Web Content AdviceWeb, Content, Advice
ServiceScape Incorporated
ServiceScape Incorporated
2014

How to Create a Relevant Blog for Your Business

If you want to bring your business into the "Information Age" and present it to a widespread audience of social media users and online connoisseurs, finding the right balance and the right content can be a huge obstacle. However, if you can successfully navigate the tricky and congested waters of the Internet, you'll soon find that connecting your business to a blog can be a great way to increase sales, build a client base and build a brand for yourself and/or your company.

Like any effort, when you build a blog for your business, you'll get out of it what you put into it. If you write it haphazardly and post unpolished content, your business will benefit little from it—or worse—your business's reputation could take a hit. For this reason alone, creating a successful blog for your business should be a project undertaken with careful consideration. Remember—publishing is publishing, whether it's online or a magazine in your hand. You wouldn't run an article connected to your business in a magazine without first polishing the content. Avoid the temptation to think of your blog as less important just because it is a lot easier to publish than a magazine article.

With that in mind, if you are able to devote the time and energy to maintaining a blog that reflects the core values, philosophies and quality of your business, below are five tips for doing this successfully:

Determine your desired readership

As with any publication, online publications included, the publisher must first determine who the desired readership is so that he or she can direct the content toward that particular audience. For a business, if you are creating a blog to increase your potential customer base, you must first consider who your potential customer base is, including their demographics.

Determine what that particular demographic wants to read

While there have been numerous studies focusing on the consumption and purchasing habits of each demographic, sometimes, all it takes is a quick survey of people within that demographic to determine what content they want to read and are most likely to share on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In many cases, when a business begins a blog, a quick survey of current clients can reveal the type of content that is most likely to draw the attention of potential clients.

Another way to determine what your potential clients want to read is to find a business or brand online that is similar to yours and makes use of a blog. What are they writing about and how many people are responding to the content? You can usually determine this by looking at the number of comments on a blog or looking at how many times it has been shared on a social media site. Another great way to find these "model" blogs to pattern your own after is to follow groups on social media sites, and see what kind of online content they are linking to in their updates. Find a group that your potential customers would be a part of and pay attention to what articles and content they are discussing. This simple observation will do wonders for helping you determine a direction for your own blog's content.

Hire a copywriter

Writing and publishing is like any field—the qualified assistance of an expert can mean the difference between building a reputation and destroying it. A professional copywriter can provide content that is relevant to your demographic's online reading habits, and attractive to search engines like Google. However, keep in mind that as a business owner, it is always better for you to provide the source material for your copywriter to ensure that your expertise and voice is evident in the blog. Some examples of source material include articles you found in an industry-specific publication, or blog posts published by other businesses appealing to your same desired demographic.

Hire an editor

A professional content editor is also important, as these service providers offer a unique, unbiased "second pair of eyes" to make sure your grammar is spot-on and your online image is nothing less than professional. An editor can provide a comprehensive grammar check, as well as assist with common writing mistakes such as lack of clarity, lack of organization, poor word choice or choppy writing. An editor can also provide suggestions to make content more readable or more appealing to a specific audience.

Remember—even famous writers make mistakes, particularly when deadlines loom. Professors, researchers, and published authors all hire content editors to be an unbiased second pair of eyes before submitting writing for publication. Thinking of your blog in the same way will set it on the right track immediately.

Don't focus on marketing—focus on expertise

In the process of publishing your blog, skip using it as an obvious marketing technique and go straight to publishing content that your potential clients will want to read in their spare time, for informative or entertainment purposes. A large percentage of the population now uses their smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices to scroll through online content on a daily basis. Focus on providing content that they will perceive as valuable, primarily based on your unique expertise, while also providing sources and further information on the work of other experts in the field, as well. When your blog takes this direction, you won't need to do anything special to attract an audience—the audience will find you.

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