Blogging is clearly a powerful tool for every business presence. But just as with anything, there is a right way to do so to ensure the best effort, effectiveness and results. I thought I would share with you some of the issues I see are most overlooked both in running ones own Blog and/or networking by commenting on other’s Blogs:
- Commenting on others Blogs and using keyword phrases in the name field instead of your actual properly typed name. Blogging is about the conversation between human beings — not keyword phrases. Using keyword phrases reflects your true intent — trying to game search engines. Doing so reflects two things; your comments are not sincere and you don’t understand search engines.
- Relying solely on copy-n-pasting content from other sites thinking this provides a unique and information rich Blog. Regurgitating others content is not what folks are looking fore — they are looking for your point of view, opinion, experience and perspectives. Instead of pasting other’s content (which you really shouldn’t do without permission) you should concentrating on giving your point of view or opinion about the other person, site, info or article — and then link to their site/Blog. Links off your Blog are not a bad thing. The Web is about linking and outgoing links that provide relative information or value are part of the gig.
- Not responding to or deleting negative comments or those comments you do not agree with. You need to respond to participants on your Blog promptly and professionally. If comments are posted that disagree with something you typed about or are critical in some way, use that as an opportunity to clarify your position and professionalism. Explain in detail why you disagree or what you’ve done about the negative experience or issue. If the comments are valid this is a perfect opportunity to redeem yourself and resolve the situation. That’s what customers like to see! Deleting or not responding to posts of this nature has a far greater negative impact perception wise.
- Commenting on Blogs with generic comments like “Great Post!” or “I Agree!” without explaining why you think it is great or why you agree doesn’t contribute any value to the conversation. Always take the time to explain why you feel the way you do so you don’t waste space or look like you are simply trying to get a link for search engine purposes. The majority of Blog owners want to hear from you — more importantly they want the conversation.
- Rambling long paragraphs and page long posts. I know, easier said than done — as you can see this is a tough one for me too. But try and make an effort to keep your posts no more than a handful of paragraphs and spell check and double-check for typos. For topics that are longer, use that as an opportunity to break them up into several more focused posts.
- Not having the ability to share, bookmark or email posts and pages to others and the popular social networks. If you don’t give folks the ability to pass on a post that they can relate to, you are missing out on additional exposure. You also need to offer the ability to allow folks to sign-up to have your posts sent to their inbox.
- Not having categories that are specific or intuitive. Not everyone who visits your Blog is going to care about every single post. Create categories that make sense to site visitors, while allowing you to organize your posts intuitively. Avoid industry jargon or buzz words your readers may not understand or be able to relate to.
- Not taking advantage of all the neat plugins and widgets that are available to help manage, market and increase the functionality of your Blog. I say it all the time — this is interactive technology. I test and play with new plugins every day. Some I keep, others I don’t. The key is to be aware of what is out there that you can use to better your Blog experience for both you and your visitors.
- Not posting often enough to keep anyone’s interest or to encourage a following. Yes, quality posts take time but if you are an expert in your field, you should have no problem typing 3-4 times each week about trends, sites, articles or info you want to share. Posting several times each week is something you have to be committed to and make happen. Infrequent posting doesn’t lend to growing a subscriber list or following.
- Not submitting your Blog to directories and including it in your various online profiles so that you can gain more exposure and help to get found when looked for. Once your Blog is 90 days old and you have at least 30 posts, time to start getting the word out.
Blogging halfheartedly or by not paying attention to the issues above will not produce the benefits that drive many business owners to begin participating in the Blogosphere in the first place. Business Blogs are a powerful marketing, reputation management and customer service tool that no serious business should overlook or underestimate the importance of managing properly.
At your service,