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Blogging and Business

1
Listen First, Blog Later
Know what you want to achieve
Be Useful
Be Personal and Professional
Link, Link, Link
Link, Link, Link
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TIPS CONT.
Avoid Ads
Determine your Comment Moderation Policy
Be Interactive
Integrate Your Blog with your Website
Finding Readers by Leveraging Your Existing
Profile and Network
Mix it up
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3
LISTEN FIRST, BLOG LATER
Perhaps the most useful thing a company can do
before they start blogging is to monitor the
blogosphere. There are some wonderful tools
around for listening to what bloggers are writing
about your industry, your company and your
products. Many of these tools are free (Google
News Alerts for example). Plug in some keywords
relevant to you and your industry and see what is
being talked about.
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4
LISTEN FIRST, BLOG LATER CONT.
You’ll also find that as you ‘listen’ that you’ll begin
to learn the culture of blogging and how those in
your industry are already using it. This will teach
you a lot both about what is acceptable and what
the etiquette is but it also could give you some
clues on how to differentiate your blog from what
others in your niche are doing with their blogs.
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5
LISTEN FIRST, BLOG LATER CONT.
Lastly – watching and listening will help you
identify key bloggers and influencers in your niche
– these are people who can teach you a lot,
introduce you to the niche blogging network and
perhaps help you get started.
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KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
What objective of your business is your blog
helping you to meet? Don’t just start a blog because
it is the ‘thing to do’. Consider what channel/s of
your business your blog is going to help strengthen,
what goals you want to achieve with it and what it
will and won’t aim to do...
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KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
You might find as you ponder this that you have
quite a diverse set of goals for your blog. This can
work – but you should also probably consider
multiple blogs if your objectives are wide and
varied. There’s nothing wrong with multiple blogs,
each with their own focus and purpose.
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8
BE USEFUL
Good blogs meet needs, solve problems and help
those who read them in some way. This doesn’t
mean your blog has to be full of ‘tips’ (although tips
related to how to use your products could work) but
you should consider who will be reading your blog
and what sort of needs they’ll have.
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BE USEFUL CONT.
Will they be looking for information about your
company and products? Are they looking to find
information on your staff members? Do they need
news from your industry? Do they have specific
problems that you might be able to help them
solve?
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BE USEFUL CONT.
While being ‘useful’ might not sound like
something that will convert to sales directly it can
have a profound impact upon those reading your
blog and your business in the long term. Solve a
problem for someone and when next they are
looking to make a purchase they might just come
knocking on your door. Meet a need for someone
and they might just tell their network about you
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11
BE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL
There’s no single way to build a blog and no one
style to have to write them in. Ultimately it’s your
blog and you can develop your own approach….
BUT…. blogs do lend themselves to a personal
style of communication. Your company probably
already has a more static site which conveys
content in the third person – use your blog (or
blogs) to do something different.
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BE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL CONT.
Give your company a face, voice and personal
touch by writing in a more personal voice, using
pictures (of the author and other staff members),
by showing some of the behind the scenes of your
company etc. Be Human!
Try using different mediums (video, image,
audio) as well as text to show your company is
not just a logo and mission statement but a place
where real people are at its heart.
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BE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL CONT.
This doesn’t mean professionalism goes out the
door – always keep in mind that everything that
goes up on your blog either potentially adds value
to your company or takes away from it – keep your
standards high and remember that everything you
publish is effectively on the web for ever (even
when you delete it it’ll usually be indexed in an
internet archive somewhere).
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14
DON’T BE AFRAID TO SELL CONT.
Why not run a blog special where you offer those
who read your blog a special discount that can’t be
heard anywhere else? Perhaps offer blog readers
coupons or bonuses when they buy? If you are
providing people with value they won’t mind a
promotion from time to time. The key is to keep
everything you do on your blog of a high value and
usefulness and avoid getting into hyped spin sales
talk.
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15
LINK, LINK, LINK 1
Many businesses are afraid to send people away
from their blogs and end up being very insular.
This ignores one of the key things that blogging has
been built upon – the link. Blogging is a medium
that has grown so quickly because traditionally
people have been very generous with their links to
other sites and blogs.
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LINK 1 CONT.
While this might seem a little counter-intuitive
(sending people away from your blog) if you provide
value to your readers by sending them to high
quality and useful information they’ll thank you for
it and be back for more.
Helping people learn something, be entertained,
make a great new connection, stay up to date with
the latest news etc. can grow your own profile and
perceived expertise.
It can also help you to make in-roads with others
in your niche when you send them traffic and could
lead to links coming back at you and fruitful
partnerships.
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LINK, LINK, LINK 2
A blog doesn’t need to have new content on it every
day to be successful. What is just as important as
lots of posts are regular posts? In my experience
readers like to know that they’ll get a regular
stream of content and not sudden bursts of lots of
posts and then extended periods of silence.
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LINK 2 CONT.
My advice for a new blog is to aim for 2-3 posts a
week when you’re starting out. In time you might
be able to lift this rate to 3-4 and then move
towards 4-5 in time. This way you’re not biting off
more than you can chew too early and providing
your readers with a steady stream of useful
content.
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AVOID ADS
If your main objective as a business starting a blog
is to grow your own profile and add to your own
Marketing messages then you should avoid
running ads on your blog. I’ve seen a number of
businesses fall for the temptation of making a few
dollars by selling ads on their blog – but all this
really does is distract your reader from the one
company you should be advertising – yours.
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20
AVOID ADS CONT.
At the worst end of things you could be
highlighting your own competitors by running ads
on your blog with a system like AdSense which
allows any company to target ads on your own blog.
Instead of making some loose change with
advertising – develop internal banner ads for your
products and services and put them at key points
on your blog so drive readers to buy from you.
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21
DETERMINE YOUR COMMENT
MODERATION POLICY
One of the biggest fears of many companies getting
into blogging is about what will happen in their
comments section. What happens if a customer
with a vendetta starts doing damage there? What if
a competitor sees an opportunity to stir up trouble
or promote themselves?
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COMMENT CONT.
My personal preference on blogs is to keep them as
easy as possible to comment upon and to allow all
comments unless defamatory, spammy or
containing obscene language – however your
comments policy might be a little more closed than
this. The key is to know what you will and won’t
allow ahead of time and to make that policy
available somewhere for your readers.
Also have in place a system for enforcing your
policy and moderating comments. This will
probably include giving a person (or a team of
people) the task of regular monitoring of comments.
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23
BE INTERACTIVE
Blogging is often at its best when it’s an interactive
thing. Encourage comments by asking questions in
post, run polls and surveys, encourage your readers
with blogs to write their own posts that extend
ideas in yours, run competitions, offer special
discounts for readers etc.
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INTEGRATE YOUR BLOG WITH YOUR
WEBSITE
In most cases you should think carefully about how
to integrate your blog with your company’s existing
website. Again there are no rules here and it’ll
partly depend upon your objectives but it’d be
normal to link to your blog from your main
company website and link from your blog to your
website.
In most cases you’ll probably also want to make
sure your blog is on your main company domain
(yoursite.com/blog will work well in helping both
areas of the site to build your SEO authority) and
that design elements are consistent between areas
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25
FINDING READERS BY LEVERAGING YOUR
EXISTING PROFILE AND NETWORK
One of the challenges facing new blogs whether
they be tied to a business or not is how to get
people reading them. One of the starting points in
this is to think about what existing profile or
network you already have developed. Most
companies have customers, staff, industry
associations etc. that they can notify (without being
spammy) of their new blog.
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FINDING READERS BY LEVERAGING CONT.
If your company has other places of online presence
(your company site, social network profiles etc.) you
should also link to your blog from these. Other
marketing materials such as letterhead, business
cards, email signatures etc can all also help get the
word out about your blog.
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27
MIX IT UP
If you decide just to go with one blog instead of
multiple blogs for multiple channels of your
company, it can be worthwhile to mix up the type of
content that appears on your blog. There are so
many types of posts that a company could run
depending upon their objectives including:
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MIX IT UP CONT.
Highlighting key staff members
Message from the CEO
State of the industry posts
Linking to breaking news in the industry
Polls
Announcements of new products
Highlighting key clients/customers
Tips on how to use products



