Getting Started with Blogs
Blogging has become an integral part of social networking and business marketing, and is vital for entrepreneurs and businesses in the digital era. A blog [or web-log] is a low-maintenance, multifunctional tool for individuals and businesses. For years now, blogs have been used as a publishable personal journal - a way of communicating to large groups of friends or family. More recently, however, attractive templates and multimedia compatibility have made blogs an excellent low-maintenance business communication facility.
For entrepreneurs and small-business owners who are often competing for business against big agencies, blogs are particularly valuable as a place to demonstrate expertise. The current economic climate is demanding price competition, and technology now allows that to be easily sourced. Well-placed and well-prepared women entrepreneurs stand to benefit from companies searching for better value. If a copywriter’s sharp, professional blog demonstrates expert knowledge of his or her craft, or a childcare agency’s friendly and fun blog exudes their caring and welcoming disposition, clients feel assured of their competence. They have confidence that competitive lower rates show no compromise on quality.
A good blog sets an excellent tone for your business, and you.
How else can a blog benefit your business? In addition to updating the everywoman community of your activities, blogs are an excellent place to list business or work-life difficulties in context. Many readers are keen to respond to writing that engages with a specific feeling or experience. Thought-provoking blog entries often initiate discussions which offer support and advice. Blogging is also used (and sometimes abused) for search engine optimisation [SEO] purposes, to attract a higher volume of traffic through search engines. Regular blog updates that pay close attention to keywords are a useful way of improving your search engine performance.
A few important tips to help you get started:
In this digital revolution, every new site means that everything else faces a harder battle to be read. Attracting and keeping a visitor’s attention is not easy. Long blocks of plain dense-looking text are immediately off-putting. Find ways to be creative and to make your blog as reader-friendly as possible. Break up your text. Format your text using bold and italics. Use well-chosen images where appropriate. Help readers to navigate around your content by supplying hyperlinks to relevant resources, including your own.
Find a Niche, and Continuity
Any blog, for personal or business use, benefits from a degree of continuity. Blogs with consistency can attract a loyal following. They are less likely to be successful if a reader is interested in one entry, but not the next. Businesses represent one form of subject area, but there are other ways in which an everywoman blog could be utilised effectively. A blog could track the progress of a single mother returning to work. It could provide an insight into a woman's role in a male-dominated sector. Are you just starting up in business, or undertaking a long project, where it could benefit you and other members to record your experiences?
Know Your Audience
Your blog sets the tone for you and/or your business. Accordingly, the tone and formality of your blog should reflect the target audience. Knowing and providing for your audience is not always easy, and often requires research. It pays to know your competitors and how they communicate with their target market. The more formal and scientific the blog, the more it may need to refer elsewhere. Often, the legitimacy of any claim is judged on how widely it references existing knowledge. Knowing your industry and knowing your audience are complementary factors in the creation and maintenance of a successful blog.
Blog as a Ritual
Get used to blogging regularly. Readers will get used to returning regularly, and blogs with search engine optimisation in mind will begin to see the benefits. Blog posts do not have to be long, and much time invested in longer blogging could be wasted time. Smaller and often could be the ideal equilibrium.