Great business blogging can add value to your business, create loyal customers and build trust in potential clients. On the other hand, bad business blogging, or inconsistent business blogging, can have a negative impact on your brand. Keeping the points below in mind should help ensure your business blog is working effectively to draw clients in, not push them away.
1. Use your professional voice. When you take a business-related call with a client who you’re not familiar with, do you use slang, swear, or are you otherwise impolite? Hopefully, no, and the same rules should apply to blogging. Think of your writing as an extension of your professional voice.
2. Edit each post you think is done. Maintaining good grammar, spelling and fluid expression is a simple way to show potential clients you’re an intelligent and professional person. The more informal your writing looks the less professional you and your enterprise will appear. Avoid embarrassing slip-ups by re-reading and rigorously editing each post before you hit publish.
3. Present information clearly and concisely. Make your posts scannable by including sub-headings, by making key words and phrases bold, and by using paragraph breaks frequently. This makes your writing look more professional and will enable busy clients to extract the essence of your posts even if they don’t have the time to read each word.
4. Be personal. A funny anecdote or interesting story can help build a friendly face for your business, as long as the story is relevant to the topic of your blog. Injecting a bit of personality into your writing will help establish yourself as someone clients can relate to. In doing so you’ll also be building trust. A post I read recently that I thought did this well was ‘Apparently I Work for Google’ at SEOmoz, a business blog about SEO.
5. Don’t be too personal. Don’t get into specifics about your family, your relationships, your work stresses or otherwise delve beneath the surface of your daily life. This is not only unprofessional but can imbue your blog with a sense of negativity. Keep your voice positive and stay away from personal issues.
6. Keep your opinions and beliefs to yourself. Today’s world is increasingly divided along political and moral lines. If you reveal your thoughts on controversial issues there will be some clients who’ll no longer be willing to support your product or service. Keep politics, morality and controversy out of your business blogging, regardless of how strongly you feel about an issue.
7. Be objective. Too many business blogs serve as extended advertisements for the company and little else. It is no wonder that these tend to be unsuccessful. A good strategy is to take a birds-eye view of the industry you’re in while frequently returning back to your own business.
8. Treat readers like you would customers. Respond to every comment and e-mail in a prompt and courteous manner. Answer every question to the best of your abilities. Enforce a strict comment policy to ensure your blog comments are a happy and productive place. Your readers are potential clients and will generate an impression of your customer service based on how you manage your blog community. Take the time to do this well.
9. Less is more. Every post you write is a reflection on the quality of your business. Take the time to produce well thought-out posts which offer value to readers, even if it means you end up posting less regularly.
10. Don’t start what you can’t finish. If you start a business blog you better be prepared to stick with it. A client who enjoys your business blog for a month only to watch it fall into disuse and disrepair will make some powerful assumptions about your business as a result of this. If you’re not absolutely committed to your business blogging then, simply put, don’t start. If you lose your enthusiasm at any point be sure to recruit someone who can keep things afloat for you.