One our best, biggest and nicest clients wrote to me this morning full of the joys of autumnal moisture and social networking. An email digest she was reading suggested that having a blog would grow her website traffic by up to 55% ….. “How do I get one?”
Well … where to start … I have a few blogs, a couple of personal ones, here’s one www.menoplay.com.au that talks about being 50 and trying not to be over 30 at the same time, there is an old one somewhere from my N4B days that doesn’t exist but is still listed all over Google and then there is my current JWGecko one, here.
How do I get a blog?
You can get a free one anywhere, try Google. The trick is to get one with your own domain name, these are mostly still free but what they are called and where they are hosted all matters. I am a big fan of integrated blogs. This is where the content of the blog appears in your web site’s content. This blog is a hybrid, is not really integrated with either of our sites and probably suffers for it. The right solution will be to have a blog on SEO and marketing on the JWGecko.COM website and another on RTO matters on the VETtrakOnline.COM website – more work :-).
An integrated Blog is a page or group of pages that are part of your website, with the ability to add a comment, perhaps a trackback, and subscribe to an RSS feed [really simple syndication]. We have built-in this functionality, along with Twitter pods et al into our CMS to provide flexibility to the platform and a breadth of functionality.
The technology is the easy part of having a blog. Where these things fall down is finding someone in your company committed-enough, high-enough and brave-enough to publish off-the-cuff material. It is the content not the technology that is interesting. Yes, there is significant corporate exposure possible but there is also exposure to corporate risk too. You need ‘inside informaiton’ to be interesting but inside information can be valuable to your competitors as well. Not many of the multitude of corporate blogs are read becuase they are full of marketing puff, there are however so very interesting ones too – Ten Corporate Blogs Worth Reading.
If you really want to get into the first level of the social networking pyramid then there are clues everywhere on the web about how to blog successfully, this link, talks about what not to do and includes things like not linking to your competitors too much as it will increase their search ranking – that really is a double whammy!
As to the magic 55% … blogs can create a lot of interest however only if your readers feel they are getting inside the organisation or the writers mind – it is a voyeuristic thing. I don’t believe that my blog has increased traffic to JWGecko.com or Vettrakonline.com by 55% sadly, but then maybe it has. In a recent eNewsletter 40% of the traffic that was generated was to two blog pieces in the RTO section, the one on AQTF 2010 and another about the Value of Trainers in an Upturn.
My key tips for successful blogging are these, add spice where you can but always add personality … this is NOT the news and when we are being read it is often in our reader’s personal time. I try to make my blogs interesting, informative and fun. Occassionally I even have a rant 🙂
Whether I am successful or not is up to you.
Have an Awesome Autum day,