Blogging began as an outlet for people who wanted to keep an online running account of their personal lives, and some individuals continue this practice. However, today blogging has expanded far beyond the idea of a simple personal diary.
Blogging is now a major source of information and communication throughout the world. Statistics indicate more than 3 million blogs are published each month.
There is even a term used for this activity - blogosphere; consisting of all published online blogs and their interconnections. To successfully be part of the blogosphere, your clients need a good blog strategy.
Why should you become part of the blogosphere?
1. People trust blogs.
Consumers trust information and recommendations they receive from friends. These can be real life friends or friends from social media. Blogs are considered communications from friends, and thereby are deemed reliable and trustworthy. Blogs are used to find information as often as newspapers, television or magazines; and people are more likely to share information they find on a blog than what they learn from newspapers, television or magazines.
Your blog strategy must be friendly and relevant. Blogs remain accessible for a long time, so make sure your content will remain relevant—don’t include information that will become outdated in a short time. Make the blog easy to share by adding links and “share” buttons. Build your clients' blog content on the previous postings—bringing readers (and their connections) back for more.
2. People trust helpful blogs.
We were all taught to be wary of strangers, and that extends to strangers on the internet. Through consistent, relevant, helpful and friendly blogging, trust can be established between a potential customer and a business. Both the content and the look of your client's blog site are important in building this trust.
Your clients should create a website with a clean, uncluttered design. Make your domain name short and to-the-point. Prominently include a good-quality photo of the person(s) writing the blog; include a short biography. Carefully check for spelling or grammar mistakes, and keep the writing at a 9th or 10th grade level. Add links to other trustworthy websites and resources. Offer something free. Provide interesting and relevant content—and be consistent in adding new content.
3. Blogging helps create brand awareness.
Through blogging, your clients have the opportunity to create a trusting relationship with potential customers. Consumers who like their product or service are very likely to share their enthusiasm about the brand. Encouraging these happy customers to blog about the brand will increase exposure faster and further than any other type of “advertising.” Estimates show 60% of people who blog on a regular basis will follow their favorite brands on social media.
Encourage your clients to connect with and follow bloggers who are following their brands. Determine what it is they need or want, and help them get what they are looking for. When you help them, they will help you by continuing to spread the good word.
4. Bloggers love multimedia.
Offering more than just text will vastly increase the audience for your client's blog. Among the most view and shared bloggers, 90% use some type of multi-media. Photos are the most popular, with videos second.
Think about this: how much time have you personally spend watching pictures or videos of a cute puppy or kitten?
Infographics are quickly growing as the blog strategy multi-media of choice. These offer color and important information in an easy-to-read format. However, infographics must not be left stagnant; they must be constantly updated.
5. Bloggers love controversy.
Everyone, not just veteran bloggers, loves a controversy—and they really love the opportunity to weigh in on the discussion. Invite readers of your client's blog to comment on statistics, opinions or new trends. They will be happy to share their thoughts, and delighted you asked for their opinion. Additionally, they will share the opportunity to express opinions with others, who will share with others . . . all being directed back to the original blog.
It is important to monitor discussions of controversial concepts. Make sure the blog clearly states the responses will be monitored and the blog author reserves the right to remove any responses deemed inappropriate.
Blogging and the blogosphere changes and grows every day. More time is spent posting and reading blogs than ever before, and more time is spent searching for trustworthy content than ever before. Whether you are an entrepreneur building a home business, the social media director for a large international business, or someone who wants to express your opinions, a good blog strategy is the way to share with the world.