It seems that in the last few years, businesses have finally wizened up some. They’ve realized that simply having a website is just not enough. To truly increase their presence (especially their search presence) on the web, they have to create and deliver content. The best way of doing this is by creating and maintaining a blog.
For most businesses, this is about where the line of intelligent internet marketing stops. Need a better web presence? Get a blog. Problem solved. But what too many businesses fail to realize is that having additional content for your website simply isn’t enough. That content has to be important, valuable, and worthy of high amounts of traffic and links. And the most effective way of transforming your content to reach this level is by thinking: How do I keep my blog from being boring?
Step 1: Be Personal!
Yes -- I understand you represent a business. You want to appear professional. What you have to realize though, is that actual people will be reading your blog. This is not a meeting with another company or some agency. This is a way to branch out to normal people, and the best way to do this is to appear personable and have a distinctive, engaging personality. Of course, you should cut down on the crude language, but your blog shouldn’t sound like it was written by a lawyer. This is your chance to give customers an opportunity to identify with your company, so be friendly, show some personality, and maybe even crack a joke here and there.
Step 2: Cut Back on Specialized Language
One of the biggest, most widespread problems I see for business blogs is that they are caught up in their own world of technical vocabulary. I guarantee you that 95% of your customers don't understand or care for the technical industry jargon and language behind your products or services. Try to write in layman’s terms so more or your prospective customers can understand your blog actually want to read it. Of course, you can describe the logic behind one of the processes of your products, but try to be clear, define terms, and use analogies to make the read as easy as possible.
Step 3: Vary the Format
Too many general posts about the same industry topics over and over will make even the most well-written blog boring. Try to write a variety of different posts on different topics in various formats. Consider incorporating customer interviews, manufacturer interviews, employee interviews, news briefs regarding your industry, reports on a company outing (with photos), and anything else you can possibly think of. I’ve seen some companies maintain multiple blogs written through the perspective of different employees. This is an excellent way to inject some genuine personality into your company.
Step 4: Use Quality Images
Even if it costs a little money, it's worth it to use interesting, well-composed images. Blurry, low-resolution, or horribly-lit photos are one of the easiest ways to look unprofessional, scare away visitors, and discourage people from clicking on posts. There are many stock photography websites available with cheap rates, and of course you can always search for Creative Commons Share Alike licensed images through Flickr or Google. Just be sure to pick a high-quality, relevant image.
Step 5: Implement a Creative Blog Design
If you have the resources, a unique and creative blog design can really be an incredible force for a blog. Viewers will naturally be attracted to the blog, and coupled with some great content, you will be able to attract a loyal, ever-growing audience. If you’ve had the same design for two years or so, consider changing it up a little bit. Perhaps you could create a new header, change the layout, or incorporate new visual elements. Even if you don’t have the resources to hire a designer, there are tons of very impressive-looking blog templates you can purchase for reasonable prices.
How else can you give your blog readers a unique, memorable, and never boring experience that keeps them continually coming back for more?
Image Credit: Carolien Dekeersmaeker