Bloggers have it easy, right? They just sit around in their pajamas drinking coffee with daytime television playing in the background.
Wrong. This is absolutely NOT an accurate job description.
A blog can be created by anyone and feature content about anything. Moms and dads create parenting blogs to share advice, tips and tricks on how to raise children. Home cooks blog about recipes and saving money on food. And businesses host blogs about sales, promotions, interesting facts, marketing, production and more.
For credibility, search rankings and traffic, a beginner needs to answer these four questions.
1. What should you blog about? Your blog needs to have an overall theme, usually what you’re an expert in. You don’t have to keep every post generic and on only one topic, but if your blog is about dogs, don’t write about cats.You can add the personal touch and share pictures of your cat and all that frilly stuff, but you always want to build your reputation as an expert.
2. Which topics get a good response? Since the point of the blog is to drive traffic to your website or business, having material that attracts readers is critical. To do this, post about current events and controversial topics. How-to blogs are also popular and easily searchable.Write in a way that asks your reader questions. Do not be afraid to show opinion. Make sure you provide links or quote facts for all parties involved. Even if your view is one-sided, you do not want your blog to mention the other side.
3. Are there any topics off limits? Since your expertise is driving the blog theme, you need to focus there. Few areas are off limits, but for privacy, you probably don’t want to reveal your home address or annual income.
4. What should I avoid? Never, ever copy material without properly quoting material. There are several ways to include the work of another writer, so there is no excuse for typing out someone else’s words and claiming them as your own. Make sure you also give credit for your photos.
Blogging plays an important role on business websites these days. It gives owners a chance to appear human and sensitive in a world plagued with always worrying about the bottom line. If you do not have a blog already, you now have the ideas to create one.
If you have a blog, have you found ways to improve? Can you share you secrets for success?
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.