Not only is a blog a great way of connecting personally with your target market, it is one of the best ways to optimise your search engine ranking. It appears that Google puts a greater weight on content in a blog than in a ’static’ website.
The point of a blog is to help people see past the commercial literature and help connect with you as a person. Then, the next stage is to build up trust & credibility with your target audience – showing them you understand them, and know what you are talking about.
So how do you go about setting up and writing a blog?
Here are our tips:
Before you start writing, there are three things you have to think about first:
1) why you are going to start a blog
2) The technical aspects of a blog – where and how to host
3) what you are actually going to write in your blog
why you are going to start a blog
If your primary goal is to share your opinions and ideas with the general public, you would want to use a different blogging tool than a user who was creating product blogs as a commercial sales effort.
A blog for search engine promotion would have entirely different requirements.
These different uses for a blog require different technical abilities.
I’m assuming (as you are reading this blog) that you are interested in a blog for commercial purposes.
Firstly, you need to take a step back and think about your target customer/client. What sort of things will interest them? What problems or challenges do they face in their everyday lives? What do they read? What websites do they spend time surfing on?
Technical aspects (the geeky bit)
If you are concerned about search engine optimisation, then look to host your blog on your website.
If you are not particularly concerned about search engine optimisation, and want an easy way to start blogging, then pick a free blogging host such as www.blogger.com or wordpress (which will allow you to put your blog on it for free) It’s worth checking your deal with your domain host, they may offer you a free blog service.
B2evolution, WordPress and Nucleus are three of the most popular open source (free) blogging software, and will allow you to put your blog onto your own website.
Wordpress: great for personal blogging (but functionality is developing rapidly)
B2evolution: robust enough for commerical needs
Nucleus: choose if you want to optimise search engine marketing and promotion of your blog
Remember that twitter is actually a micro blog.
I started blogging with a free service offered by my domain hoster. I tried to install both nucleus and b2evolution but had technically issues. I am now using wordpress in my blog and several plugins which increases wordpress functionality.
what you are actually going to write
This is probably the most important aspect of writing a blog. If you are using it for marketing terms, think what is going to interest your target audience, and then start writing about this stuff. Make sure you add in an element of the personal stuff. People don’t want to read purely commercial literature.
Some ideas to get you started:
- book reviews
- lists of great website or books that you think people should read
- anything that highlights your personal credentials
- any training events that you attend
- anything that occurs to you, which may be of interest to your target audience
- new products that you are starting to sell
Good luck with starting your blog – don’t forget that I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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