By George Kittredge
Recently I was asked this question by a marketing executive at a networking function. It seems that she was interested in starting a business blog for her company, but like so many other things, the less you know about what something looks like, the harder it is to build it. So she ask me to describe what I thought was a successful business blog.
With a little thought, I came up with my "short list" of successful business blog attributes. Feel free to add to my list, but here are the five things I suggested she look for in the business blogs that she reads.
Elements of a successful business blog:
- First of all, let's start off with something a successful business blog should not look like - and that is a sales brochure. Although it is entirely appropriate for business blogs to promote products and services or offer special incentives, such promotions need be done with discretion. What readers are initially looking for is information - and this should be the primary thrust of a business blog. Successful blogs educate their readers first, not try to sell them something.
- Second, the importance of the type of content the blog contains cannot be overstated. Content that is newsworthy and informative, as well as entertaining, carry the best message and have the ability to attract the larger audiences. Such content also has the highest probability that readers will share the existence of the blog with others. Such blogs will also attract more like-minded bloggers who may want to create reciprocal links.
- Third, equally important is that the blog posts be fresh (not republished, out-of-date information) and published on a frequent and consistent basis. Take a look at how often the blog posts are published and if on a consistent basis. As a general rule, two to three posts per week is a suggested minimum. Depending upon the size and scope of the blog content, some experts recommend three to five.
- Fourth, the more focused the message, the more effective are the results. Successful business blogs tend to focus on central themes and aim their published content squarely at a targeted audiences. For example, a service-oriented business that provides a myriad of services to its clients may opt to create a business blog that focuses on one main practice area. And in this regard, it's not uncommon for large organizations to have more than one business blog.
- And finally, with successful business blogs, it's all about being open and honest. Since blogs are interactive, look for blogs that invite and accept comment, input, and feedback from their readers - including complaints.
So, in a nutshell, successful business blogs:
- are not created as one big sales advertisement,
- inform and educate their readers,
- publish fresh, up-to-date information on a frequent and consistent basis,
- focus their messages on central themes, and
- are open, honest, and invite and accept comment and feedback.
I am sure that you can add to this list - and you are cordially invited to do so.