So youâ€™ve got a nice business blog all set up. Youâ€™ve thought about it a whole lot and everything is just perfect. From the concept to the actualization, you think youâ€™ve got it down pat. Yet have you checked your blog stats lately? Do you have many readers other than yourself and the people in your circle? Or maybe you are not getting as many readers as you originally hoped for. Here are some tips that can help you make your blog more popular and attract more readers.
Donâ€™t overlook looks
I cannot emphasize this enough â€“ content is very very important, we all know that. Without good content, your blog is as good as dead. However, you cannot totally overlook the physical design of your business blog. You need to expend some effort on the layout and design of your blog. What do you need to consider? Think as if you were your readers. Declutter your blog and make it easy to navigate. Make it pleasing to the eyes and make it easy for them to find relevant content. More so, try to experiment a little bit and make your blog stand out in terms of physical design. Remember, there are countless blogs online, you have to do whatever you can to make yours stand out and attract more readers.
SEO is important
I am sure you have heard of SEO â€“ we have several posts on this topic. Search engine optimization techniques are an important part of establishing your online presence. You need to be able to reach out to people who may not know about your blog. For more details, check out our relevant posts on SEO.
I never really thought that I would be thinking of business models when it comes to blogging. As such, I found this particular post detailing the different blog business models quite interesting â€“ even thought provoking. Bryan, on OneMansGoal outlines three different types of business models which can help you make money through your blog (or blogs for that matter).
He calls this group â€œsuperâ€ because the people behind these kinds of blogs run a big operation. They may focus on only one or two blogs but their idea is to operate in the long run and haul in income while they are at it. The majority of their time is spent on constantly improving their blogs, marketing them, and establishing brand awareness.
The Niche Blogger
This blogger type is a bit different from the previous one in that the focus is on more blogs. As such, the effort and activity are not centered on one or two main blogs but more spread out on a network of blogs. The main concept behind niche blogging is to set up the blogs in such a way that they can attract a lot of readers and then not spend too much time in maintaining them.
The Blog Broker
The blog broker works behind the scenes â€“ he sets up blogs or even purchases them. He then develops them in such a way that they can earn money. Hereâ€™s the money making point â€“ he then sells the blogs for more than what he paid for them or more than what he spent on them.
So which business model do you fall under?
When talking about how blogs can improve your businessâ€™s online presence, one important question that always comes up is the frequency of posting entries on your blog. Indeed, how often should you post? I have already tackled this question in an old post. You can read more about it here.
Another related question I would like to talk about now is this: Is it necessary to post an entry in your business blog every single day? Would it really make a difference if you posted less than that?
The answer is not a simple yes or no, to be honest. It depends on several factors. For example, if you are talking about posting once a week as opposed to daily posting, then definitely, yes, it will make a difference. Try to thinking as if you were a customer. You would visit a companyâ€™s blog because you want to find out whatâ€™s new, right? If you were given new content every day, then it would encourage you to visit more often. On the other hand, content posted once a week is a bit too long to wait. You just might get tired and forget about it.
Then again, you also have to consider what you have to post. Merely posting everyday is not a solution. In fact, even if you do post everyday, if your content is stale and repetitive, then the customer would not be encouraged to visit your blog anyway. The idea is to balance your focus on frequency and the freshness of your content. Do not post everyday just for the sake of posting!
Everyone recognizes this name brand â€“ Marks and Spencer is a high street retailer that has been around even before the Internet changed the models of many businesses. They have made it big and they know it. Yet the people behind this successful business are not content in resting on their laurels. In fact, they are open to the realization that times change and that with it, they could also make some adjustments.
Take for example what they did early last year â€“ they focused their energies and creativity into strengthening their web presence. They may be a big business entity but they still gave huge importance to the strengthening of their online presence. It is true that they did not really focus on using a blog to do this, but the idea is similar â€“ they restructured their already existing web site in order to increase sales.
What prompted them do work on this project? According to their figures, their online sales increased more than four times above their shop sales! Now this sort of increase cannot be ignored, no matter how big your business is. They, therefore decided to put more effort into online presence as it would translate into more sales for them.
