7 Business Blogging Improvement Tips

What Business Blogs Can Learn From Personal Bloggers

A business blog is a great addition to your marketing strategy because it supports your other online efforts and helps achieve a variety of corporate goals. Despite this, roughly one out of two CMOs considers a corporate blog a cost of doing business. (Translation: We need a blog but we can’t track the return.) The problem for these businesses is that they’re missing some critical blog factors. Personal blogs provide useful insights that these corporate bloggers can integrate into their blogging initiatives to help them achieve their goals. Here are seven personal blogging tips you can use to improve your business blog.

  1. Know your blog’s purpose. Individuals blog because they have something that they want to say to a broader audience than their immediate family and friends. By contrast, many companies start a blog because they think that they “need a blog”. It’s a tactic without a strategic business goal. Before starting a blog, a business must answer the question: “What do you want to accomplish with this blog?” (Not sure of where to start? Here are 12 corporate blog goals.)
  2. Share your passion for your blog topic. At its core, blogging is about passion. Without it, your content lacks energy and readers can tell the difference in a heartbeat. Individuals who blog are fired up about their blogs. While corporate bloggers often find writing blog post another business chore on their to-do list, their lack of feeling comes through to readers.
  3. Sound human. This is easy for personal bloggers because they write from their heart. Sitting in a cubicle churning out business content, corporate bloggers often compose their posts in emotion-free corporate-speak. (Here’s some help developing your blog voice.)
  4. Use blog to push corporate message. Blogs are at the heart of social media because they act like a hub for communities and conversation. Unfortunately, some companies only use their blog as another one-way push medium to get promotions out. Readers expect to be able to add their comments to the conversation, not just be talked at. As a result, company blogs can have limited readership.
  5. Don’t recycle content. Instead of using their blog as an owned media outpost to offer additional insights about products and related support, many corporate blogs repost content from other sources to minimize work. The problem is this stale content doesn’t attract readers or search engines. (Need some new blogging ideas? Try a few of this 125 blog topics.)
  6. Build an audience. Unlike other initiatives, marketers often overlook the need to promote their blog. As a result, they’re only talking to themselves. With any blog, it’s important to work to build readership with every communication such as email signature files and calls-to-action on your blog. Companies can use other internal media to promote their blog. For example, they can include blurbs about their posts in email newsletters and links to relevant information on product pages.
  7. Visit other blogs. One way to build a blog following and traffic is to comment on other blogs. By contrast many corporate bloggers assume they’re finished once they write their post. While blog comments are top of CMO’s list of blog metrics, they rarely if ever comment on blogs. Instead, companies expect that others will come play on their blog without visiting them. (Need help with your blog comment strategy on other people’s blogs? Check out The Goldilocks Approach to Commenting. Want more comments on your blog? Take some advice from Desperate Housewives.)

Just as with any other marketing strategy, a strong business blog requires work and supporting resources. Blogging is one area of marketing where individuals can teach experienced marketers some lessons to help them improve their performance. But the biggest challenge of all is being human.

What lessons do you think that individual bloggers can teach business bloggers? Please add them in the comments section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some related articles on blogging.

Photo credit: Caitlyn Willows via Flickr

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5 Responses to 7 Business Blogging Improvement Tips

  1. Garrett Moon says:

    Good list. I think the two that are the most difficult are using the human touch and reaching out to other bloggers. Everyone just wants to publish a drab marketing message, and work in isolation. Pay attention to me, and not me pay attention to you. Not only do you need to sound human, you need to BE human. People communicate with people, not corporations.

    Lots of good reminders here.

  2. Renee Malove says:

    LOVE this post sweetie. Everyone says blogging is super easy because, let’s face it-it is. When you’re picking your own topic and you get to converse in your own voice. Personal blogs center around your life, and no one knows how to talk about your life better than you do.

    That is, I think, the kind of attitude you need to take into corporate blogging. No one knows your company, product and niche better than you do. You live it. You breathe it. So you should be able to talk about it without turning into an automaton!

    One question for you though. You suggest companies expand into visiting/commenting on other blogs. How do you recommend setting aside time for this throughout the day? Especially if you work for/with a small business that considers time spent reading and commenting on other blogs the equivalent of water cooler gossip-something you do when no one is looking?

  3. Kevin Ekmark says:

    Love the list.

    #3: Sound human – There are enough bots scanning the posts out there. Don’t become one that scans and writes as well!

  4. Dennis Combs says:

    I have a complaint that I must share with you. Since I have found your blog I am finding it difficult to find the time to read all the other blogs I like to visit! Your content is the best, deepest, most consistently relevant that I have found. Please keep up the wonderful writing and I will do my best to get caught up on all the reading. Between you and Seth Godin it is amazing the access we all have to amazing, free content. With all these great resources it is the best time ever to be starting a business! Thanks for all the time you obviously put into your blog and the inspiration it brings to the rest of us.