Sunday, March 29, 2009

If They know who I am... Part II

photo by Erica Marshall of
...Will they still like me?

Here we go with the second installment of this topic.
We may laugh about the topic, but really it rings true. Who are we when we post to our blog? What side of ourselves are we showing? For consistency sake, thinking about this before you start a business blog is a very good idea.
  • How often to post?
The general rule of thumb on this one is around 3-5 times a week. I think you should post as much as you possibly can. If you are promoting your posts, you don't always have to promote the most recent one. If you have them well organized in your archive, you can pull out blog posts to send to people if they have questions about a particular point or product. Even though this is a moving log of information, it can also serve as a FAQ that you and your readers turn to for information in the future.
  • Sparking conversation
Ask questions! You don't need to have the answer, but you can gauge what you readers are thinking about by directly asking questions or by having a poll on your blog. A poll is generally a question with a yes or no answer that folks can just click on without logging in a comment. This can also be a way to get readership. If you put it out there that you have a poll that you want votes on, this can in it's own way draw new readers.
  • Photos?
Yes, yes, yes AND YES!
You know I have design background and images are important to me. Everyone is drawn to an eye-catching image. Having a "dry" blog with only text is just what it sounds like. It lacks life. Not everyone is drawn into the "magic" of your words. Chances are, it's the image that will get them to stay beyond 5 seconds.
Beyond the images, having a clean, nicely designed, uncluttered blog it pretty important. Ask people you don't know to take a look at your design before you go live. If you need help, get it. This is another area of your professional image stepping out into the world. Take that seriously.
  • Links.
Having a sidebar with links of related interest is an important element, but not an absolute. What is pretty important is to use links when you are speaking about another entity that has a site that folks can go to. Don't worry about losing them. So, if you are mentioning something about the SBA, you should have a link to the SBA!

One last thing: Once you're up and running, make sure you are using something like Statcounter so that you can see who is coming to your blog, how long they are staying, how they found you and where to go to after they visit you.

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