Here are five simple rules to follow for anyone thinking about writing a blog for business.
1. Create a goal of what you would like to achieve.
Like any other business or marketing tactic, a blog should be part of an overall strategy that helps you connect with your targeted audience. Rather than just blogging for blogging sake some thought should be given as to the intent of one’s writing. Will the blog be used for general branding, thought leadership with key executives, or a method of moving a prospective customer further down the sales funnel. Once a goal has been established you can use words and phrases specifically designed to generate the desired result.
2. Write what you know.
A blog for business is exactly that, an outlet to communicate with your audience from a business perspective. If you are an engineer write about engineering. If you are an accountant write about tax tips or ideas to help someone save money. If you are a plumber you can write about preventative maintenance to avoid clogged sinks and drains. Though you may have strong opinions on a variety of subjects this is not a place to opine about politics, religion or movies.
3. Keep it short and succinct.
A business blog is not a whitepaper or an elongated essay. A good rule of thumb is to error on the side of brevity. In most cases 300-500 words should suffice. Sentences should be succinct and the message clear. In most cases one should start with an overriding lead in of what you are trying to convey then follow it up with facts, examples or supporting information.
4. Maintain Consistency.
Many businesses begin a blog then abandon it a month or two down the road. The challenge and time constraint of generating usable content can become problematic, especially for a small business where staff members are already juggling multiple projects trying to meet customer demands. Determine your comfort level for completing blog entries whether it be once per week, every other week or once per month. Outsource this task if necessary. Your goal will not be reached if you do not maintain some type of consistency with your writing.
5. Use a visual(s) to engage the reader.
Nearly all research now points out that any type of article, blog or written piece generates more readership with a visual attached. Check out Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Do you even care to read any material that is not accompanied by a graphic, photo or video? The proper use of visuals, in line with the intent of the article, will help engage readers and encourage them to stay with your blog from start to finish.