The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Top 10 Tips: For new bloggers

by Phil Jones, Director, Brother UK
and Vice-President, Greater Manchester Chamber


I've been blogging for over a year now. Seems if you get over the 90 day hump then you'll stick with it. About 90% of people don't, they give up because they run out of ideas, time or energy.

Blogging is excellent for personal reputation, organic search, business leads or just sharing the things you know. I'm not an expert, however my blog now has readership in over 50 countries across the world, so something seems to be going right.

Here's what I've learned so far:

1. Keep it short. People are time strapped and have poor attention levels. Short and snappy is best.

2. Decide your genre. Don’t get too random. Specialise in something.

3. Convey a core idea in each of your posts. Simplify your message. Make it stand out.

4. Add pictures. It breaks up a boring layout and sharpens the point.

5. Don’t go overboard with bells and whistles. Clear, plain and simple works best. Loads of flashing adverts will distract your readers and they may not come back. Remember, people scan read in an “F” shape.

6. Ask questions in your blog. Stimulate your reader. Give them something to go away and think about (and a reason to return).

7. Blog regularly. Once a month is too little. Find a frequency that you are comfortable with, once a week is ideal. I blog every couple of days.

8. Add hyperlinks. The more you hyperlink, the better the quality of the blog (in googles eyes). But don’t go overboard. Also, try and encourage people to bookmark your blog, put it into an RSS feed or follow it, it puts you front of mind.

9. Install a blog tracking software so that you can see how visits are going. I use http://www.icerocket.com/ (it’s totally free) or you could use google analytics.

10. Put your blog URL on your business card and your e-mail footer. Promote it wherever you can. Trade links with others, it all helps to increase your visitors.

Search engine optimisation is an art in itself. These tips are just to get you started. If you want to turn pro or use blogging as part of a bigger or wider social media strategy, then get some help.

Read Phil's blog, The Corporate Bubble, here

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