You’ve got a blog all set up and ready to go on your company’s website: Now what?
Company blogs are designed to help your customers learn more about your business, the industry and how you interact – internally as a company and with your community. For small-business owners, they’re a great way to share what’s going on – without having to spend a fortune on newspaper ads or radio spots. But too many businesses don’t make the most of their blogs, failing to engage readers and wasting website space.
So what makes a blog ineffective?
1. Techno mumbo jumbo
When your great aunt asks you what you do every day at your job, do you spout off a bunch of acronyms and industry terms, or do you simplify your answer to help give her a simple and broad overview of your work? If you use the first job definition, you might notice her eyes glazing over, and she may quickly change the subject. But if you try the second option, she might follow up with a couple of questions, allowing you to delve deeper into your company, your work and your products.
Pretend your blog audience is your great aunt. Eliminate acronyms unless you absolutely must use them, and then be very careful to identify exactly what each acronym means. Assume your readers don’t know your industry when you are writing. Also, follow the traditional journalism rule and write for about an 8th grade reading level so that your posts are accessible for a broad audience.
2. You, you, you
Of course this is your blog, but it shouldn’t be focused only on your company. You’ll bore your readers, and may quickly find out that you’ve run out of material – especially if you’re limited in the number of products or services you have to sell.
Expand your topics to include industry news. You don’t need to mention competitors, but can concentrate on how the industry is affected by global conditions and events – like the environment, legislation, new technology, etc.
If your business is located in a smaller community, you can also write about events in the community. For example, if the high school girls basketball team is heading off to a big tournament, write a blog congratulating the team players and coaches on their success, and slide in a mention about how some members of your staff are parents of the players – or if that isn’t the case, how your company will be on the sidelines, rooting away.
3. Boring and never new
Readers are looking for new, useful and frequent communication. Your clients and customers probably have a routine they try to follow weekly. If you aren’t able to fit updating your blog into that weekly routine on a consistent basis, you’re going to have a lot of nonrepeating readers. Plan to add a new post to your blog at a minimum of once a week. If you have the staff and can dedicate more time, do so. Or hire a writing service to help provide additional content.
Another way to make your blog more exciting is to incorporate interaction between your company and blog readers. To do this well requires additional staff time for posting questions or thoughtful musings in frequent posts; respond to readers who submit questions or points of view.
Setting up a blog is just the first step. Now use these writing tips to engage readers, bring more visitors to your website and get customers reading about your company.