Every time someone emails me the question, “Can you help me manage my blog?” I know it’s always going to be one of two types of blogs.
The first one is your fully loaded blog, with the juicy content and high quality graphics. The other type is your “search engine” blog that’s just one step up from being a spam machine.
I’m sure you know what I mean by a “fully loaded” blog. These blogs host intelligent life forms. They have a definite style, and a definite presence. Visitors sense this, and so they can’t resist stopping in for a spell on their daily web travels. I’m talking about blogs that take the lion’s share of web traffic on a daily basis. You have those juicy ones you probably visit often, right?
What makes these blogs so nutritious and delicious?
1. Because they’re part of a bigger picture – a living marketing campaign with a real company behind it, offering real, high quality products and services that provide real value.
2. Because everything on the blog/website is strategically placed. Links and clickable graphics that lead to order pages, “learn more” pages and newsletter signups are in plain view and fully functioning.
3. Because the blogger (or bloggers) in charge posts on a daily or almost-daily basis. This serves as fodder to keep the search engines coming back so that the blog’s pages are indexed quickly and bring in substantial traffic.
4. Because of their visual appeal. A great blog with plenty of whitespace, a clean, easy to read font, and irresistible graphics will most definitely have people returning for the daily dose.
5. Because they host conversations and provide value. Intelligent blogs attract intelligent people. There is no finer way to begin building business relationships online than being available to talk with people, brainstorm, offer useful information and deliver guidance. You can do this on your blog, a little bit every day.
The other type of blog is little more than content churn. And it’s too bad, because some of that content that you find on blogs where “the lights are on but nobody’s home” can actually be quite decent. But because of the lousy presentation and lack of human interaction on these blogs. No one stays around for very long.
For those interested in the no-frills crap factory blog, don’t bother coming to a copywriter. There are tons of free articles available for syndication and you can grab up as many of those as you want. Just know though, that your visitors will click off as soon as they hit that author bio at the bottom. Or maybe they’ll say, “Oh, I’ve only read this article on 60 other junk blogs exactly like this one,” and be on their merry way.
Syndicated article blogs miss the boat. They might do okay in terms of search engine visibility, but no one cares. Let me tell you why.
The whole point in creating a blog is to brand yourself as an expert and authority. Think of your blog as the podium in a packed lecture hall or stadium. How will you address your students and adoring fans today?
On your blog, you want to draw people in by hosting lively conversation, and with content that makes them think. People are sick of being “talked at” and marketed to. They want real opinions from genuine people.
The best way to be a stellar blogger is to just say what’s on your mind (as related to your business, of course). Keep it respectable, keep it high minded. try not to out people on your blog if at all possible. There’s a huge difference between good, old fashioned, polite debate and flaming or shaming people for their opinions. Your blog really is your image – so you want to keep it clean.
In addition to original thoughts and authentic dialogue, you might even open yourself up to criticism on your blog. It may sting at first. But if you really listen to what people have to say, you may just find that missing puzzle piece that means a great product that solves real-life problems.
The original question was: should you blog? If you want to drive business and build professional relationships via the web. If you want to be a thought leader in your field. If you want to win your customers through honest writing and quality content.
Yes. You should blog.