The following article is written by Mike Michalowicz, Author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, and is featured in the American Express Forum.
You know that starting a blog for your business is a good idea. Business blogs—done right—are a great way to drive traffic to your website, establish yourself as an expert in the field, and even build a rapport with your customers. But just starting a blog is not good enough.
Blogging Visibility. In order for you to gain all those benefits, and more, from your blog, you must make sure it gets noticed. There are millions of businesses with blogs out there, but nobody really knows about them. If you aren’t going to take steps to get your blog noticed, spare yourself the time and investment of setting up and running one.
Did I mention that getting one noticed is not all that difficult? It’s true. It will require that you be a little more proactive than just writing a few posts and hitting the publish key. There are many things you can do to help get your blog noticed in a cyberspace filled with business blogs, some that may be covering the same topics as yours.
Here are 10 things you can do with your blog to help get it noticed and keep people reading:
1. Make it personal. The last thing people want is to read a boring post that lacks personality.
2. Stand for something that is unique.
3. On the other end, try standing for something that has an enemy or is against something. Another business is okay, but it is probably better if it is an outdated philosophy.
4. Don’t let the blog get stale. Blogs have a shelf life, and you need to keep it fresh. If the content is stale, people will not come back.
5. Pick a niche, which ideally would be something related to your business or to the audience you are trying to reach, and then become an expert on the topic.
6. Get to know your readers and make blogging a two-way street. You can do this by asking your readers questions, allowing comments, and responding to those comments.
7. People love to read facts, so try to include some, as well as practical advice and useful tips that they can use. If you can offer them something they can use, they will be back, as well as most likely sharing it with others.
8. Give people something to think about. If they read your post and then move on without giving it a second thought, you haven’t done the job right. Write about something that will get them thinking, doing things differently, etc.
9. Write something that is so good, helpful, or controversial that people feel as if they have to share it with others, once they are done reading.
10. Let the reader see you, by adding a picture or “about” page, and let them get to know you personally.
The More They Know. When it comes to blogging, it’s often said that the more they know, the more your blog will grow. People don’t want to read something that is cold, impersonal or boring. Even when it is a business blog, they want to get to know the person and their personality, so they can feel like they are sitting across from you at Starbucks, having one of those fancy drinks.
Creating a business blog can be a smart marketing tactic, but only if you are willing to do what it takes to get it noticed and to keep people reading. If you don’t, your blog will become just another Technorati statistic, and that won’t do much to boost your bottom line.