Knowing, understanding, and appreciating your blog readers is imperative to building community around your business blog.
Your community—the individuals whom you have attracted with your informative content—should be first in mind for each article that is written.
How do you create this social engagement community for a corporate blog? How can you produce the irresistible content your industry wants and needs?
Set out to make a difference.
If you have elected to invest part of your company budget into building community and engagement through your blog, you should make it count. Provide useful information that will captivate your online community. It is important to stay away from industry jargon and self-promotion.
No one likes to hear or read about you, you, and you. They want to read about industry news, how a product can help them in a practical application format, and other interesting and thought-provoking topics.
Online communities are starving for creative, engaging, and innovative content to consume. Set your standards high and deliver with creativity and a solidified presence.
Pick a content niche.
Jumping all over the map can be confusing for community participators. Generally people want to visit a website for a particular type of content, or for information on a topic they enjoy.
If you are not covering the topic for which they visited your site previously, they may not return. If you have hit and miss topics that are only visited once in a blue moon, the steady website traffic may be difficult to nail down.
If you are not already, become a subject matter expert in your field. This will improve your ability to gain repeat web visitors and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Consistency is key in blogging and community building. If your topics are hit and miss it is difficult for your readers and potential community members to build a trusting relationship with your content.
If you are just thinking about starting a blog, DO IT! Start writing, start researching, and start developing. Now is the time to build your community. With content marketing taking off like wildfire, it is imperative that purveyors of all products and services in any industry delve into the world of content.
More and more business blogs are popping up every day. It takes know-how, creativity, and a successful inbound marketing strategy to really stand out from the crowd. The most important thing to do is to take action for your readership, and not for your business.
You can not build a community around self promotional content. So, take a step back and take some time to get to know your audience. Knowing your audience will allow you to take action (and reap great rewards).
Establish an editorial process.
Having a process (and means of tracking your progress) will help you stay focused, on topic, and on time. Remember, when you set a time expectation for publishing dates, it is imperative to meet those expectations.
Be sure you are not setting yourself up for failure right out of the gate. Planning a publishing schedule that is incorporated into some sort of editorial calendar is a good idea, especially when you have more than one hand in the cookie jar.
Be sure to include the details and due dates of each article within your editorial calendar to better track the work-in-progress blogs as well as their publishing dates.
Establish tone and voice.
You want to set a tone and voice for your blog depending on your industry and blog performance goals. This tone and voice should parallel your brand voice with a bit of creative flare.
You don’t want to travel too far off the beaten path of your brand. This may confuse the readers and prohibit brand recognition between your product and your blog.
Buyer personas (a form of community member research) are excellent tools to use when developing the blog voice, themes, and topics.
Always develop a blog personality and stick with it. There are millions of blogs out there and if you want your blog to stand out from the rest, your personality should too.
Engage with your community.
If you are thinking about starting a business blog to build community and you are not participating in the community (regardless of its current size or state) how can you ever expect to build community around a new blog?
A lot of businesses miss on all four cylinders with this blog strategy. A community of socially engaging users are not going to appear out of nowhere. You must first engage your community if you want them to engage with your brand.
If creating a community around your blog is not the the underlying goal of the entire editorial project, you may be wasting your time.
Reaching out to your community and reassuring them of your ever-present thought leadership will help mold a trusting relationship. This trusting relationship will blossom over time with dedication and consistency in developing a solid online community and content to please them. Blog on my friends.
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