It’s certainly not business as usual for companies using strategic blogging to get noticed. More and more businesses, from corporate behemoths like Coca-Cola and Pfizer to small start-ups operating out of a garage, have found blogs to be an effective way to generate interest. But not all business blogs are created equal. With that being said, here are the 20 qualities of the top business blogs. Use them in your own efforts to ramp up your blogging success.
- Humility Bragging is distasteful. Present information with authority, but don’t put on airs. Steve Jobs you are not, so don’t come across as egotistical and pompous.
- Return on Investment (ROI). Keep an eye on what’s working and what’s not. Analyze your blog’s components and determine which contributions bring in the most return on investment.
- Multimedia Rich. Utilize vivid images or intriguing videos in every blog post. There’s nothing worse than big blocks of uninterrupted text and lack of visuals.
- On Target. The best business blogs are laser focused on the topic at hand. Stay on track and avoid superfluous words and clichés.
- Heavy Hitting. Business blogs with regular posts by heavy hitters on the subject at hand demonstrate that a company is established and trusted. Also, if you’re not the owner or CEO of your business, make sure that the person in charge has a presence on the blog as a significant contributor.
- Simplicity. Keep it short and simple. Using dialect and references far above the scope of your reader’s knowledge or experience does everyone a disservice.
- Easy on the Eyes. Avoid density and laborious paragraphs. Opt instead for short paragraphs, headers, and bullet points to keep readers’ attention.
- Group Effort. Look at blogging as a group exercise, not a solo sport. Integrate other opinions and perspectives into your blog for a well-rounded take.
- Up to Date. Don’t let posts get held up in management inboxes waiting on approvals. Establish a streamlined editorial process of posting and a quick review method.
- Tough Topics. Don’t be afraid to challenge your audience by addressing hot-button issues and difficult industry topics. Taking a stance on controversial subjects has a way of arousing interest.
- Stand Tall. Keep a stiff upper lip, and don’t cower when someone disses what you have to say. Not everyone is going to agree with you––deal with it.
- Solid Search-Engine Optimization (SEO). Know the value of quality content coupled with strategic SEO. Provide substantial insights on the latest trending topics.
- Keep It Professional. Don’t write about your family life or even corporate retreats and awards banquets unless it’s highly relevant to your subject. A business blog should revolve around professional topics.
- Avoid Blah. The kiss of death for any blog is dour, boring content that doesn’t offer any redeeming qualities or positive take-aways. Read enough blogs and you’ll notice that the great ones are catchy and full of passion.
- Fearless. No topic is off limits if you can tackle it bravely and with professional integrity. Take a chance on obscure topics that challenge you and offer your readers something new to think about.
- Ego Remains Outside. Don’t make yourself the center of attention. Showcase the talents and accomplishments of others and show that your customers and readers are what really matter.
- Frontline Players. Know the ins and outs of your industry and the key movers and shakers. Engage these business leaders in conversation on their territory (i.e., their blogs) and lead the discussion back to your turf.
- Consistency. Regular contributions to a blog are a must. Being consistent and reliable is a valuable trait in any endeavor.
- Site Investment. Don’t think that looks and ease of use don’t matter. Invest financially into your blogging platform so that it not only looks remarkable but also is easy to navigate.
- Accept Mistakes. Mistakes are unavoidable and an excellent way to learn what works and what doesn’t. Take creative criticism to heart and appreciate every opportunity to better your blog.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
Follow Matthew on Twitter: @matthewtoren