39
START A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR
CLIENTS
Your company name goes here
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP FORM

SERIAL NUMBER:______________
Thank you for patronizing SkinGlow. Please fill in all the required information below.
NAME:_______________________________________________________________________________
TITLE:____*(MR/MRS/CHIEF/DR./MISS) SEX: F [ ] M [ ]
*Delete as appropriate
CONTACT ADDRESS: (Not P.OBOX)________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
TELEPHONE
MOBILE NUMBER:_________________
HOME NUMBER:__________________
EMAIL ADDRESS:___________________________

OCCUPATION_________________________________
WEDDING ANNIVERSARY: DAY________ MONTH________
BIRTHDAY: DAY_____ MONTH___________

HOW DID YOU GET TO KNOW US ? TV, PRESS, MAGAZINE, EXHIBITION, A FRIEND, OTHERS- (PLEASE
SPECIFY)___________________________________________
IF INTRODUCED BY A FRIEND – PLEASE SPECIFY NAME :_____________________________________

THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS TO ENABLE US SERVE YOU BETTER, THANKS FOR YOUR PATRONAGE.

SIGNATURE_______________________ DATE__________________


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USEFULNESS OF THE FORM
The aim of the form above is to enter it into your
database so that you can use it to send wedding
anniversaries, birthdays messages to your
customers, by this you are building relationship
with them. They will always come back to buy from you.

You can drop a comment for any question or clarifications, thanks.
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