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Why blog? My clients, especially small business owners, ask me this all the time.

There are several important reasons:

  • The Google algorithm assumes that websites with changing content, like blog entries, are active sites. The more active your site, the better Google likes your site. Blogs enable changing content on your site without a lot of fuss.
  • HubSpot marketing group says that having an active blog on your site increases traffic by more than 57 percent. That's a compelling motivator.
  • A blog is a very friendly and convenient way for you to communicate with customers and prospects. It promotes an interactive conversation with customers and prospects.
  • Blogging can provide significant on-line help for your customers as they learn: how to use your products and services more effectively, how to contact your company, how to ask for a refund, how to order after-market products, etc.
  • Blogging can give your company a personality, which promotes brand loyalty and aids repeat sales.

Here are some additional reasons.

Most businesses have neither the time nor the resources to be constantly rewriting their websites to get better rankings. Maintaining a blog enables you to easily create new content on your website.

Perhaps you fear the whole topic of blogging because they feel that, even if it might be useful, it will take too much time and resources. This article will show how blogging can be incorporated into your company life with a minimum of effort and a maximum of effectiveness.

What is a blog?

Blog is short for web log. Basically, blogging is keeping a record that is being constantly updated. Its a little more complicated than that, but if you think of it as a running account of what is happening in your company and your industry, you're on the right track.

How do I get started?

There are plenty of ways to begin blogging immediately but don't be too hasty. Like anything else you start, you will want to plan your work and work your plan. Gather your marketing, operations, and sales people together to discuss the idea. Set some goals. Do your research. Find some blog sites that you really like.

To start, go to How to Start a Blog website for a step-by-step menu of items needed to create a successful blog.

Key is to understand why you want to blog: to improve customer service, publicize some case studies, recruit new employees, help explain important trends in your industry, etc. You may have many objectives. Just make sure that your blog entries are all aimed at helping you accomplish your objectives, instead of self-absorbed naval gazing.

Next, organize a blog writing team. Instead of assigning this task to your professional writer, why not assign the task to four or five employees in various departments. Often, those who work directly with products and customers have a lot to say, even if they are not comfortable with their writing skills. By using a team, you will get a variety of topics and viewpoints that wouldn't be likely by using a single writer. Also, by having a team, each person is then only responsible for one article per month, which yields one blog entry per week. That frequency is just fine to start.

Once you have the team, you should establish some guidelines that will help your blog have a "voice." And, prior to publishing, you will want an editor to look over content for spelling and syntax errors, adherence to your objectives, as well as to apply the "voice."

How can you make the writing easier? At the Daily Blog Tips web site, they recommend creating a production line for your writing (factory style).

They recommended something like this:
Monday: Come up with a list of topics and then titles for blog posts.
Tuesday: Write outlines for each of the posts
Wednesday: Draft 1 or 2 posts (depending on length)
Thursday: Draft 1 or 2 posts (depending on length)
Friday: Edit the draft posts and add in any formatting

This method keeps you focused on accomplishing a single task at a time. They advise that splitting up the tasks like this will result in higher-quality writing.

Things to keep in mind

  • Strive for powerful headlines. This is key to get someone to start reading your posts.
  • Avoid writing about yourself. Instead, write about what interests your reader: the industry, your products, the market, etc. Remember, "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."
  • Cultivate regular readers. Engage them in your posts. Create a conversation with customers, partners, and employees.
  • Watch your release times. If you post at 430pm on Friday afternoon, don't expect a lot of interest. I would advise posting shortly after midnight so that readers get notifications early in the morning. This can be automated.
  • Keep posts short. People are busy, even those who love your posts. It is better to split a long post into two or three parts than hope for patient readers. Practice writing to a pre-planned word count. Its good discipline and keeps your writing contained.
  • Automate re-publishing. Get the most out of your work by re-posting your blog entries to other media. It is simple to repost blog entries to Twitter. And make sure you publish through an RSS feed for those who want to follow your posts over time.

Here are 7 reasons that may prevent others from sharing your blog content.