An Everyday Thing
Web publishing has become easier and more accessible and with that, blogs have become more normal to see. They are used by a massive assortment of people. Businesses of all sizes, bands, even teenagers in their bedrooms. People with no technical experience can start up and run a blog using any number of platforms. Blogs are read at greater rates now than ever before, and that number is increasing on a daily basis. Exact numbers are difficult to find, given how widely distributed blogs are. There are more than 33 million new posts each month just including WordPress.
Blogs allow a product or company to provide longer descriptions of products or services, can include testimonials and can link to other social network and blog pages. Blogs can be updated frequently and are promotional techniques for keeping customers, and also for acquiring followers and subscribers who can then be directed to social network pages.
Online communities can enable a business to reach the clients of other businesses using the platform. To allow firms to measure their standing in the corporate world, sites enable employees to place evaluations of their companies. Some businesses opt out of integrating social media platforms into their traditional marketing regimen. There are also specific corporate standards that apply when interacting online.To maintain an advantage in a business-consumer relationship, businesses have to be aware of four key assets that consumers maintain: information, involvement, community, and control.
Each and every blog has its own set of objectives and will differ from the next. Some are run by individuals, some by companies, and others, a combination of the two. While you can find a blog covering just about any subject, there are several categories they usually fall into:
Corporate: These blogs are written by a company for its customers, existing or potential. They are often found on the company website or a dedicated subdirectory/subdomain. Topics can vary from news and announcements to product launch info.
Personal/Journal: Individuals who keep a personal journal online may have plans to turn them into other types of blogs, but their primary function is sharing their lives and experiences and generally target existing friends and family.
Hobby/ Interests : These blogs focus around a theme. It could be professional in nature (tech and music blogs often fall under this banner) or completely personal like fashion and beauty.
Professional: The blogs that make a profit. They may base their income on ads or even affiliate sales, or they may have other means of income.
A successful blog takes a lot of time and effort. Depending on what success means to you and your company, it can involve any number of people including a marketing team and product managers. A blog is your opportunity to showcase your company’s culture and personality while showcasing some of the products you offer.
Timing is an important part of the success of a blog. It is especially important today, when we receive a constant flood of information from social Media channels. The perfect timing will depend on your audience. Ideally, you want to find the time and day when your community is most available and willing to receive and share your content. Just like Twitter use. This is going to be a time when they’re very active, but not so active that the your message is lost among the mass flood. Try experimenting with different times of day until you get a feel for what that “optimal” time is for you.
Maintaining the effort is vital! As a visitor to a company’s blog, it’s not good to see that the most recent post is from several months ago. This gives the visitor no reason to subscribe or participate. You certainly don’t need to blog every day, or even every week for that matter. Find an attainable cadence, set expectations with your audience, and stick to it. Perhaps you only do a monthly industry roundup. That’s cool. Just make people aware in advance so they know what to expect.
Engagement is where the magic happens. Posts come to life when comments and conversations from the audience start to appear. Engagement is where a community starts to form. The biggest key is how you moderate it. Comments left unchecked are a golden ticket for spammers, who are crawling the Internet for opportunities to drop links. Not to mention the trolls. There are a several good ways to moderate the comments on your blog, depending on your goals. Some people choose to have an approval process, but the more popular a blog becomes, the more labor intensive that strategy becomes. Some choose to have a site-specific log-on and profile, but this can cut down on engagement for those unwilling to take the time to create one. It’s up to you and your own workflow to determine what the right strategy is for you.
Beyond the comment moderation, there is a lot of work that can go in to actually responding to comments and engaging with the audience on your blog. The same fundamental truths we outlined for social networks apply on your blog, as well. Be respectful, prompt, honest, and personable. And most importantly, don’t feed the trolls.
The Right Tools
WordPress: One, if not the most popular blogging platform in existence, WordPress is a free and open-source tool that can be hosted either on WordPress or on another domain of your choice. Incredibly flexible and easy to use, it is often the default option for both advanced and novice bloggers. There is an entire industry built around the creation and sale of custom themes and skins for WordPress, making the otherwise templated platform more personalised and customisable. WordPress can be used with existing sites as well, making it a frequent choice for businesses and consumers alike.
Blogger: A free blogging platform built by Google. This tool is quite similar to WordPress, but without many of the features and flexibility. Blogs here can either be self-hosted or left on blogger.com. It’s much better-suited for a casual personal blogger than a business or professional blogger.
Google Analytics: Measurement is a must if you’re interested in tracking your progress against business objectives (which you really should be). Google Analytics (GA) is a free analytics tool that provides insights about user behavior, traffic, and social behavior on your website. Your GA account can provide tons of useful data that will help you get to know your customers, what they’re looking for, and how you can better serve them.
Linkstant: By keeping an eye on when people are linking to your blog, you can follow the conversation. People will often read a blog and then start a conversation on their own site, usually linking back to the original spark—your blog. By participating in the conversation on the new site, you can usually generate a circular flow of traffic and engagement driving your readership, traffic, and links. This tool will alert you via email every time someone has linked back to your site, helping you uncover these opportunities