A Guest Post by David Hobart
Blogging is a useful way to convey a discussion piece or news feeds on a specific subject. If you have a blog or are thinking about setting up a one, it’s a good idea to be aware of what makes a blog stand out and last and what makes an “also ran.” If you’re blogging for business it’s important to keep these in mind.
- Time. Setting up and maintaining a blog, as with any web content, takes time and effort. One of the most common mistakes that bloggers make is to underestimate the amount of time it will take to set up a blog and add to it regularly. There will be a delay in attracting interest when first getting a blog off the ground, so a potential blogger not only has to make the initial commitment but must maintain the blog even when that interest is minimal. If you are seriously thinking about setting up a blog it is worth planning your blogging time around your daily routine. Aim to blog smaller items at regular intervals rather than write time consuming articles.
- Content. People blog for many different reasons, but by far the most successful bloggers have powerful opinions that really show through in their writing. Avoid choosing a subject you are not passionate about. Your passion and interest in your chosen subject will make it easier for you to blog without it being a chore. It will also help stop you giving up in the early stages. Remember that your blog is a forum for you to tell the world how you feel, so pick a subject you feel strongly about.
- Purpose. Once you have chosen your subject, be clear about what you want to convey. Do you want to be informative? Is there a particular demographic you want to target? How could your blog be useful to the reader? Bear these questions in mind when you blog. It will help with clarity of content. Do not make search engine optimization your priority. This may conflict with your writing and readers will pick up on this. The reader should always come first. Address your points quickly as this will help attract the immediate interest of the reader.
- Personality. Your blog should be an extension of your personality. It should not be cold and lifeless. Another common mistake is writing your web content in the style of an article or lecture. The reader should be able to read your blog and imagine you talking to them. It should be engaging, warm and friendly. This can be difficult to master, but imagine you are in a coffee shop chatting to a friend about your chosen subject, and write accordingly.
- Individuality. Some of the most annoying blogs are ones where the blogger is following the herd. Lack of originality is a no-no. A potential follower will switch off if they read opinions they have already heard a million times before. They may also assume that you copied your blog from someone else. Donât be afraid of blogging about what you think and feel. Your views are just as valid as everyone elseâs and this is your opportunity to write about them. Also, make sure the opinions you blog about belong to you and no one else.
These five cornerstones hold up an outstanding business blog. Have you incorporated all five into what you’re doing with yours?
David Hobart is Managing Director at Pure Content.
You’ll find him on Twitter as @DaveHobart
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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