Every blogsite is often a single-faced ventureâ€”it can either be for business or as a business. Itâ€™s rare that youâ€™ll come across a website that is working for both, just like TimothySykes.com. This website serves as Tim Sykesâ€™ online store, where he sells products, and blogsite, where he shares and promotes his expertise.
In the last post, we talked about how important it is to brand your blog. That is, to make sure that your blog has a lasting impact on your readers and to keep them remembering your blog (and thus your business) without much effort at all. We discussed two points â€“ using your own domain and creating a logo. Here are more ideas on how to brand your blog.
Make sure your blog is user friendly
This is a very important aspect when it comes to blogs. In fact, it does not matter whether you are blogging for personal purposes or for business purposes. It is of utmost importance that you bear in mind your users. You want them to have an easy time navigating your blog. You want them to find it easy to read your posts and to find relevant posts as well.
An important thing to consider is the layout of the blog. Make sure that it is organized and that the links are easy to find. Also, make sure that you are not permeating your blog with ads that could be irritating to the user. These and other things should be on your mind when you design your blog.
Think up of a smart motto
It may sound clichÃ© but mottos and slogans work. They are important in helping your customers remember your business and what it is all about. This part could be tricky â€“ just as tricky as coming up with a relevant logo â€“ so you should take your time with this.
If you want to read more about branding and its relevance, try this post that I came across on Typepad.
Branding is not a new concept. It has, in fact, existed way back in the ancient times. Only then, they did not have the Internet. Businessmen in the ancient times branded their livestock and their products, literally. Today, when someone mentions the word â€œbranding,â€ we have a slightly different idea but the basic concept remains the same. We want to create something that would be associated with our business. We want to be known and branding helps us achieve that goal.
When it comes to online presence, it is very important that we brand our blog. There are countless blogs and web sites in existence â€“ it is very easy to get lost in that world. So how do you brand your blog? Here are some ways to help you get started.
Use a domain
Forget about free blog platforms â€“ that is, if you really want to make your presence easier to remember. The idea is for people to find you easily and to remember you. Imagine having to remember a URL that is something like this www.blogplatform.businessname/blog. It could be tricky and people might get the wrong URL most of the time. It would be so much easier to make use of hosting services and use your business name for the domain name. Sure enough, you have to pay for this but it is a small cost as compared to the benefits it brings.
Use a logo
Logos are old but they work. Most every business has a logo of its own. The clichÃ© says â€œa picture paints a thousand wordsâ€ â€“ so does a logo. Come up with a creative one that catches peopleâ€™s attention and relates to the nature of your business. Place it prominently on your blog and web site and anywhere else that you can. Youâ€™ll see that people will find it easier to remember your business!
One of the most important aspects of a business is its public relations. Wikipedia defines this as â€œthe managing of outside communication of an organization to create and maintain a positive image. Public relations involve popularizing successes, downplaying failures, announcing changes, and many other activities.â€ In other words, PR includes all the activities that you engage in in order to present your business to the rest of the world the way you want it to be seen. Naturally, any business owner would want good PR.
One way to have good PR â€“ no, a killer PR, actually â€“ is to build up that business blog of yours. You may be a small business entity as compared to Microsoft or Sony, but that does not mean that you cannot establish yourself as an authority in your own field. No matter what your business may be about, you can always find ways to bring yourself to the forefront of your niche â€“ and blogging is one of the ways to do this.
Nowadays, journalists and researchers turn to the Web for a lot of material. When they create write ups, they would probably include a Google search in their prep work. Now, if you have a good online presence, then you would most likely be discovered by these people, who, in turn would probably quote you (from your blog) in their piece of work. Now isnâ€™t that killer PR? You do not even have to solicit the local newspaperâ€™s attention â€“ they would find you on their own because of your business blog. Ask Rich Brooks, who has had ample enough experience in this respect.
There are certain benefits that you can measure easily and clearly. Then there are those which you cannot really quantify but you KNOW that they do exist. The same goes with blogging â€“ there are those benefits which you can place figures to while there are those which just makes you know you are gaining somehow.
I came to this realization when I read Rachael Herrscherâ€™s post on â€œAnother Reason To Start Your Own Blog.â€ At the beginning, I was thinking â€“ oh great, here is another post on why we all should blog. Do we really need another post like that?
I really appreciate how she put things in perspective, though:
But blogging for your business or blogging about your industry gives you opportunities and a level of credibility with others that you wouldnâ€™t have had otherwise. It also gives you access to a whole new network of people whom you would have had no excuse to talk to before. And of course, for those of you searching for someone to talk about you and your business, blogs are a vast new outlet to receive online coverage of your business.
Iâ€™m a small fish in a big sea of bloggers, but my various blogs never cease to serve up great contacts for me. Even on a person-to-person level (the real-life stuff), Iâ€™m able to meet people because of my blog. We have blogger dinners in our community, local blog networks and, of course, the huge network of bloggers available on the World Wide Web.
So if youâ€™ve been putting off starting your business blog or blogging about a niche in your industry you are passionate aboutâ€“itâ€™s time.
You hit the nail right on the head with that post, Rachael!