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Many professionals trying to help you build your business and marketing strategy will tell you that one of the most important things you can do to promote your business is create a blog and post regularly.
They will also tell you that in order to be an effective blogger, you should not brag about yourself and your product (or otherwise act like a wheeler-dealer), but you also should not write posts that have nothing to do with your business—you need to strike a balance between the two.
That’s a lot to ask!
So, before you begin your blogging career, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself in order to put a strategy into play.
- Why do you need to write a blog? What is the purpose? Most will want to blog because they are promoting their product or service. But, some will want to blog for fun. A more personal blog can also be linked back to your website as well, if you wish your clientele to know that side of you.
- Who are you blogging to? It is absolutely essential to know your target audience. It is essential because if your website caters to women who breastfeed, for example, your blog should not be about how you rebuilt your engine last weekend. Match your post to your audience.
- What voice are you going to use in your blog? In other words, are you going to be completely professional or are you going to be more casual in your postings?
- Do you really want your readers to know (and spread) the information you just posted? Sometimes bloggers can post very intimate details about their lives, publishing their posts before thinking about the consequences. Be sure you know the consequences of posting what you are going to … BEFORE you post it!
- Is there useful information in your post? If you are posting to promote a business website, you will want your post to be a bit casual (as if you were talking to the blog reader in person, face to face), but you will also want to offer your readers some unique and useful information that is (even slightly) relevant to your business. If you do this, they will return to your website again and again hoping to glean more useful information from your future posts.
- How will you gain a readership? How will you gain followers? Typically, bloggers gain a readership by promoting themselves all over the social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They will use backlinks and link to their blog in the signatures of their emails. At some point, people will start clicking on their links and from there, word of mouth and continued promotion will help gain readership.
- How often will you post? Set a regular posting schedule for yourself. Once you gain readership, they will come back on the days you post and devour your content.
- Are you ready for it? Some people simply cannot produce well-written, enticing content. If that’s your situation, perhaps it is better to leave blogging to someone with more experience or talent. Perhaps it can be one of your employees, or you could even hire a professional freelance writer to do it for you.
Blogging effectively is not easy. It is not a diary, but neither is it an all-out selling platform. Instead, it is a way for your customers and your potential customers to get to know you and interact with you. When your customers know you on a more personal level, they will be more likely to stick with you and recommend you to others.