Facebook and Twitter are good ways to create a buzz about your business but to really hook a customer, and to keep them coming back there's nothing better than a blog. A good well-written blog allows you to sell your business and services, it shows you mean business, and it's a great way to show customers that you understand them and the business you are in.
A good, well-written blog can help sell a business and help increase the profile of your business, but there's more to it than knocking off a couple of hundred words on something that came to you over breakfast, the first step is to find a good writer.
Wanted – a mean, keen, blog writer
If you want to be successful at blogging then you need some writing skills and some good genuinely held ideas. Unfortunately the ability to write clear, interesting copy is not usually one of the main skills held by many business owners, and it's not a skill that comes naturally to everyone.
It probably comes as no surprise that many blogs are not written by the people in the business. If they're not written by the marketing or PR department, then they're normally written by professional writers who ghost-write the pieces. While there's nothing wrong in doing this it does tend to turn the finished article into a bland piece written in double-speak and scattered with marketing clichés. If you want a good blog post then find someone in the business who wants to write about the business, and who has passion.
Chances are there's someone in your business who's passionate about writing and who is passionate about the business and that makes a killer-combination when it comes to blogging.
How to choose a subject for your blog
Company blogs that just concentrate on the business can be very dull, if you're trying to raise your businesses profile the last thing you want to blog about is how great your iPhone is, or the problems you have had finding a good web designer.
Don't be afraid to talk about the issues that face your business, or the industry. Your customers want to know that you understand the business and that your industry inspires you. Customers also looking for honesty in your approach. Most people would much rather read an article that talks about the faults of the industry and what your business plans to do to fix them, than endless articles about how wonderful the business is.
If there's something newsworthy that has happened in your industry or there's something that is trending on Twitter or reaching the top of the search engines then exploit that buzz, and do it now while the trend is HOT. The motto for the great blogger should be, seize the day or carpe diem if you want to be all Latin.
In general if it's something that you feel strongly enough about, and you're qualified enough to write about it then don't be afraid to say what you think.
Mention as many people as possible
If you read any blog, column in a newspaper or magazine, you'll find that at least half of their writing is not about them, it's about other people. Newspapers learnt a long time ago that by including the community in their writing and photography paid dividends. If you write about other people, you're opening up your readership, so talk about how passionate your employees are and make sure you mention their names. Talk about other people in business you admire, and talk about your customers, and even talk about your competitors and other people and businesses that you admire or hate – although be careful about what you say, and don't just make the blog a list.