Monday, February 24, 2014

Business blogging made simple

On the day I wrote this post, bloggers were creating and posting more than 2.2 million new posts. On a Sunday afternoon.
Ready to enter the long tunnel of blogging?

You want a presence in the blogosphere. You know social media can reach new customers and prospects. But, creating and maintaining a business blog isn't easy.

A well-written blog can help build your brand and visibility. The downside: you need to refresh a blog consistently with meaningful, persuasive content that your customers and followers will find engaging.

And you need to get them to read it. And come back to it again and again. That's how you build awareness and a relationship.

It can seem like you're entering a long tunnel, without knowing where the journey may lead.

Steamfeed.com recently shared a concise article about business blogging. The most useful tip: planning ahead, and developing a steady flow of topics and stories that resonate with your customers.

That's a tall order. You may have a dozen good top-of-mind stories to share. But twelve posts doesn't make a blog. And a blog that fades after a few entries sends the wrong message to your customers.

Let's say you want to post a weekly blog update. That's 52 stories. Or twice a month -- 26 posts. What's your comfort level with creating several dozen original stories a year? Do you have time to write those posts and find images to help illustrate them -- images that aren't copyrighted, so you don't risk legal repercussions for using someone else's original work?

Chances are, the answer is: No. Even if you sometimes write a personal essay or share off-topic information, such as recipes or worst-travel experiences.

That's the moment you need to find an experienced public relations professional (he said humbly!) who can analyze your business and unearth its success stories. A PR pro can create a plan to highlight your customers, technologies, industry trends, thought-leader opinions, and more -- over months or longer. Gather video or image content. And create a blog that positions your business as a source of innovation, insight, and service.

Another benefit of asking a skilled PR pro to shepherd your business blog? He or she will also know how to promote it. Estimates suggest there are as many as 450 million active blogs worldwide. How do you entice prospective customers and readers to pay attention to yours?

That's the topic of the next installment on PR Architect. Please check back next week.