So you’re thinking about stepping into the Blogosphere? But not really sure where to start. Here are my views on starting a new blog. There are many things to consider but first I think it’s worth noting that blogs typically fall into 3 categories:
Personal Blog – Written about your personal life
Personal Business Blog – Covering your experiences in the workplace (like mine)
Business Blog – Written by you about or to promote the company you work for
I am going to focus on the 2nd option for the sake of this discussion as it’s where I have most experience.
So where do you start?
First you need to be sure you have something to write about. Readers will quickly spot if posts are too infrequent or the content is not great and the value in your blog will decrease. If you look at my blog, its content is based on my experience of working in the marketing industry for 12 years together with some thoughts about what the future holds. I launched the blog just over 3 weeks ago and have had 3,240 visitors (at the time of writing) and some really positive feedback.
Then choose a blog platform. I use www.wordpress.com but there are many others ou there such aswww.blogger.com Play around with them and find which one best suits you. Most platforms offer a WYSIWYG template editor/creator so you can get your blog looking quite good with little effort. Any Photoshop skills you have will help you create an even better looking site.
If you want your blog to be successful in terms of readership and feedback then the quality of the content is key. There are 2 approaches you can take here. One option is to go for generic messaging that will appeal to a wide audience and therefore should help your reader base grow. A good example of where I have done this can be found in my post about Exhibitions and Trade shows, which has received the highest number of hits of any of my posts to date. The other option is to create posts on niche subjects that are hot topics at the moment. Take a look at my post on Infographic CVs and the one on QR codes for examples. I like to blend the 2 approaches and gauge the feedback and hits. The Infographic CV post probably had the best response in terms of positive feedback, probably due to it being quite niche and the fact that there was a document to download too.
I have spoken in previous posts about how to best share content so won’t go over it again here. Just use the social networks you already use to share your blog. You can’t expect people to find your blog, you need to send it to them. You have probably linked to this blog via LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook today. Anyone that hasn’t please let me know how you go here. Also consider sending links to your blog to industry journals and trade press and if you’re happy to, write some content for them free of charge. It’s a great way to get your content published and raise your profile. It’s also worth noting that SEO needs to be considered. A well written blog for search engines can dramatically increase the number of visitors. Play around and test your blog’s ranking on Google. I will write another post on this subject soon as there is a lot to be considered here.
Finally, and one of the most important, interact with your readers. If someone has gone to the trouble to reply to a post or leave a comment then reply back, follow them on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn and become a friend on Facebook. These people could become embassador’s for your blog so they are an important factor in its success.
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