Net66 on the joy of business blogging
Website? Check. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube et al? Check. Blog? Erm, pass. The success of any business’ online presence entails a triumvirate of a well-optimised website (designed for all devices); wide presence on social media sites; and a beautifully-crafted blog. Blogging is by far the most important form of social networking processes. You can either setup a blog within your website’s server space, or through a free account with WordPress or Google (via Blogger).
To boost your results with search engines, we recommend hosting the blog on your own hosting account. If your website uses a content management system like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Magento, you are halfway there. If your choice of content management system happens to be WordPress, you’re laughing: much of the infrastructure is already there. (Matt Mullenweg’s and Mike Little’s CMS started out as a blogging platform before becoming the world’s favourite content management system).
We at Net66 are avid WordPress users. Many of our clients have benefited from its flexibility. We have too, with the latest version (and previous version) of our website using the said content management system. Adding new posts and pages, and minor editing is a cinch.
Avid Blogger? Make That Broadcaster
When you are blogging about your company’s activities, you are – like it or not – a broadcaster. Though the phrase broadcaster conjures up images of Huw Edwards on BBC’s Six O’Clock News, Chris Moyles’ show on Radio X, or the hospital radio DJ, you are doing a similar job. The medium is different: binary bits instead of radio waves and satellite signals. Your audience varies, but you are broadcasting your message across the internets. The computer, tablet, or smartphone is your newsdesk or DJ’s console.
Blogging builds your brand. In the same way as how Chris Moyles epitomises the morning face of Radio X; likewise with Huw Edwards announcing a change of Prime Minister. A good DJ establishes continued dialogue with its listeners. An authoritative source builds trust with audiences of all descriptions; the newspaper, website, radio station or television channel, would be considered as his or her reference point. Some might enjoy the ride which the broadcaster is taking them on.
The seven pillars of a successful blog
Communication: an effective blog allows for dialogue between customers and regular readers. For a business blog, long-serving clients may bookmark your blog and/or website. He or she will check often for fresh content. From past experience, the author of this piece has met several people through his own personal blog, either 2 or 270 miles away from home.
Trust: whether you are talking about Leyland Atlanteans or rope access training, regular readers will turn to your blog for first-rate information on certain subjects. S/he could trust the blogger’s knowledge of double decker buses or independent advice on Petzl equipment. As well as information, authenticity and forthright views can be favourable to its readers.
Reference to current affairs: any reference to the day’s news events is helpful to any blog post. Plus it may do your website traffic a lot of good. At this time of writing, Brexit is the buzzword of the moment (leading to our article on how leaving the European Union could affect SEO). To see what’s capturing the zeitgeist this week, month, minute or hour, consider looking at Google Trends or the trending topics of social networking sites. Reference to physical media sources can be helpful too.
Informative posts: believe it or not, you are looking at one example of an informative blog post. Any blog with similar posts to this one are a great help. Whereas posts pertaining to current affairs could be as ephemeral as chip paper, tutorials and tips are ‘sticky’ content. S/he may refer to that page if they wish to make a cardboard robot, update their version of Windows, or turn their selfie image into a Commodore 64 style portrait.
Regular maintenance: over time, links can go astray. Webmasters change web pages, hosting accounts and domain names may expire. Computer programs and other details are subject to regular updates. Dead links and redundant content are an irritation for search engines and people browsing your site. With the former, this has a negative effect on your search engine rankings. Every so often, it is always worth checking your site for broken links, images, or scope for any updates to existing content.
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: there is nothing more cringeworthy than a grammatical error or a full stop felony. On any form of written communication, virtual or dead tree, it is at best embarrassing for your business. How could your company be seen as an authority on buses last seen in Greater Manchester in 2002? Or any industrial sector you specialise in? We recommend adding a grammar checking tool to your blogging client such as Grammarly.
Research your subject areas: second only to keeping your spelling, punctuation, and grammar in tip-top condition, we always recommend researching your subject areas. Besides using more than one primary and/or secondary source, your own experience is helpful too. Why stop at online sources? Take a trip to your local public library for suitable books. Or your borough’s local studies library for historical sources.
Once you’ve taken heed of how to produce a beautifully crafted blog post, the next part shall focus on the effective use of blog content and social networking sites. Stay tuned for further announcements.
Net66, 18 July 2016.