Alright, who knew that blogging for business was so huge?! I didn’t. The fact that blogs’ viewers and readers can turn into leads went completely over my head. After taking the first Inbound Marketing webinar, “How to Blog Effectively for Business,” I learned it’s so simple! Provide a place to publish content that encourages interaction and feedback from its readers. Sounds ideal!
Blogs, after all, seem practically built for that kind of participation. Posts, the content businesses provide on the site, and comments, the responses and conversations that people build on the posts, are both great components that contribute to making readers feel comfortable and give feedback to businesses. The sidebar and header, two of blogs’ other components, just add to the ease which readers can use to access and learn more about the company’s industry.
But before I get ahead of myself, how a business puts all of these components together on the page is key. The most popular layout is the two-column approach-one sidebar and one post. It’s clean, simple, and uncomplicated a.k.a. reader-friendly. Then there’s the three-column layout that is made up of one post and two sidebars. As long as this is organized, it too can be a great asset for readers. Just follow the rule of thumb on how to keep sidebars and posts clean to put forth a successful blog. Anything that adds value for the readers should be included, and everything else can get lost.
Some other things to consider before a business starts a blog are the “who,” “when,” “where,” and “how” that go into creating and maintaining it.
- Who is going to write it? Should there be outside help or should the company’s employees write it?
- Where is the blog being put up? On the company’s own website or on a separate domain?
- How will it be put up? Should the IT department edit the template and get it working on the Internet?
- When can time be made to frequently update the content? Can the business do this for its blog indefinitely?
Another surprise I hadn’t thought of was blogs are a lot of work. The challenge is to plan how you will use the components correctly and to engage your company’s audience. Blogging proves to be an extremely valuable activity in advancing business.
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