The blog has evolved from its early days as an online diary to becoming a key strategic marketing tool in today’s business marketing efforts.
The blogosphere has come a long way since its origins in the mid-1990s when it was used for personal journalism online. In the last decade, the evolution of search engines has helped make the creation of unique content, like blogs, vital to improve businesses’ online visibility.
According to Blogging.org, readers consume 528,000,000 blog page views per month. And of the 60% of businesses that have a company blog, 35% actively blog at least once a month and 65% haven’t updated theirs in a year or more.
Out of all the big benefits of blogging, including enhancing a brand’s online presence, the biggest one to me has to do with personal fulfillment. It makes you better. A better writer, a better researcher, a better networker and a more informed member of the building products industry. As a blogger, you learn so much because in order to be able to write, you must read. And when you read, you learn. The more you learn, the more of an expert you become.
There is definitely an art to blogging and if your building products company is still on the fence about starting one or getting more out of an existing one, read on for some tips that will help you master the art of this powerful digital door to personal and professional fulfillment.
- Establish a schedule. Create an editorial calendar and stick with it. Or come up with a monthly theme and plan the entire year. If you get stuck, think about what questions are asked most often about your products.
- Provide value for your readers. Always. Once you get your blog up and rolling, you might find yourself struggling with what to feed the content beast. The key thing to remember is to answer your reader’s question – what’s in it for me? – and use this as a filter for your content
- Think of a blog in terms of a book, not diary. A diary contains spontaneous thoughts and feelings with no plan for others to read it. A book, on the other hand, is meant to be read by others. Think of it as a product to guide your writing.
- Understand that blogging is part science, part art. There is a magical blend of these two ingredients in every successful blog. The science is about formatting your copy for a web audience, being mindful of word count, white space and copy that can be scanned quickly by a reader. It includes short paragraphs and bulleted lists. It also pertains to search optimization and making sure keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, etc., are working to get you found.
The artful part of blogging is writing well and appropriately for your audience in a consistent voice. It helps if your writing entertains, informs and induces interaction among your readers.
- Be bold and speak your mind. Don’t write things that will intentionally cause controversy among other bloggers, but speak your mind on your blog. Even if you do upset someone, you’ll probably get a link from them, which is not a bad thing.
- Make it easy to get to you. Think of your blog posts as products you are distributing through multiple channels. Allow readers to get to you more than one way, like through RSS feeds and email subscriptions.
Is your building product company blogging? If not, why not? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.