It’s easy to create a blog, publish a few posts, and think you’ve got a great business blog. But guess what? A successful business blog requires a lot more work than that. The social web does not operate like the Field of Dreams, and if you build it, they will not necessarily come.
Building a successful business blog takes commitment, persistence and patience. Most importantly, there are a few fundamentals that you need to make sure you address if you want your business blog to thrive in the long term.
Five of the most important fundamentals are described below to help you take your business blog to the next level of success:
1. Unique design and branding
Don’t start a blog using one of the free templates that comes with your chosen blogging application. Doing so does nothing to communicate your brand promise and makes your business look “small-time” because there are likely to be many other blogs of varying calibers across the web that use the same design. Instead, invest in a premium theme or custom design by working with a freelance blog designer to make your business blog match your business brand and instantly communicate your brand image.
2. Well written About page
Take the time to write a concise yet compelling About page that describes who you are, what your business does, and what sets you apart from competitors. Also, make sure that your About page communicates what value your blog brings to your audience. Consider working with a professional copywriter to make this page really shine.
3. Contact form
Your business blog needs a good contact form. If you use WordPress.org as your blogging application, check out the free Contact Form 7 for an easy-to-use solution. If you use WordPress.org and are willing to invest a bit of money to get a powerful contact form tool that you can use for far more than just contact forms, check out Gravity Forms. This plugin has a price tag, but it’s excellent!
4. Social links
If your business has a presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, SlideShare, or any other social site, make sure you promote those destinations on your business blog by including prominent links and inviting visitors to connect with you on those sites. You can even include social media icons to cross-promote your other social profiles.
5. Subscription area
Take the time to create your business blog’s feed using a tool like Feedburner, and then include an area on your business blog where you can invite visitors to subscribe to your blog via feed reader or email, which gives you an opportunity to stay top-of-mind amongst an opt-in audience who has already made it clear that they are interested in you, your content, and your business.