(Post by Jessica Killenberg Muzik, APR, VP – Account Services)
A business-oriented blog can help you connect with new prospects, position you and/or your company as an expert in your field, and drive traffic to your content on other social media or digital properties.
The word “blog” is a contraction for “web log” — a term used to describe a website that maintains an ongoing chronicle of information. Many blogs focus on a particular topic. For example, our Bianchi Biz Blog focuses on useful information and perspective on PR and social media, especially for the business-to-business community.
The Basics: To set up a blog, you can select one of the many blogging sites out there. We use WordPress for its functionality and ease of use. To set up a WordPress account, go to www.wordpress.com and click the “Sign Up” button. You will then be directed to a page where you will need to choose an address for your blog, username and password. After you provide your email address, an email will be sent to you to activate your blog … and you’re in business!
So you’ve created a blog, now what? Here are some key things to keep in mind:
- Your blog is not a commercial about you or your company. You can draw upon your experience, but tie it to helpful, useful information to keep your readers coming back and perhaps even sharing your content with others;
- People like bulleted lists, as they pack a lot of info into a small space. Some of our most popular posts are bulleted lists that offer tips, how-to info or facts.
- Just as much as people like bulleted lists, they also like “reading” pictures. So offer up images, video, charts or infographics to supplement your words. For example, we used screen shots to explain how to use Facebook in part three of this blog series, Facebook for the Business Professional
- Tie your topics to the latest trends and issues. For example, our Pinterest’ed In Today’s Hottest Social Media Site? was one of our most-read blogs to date;
- Make your headlines catchy. We’ve found fun or sensational headlines like The Sneaky Seven: How to Avoid Media Interview Pitfalls, helped increase visits and solicit feedback from our readers;
- Be sure to post regularly, perhaps every week or every other week. Consistency in frequency and quality is important to building and maintaining your blog audience;
- Create and build a rolling list of potential blog topics, and write a few extra blog posts so you’ll have a few on the shelf and ready to go when you’re pressured for time or lacking inspiration;
- Build community by checking out and subscribing to other blogs, linking to other blog posts that augment your post and inviting guests you respect to contribute a guest post;
- Promote your blog via posts on your other social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, LinkedIn groups, etc.), as well as on your website, your email signature, advertising, enewsletter, etc. Invite your contacts to visit and follow; and
- Have fun with it!
Now that we’ve covered the basics for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogging for professional use in the first four parts of this series, the next two parts of this series will focus on creating content, the process, consistency targets, measurement and more.