an online newsletter, then there are the beginnings of your blog.  Each article could become a blog post.  Be careful not turn your blog into an online portfolio or a giant commercial, but don’t be afraid to put a little of your own work out there.  Figure out who you are trying to attract as reader, and then write as if they are already reading.  If you are writing to the masses, then don’t get too technical.  If you are writing to scientists, you might fare better skipping the generalities and get down to the technical nitty-gritty.  Once you develop a following, write for them, but be true to your vision of building your base.

Whether you blog or not, you should be reading relevant blogs.  Commenting on blogs with your website address give you extra points to search engines.  Be on topic and smart in your comments, though.  Too many comments that are just for links and you will be considered a spammer.  Most blogs now have spam filters and those kinds of comments are often blocked automatically.  Be real and be honest, and people will do the same for you.

Feel free to call me at 216-469-1579 to learn more about how Great Lakes Design Collaborative can help you build an online marketing strategy that makes the most of new media.