Thursday, October 16, 2008

Article: Take your Blog to the Next Level

By now, most everyone is familiar with blogs. Either you are browsing the content you are interested in or you are now publishing your own content. If you have taken that second step and are using a blog as a promotional tool, there are some key tips that can take your blog to the next level.

Establish Your Brand:
You know your product better than anyone. You know the time, materials, and effort that have been put into your work. For that reason, you are the expert on your brand. Building your blog around that brand is very important. Customize your header and template to reflect that brand. For instance, if you are a jewelry maker make sure that is reflected in the background of your blog in a manner that is tasteful and professional. Make sure those templates are consistent with the site you sell on and business materials you produce. Keep your content relevant to that brand. This is your professional marketing tool so stay away from over-posting about your family or drunken nights with your friends. Make it clear that visitors to your blog are going to learn about your business every time they visit.

Develop a Base: The best way to develop a readership and establish credibility is to post often. The easiest way to manage this is create a posting schedule. Not only will it make your life easier, your visitors will know when to drop by for new content. There is a great feature in most blog service providers that allow you to create posts and schedule a posting date. You can stockpile a lot of postings for a month and not have to worry about finding time to write. Along with regular content comes a huge responsibility to provide credible content. Be truthful, efficient and respectful. This is probably the most important aspect of blogging. You are not a journalist but you should subscribe to the same ethical standards. Only then will people learn to respect you and come to you for quality products and information. Another great way to develop a base is to visit and comment on other blogs. Get to know those next to you in cyberspace. Also, please remember, this is not your stomping ground to air your dirty laundry.

Be Clear and Concise: The majority of time, the headline is the first piece of material a visitor will see when clicking through to your blog. Make sure that your post headlines are descriptive and interesting. Keep them short and concise, around 60 characters. USE SPELL CHECK! You would be surprised how many people do not proofread their material. Do you think journalists get to skip that step? You shouldn’t either. Read your post once from start to finish and then again from the finish to the start. In other words, read it backwards, word by word. You are more likely to catch spelling and grammatical mistakes that way. Make sure you depict your brand as a competent one.

Minimize and Prioritize:
A great deal of advertisements, widgets, and intricate background material will cause your site to load slowly. This is a sure-fire way to make people leave before they even read your content. Minimize and Prioritize. There is no problem with using your blog as an income, however, keep your advertisements to a minimum and be sure they are relevant. Be very picky about what or whom you allow to advertise because as soon as they are listed on your blog they are considered a sponsor of your work. This means they have become a part of your brand and your professional identity. The same goes for your widgets. Keep those consistent with your brand. Also, remember different types of people will be reading your blog. For that reason you should adhere to the ADA’s guidelines for making your site disability-friendly.

By: Crystal Ware at Crystal's Creations


Debbie said...

Great article. I enjoyed reading it and picked up a few tips.

Adore By Nat said...

Great info. I surely learn more things about what to do with my blog. Thanks for sharing.
Adore By Nat

Jan said...

This is a wonderful article . . . .very well written and informative too! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

honeyfrog said...

You seem to know a lot about marketing. Do you know the value of marketing with greeting cards? I have stumble onto a greeting card manager that mails out paper greeting cards instead of email. Have you seen it before?

I would like your expert opinion: