- Author By Miva |
- Posted on
A few years ago, while working as a freelance writer, I wrote some blog posts about the importance of having a blog for your business. Nowadays, the majority of business owners have heard this message-they know that their business needs a blog, and most businesses have one.
What many business owners (and bloggers) still struggle with, however, is how to make their blog compelling and relevant to their readers, and to encourage interaction and feedback.
Define Your Niche
Can you describe the intended audience of your blog? Since we’re an ecommerce software and hosting company, our blog is designed to appeal to ecommerce storeowners and developers. As such, we post everything from ecommerce news to troubleshooting updates and tips, as well as marketing-related tips.
What are you posting on your blog? Are you staying on topic, or does your blog look like a house where every room has a different “theme” because the owners couldn’t decide on one principle color scheme? Take a deep breath, and some time to decide on an overall theme for your blog before your readers become confused by your lack of focus and stop coming back.
Don’t Blog For Blogging’s Sake
In other words, if you really don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything. You may have decided that your goal is to blog everyday (or more than once a day) but if you occasionally find yourself at a loss for words, don’t have any company news to announce, and simply can’t find anything to blog about, don’t waste your reader’s time (and yours) by foisting 250-plus words of gibberish on your blog “just because.”
While it is important to develop a consistent blogging routine and stick to it, it is also just as important to allow for some flexibility. Any writer will tell you that some of their best ideas come to them when the pressure is off and they aren’t feeling the pressure to produce.
Without meaning, a bunch of words is just that—a big bunch of letters and words.
Beat Writer’s Block
Some people swear that writer’s block is a real affliction. Others say that it is a combination of laziness, procrastination, and lack of motivation. Whatever the case, you can reduce your chances of developing it by researching and planning blog topics in advance.
Personally, I find that research and deciding what to blog about are the hard parts. Actually blogging is the easy part, but I have to do the hard stuff first, and if I haven’t decided what I am going to blog about in advance, I become more and more frustrated the longer that it takes me to decide on a topic and do any necessary research.
One tip that I highly recommend (and follow) is to create Google Alerts for keywords related to topics that interest your readers. This is free, easy to do, and can save you lots of time in the long run.
List Your Blog
The types of directories that you submit to will vary depending on the niche of your business and your blog, but the good thing is that nowadays, there are online directories for nearly every type of blog, and most are free.
Ask For Feedback
If you want more feedback and comments on your blog posts, try asking for them. Engaging your readers by soliciting their opinions and inviting them to share is a great way to interact with them, and learn from their expertise at the same time.
If you find that your requests for feedback are falling on deaf ears, why not offer an incentive? A free item or a discount on a product or a service that you offer for the 10th person to leave a comment, or the 20th person, or the person who comes up with the best idea for a new product name, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Do you have a great blogging tip that YOU would like to share? Leave your comment below. Next week, I’ll choose the best comment and the author will receive a FREE physical copy of Miva Merchant 5.5: The Official Guide Second Edition!