Blogs, or Web logs, are online journals that are updated frequently, sometimes even daily. An update, (also called an entry or a post) is usually quite short, perhaps just a few sentences, and readers can often respond to an entry online. Blogs are a great way to keep your customers up-to-date with your business, and, they are good for search-engine exposure.
Here are some guiding principles to writing a successful blog:
1. Develop a writing style and voice
A great site design and technical gimmicks are no replacement for developing an interesting, readable writing style. Remember, a blog is a conversation. Try to write the way you speak. Avoid jargon and don't overuse the thesaurus. It may be helpful to speak your entry out loud before trying to type it or to read it aloud after you've written it. If you find yourself struggling as you read aloud or speaking unnaturally, think about what you might have said if you were talking to a friend rather than writing.
Always consider your audience. If you're writing for only your customers you don't need to explain your product names each time. But if your blog attracts a wider audience, you may want to create references or glossaries to help new readers follow along.
2. Update, update, update
The blogs that attract the most readers are the ones with frequent updates. If you start a blog, be prepared to spend some time working on it every day or two. If you're going to be a blogger, you have to blog! It takes discipline for most of us to write, even conversationally, every day. If you find yourself dreading posting to your blog, maybe a blog isn't for you.
3. Invite comments
An important aspect of blogs is that they feature the comments of readers as well as the writing of the blogger. When you visit a blog, you often find a comment link under the text of each blog posting. Clicking that link enables you to read comments from other people and submit your own. Usually bloggers make their own comments in the posts on their site, but sometimes a blogger adds a response in the comment section because it's a more direct way to address someone else's comment.
If you do decide to allow comments on your blog, be sure to keep an eye on them. The comment feature makes it possible for anyone to add comments to your blog and you may not always like what they have to say. For example, spammers sometimes take advantage of inattentive bloggers to do some marketing that you may not want on your blog. All good blogging software makes it easy for the author to remove comments.
Lastly, don’t forget to see what your competition is doing.
If you currently have a website it is normally quite easy to hook up a blog along side it. This can take many forms:
1. Download and install a blogging tool
2. Use an existing online service like Blogger
3. Get the blogging facility in your website’s CMS enabled
Utopia can assist you in all the above options from installing 3rd party systems to getting you hooked up with online services. Contact us today and we can discuss the options that would best suit your needs.