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5 Keys to Effective Business Blogging

Engage and entertain your customers, and boost your business, too.

According to Blogging.org, there are roughly 31 million bloggers in the United States. Of that number, 60 percent of the active blogs are maintained for a business or company.

But the most telling statistic is this one: Of the existing business blogs, a low 35 percent are actually updated on a regular basis, meaning at least once a month.

If blogging is the boon for a business to keep customers, existing and new, engaged in a brand, the majority are apparently failing miserably. Business blogging takes work and dedication, but it isn’t an overwhelming endeavor if you know the best ways to blog.

Here are five keys to present fresh and compelling blog content that will keep your customers entertained, engaged, and encouraged to do more business with you.

1. Develop a style that adds personality and authenticity to your business or brand

After putting so much research and effort into developing your business or brand persona, it makes perfect sense to continue—and even embellish—that in your business blogging style. Some of the most popular blogs today are those that have coined a “personality” that complements a business or brand and further engages a readership. Consider examples such as:

Some of the most popular blogs are those that have a “personality” that complements a business or brand and further engages a readership
  • The Pioneer Woman: Run by down-to-earth entrepreneur Ree Drummond, her blog exemplifies the effective way to engage readers intrigued by the allure of simple country life.

  • Work Shifting: This well-presented blog provides insight and solutions for today’s ever-mobile workforce, providing guidance for working effectively, wherever and whenever. The clever factor at work here is that it’s run by mobile and cloud tech company, Citrix Systems (but you wouldn’t immediately know that).

  • Nuts About Southwest: With a wide smile and a dash of self-deprecating humor, Southwest Airlines’ blog knows why fliers choose them—the nuts! A playful blog that incorporates mixed media, features stories about Southwest employees, and presents it all in a way that puts some of the fun back into the air travel experience.

The success of each of the blogs mentioned here is that they have identified their audiences, and speak to them in their language (country women, on-the-go professionals and everyday men). The style and imagery is well suited to each audience and, therefore, engages them in a friendly manner, while resisting the temptation to blast them with committee-designed marketing pitches. The genius, you’ll find, is in the subtlety.

2. Make a commitment to keep your blog updated and interesting

All you need do here is to put yourself into your (prospective) readers’ shoes. You likely access the online realm daily for news, reviews, insights and more—and you’re frustrated when you find the same aging content day after day.

As a simple rule of thumb, try to keep your blog updated with new entries at least once a week, but definitely more if you can. If you plan a regular update schedule, be sure to indicate that on your blog so visitors will know you haven’t gone missing in action. The more you keep the information fresh, the better your ability to attract and sustain a loyal following.

3. Treat your readers like customers (because they are!)

Now, as important as it is to keep your blog entries flowing on a regular basis, you need to be especially vigilant to maintain that each entry is interesting, helpful and somehow worthwhile (even if just entertaining).

Blogging for blogging’s sake is easy to spot and can quickly alienate a readership. Avoid this by developing a business blogging plan that maps out the sort of useful information that you’ll blog about in the coming month.

Of course, if something spontaneous occurs and would be of value to your readership, then squeeze that in. But the key here is to value your readers’ time and attention. Deliver blog entries that offer something fun or functional every time, and you’ll win the trust of your readers and their future visits.

4. Keep your personal opinions in check

Resist the temptation to comment on matters outside your business’ charter. It’s just safer to keep such thoughts to yourself

Pardon the cautionary finger wagging here, but this one’s critical: Personal opinions about any controversial or otherwise caustic matters can spark a flame war that’s best avoided. You see it happen daily on some folks’ personal blogs or within an unchecked tweet stream. Some simply fail to consider the airing of their at-the-moment opinions and the damage that can inflict on a business or a brand.

If you have strong beliefs or passions upon which you’ve built your business, it’s perfectly fine to express that as it relates to your business. Resist the temptation, however, to comment on matters that are outside your business’ charter. It’s just safer to keep such thoughts to yourself.

5. Be clear, concise and committed in every blog post

Finally, as you approach each blog entry you’ll publish, be clear about your intent of the entry. What purpose will this entry serve? Will it speak to a broad audience or will it focus on a sub-segment of your readership? Do you seek to inform, engage or entertain?

Whatever the purpose, be sure each entry has exactly that: a purpose. And, from a practical perspective, make each entry easy to read with key information that’s quickly accessible and identifiable.

Use appropriate entry headlines and sub-headers to convey the coming content. Use boldface fonts to draw out key words and use short paragraphs with paragraph breaks to make the entire entry easy on the eyes. When you develop this sort of style of constructing and presenting your entries, stick to it so your blog will gain a look of consistency—your readers will appreciate it.

Business blogging is an excellent and cost-effective way to further engage your existing customers, gain new customers and give all a deeper insight into you, your business, and your brand. While it does require a commitment to develop a style, stay on message and keep a consistent flow of entries; it also enables you to show more sides of what you have to offer. Consider business blogging today and consider the growth potential it might bring tomorrow.

About the author

Dennis L. Prince
Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay...and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

  • Tim

    Good useful stuff here Dennis. We’ll be setting up a blog in the near future and this has helped guide me. Thanks!

  • Treasure Hunter

    Thanks For The Great Article!
    I sell items on ebay.
    I don’t know much about blogs.
    Other than the ones mentioned in the article, is there a specific blog for ebay?
    Thank You.



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