This month I’d like to concentrate on Blogging and making your Blog the centre of your marketing universe.
First up – what Blogs are available?
- www.wordpress.com – probably to most favoured tool around today, and excellent CMS based tool that can be either hosted on-line by WordPress or installed on your server. It can be your whole website, or you can use just the Blogging part of it and add it to your website. It’s full customisable.
- www.blogger.com – taken over by Google in the early days – it’s a hosted solution and one would hope that Google rank it well with Search Engines and theirs in particular – it’s simpler than WordPress, and with a bit of jiggery pokery can be customised – But look at mine it’s just a default Template – easy to set up and looks great.
- www.squarespace.com – although this costs – it’s a good tool and somewhat easier to manage – it works well though you need to have a fair idea of what you want first. Square Space wants a quality look and feel, rather than the mess WordPress and Blogger can descend into.
How should you use Blogs?
- News – Blogs provide an excellent place to get your news content out. The main reasons for this are a) Blogs should be really easy to manage, all you need to do is write a title and a couple of paragraphs. Add an image and it’s starting to look good. b) Search Engines monitor and like Blogs more frequently than websites. They might get to your website once every two/four week, but Blogs are more likely to be indexed two or three times a week.
- Thoughts – Blogs can be extended to your industry – this is hugely useful, because your website is about your business and facts, the Blog can be about your ideas, aspirations and opinions. You can and should position yourself and company to being an authority on your subject and beyond. That’s a serious additional power you have in your sales process.
- Client/Customer Updates – rather than the hassle of a news letter that you need write month after month, just worry about the Blog. Then on the scheduled day that you want the newsletter to go out, all you need to choose which Blogs posts you want to include in the newsletter… It becomes a simple copy and paste operation. You need to realise that newsletters require only a teaser of information – after which you need the recipient to respond and ‘do’ something, that process can be started by visiting the Blog
- Social Media/Marketing – we’ve spoken elsewhere about community building and really the Blog is where it call happens. All that effort on Twitter and Facebook need to generate a reaction, comment and a place for people to give their views and opinions, telling you what you’re doing wrong as well what you’re doing right.That place is the Blog, people can give you their comments and you can build the community.
Lasty, how often should you update a Blog?
The short answer is at least twice a week. Sorry, but the more the merrier. However this can depend to some extent on your industry, the more specialist you are the less you need to update the Blog, as hopefully your opinion matters more. The web is all about fresh content that is relevant and expansive, so really the more the better.
And the secret to a successful Blog – well actually the secret is to get help. Ask other to contribute as well, two people contributing should double your output. There’s nothing stopping contributors and there is nothing like empowering your ‘community’ to write about your products. Never be afraid to get others to join in.