How do you get started?
Here are seven tips to get your Web log up and blogging.
1. Identify your audience. A basic precept of any business is just as
essential with your blog. It''s critical to pinpoint your audience and,
in the process, decide what you''re going to say that will make them
read what you write. "It''s really a process of elimination —what''s not
being covered by someone else?" says Scott Allen, co-author of the
upcoming book "The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals
Using Online Social Networks." "What''s your unique spin? If you don''t
have an original voice, why is anybody going to read it?"
2. Decide where your blog should live. Next up is determining where to
locate your blog. There are numerous software packages that let you add
a blog section to an existing Web site. A more automated and perhaps
easier option is a blog hosting site (with a link from your Web site
bringing visitors over). Here, the setup is easy, as the site usually
provides preformatted designs and other options from which you can
choose. In particular, watch for features that may be helpful in
building traffic, such as trackers that identify recent posts and the
most popular message threads. (See sites such as
Businessblogconsulting.com for reviews of various publishing platforms.
One easy place to create a blog is on Windows Live Spaces.)
3. Start talking. At this point, bringing your blog live
will mean little more than placing your thoughts, observations and
insights into the blog for others to read. But to really kick
start your blogging traffic, don''t just vent marketing-speak about how
great your business is, or chatter about news and current events for
which you offer no expertise. Instead, aim for a fresh, unique take.
Provide a perspective that is heartfelt, compelling, and has the
potential to help you market yourself and your business.
One way to get up to speed on what to say is to read other blogs and,
in turn, offer your own viewpoint on an industry or business topic for
which you know something about. "It''s not a matter of competing with
other blogs," Allen notes. "But one way to attract other bloggers to
your site is to start reading other blogs and commenting on what
they''re writing about."4. Get into the practice of "blogrolling."
Getting regular visitors to your site isn''t just a matter of fresh,
insightful commentary. Building traffic between blogs is another
central element to luring repeat visitors. Here, "blogrolling" is an
This, in essence, is a set of links on your blog site that identifies
other sites on the Internet --- related to your business, industry or
expertise --- which you find valuable. Developed in conjunction
with a fresh voice, blogrolling encourages a steady back and forth
between various sites, including other blogs. "Write commentary about
what other bloggers have written, then link to them," Allen says. "That
really gets you into the overall bloggers'' pool."
5. Emphasize keywords. Search engine hits are another element of
generating traffic. One strategy to attract search engine interest is
through careful use of keywords in both your headlines and blog copy.
For instance, if your topic focuses on marketing a business overseas,
use of the words "marketing" and "overseas" as often as possible and in
varied permutations can help push your blog site toward the head of the
search engine line. "Stay on one topic, so your content is focused on
keywords," advises Sally Falkow, a Pasadena, Calif., brand strategist
who uses a blog in her business. "That, and link to other blogs on the
6. Keep it fresh. One cardinal snafu that can bring down even the best
intentioned of blogs is stale content. Nothing is more discouraging to
prospective readers than returning to a blog site to find old or
outdated material. So, be prepared to work at keeping your blog as
fresh and current as possnecessarily mean regular entries as lengthy as a Michener
novel — indeed, many engaging blogs are built of short, concise
messages. But make a commitment to update your blog on as regular basis
as your schedule reasonably permits. “You need to develop what I
describe as a ruthless persistence toward posting, particularly if you
disseminate the blog''s address, and customers or suppliers come to
depend on the information," says Rich Hanley, director of graduate
programs in the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University in
Hamden, Conn. "People view blogs as daily information vehicles, not
once in a while musings on a stray issue. Think of blogs as a
conversation, and that will help with the daily focus."
7. Watch your traffic closely. Don''t make the mistake of feeling locked
into your blog''s initial topic. Monitor the amount and quality of the
traffic you receive. If things seem slow or stagnant, don''t be gun-shy
about varying your themes or subjects to boost interest. But don''t
stray too far from your business or expertise. Also, advises Falkow,
"Investigate how effective the platform you choose to blog
in is. I have tried several that did nothing for my search visibility.