Everyone is blogging these days, but if you want your blog to stand out there are a few things that you need to understand in addition to your keywords and SEO. Think of your blog as your business brand portal. There is nothing better than blogging to position yourself as a thought-leader and authority in your industry. You can also use it to make a personal connection with your readers. Here are nine tips on how to get your blog noticed:
1. Think of your audience first. As you are thinking of blog topics, make sure the information will be helpful to your target customer. You should see the face of your reader in your head as you are developing blog titles. Provide information, analysis, interviews and viewpoints on your blog. When you give your audience what they want and need, they will tell others and share your articles on social media sites.
2. Build relationships online. If you want friends online, you must be friendly first. If you want people to spread your blog posts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn you need to spend time sharing other people's content and building relationships online first. Get involved in the online communities where people actively share information in your specialty area. It is also a great way to have comments left on your blog. I spent six months on Twitter building relationships, answering questions and supporting others before I launched my blog. It made a big difference.
3. Use a branded header. Image is everything. People need to know what your blog is about at first click. Use a branded blog header that features your logo, a professional photo and your tag line. Your tag line is the most important element of your header. It should tell your reader exactly what to expect from your blog.
4. Explain your blog. On the front page of your blog -- tell people more information about what you can do for them. Be sure and include keywords, your name and any branded materials you have such as a book title. Explain who your target audience is and the credentials that make you an expert.
5. Watch your tone. Use a conversational tone when you write. Do not just give information; let your personality shine through. People love well told stories. They also like to learn from other people's mistakes. Don't be afraid to take an unpopular position or be brutally honest. Take a position and tell your readers what you really think.
6. Be original. Being transparent and vulnerable is a great way to establish a relationship with your readers. Teach 'em some new stuff and be entertaining. Your audience wants to find something that doesn't exist anywhere else on the web. People will freely share content that is heartfelt and remarkable. Do you have any concepts or systems that you have developed or researched? I developed the Triple ROI of Social Media, which is a new approach to measuring social media marketing. I use this in many blog posts and media interviews. That's my signature content, what's yours?
7. Avoid the fluff. Resist the temptation to be a hype master. Your products and services will sell themselves if you create an effective and helpful blog. Readers have many choices online, and they'll quickly move on from a blog with annoying commentary. Keep your writing focused on your customer. If you always deliver quality information, your reader will come back for more.
8. Diversify your content. In addition to written articles, add podcasts, videos and book reviews to break up the content and add depth to your blog. Sometimes when I am interviewed on an Internet radio show, I will turn the interview link into a blog post, while highlighting key takeaways from the interview. The interviewer will appreciate the additional exposure. Keep those video posts short, no more than three minutes please. Less is more.
9. Engage Blog Visitors. At the end of every post, ask a question to your readers to get them to add a comment to the post. When people leave comments on your blog, try to respond to them as quickly as possible to keep the conversation going. If a comment is negative, thank them for sharing, but do not delete it. You want to be as transparent as possible.
This was originally published under the title: 9 Ways to Get Your Blog to Stand Out at www.succeedasyourownboss.com. Two more related articles on blogging for business: How to Get Started Blogging and How to Monetize a Blog can also be found there.
Do you have any more ideas about how to get a blog noticed? Please share.
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson's blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is America's #1 small business experts. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. She writes a weekly column on social media for The New York Times. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com. Melinda is also the best selling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works.