1. Canada has business blogs? You betcha.
The Toronto Globe & Mail presents us with a four-part series: How to keep your (corporate) blog out of the bunker. You don’t have to read the whole thing, but the article makes the case that business and corporate blogs are worth it, mostly to keep your content fresh (which Google likes) and to get into more depth than Facebook or Twitter. As usual, the advice steers business and corporate bloggers toward a creating a blog with a human voice with authenticity, rather than a listing of corporate announcements and product news.
If you read anything from this article, check out the discussion, which was the most helpful section.
2. Content for a couch company?
This seems very out there: Eric Brown of the Urbane Way writes that blogs don’t even have to be about what you’re selling! He maintains that if your content is original, useful and entertaining, it will automatically drive people to your Web site. He created a Web site for an apartment rental company that had hyper-local news and entertainment, and just happened to have the apartment rental company as its only advertiser. According to Eric,
[The Web site] is nothing about our apartments. We discovered that if we needed to rent more apartments, we simply created more content or articles, and our web traffic would rise accordingly.
They’ve replicated this success for a few firms, most recently a furniture company, with the blog If This Couch Could Talk. On one hand, this seems like a ton of effort to drive traffic to your Web site, so it’s probably not an option for small businesses. I can also see it as a solution for companies that just don’t have that much to blog about. I mean, how much apartment or furniture news is there?
3. A list of tips that is actually good
I know that lists work, but I’m already getting tired of them. The headlines are so promising: “152 no-fail ways to increase traffic to your blog!” and then the information is either way too basic or vague enough so as to be incredibly unhelpful. Total time wasters. However, this post, by Daniel Scocco, has information from a successful, experienced blog writer and launcher. It’s basic, straightforward, and easily actionable. Easy to read, and worth it: 15 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging.
4. Blog “sweet spots”
Did you know that there are three areas on a blog where your eye naturally leads you? These are the key spots to place your most important copy, according to Blog Tyrant. The most interesting tidbit: place your “subscribe” or “Free Offer” information at the end of each post. People are always looking for something else to read/do when they get to the end of a post! The Three Hottest Ares of Your Blog and How to Use them Best.
5. Targeting the target
Your Target Market is Not Who You Think It Is is more of a general marketing article, but it should definitely be applied to your business blog. David Risely, another successful blogger, writes about the mistakes he made when marketing his ebook about security for WordPress. It’s a quick and useful read.
Like most of us with a product, we think that everyone needs it. David thought that everyone with a WordPress blog would want this ebook. But they didn’t. If a WordPress user hadn’t been hacked, they simply thought, “that won’t happen to me.” Once they HAD been hacked, it was a different story: they had experienced the pain and wanted help.
We did the exact same kind of “pain” analysis when I worked in advertising — what’s keeping people up at night, and how can my product/service/company help them? It helps you narrow both your target AND your message.