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Tips for business blogs

Before you start writing a blog, consider the sobering reality that the vast majority of blogs are abandoned due to lack of interest from readers or from the bloggers themselves.

Consider whether a blog is a useful tool for your business, whether you have the resources to regularly post and whether you can attract followers. If you still want to proceed, there are a number of basic steps you should take to get the most out of your business blog.

Develop an action plan

Developing a simple action plan is an important step to ensure that your blog posts are focused, timely, and relevant to broader business objectives, such as new product releases or the development of new services.

A blogging action plan also allows you to determine appropriate topics ahead of time, and allocate time or resources to developing the material (which could include graphics, video or audio as well as text).

Integrate blogs with other marketing

Business blogs work best when used in conjunction with other marketing tools, including other social media. Learn about other social media strategies including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, location-based marketing and coupon marketing.

Update your content

Keeping your readers interested relies on you having new, interesting and relevant posts. Social media users have told researchers that they want discounts, giveaways, invitations to events and product information from businesses.

At the same time, be careful not to write blog posts that do nothing more than promote your business products and services — the most effective blogs both inform and entertain.

In addition, monitor news and developments in your wider industry, and consider interviews with industry experts as possible 'starting points' for blog entries that show how your business stays up to date.

Promote your blog

Having completed and uploaded a new blog post, promote it using other social media. Include a link on your 'news' banner on your website. Send emails to your customer base. Share it on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Attract subscribers

Blogs automatically allow readers to subscribe via RSS (a feed that tells them when something has been updated on the blog). Readers may also be able to choose to receive notifications via email whenever you update the blog with a new post.

Assign responsibility

Make sure someone in your business is responsible for maintaining your blog and moderating any comments.

In a small business this may be the business owner. In larger businesses this could be a communications manager or entire marketing department.

In all cases you need to provide training, resources and other forms of support to ensure your business blog achieves its desired results.

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