Sometimes the hardest part of running a business blog is not in creating the content itself, but in building up good levels of site traffic, and encouraging new and repeat visitors. Here are some tips on how to promote your website and blog, and keep it up to date and relevant:
If you are publishing online you need to be a part of the whole web scene, and create a good web presence that will reach as many people as possible and draw them through to your business blog. This is often referred to as ‘social media marketing’ and is basically a way of marketing for both a well-established and newly established business by utilizing the popular and varied social media scene on the Internet.
- Social networking is an excellent way to increase your web presence and every time you create a profile or post, or send a message to your online friends and colleagues, make sure you include a link back to your website and tell everyone about your blog. For instance, you post a detailed blog about, say, the best project management qualifications but you want to make sure your Twitter followers, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn followers are all made aware that you are an expert in project management and have published a definitive guide to project management. You can, of course, do this manually but there are also tools (such as WordPress plugins) that can help you to automate this process.
- Also take time to look at other prominent blogs on the web (especially those that cover similar subjects to yours), and leave comments and posts that have details of your blog and link back to your website.
- Post relevant articles on reputable sites too if there are opportunities for guest blogs. For example if your blog is about project management then post articles about project management qualifications and PM training courses for example, and leave a visitor hook in each article such as ‘find out more at …’ and then put your website link so that the person reading the article is encouraged to visit your blog for more details.
- Visit forums that are related to your blog and make posts, again leaving links and details that lead back to your website and blog.
If you want people to visit your blog then it does need to be interesting and informative, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours slaving away over it. However, do remember that recent statistics have shown that longer posts tend to engage visitors more so it should be at least 500 words but preferably 2,000 – 3,000 would be so much better. This is in contradiction to earlier arguments that suggested short and sweet would prevent people becoming bored.
- Adopt a conversational, friendly style as this is easy to read, and will help you keep things short and sweet. Aim to make at least one blog post a week to keep it up to date. Always talk about one topic per blog and try and include some relevant and topical subjects, such as current news/politics/celebrities, as this will be good for picking up keyword referrals on search engines.
- Make it personal – blogs that feel like you know what you are talking about are much more accessible to visitors, so if your subject is online marketing for example, write as if you are describing your own experiences, instead of just a bland text book guide.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Many bloggers ignore search engine optimization as they don’t really understand how it works, but it is an essential part of making sure that visitors are referred from search engines to your blog.
- Once you have created your website and blog you must submit it to as many directories as you can, such as Google and Yahoo, to ensure that it is included on their search engine sites.
- Make sure you have plenty of relevant primary and secondary keywords in your blogs so that when people use a search engine, links to your websites are included in the results. For example if you are writing a blog about the latest PM training courses, make sure the course names and relevant words like ‘APM PMQ 5 day training course’ are used frequently to create a good keyword density, and ensure that the primary keywords are used in the title, as this is what the search engine software targets. Remember that “keywords” are, in fact, far more likley to be phrases these days and that is what search engines expect.
Set up your website so that it allows people to bookmark you and become free members. This will generate you a mailing list (visitors will have to sign up and provide their email address to become a member), which you can then use to email people every time you update your blog.
- If you have a large amount of members you can use free or paid services to manage all your subscriptions.
- If you want to send out news and information yourself then you can set up an autoresponder system, which will help you send out newsletters easily and keep in touch with subscribers.