Last fall, I spoke at the Essence Women’s Conference in a session called: “Blogging for Business: Blogging Your Way to the Top!” The event forced me to take a step back and analyze the best practices that I’d learned along the way to becoming a semi-lucrative blogger. Some of the tips are basic – others not so much; but each played a part in helping me to secure the opportunities that I have along the way. Each day for the next week, I will share some best practices that have worked for me and others.
When creating a blog for business, what are the most important steps in getting started?
Know Your Audience. No surprise here! But this tip is critical. If you can answer WHO you are writing for (if not just for yourself), then you’ll be able to answer several other questions, including: HOW OFTEN should I post? What TONE should I use? What TOPICS will resonate the most?
Make Sure Your Blog is Consistent with Your Brand. Treat your blog as an extension of your brand. It’s a way for you to show people a more personal side, but it’s also another sales tool for your brand. The aesthetic, tone and content have to make sense with your overall image in order for it to be considered authentic…which is ultimately what sells.
Become An Expert on Your Topic. Whether it’s surfboarding or personal injury law, people will read your blog to find out your opinion on a specific topic (or topics) that they consider you to be an expert on. To that end, make sure that provide relevant resources, fact-check and share reasons why you are the authority on your subject.
Be Consistent and Professional. This goes for any profession, and blogging is no different. Set up a posting schedule and stick to it as best you can. Spell-check. Make it look and sound good. Give credit where it is due. Respond to blog-related email inquiries in a timely manner. And so on.
Always Remember Your End Goal. Are you blogging for free product? To obtain a book deal? To drive customers to your store? Keeping your ‘WHY’ in mind at all times will shape the focus of your posts and remind you that blogging is a part of an overall business strategy.
I have to admit that I didn’t (and still don’t) follow each of these suggested best practices. But I strive to! Above all, your blog is a work in progress.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post that will answer: How do I get my blog noticed?