Blogging for Business

In this week’s guest post, Pat Wootton from Prompt Proofing, a copywriting, editing and proofreading service, discusses blogging for business:

Why should your business start and maintain a blog? It seems almost obligatory to write a blog if you have a business nowadays, but what is the purpose? How will it help your business and what should you include or not include? We will endeavour to answer these questions in this week’s blog post.

Why?
A blog can increase public awareness and enhance your search engine optimization. Your main goal, presumably, will be to increase sales and/or your client base. Increasing your visibility is one of the main stepping stones towards that main goal, and a major way to increase your visibility is to have a presence in social media. A blog provides an excellent public relations opportunity and can also serve as a forum, if you choose, to invite feedback from your clients.
Social media is hugely important; if people see something they like then they may well share it. A well-written blog will give you the opportunity to increase your keyword exposure and may help drive traffic to your site.
When?
Having new content on a regular basis contributes to an effective SEO strategy. A weekly blog might be a good rule of thumb for many businesses but you should blog as often as you can so long as your posts are of a high quality. There are many services out there that produce articles loaded with keywords but they are of a low quality. Having readers take interest in what you have to say will prove more valuable than simply being associated with a barrage of keywords.
What?
A blog serves as a teaser, leaving your readers wanting to know more. It does not need to be too detailed and should avoid being blatantly advertorial. You may want to inform your clients about new products or services, or to share your goals or achievements. Write what you are passionate about and what you are knowledgeable about, and that will come across to your readers.
Remember that you are writing for the screen and that concentration spans, when reading online, are notoriously short. Divide your writing into short paragraphs, separated by plenty of white space. Unbroken blocks of text are off-putting and rarely read.
Your reader may not be your customer, but converting every reader of your blog into a customer should not be your ultimate goal; it’s not realistic and it will affect what you write – and not in a good way. You need to bear in mind that providing information is far more valuable and that although many readers may not ever be customers, they may well help you gain other customers, through word of mouth or sharing on social media.
Still not sure? Hiring someone to write blogs for you may relieve the pressure for many business owners. A lackadaisical blog, written out of a sense of obligation, will probably not serve your business well. Consider using a blogging service if you are not sure you want to take this task on yourself.