With all the new internet marketing methods available, blogging has become a little bit “old hat” in the eyes of many. I mean, it’s not sexy like Facebook; it’s not as easy as Twitter and it certainly is not as glamorous as having a MySpace page.
In spite of all of this, blogging remains one of the most effective ways to brand your business online. So for this last day of 2008, I’m going to get back to basics, so to speak. Following are 10 reminders about blogging to keep in mind as you head into 2009.
Blogging in 2009: Going Back to Basics
Blogging Tip #1: Post Regularly. Readers will be more likely to follow your blog if you have a regular posting schedule. Post weekly, post bi-monthly, post monthly — it doesn’t matter what it is (although it should be at least once a week in my opinion) — but stick to a schedule.
Blogging Tip #2: Use Plugins. Plugins like “relevant posts”, “most popular posts” and “recent posts” make your blog more sticky because they encourage readers to hang around longer. The longer a visitor is on your blog, the better chance you have of converting them into a customer. And that, remember, is the goal when you’re in business.
Blogging Tip #3: Post from Experience. I like first-hand information. In fact, many web surfers are looking for this type of info. It’s no coincidence that “how to” information is the number one selling product on the web. Most of it comes from first-hand information.
So use case studies, write in the first person (eg, use “I”), tell your readers how you solved a particular problem, etc. I sell a lot of ebooks by doing just this. It lets readers know that you know what you’re talking about; hence, you become an authority voice in your niche.
Blogging Tip #4: Niche It. Speaking of niche – clearly define who your audience is and speak to them – and only them – directly. You will get ancillary customers/clients/readers as a matter of course. BUT, you should always blog with your core audience in mind.
Blogging Tip #5: Comment on Other Popular Blogs in Your Niche. Make relevant posts on other authority blogs in your niche. The key word here is r-e-l-e-v-a-n-t.
Blogging Tip #6: Write Well. Make your post long, make it short, make it mid-length, but by all means, write well. This cannot be taken for granted. I don’t care how salient your post is, if it’s poorly written, you will not be taken seriously. In fact, you can even damage your online reputation.
It’s probably no coincidence that the alphabet and sentence construction are among the first things we learn in school. It’s the foundation of communication — so don’t waste it; use it.
Blogging Tip #7: Market Your Blog. Don’t post it and forget it. This is your chance to use sexy marketing like social networking. Market your posts on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc.
Remember, once you start with social networking though, you have to engage with those communities. So when you start to incorporate social networking into your blog marketing, do it with this in mind.
Blogging Tip #8: Use a Clean Design. A blog doesn’t have to have all the latest gadgets to be effective. A simple, clean design – with good content – will compete with the flashiest design every time. Simplicity rocks!
Blogging Tip #9: Personalize Your Blog. Inject some personality. Let YOU come through!
Blogging Tip #10: Don’t Give Up. Blogging is tedious, boring, monotonous and downright draining at times. Once you’ve blogged for a while, there will be days when you just want to chuck it in favor of something more exciting.
But keep this in mind: in many cases success is not gained by the most talented, the most brilliant, or the most beautiful. All of these things help. But, success comes to those who simply “stick with it!”
Keep these blogging tips in mind as you head into the New Year and happy blogging in 2009.