Blogging with Intent – Tips on keeping readers coming back to your blog
Being in the website development business, I get to see a lot of blogs, and I really mean a lot of blogs. There are those that get read as a source of information about the industry, and Google+ is a great source for finding new and authoritative writers about the web. Then there are the blogs I read just to get a sense of what’s happening commercially in all sorts of industries.
It’s reading those business blogs that has prompted me to write this one. You’ll often find commentary about how important blog titles are, and that’s very true for attracting readers to your blog in the first place. But what if you start reading and realise that there’s no point to the post? That happens all the time I’m afraid. A business owner is told by his SEO provider that blogging is important for rankings (which it is) and then writes something that is simply a vehicle for keywords and provides nothing of value for the reader.
While that might not seem to be much of an issue, in reality it can be a significant problem. A blog can say a lot about any business, do they know their industry, can they add any value to the customer relationship, are they at all credible? If the answer is a no to all the above questions, there’s a good chance that the reader will simply move on.
One of the primary causes for articles that miss the mark is that the writer doesn’t have an objective for their blog.
For our blog here at SiteSuite, our objective is very simple. We are here to share our knowledge gained from over 15 years in the industry, it can be a resource for our customers or any business that is searching for website related information.
But objectives can be very wide ranging, for a retailer it might be more product focused, for a services company it might be to demonstrate depth of knowledge and experience, or it might be a vehicle to gain subscribers for EDM campaigns.
So how do you ensure your blog is relevant and effective?
1. Define first your overall business objectives for blogging.
2. Set goals for each blog.
Whatever the goal, you need to be clear about your objectives for every blog post you write. When you’re developing a list of blog topics, write down your goal for each topic. When you’ve written the first draft for a new blog, read it through and assess whether it meets the goal you set for that blog. Always keep the bigger picture in mind when you write individual blogs.
3. Engage your customers/readers.
If you’re writing a business blog, that’s usually not a great place to use as a soap box, effective business blogs will define a particular issue or known customer need and then offer advice, information and seek feedback in many cases.
4. Define your readership goals for your blog.
Set realistic and measurable goals for your blog, page views may be a good measure, or simply of a percentage of your overall site traffic might be a better way to measure your success.
5. Promote your blog posts.
Lastly, you need to actively promote your blog, on your website, on social media and in any other way that will ensure that readers know about your writing. For instance, we have a link to our blog in every e-mail we send, and document that we send to our customers.
These tips can help you to make your business blog an effective communication tool. Don't make the mistake of not taking your blog seriously, if you don't then you're better off not blogging at all.
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