Are you interested in blogging to help you grow your client base and promote the online presence of your business? So are lots of people! But the key to actually achieving these goals is doing it right. Blogging is part art and part science, and to make it effective, you’ve got to have both parts in play.
Some people think blogging is less important than it used to be. I disagree. I think it’s even more important and more highly regarded than ever, but those who haven’t started better get a move on before it’s too late. Starting a blog from scratch is difficult and it takes a lot of time and effort to build up a following. Those who’ve been blogging for a year or two have probably established a great foundation and readership that helps make their blogging efforts important.
Those who think blogging is less important than it used to be are citing social networking sites as the reason. Facebook, Twitter, and other sites that promote interaction between people on line are important. But in my opinion, they don’t offer as much information as a blog can offer. A blog is more likely to discuss in-depth subjects, while these social networking sites are often geared more toward quick interactions between people.
It’s true that there are a lot of online options. So how do you get your blog noticed??? Especially when one blog cites statistics like this: 100,000 new blogs created each day, 57 million blogs tracked by Technorati, and the “blogosphere” is doubling each 230 days.
The blogger on that site (Aaron Cruikshank of Fruich Consulting) found that his site wasn’t showing up much in search engines before blogging, and I found the same. While my site did come up for a few keyword searches, my site didn’t show up for some of the most relevant searches. After blogging for more than two years, that’s all changed. Blogging has helped optimize my site for search engine rankings, and Aaron found the same.
If you want to be successful at blogging to promote your business, you’ve got to be committed to regular updates. You should be blogging at least three times a week, with five to ten times a week preferable. The more you blog with good content, the more effective your blogging will be. (The key is good content though.. don’t just blog for the sake of blogging.) Readers want regular updates, and if you’re updating infrequently, readers will stop checking your site.
Participate in online communities to help promote your blog. One of the tools I’ve used is Blog Carnivals. Someone sponsors a carnival on their site on any topic of their choosing, and other bloggers submit links to article that they’d like included in the carnival. Then the sponsor of the carnival publishes all the links, and readers get to check out a variety of blogs on a particular topic. Running and participating in carnivals can expose your blog to new readers who can easily become regular readers.
Offer readers the option to subscribe to your blog via RSS, so they can easily read your blog in a “reader” with the other blogs they’re subscribed to. Basically, this is a high-tech way to read a variety of blogs without having to visit each site. Readers can see all their favorites with one click. Offering an RSS feed to readers gives them more incentive to follow your blog daily.
One of the biggest benefits to blogging is becoming a “real person” to your reader. While the main part of a website is often “just the facts” and geared toward providing straightforward information about a company…. a blog is an opportunity to add opinion and commentary to issues of interest to your readers. Becoming a real person to the readers establishes a connection between the professional and the potential client and can help grow your business dramatically.
Keeping on top of timely topics of interest to your readers can bring dramatically increased traffic to your site and can quickly boost your online presence. Don’t underestimate the power of blogging. Even if you haven’t started yet, you can still start a blog now…. just be patient, as it takes time to build a readership and following.