by Robin Matuk
Blogs are incredibly simple to set up and maintain, and can be added to an existing website, used alone, or created using publishing tools such as TypePad, Blogger and WordPress. If you are new to blogging, you may want to either hire someone to create and update your blog entries for you, or utilize the free publishing platforms that are available.
Corporate blogs should provide useful and interesting content, but content is an area where many corporate blogs fall short. Many organizations make the mistake of focusing their blog entries on information that is not engaging or relevant to the public, such as job opening announcements, financial information, and press releases. The goal of your blog should be to connect with your audience, and the only way to do that is to speak about issues that are important and relevant to their lives.
You should make every effort to create a fully interactive blog for your readers:
Enable trackbacks, and encourage visitors to leave comments and participate in the conversation.
Read their feedback, respond to their concerns, and target your posts in areas that seem to attract the most attention.
Learn to use tags for your blog content, as it will enable visitors to find your content more easily and will allow your blog pages to be discovered and sorted properly by search engines.
Blog content should be updated frequently to improve search results and give readers a reason to return.
Include useful or entertaining links to other sources of information with your blog entries.
Allow your visitors the option of adding RSS feeds of your content directly to their website or blog. Your goal is to increase the visibility of your brand, so anything that encourages the spread of your content should be encouraged.
Widgets, which are bits of code embedded in image files, are a good way of increasing traffic to both your blog and website, and can provide useful information to your readers.
You can design your own widget to include your business or blog name, your logo, or any other image of your choosing.
Visitors to your blog will be able to download your widget and add it to their own website, which will result in higher traffic numbers and increased brand visibility.
You can also add style and functionality to your blog by adding other widgets to your pages. Widgets of this type can be used to share recommended books, videos, or other information.
Reading and commenting on blogs that offer content similar to yours will help establish your authority in your field, and generate additional links and traffic to your blog and website.
Reading the blogs of your competitors will also provide you with valuable details about their current performance and success, and may give you ideas on how to better the structure and approach of your organization and marketing campaigns.
A neglected blog serves absolutely no purpose. It is essential to frequently update your blog with lively, engaging information to keep your readers coming back for more.
Robin Matuk is an Internet Business Coach who addresses the needs of entrepreneurs looking to maximize the power of the Internet to build and grow a thriving business. She is the founder of My Digital Coach, a blogger at Creating with Impact and a Community Builder at The Big Idea Community. For more information, visit http://mydigitalcoach.typepad.com/about.html