If you are engaged in business, one of the best ways to promote it and to interact with your customers and prospects is through blogging. It allows you to promote your products or services, announce special offers, receive customer comments, or reveal valuable information which is relevant to your niche or business.
A blog is a virtual place where you can talk to your customers, prospects and friends without occupying a real space which could be an additional cost on your part. It also helps to make you and your business visible to the online community which is a market in its own right.
But you just can’t build a blog and start talking right away. There are certain steps that you need to do to make it serve its purpose. Here’s a simple guide that can help you to build a blog that works:
1. Determine the blog platform that you are going to use.
First, you need to review the features of different blogging platforms that are available online. It will help you to determine which is best suited to your style, skills and blogging needs. There are a lot of free and paid platforms that you can choose from. While you are still in the learning stage, it would be okay for you to start with the free platform. But as you begin to master the craft, you might need to upgrade to the paid platform to avail more of its features and benefits.
2. Pick a domain name.
A domain name needs to be thought of carefully, as it can help to enhance the blog’s exposure to the search engines. A good domain name should be keyword-rich, highly related to your niche, popular, and easy to remember.
If the name you have chosen already exists, try to check if it’s for sale and buy it.
3. Design your blog.
You need to design your blog to make it look more professional. Blogs are easier to design now because all blogging platforms provide templates which are ready for use. But if you know how to design your own blog, you are also free to do so.
If designing the blog is quite a challenge for you, you can hire a designer to do it in your behalf. Just bear in mind that the purpose of your design is to make your web log attractive, organized and navigable.
4. Install widgets and plug-ins.
Widgets are small buttons that that you install on your web pages for the end-user to execute. They can help to make your web log visible to users of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
5. Post quality content.
Content is the most important part of your web log. It is actually what your guests come for; to harvest information that your blog has to offer.
Before writing content, one of the first things that you should do is to know what your target audience needs and ascertain what they truly care about as far as your niche is concerned. You also need to know their problems and find solutions for them.
Focus on these things, make them the subject of your research and write about them. These can help to make your blog stand out above the rest.
4. Encourage interaction.
Blogs are interactive and it should welcome comments from your readers. Encourage your readers to interact with each posting that you make. You should also reply promptly to each comment; this will tickle your visitors’ sense of participation, and it will make them come back to read more of your postings.
Interaction is an important step to relationship building. It is also one way of determining topics for your next posting. Use tools to filter spam. Don’t allow it to spoil your image.