Nowadays, however, blogs have evolved into something far more advanced; for both individuals and businesses, they act as invaluable marketing tools used to brand your business and interact with your audience like never before. To find out how you could be making more of your blog, read on.
Social Media Integration
This is kind of a no-brainer, but is so important it’s still worth mentioning. If someone happens upon your blog and likes what they see, the first thing they’ll want to do is connect with you on another social media platform. After all, having to seek out your blog each time they want an update is one thing, but being directly notified of updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is another.
To make this as easy as possible for your readers, you’ll want to add a row of attractive social media icons on your blog, preferably in clear view and close to the header. To do this, you can either hire a web designer or do it yourself for free. If you choose the latter option and aren’t an HTML whiz, try a quick and easy tutorial for help.
The comments section of your blog posts is, hands down, the very best place to engage your customers, gauge their interest, and learn what you could be doing better. If you have comments disabled on your blog, change that immediately; commenting is the lifeblood of the blogging world and should be one of your top priorities.
The best way to receive more comments is to leave thoughtful comments on other blogs similar to your own, and the best way to make those new commentors feel valued is to reply to their input. Whether they left compliments or criticism, reply with gratitude and a warm, conversational attitude.
If someone mentions something they don’t like about your blog, don’t take it personally or ignore it. Thank them for sharing their opinion and ask what specific aspects of your blog need to be improved on. If someone leaves a positive but very brief comment, replying with a simple “thank you” will leave a good impression. After all, people come to your blog out of curiosity, but they’ll stay for the quality content and the personal connection you develop with them.
Opt-In Email Newsletters
Giving your blog’s visitors the option to have news, updates, and special offers delivered straight to their inbox via an email newsletter is one of the best things you can do to foster the growth of a solid, long-lasting readership. For this to work, though, it is essential that you stick to a few key rules of thumb.
Keep your emails short and sweet–you want your emails to pack a quick punch, not ramble on. In addition, be sure to stay upbeat, positive, and honest. You want your readers to look forward to opening your emails, not feel weighed down by lackluster writing, guilt-based pleas for their business, or less-than-desirable deals (no one wants to read that they’re getting $25 off in the subject line only to discover in the fine print that the offer only applies if they spend $500 or more).
Time and energy spent making sure your graphics pop will make your emails seem fresh and clean, rather than cluttered or distracting.
Finally, never email people who haven’t signed up to be on your mailing list, never email people who have unsubscribed from your mailing list, and always give your recipients a quick and easy way to unsubscribe in the first place. It’s not just common courtesy; it’s the LAW. Stick to these guidelines and your reputation for being respectful of your customers and their wishes can only grow.
At first, using your blog as a crucial marketing tool can seem intimidating. By following some basic principles to build rapport with your visitors, you can be well on your way to growing a loyal, enduring readership in no time.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.