Many more small businesses are waking up to the idea of blogging. This makes us at Design Theory pretty happy because we preach about the importance of a blog for our clients and partners. Though not all blogs are created equal, there are different platforms, designs, and purposes. Still each blog’s purpose is to capture an audience and keep them coming back for more week after week, post after post.
Idea 1: Make Your Blog Easy to Leave Comments
This one should be a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many blogs are out there that have great content, yet lack the ability for readers to post comments. There are so many plugins and applications that allow users to use many different social and popular mediums to easily submit a comment. A free and commonly used one is Gravatar. Receiving a comment on your post is one of the most gratifying moments of blogging. Good or bad, it’s still people taking time to speak out about your work. Be sure to promptly approve your comments and reply. Unapproved comments is a sure-fire way to show a reader you don’t care about what they have to say.
Idea 2: Make Your Blog Easy to Be Shared
It’s safe to say most blogs out there are using open sourced platforms like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla. So utilize the plugins available to allow your readers to quickly share. Most are pretty easy to install and configure. Since a lot of blog article titles get shared through social media be sure to choose some of the more popular ones in your settings. Some examples are TweetMeme, Shareaholic, Google+1, and the Facebook Like Button.
Idea 3: Write More Help Topics
A common misconception with business blogs is to use this as an advertising stream. That’s actually not a good way to use it. In fact you’ll want to write more posts that actually help your readers and less about your own services and products. More successful blogs out there are blogs that constantly offer quick tips on fixing, making, creating, and developing things. And if you can condense a long dissertation to some cliff notes and still offer a productive outcome, you’ll create a nice following.
Idea 4: Get The Word Out
If no one knows about your blog, then no one reads your blog. An easy way to start promoting your blog is with your friends and family. Get them to read it to find errors and offer suggestions. For them that may be enough to get them to read it to try to tell you all you’re doing wrong. Its better coming from them than strangers. Then use social media like Twitter and a Facebook Fan page to further spread your great articles. Install some SEO plugins to help optimize your content for Google too. Include tags in your posts to help with indexing. Lastly, sign up with directory sites like Digg and StumbleUpon and submit your articles to them.
Idea 5: End With A Call To Action
Sometimes finishing your post is harder than starting. How to leave or Segway from your final points without sounding redundant. Try ending off with asking your readers to perform an action. Encourage them to comment their own points, a controversial rebuttal, a quick assignment that they can perform on their own for their own gains or improvement. This is also a great place to plug your service to help wrap up all that you talked about while offering your reader a time-saving deal or money-saving opportunity.
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This is a great article.
Specially the point of approving and answering your comments as soon as you can. This will let them know you appreciate them taking thair time to write.
Also, if one of your reader have a question that you can’t answer, be honest and direct them to some valid sources that can direct them.
Thanks for reading it Daphne! This came from a few other blogs I follow that had some things I noticed that were lacking. I feel that quickly engaging with your readers is critical. Keep them happy and they’ll come back and tell a friend.
Having a level of transparency to things you absolutely know and being honest to things you don’t is totally fine. That’s the human factor. Offering a resource to better answer a question is a great way to still be informative even if you personally can’t answer a question.
Number five is my favorite. Many times I end up on a site, fall in love with their product or service then end up leaving because I couldn’t find the next step or there wasn’t another step. Something I’m sure happens to us all. Great article.
Hey David, thanks for commenting! I totally understand how you feel. Like you its happened to me too. Get all gung-ho about taking some action only to be left high and dry without direction.
Idea 5 resonated with me the most. This is not an easy task – to allow others to pick at and peck away about your blog. However, it’s all about engaging an audience and in doing so, it indeed can be a great way to plug your business and advertise without “advertising”.
Thanks for commenting Yvonne! Yes I think a big part in writing for the public like this, is being ok with a public response. Good or bad, that’s the audience we’re writing for.
I have been following your posts since I became a member and find that they are all enlightening. It seams that you have become my E-Mentor.
Thanks so much Tom! Certainly don’t be a stranger and comment and visit often. Of course how I can help please let me know.