I recently watched a video from the Microsoft Partner Network that was related to my last blog post “How to Manage Your Company Blog.” The video outlines the use of a company blog as one of several important social tools for your business and gives an overview of the basics. It made me think about how many companies are so quick jumping into starting a blog, that they forget the basics. They know that most websites have blogs and figure they should too, but they don’t spend enough time really figuring out the best strategy before they get started. It’s important to plan out how you’re going to run and manage your blog, so I decided to try to cover the basics from the video.

The largest take-away from the video is that your blog has two goals – to bring new people to your site and to keep people on your site.  Here are a few simple things to achieve these goals:

Get new visitors: One of the most important aspects of a blog is that it gives you a way to consistently add and change content on your website, which increases your search engine ranking. This was briefly mentioned in the video and is one of the key benefits of having a blog. But this also means that consistency with your blog is important.  Don’t just post blog posts as you get or write them, make sure you are spreading them out to really utilize the benefit of posting new content on your site.  An improved search engine ranking will bring more people to your blog, which can lead to more opportunities!

Keep people returning: Make sure that someone is maintaining your blog. Your blog is a great place to interact with potential and existing customers, employees, and partners.  If people are commenting or asking questions about your blog content be sure to have someone answer. If they don’t get a response, they may choose to stop commenting or visiting your blog all together, but if people are asking questions and you’re posting credible and relevant answers then you can be seen as a knowledge source on the topic. This keeps people coming back to your site. If they know they can find the answers they need on your blog, they will be sure to subscribe or continue reading.

Both of these points rely heavily on one thing: blog content. Your blog must be relevant to your viewers. Find out what they have questions about and answer them. Our blog has a variety of topics because we have a variety of visitors. We post blogs about getting a job for potential employees, we post about CRM for our potential and existing customers, we post about marketing and other small business tips, and we post about things going on in our company to keep people updated. It’s important to know what your visitors want to see and the best way to deliver what they want. Irrelevant posts will only hurt you.

For more on using your blog as a business tool check out the Microsoft Partner Network video and start blogging!

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