My Five Tips for Business Blogging (from a Social Blogger)

Post by Matt

This blog was started with the goal of increasing awareness of CAI-U, provide help and a sounding board for our students, and to give tips and tricks outside of our main courses. It’s social in nature (not being rigidly controlled or censored), but it is still a business blog.

I started blogging as a social blogger. What I mean is, outside of work and just for me. I am pretty sure I started my blog about a year ago, and from that point to this I’ve learned an amazing amount in regards to how to conduct yourself, the importance of consistency, and the importance of kindness. All of these lessons are valuable (visitors to my blog increased an immense amount when I started applying the lessons I learned in both volume and in interaction). But what I’ve come to find is the majority of business blogs do not follow a few basic rules of blogging, resulting in less growth, interaction, and value.
In this post I want to give a few tips on what you can do to bolster your business blog (I am trying for the alliteration, just so you know) and make it more valuable for visitors. Keep in mind: this advice is coming from someone who, while relatively successful in his own blog, is new to business blogging and is just starting to notice some gaps between social and business blogs.
 
 
  • Blogs by nature are egotistical

People have plenty to say about themselves, and that’s fine. Blogs should be written by people who are excited about what they are writing, you can always tell when someone is forced. But nobody likes to read a dozen posts by someone who thinks they know everything. Let your blog have room for other voices and opinions. Discussions are always better than lecture.

  • No one is an island

I’ve noticed the majority of business blog authors do not interact with any other blogs (even within the same company). This is very strange to me coming from a social blogging background. The idea of ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ comes into my mind. No blog can be successful if the authors of that blog don’t interact and comment on other blogs.

Think of it this way: what kind of relationship would you have if you never interacted with anyone at work in a social manner? would you be very popular, or be able to call in any favors? Blogs are the same way – you need to be involved in order to be seen and appreciated.

  • It’s ok to not know, not like, or not care

I like reading blogs that give me a sense of the writer and how they really feel about a program, tool, or person. It’s so easy to sniff out someone who is praising the benefits of an item because they work for the company. Writing about your concerns is a great way to prove you aren’t a robot. Just keep it respectful and reserved if you’re frightened of backlash. Or you can avoid sounding like a parrot by following the advice our mother’s gave: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

As an example, check out Robert Scoble’s blog. He started a blog while working for Microsoft and wasn’t always star shine and rainbows in his review of products or process. The backlash: he became famous for his critiques and increased interest in Microsoft and himself.

  • Write more than once a week

Ok, most people don’t particularly like writing. I get it. But blogging demands attention and constant content. You can’t expect a blog post every month to keep readership or interest up. Who would read the New York Times if it came out every three weeks?

My advice is this: create an editor’s calendar for yourself. Write down article types (book review, question and answer, new product day) on the calendar so you start getting used to thinking about that topic before you need to write it. This way, your mind is already coming up with paragraphs and layouts without you panicking over a keyboard. It saves loads of time, too.

If you get really stuck and don’t have anything to post, post someone else’s material. No, don’t steal. Writing a quick “hey, I found this blog post and thought it was interesting” intro with a link underneath is perfectly acceptable. It breaks up your posts and makes it more interesting for your readership. Furthermore, if you can link to a YouTube video you liked or other multimedia, go for it. Everyone likes a visual break from text.

  • Use links

 Links are awesome. Instead of writing a huge section of text and taking up boatloads of time (I am exaggerating), you can just link out to another site to do the talking for you. You do run the risk of losing that reader to another site, but it’s a risk I’ve found worth while.

For example, I could try to explain to you what String theory is, or I could just do this: String Theory. So much easier, right?

Also, on a side note, I couldn’t possibly explain String theory to you.

Links are also a nice way to show respect and appreciation to fellow bloggers. When a blogger links a post you wrote or your blog, they are creating a relationship with you (hopefully a positive one). Using links ads dimension to your blog, shows you have proof to back up what you’re saying (and researched it), and that you are willing to interact with the world at large.

What tips do you have for business blogging? I’m new to this and would appreciate any insight.

Advertisements

4 responses to “My Five Tips for Business Blogging (from a Social Blogger)

  1. Thanks for the tips, Matt. You’re right – most business bloggers don’t care about talking to other bloggers, makes everything one sided and boring.

    • Thanks for visiting, Bill, and thanks for the comment.
      I’m not sure if it’s not caring enough to interact or just not being aware of the social aspect of blogging. Most people are used to writing one way marketing copy, for example, whereas blogging is much closer to a back and forth e-mail or a phone conversation.

      -Matt

  2. Thanks Bill. I believe you have to be passionate about what you share on your blog. If you don’t have a passion for what you share than you aren’t going to chase after it and keep it fresh. The same goes for commenting. Find the blogs that talk about what you’re passionate about. Share your ideas, inspirations, information there and remember to point them back to your blog whenever relevant. Don’t use comments as a link dropping technique and always allow comments. A blog that doesn’t allow for comments isn’t a blog at all, it’s an information dump.
    Happy blogging!
    Kristi
    http://mothersmuse.wordpress.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s