How is this relevant to you? Whatever the size of your business may be, the guiding principles are the same. You want to increase your sales and hopefully one day become like Marks and Spencer. It is always good to look into what the big businesses are doing and learn from them.
In the last post, we took a look at three simple practices that can make a big difference for your business blog. To recap, they are:
-trimming your post length
-using the right words
-taking time to proofread.
Here are some more practical tips that you can make use of.
Take advantage of lists
A short example would be the one I just presented above. Use bullet points that will highlight individual concepts and then if you need to expound more on each, do so. I am suggesting this because lists are easier to read and make it more convenient for your readers to scan the post, especially if it is a long one.
Some bloggers think that merely writing a good entry will automatically incite comments. To a certain degree, I agree with this. If you entry is thought provoking enough, the chances are that readers will comment. Yet this is not always the case. I think that it is better to come out right and say it â€“ give out the invitation and ask your readers to share their thoughts by asking direct questions.
â€¦and strengthen your online presence while you are at it. I assume that you do want to improve your online presence, am I right? If so, one of the most important things for you to consider is the fact that you should have a business blog that lends credibility to you and your business. One way of doing this is to ensure that your blog posts are of an excellent nature. To start the New Year off, here are some simple things that you can put into practice.
Trim it down
Blogs are meant to be for short reading. If your readers wanted a long read, they could go looking for journals, white papers, manuals, and even novels. Use fewer words and be more succinct.
Make sure you use the right words
There is nothing more off putting than reading a business blog that is meant to be an authority in its field and finding wrong word usage all over the place. You are supposed to be an expert in your field, right? Then make sure that you do know what you are talking about. If you are not sure about a term, then do not wing it â€“ find out what it means first. Alternatively, use a more appropriate term that you are sure about.
Take time to proofread
Errors are inevitable. Typographical errors, grammatical errors, spelling errors â€“ we are human so that is to be expected. You can minimize these, however, by proofreading your posts and ensuring that you are delivering quality content.
Not convinced yet? Well here are more reasons you should work on improving your businessâ€™s online presence.
Gather feedback conveniently
Feedback from customers is one of the most important things in running a business. How would you know if you are satisfying your customers or if there are some aspects that you need to work on? One of the most effective ways of achieving this is to hear directly from the users of your product or service. Having a web site or a blog wherein customers can directly voice out their opinions â€“ whether positive or negative is a cost effective way of doing this.
Make extra income
Maintaining a web site or a blog is not all expenditure on your part. In fact, business models have been changing a lot in the past years because of the Internet. You can even earn extra money through your web site or blog through affiliate marketing and ads. Of course, you have to do this right in order to avoid senseless ads that might only annoy your customers.
Educate your customers
An important thing regarding advertising and marketing is the dissemination of accurate information â€“ both to existing and potential clients. Your web site or blog is an effective way of doing this. You can upload all the relevant information to your blog and have it there for the whole world to read.
Again, all these things can be done with much less cost than traditional methods.
Here are some more compelling reasons to improve your online presence.
Save money on printing and distribution costs.
If you are operating â€œoffline,â€ the chances are that you spend a considerable sum on printing and distribution costs. This is because the traditional method of marketing involves paper and then physical distribution â€“ either through post or manual distribution. Either way, you have to shell out money to get the job done. This happens with each issue of a newsletter or a flyer.
When you decide to maintain a web site or a blog, though, you would considerably lessen these costs. How so? Of course, you would have to spend some money on the setting up of the site as well as the maintenance. The cost is much lower than the traditional method, though. With a blog, you need only to post entries and make use of the existing technology to distribute your new entries without having to spend a lot.
Get wider exposure for less cost.
Information on the Internet is available to anyone anywhere in the world. Think of your blog as a â€œfreeâ€ means of getting the publicity that you need and want. All you need to do is work on your blog and make sure that you reach as many people as you want to. This means crossing physical boundaries â€“ the potential is limitless!
Business hours offer limitations but they are necessary. You can open a hotline which customers can reach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but the costs may be beyond your reach. With a web site or a blog, however, customers can seek the information they need anytime they need it.