Creating a Successful Blog

Creating a Successful Blog

I was reading one of my favorite non-business blogs today, and the blogger was lamenting that his blog – his full-time, sole-source-of-income blog – was struggling. Despite having over 320,000 subscribers, he’s having a difficult time keeping it going in the face of sites like Buzzfeed and Mashable, which are generating content at a rate he can’t possibly match.

Because some sites generate such a vast amount of content, it’s almost a given that some of those posts will go viral – and it’s also a given that, due to the sheer volume of information they’re sharing, they’re going to get many more page views (and exponentially more ad dollars) than the smaller blogs. No matter how entertaining, informative, and well-written these smaller blogs are. It seems like just another way that larger “businesses” manage to steamroll their smaller counterparts. And it got me thinking.

A blog is not a “field of dreams”

We’ve been telling our clients for years that websites, blogs, etc. are not a “field of dreams.” Just because you build it, that doesn’t mean they’ll come. And even if they show up once, that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be back.

Some tips for creating a successful business blog

Know your audience

When you’re writing a blog, you have to know your target market – just as when you’re selling a product or service. Because when you’re blogging, you are selling. Your blog articles shouldn’t necessarily sound like a sales pitch, but they should be relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. And your readers should leave with a sense that they have gained knowledge they might not otherwise have had.

Be consistent

There is no magic formula to determine exactly how frequently you should be blogging. In fact, a lot of it is dependent upon your industry. It’s probably more dependent on your staffing and workload – you simply may not have the time or staff to devote to multiple blog posts per day. Obviously, blogging more frequently is better – but only if you actually have something to say. Whatever your determined frequency (I would strongly advise that you post AT LEAST one new blog entry per week), make sure you are consistent. You want your readers and followers to keep coming back to see what’s new. If they come back a few times to find only those posts they’ve already read, they won’t come back much longer.

Market your blog

Blogging for your business isn’t as easy as just creating a “blog” area on your website and posting to it once in a while. You need to get your blog out in the world where your content can be shared, and where you can interact with your customers/readers. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even Instagram, can all help you disseminate your content. And if your followers share your content, you’re likely to get new followers... and so on.

And don’t be ashamed to actively ask for new followers. You never know when something you post will resonate with someone who may not have otherwise known about your blog. Mine your business connections, and make sure your website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc. are properly named and easy to find.

(and if you feel so inclined, go check out Single Dad Laughing – the blog I referenced in the beginning of this post. It’s interesting and well written)

Jan 23, 2014

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