These days, everyone has a blog.
People blog about knitting, baking, gardening -- even dog grooming . These blogs can be fun and even informative, but at the end of the day, they're recreational.
Business-minded bloggers have it tougher.
We're always trying to figure out how we can get the best return on our investment. But relax about analyzing ROI numbers! Instead, turn toward creating value so you can generate engagement. I promise the numbers will follow.
Why Blog, Anyway?
I shouldn't even have to include this section because a company blog is such an obvious and cost-effective way to increase traffic to your company site, show authenticity, and humanize the corporation... I could go on for days.
From personal experience, I know that a business blog is one of the fastest ways to reach people in the shortest amount of time. When clients reach out to you to say they stumbled across a post and forwarded it on to a friend or posted it on a social media site, it's a magical feeling. Every business owner should experience it. You've gained a new follower, made a connection, and established credibility.
The blog I run also allows my readers to see a side of me they wouldn't necessarily see while sitting in my office. Blogs are a great way to show off a brand's personality and corporate culture. Use them to depict a level of knowledge, expertise, and even humor. But don't forget to know your audience. Knowing those you're trying to reach best positions you for appealing to your core audience.
For example, I help professionals in the workplace, and I always end each blog post asking for people to update me on their progress for the week. Each week is a challenge, and I want to experience those challenges with my readers. Adding value to your blog will result in connections, engagement, followers, and yes, strong ROI.
So What about ROI?
Blogs should be designed to create engagement through providing visitors with value. As engagement grows -- you will see value. When I see people connecting with my brand online, that's when I get excited. This is the number-crunchers' version of "moving the needle."
Don't get me wrong; I also remain intently focused on the financial exposure garnered by my blog. But I believe the value has to continually shine through before you should expect any return financially.
Like any good business, a blog has to grow from the ground up in order to harness the power of your advocates as you blossom!
Here are 5 actions you can take to harness your power:
- Engage! If someone posts a comment, get involved and, at the very least, thank them for reading.
- Comment on your reader's blog. If they engage with you, why not do the same for them?
- Use images and videos to keep your readers happy -- and entertained.
- Send your top 10 readers a quick "thank-you" email. Because you have to leave your email address when commenting, find their emails through the comments section in your dashboard, and write up a personalized thank-you letter to each.
- If you see a reader who's going above and beyond in consistently leaving comments or sharing your content, reward him for it. Create a "Reader of the Month" post, interview him, lend a few links to his blog, etc.
At the end of the day, business is about people.
It's about their performance, their passion, and their progress. Keep that in mind when designing your company's blog. Give them valuable content to read and engage with, and you'll get your strong ROI.
Striking the perfect note of authenticity and value in a business blog is a process. It requires the ability to deliver information that hits on an emotional level so people connect and come back.
Value takes time to build. But remember, if you build it, they will come.
Photo credit: masterlink.com
About the Author: Wendy Komac, is a long-time turnaround specialist that has helped save companies by focusing on changing underperformers to exceptional workers. She is the author of I Work with Crabby Crappy People, a humorous and highly informative book about achieving happiness and success.