I was recently invited to give a presentation on the "do's and don'ts" of creating a successful business blog. In thinking about the topic, words beginning with the letter "p" kept coming to mind:
Persistence: the number one reason, by far, that blogs fail is that they aren't maintained. The blogosphere is littered with dead blogs that haven't been updated in three, six, twelve months or longer. They'll still pick the occasional search hit for an obscure phrase, but no one links, subscribes or offers comments to them.
Personality: the best blogs have a personality all their own: factual, thoughtful, helpful, smart, amusing or something else. The blogger also reveals himself or herself through a short bio, picture and contact information.
Passion: to maintain the discipline necessary to be persistent in blog posting, it helps to pick a subject one is passionate about. For example, among political blogs, there are a number of strong blogs on the both the right and the left ends of the political spectrum, but very few in the middle; it's hard to be passionate about moderation.
Promotion: if you're passionate about your topic and write about it persistently, you want the world to know your blog exists. The most important technique for blog promotion is the same as for any website—SEO. But the blogging format also provides unique promotional opportunities, such as tagging on social networking sites, submission to RSS feed aggregators, and cross-linking with other blogs in your subject area.
At that point I started creating my presentation, thinking I was done. But then, other P-words started coming to mind. What about being positive—isn't that an important attribute for a successful business blog? After all, it never pays to make enemies, and a blog post is forever. And how about prodigious (one of those wonderful, under-used words); being persistent simply means blogging a regular basis. Being prodigious speaks more to the frequency of posting.
And what about perhaps the most important term of all: patience? Unless you are already famous for some other reason, it's extremely unlikely that your blog will be an overnight success, but if done well and persistently, it will build a following over time.
Hmm, I may need to keep thinking about this. More to come.
Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom