Blog floundering? Visitors dropping in but not staying around? Here are seven ways to revitalize your company’s online presence.
Do you wonder sometimes if it’s worth your time and effort, this blog business? The short answer is Yes. In a sense, your blog trumps your other social media sites for one simple reason: You have complete control over it. No character maximums, limited audiences or forced interface changes.
But even the most seasoned bloggers need to occasionally evaluate their progress. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you think that interest in your company’s site is flagging:
Does your blog have a consistent, friendly voice? Even if you have multiple authors, assign one person to read everything before it gets posted to ensure that the writing styles aren’t all over the map. See that it’s a.) grammatically sound and free of spelling errors, b.) written in an inviting, sociable tone, and c.) genuine. Do let personality shine through — without being cloying.
Are your blog’s goals clear in your mind? Are they consistent with your company’s overall objectives and strategy? Consider posting your major blog goals in a paragraph on your home page. Make this text prominent and succinct, but let your visitors know what they can expect.
You wouldn’t share internal goals like brand promotion, of course. But you can tell your audience that you want to know what they think, what problems they’re encountering. Perhaps you’re going to provide effective solutions to common difficulties. Maybe you’re going to escort them behind the scenes at the company. Share your reasons for your presence.
Do you have a detailed editorial calendar? Nothing will kill a blog faster than a dearth of fresh posts Your blog’s actual content should grow out of your goals. Having an editorial calendar will keep you from tossing off last-minute, substandard writing. Post at least 2-3 times per week.
Are you offering a wide variety of content? Mix it up. If you’re selling vehicle maintenance services, you could have entries explaining what that funny noise might mean or why seasonal preventive maintenance is so critical. Another post could ask visitors to relay a particularly bad or funny experience with a car shop (offer a small prize, perhaps an inexpensive promotional item). Do a profile of an employee they might encounter in your establishment. Start off-topic conversations. Ask readers to email questions to you, and address them in your blog. Will there be contests and prizes? Other pleasurable activities?
Keep the sales and marketing entries infrequent and low-key.
Do your posts have compelling titles? Are the first paragraphs informative enough? Pose questions in titles and use numbers when appropriate (Repair or Replace? 5 Signs That Your Car is in Crisis). Try to keep your titles brief and your opening statements engaging. Give visitors at least one clear reason to read on.
Is your blog optimized for mobile devices? One reason why Facebook recently lost a major advertiser – GM – is because people often access websites on their smartphones or tablets, where ads are scarce. So make sure that readers can view your content satisfactorily in their recliners or on the train or in a coffee shop.
If you do only one thing to make your blog more appealing and interactive, be sure that your audience can easily leave comments, and encourage them to do so. Some people skip entire new stories on media sites and go straight for the comments section because they want to know what other people are thinking, not just the writer of the piece. So your blog should be very feedback-friendly.
There are countless neglected and abandoned blogs on the web that could have made a go of it. Don’t let yours be one of them.