All entrepreneurs with a web presence are now beginning to understand that they must be more public and more personal at the same time.
- Public Presence really refers to their overt marketing strategies and to establishing profiles on all social media sites, as well as having a state-of-the-art website that is both compelling and easy to navigate.
- Personal Presence refers to relationships that the business establishes with its customers and potential customers. While traditional brick and mortar businesses have always built relationships face-to-face, or via mail and telephone communication, building relationships and brand loyalty on the Internet requires an entirely different set of strategies. One such strategy in that set is a blog.
Why a Blog?
Blogs are an effective means to maintain communication with your loyal customers, new customers, and potential customers. If you have a content-rich blog and are able to drive people to that blog, you will have the means of establishing relationships. But there are very important “rules” for maintaining an effective blog, and you need to follow them if your blog is to achieve its purpose.
- If you are not a writer, or if you do not have the time to post regularly, you will need to find capable people to take on this task. There are lots of companies that are in the business of maintaining blogs for clients, and many of them are quite good. The important thing is this: whoever writes your posts must be willing to do the necessary research to learn about your business, your business niche, and related businesses. If you can find “experts” in your niche to write guest posts, all the better. And it is also quite effective to set up a reciprocal arrangement with a business that is related but not a competitor. You can post on each other’s blogs.
- Use a good platform. WordPress is a free, open-sourced platform with which most bloggers are familiar and it has all sorts of tools, features, and plug-ins that will make your blog look professional.
- Every post must be exceptional. It must provide good information or advice that users of your product(s) and/or services want or need. Old stale information will cause readers to leave. Coming up with fresh topics will take research and some good thought, so you or your contracted writer(s) must be willing to put in the time.
- Don’t waste your readers’ time. Your introduction should be relatively short and should tell the reader exactly what the post will cover. As an old English teacher once said about an introduction, “You tell them what you are going to tell them.” If readers do not know up front and read further, only to find that the topic is not important, they are not happy.
- Use simple English – an 8th-grade level is usually recommended, not because your readers are unintelligent, but because they want good content presented in simple ways. No one wants to read a lengthy compound sentence and get lost in the wordiness.
- Don’t focus on keywords; focus on content. Yes, you will want one major keyword/phrase that will appear in your title, your introduction and in your meta-description. People do still search by keywords. But search engines are crawling for good content now. “Keyword stuffing” is a big no-no. Content should relate to your niche and to related niches. For example, if your business is property management or real estate, then you can branch out to all sorts of related fields – home maintenance, DIY projects, decorating, landscaping – the possibilities are endless.
- Use plug-ins to link your blogs or at least your meta-descriptions to all of your social media accounts and to allow readers to comment on your blog page. Getting discussions going is an excellent way to keep readers coming back!
- The consistency of posting is critical. You must have a regular schedule because readers will look forward to your new posts. If a blog is idle, people will leave and not come back.
Brand loyalty is all about relationships. A great blog builds those relationships.