Your website is about what you sell, your specialty and your services, while a really good blog gives you an opportunity to share your heart, be helpful to your readers and supportive of your community. Here's a new batch of tips to consider in establishing an effective blog.
- Continuity: Look for ways to make your blog reflect some of the branding elements of your website. The logo should be the same; stay with the same color theme and look for simple design elements that can be shared on both your website and blog.
- Consistency: If you're not going to post at least twice a week, then my suggestion is to hold off on your blog. You're working to build readerships, followers and feed the search engines with new material. Posting now and then just isn't going to get you the momentum you need. In fact, a client visiting your blog and seeing the newest post was a month ago, might even think you're no longer actively in business.
- Length of Posts: You can find almost any expert to pick any number you want, but for the most part everybody seems to agree that 200-400 words is plenty. (I'm at 300 right here.) You can definitely go longer if you're making a point, using bullets and it's easy to read. Also, remember to always include an image or illustration with every post.
- Stay on Topic: The theme of your blog should be helpful to your target audience, but remember to stay relevant to your readers. You can go off topic now and then, but not until you've established your reputation and brand.
- Build a Stash: Every post doesn't have to be written fresh each time or be related to something you did earlier in the week. With the underlying theme of everything you post "being helpful" it leaves you a lot of room to write your posts in advance. For example, under the umbrella of being helpful, publish tips for better picture-taking, locations in the area great for photographs, a calendar of community events or announcements of fund-raisers you might be involved in and profile features of key people in the community etc.
- Don't Respond to Trolls: Sooner or later you'll get somebody who simply feels entitled to take shots at you, criticize what you wrote about or just plain attack you for taking up space in the universe. The bottom line, is just don't bother to get in the confrontation. Don't take the bait. Trolls hide behind the anonymity of their computer screen and say things they'd never say to your face...so, just hold back the urge to play defense and don't engage them!
A great website and blog work together to build your reputation and a stronger brand. Be helpful and generous with your time and work to build loyalty with your readers.
Photo Credit: © Marek - Fotolia.com