business blogs Tag

Social Media Excellence: Learning from Five Outstanding Corporate Blogs

When it comes to starting up a business blog, most people find themselves overwhelmed from the get-go. There’s much more than posting to account for when strategizing for a striking blog, in fact, the key areas to consider are the theme, topics, audience, design, multimedia and promotion. Plus, if you haven’t already chosen a domain name for your blog, that’s a primary feature you’ll want to carefully develop to represent your brand most effectively.

Today, Mashabale.com published an article to showcase 15 fabulous business blogs; each represents a separate, valuable component of orchestrating a successful corporate blog to captivate the inquisitive nature of web surfers worldwide.

To keep things simple, however, we’ve selected the five most prominent must-haves for any business blog. This should to get you started sans the headache and hassle of sorting through an overwhelming to-do list. 

1. Squarespace: Choose a Suitable Blog Design

  
Business blogs often lack originality thanks to a corporate misconception that they need to be branded with overpowering images and text or visually underdeveloped and boring.

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Why Your Company Needs a Business Blog

Business blogs are one of the primary components of Web 2.0 marketing, offering manifold benefits to any company. These benefits only manifest themselves, however, if you use your blog properly, which can be difficult to do. Many business owners ask themselves if a blog is worth the time, money and effort it takes to maintain it: the answer from the experts is a resounding “yes.”

Why You Need a Business Blog

A business blog provides an opportunity to add fresh, relevant content consistently and serves as a means of communication between you and your customers. Instead of updating your website on a daily basis, constantly shifting images and updating text, you can inform clients of sales and new products on your blog. Blogs feature easy-to-use software, meaning you can add a new post in a fraction of the time it takes to update your site.

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Keys to Successful Business Blogging

Blogging about how to blog may seem like a conceited task, but the truth of the matter is that most people who blog aren’t utilizing the medium to its full potential. According to statistics complied by Technorati, there are an estimated 175,000 new blogs created everyday. Albeit a considerable number of these blogs never make it past the first few posts, that is still an astronomical amount of competition. So the challenge all bloggers have to confront is how to get their voice heard through all of the static. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

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Nipping Spam Comments in the Bud

Blogging is an indispensable tool for disseminating information, cultivating multilateral communication and promoting your business. But even if you are simply blogging for fun, we all like to know that are voices are being heard, which is why getting comments on your blog is such a rewarding feeling. And while it would be nice if only well-intentioned people interested in expounding a topic commented to your blog, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the feedback you receive will actually be spam comments.

Any blogger knows that creating a blog and writing fresh, relevant content is a time-consuming endeavor. And, not surprisingly, there are people out there looking to take a piggyback ride on your hard work. Instead of creating their own blog, other website owners will add a comment to your site with a link back to their business page. Not only is this a bastardization of the purpose of the comments section, it also can have a negative impact on your blog. As we mentioned in our previous post on search engine algorithms, your inbound and outbound links are a crucial component in search engine algorithms. So if you have a surfeit of spam comments linking to shady sites, it doesn’t bode well for your blog’s ranking in the various search engines.

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Blog Directories and Communities

There are many benefits to implementing a business blog for your online business. The additional credibility and visibility that comes as a result of consistent blogging can often eclipse that of traditional marketing efforts. If the business blog is setup to enable communication and posting to social networking and social bookmarking applications, the exposure potential is even greater, as these are some of the most popular destinations for people online. Having your business integrated into these new standards of Web 2.0 marketing can result in impressive returns. These are important steps to take when starting a business blog campaign, but when it comes to marketing, you aren’t finished yet…

Beyond the setup of your business blog and integration into social media advertising, you need to consider the blog community, or blogosphere. It’s vital that other bloggers are aware of your spot on the web, as they are probably the most active and knowledgeable online community when it comes to better search engine rankings and interactive marketing. Participation on your blog is necessary to start building a readership and making some waves within the community, not to mention the process of building relationships with people who can have quite a significant impact on your business success. Bloggers must remember that no blog is an island, and the real goal here is to create as many bridges in the blogosphere as possible.
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Blog Marketing for Business

I’ve talked before about the incredible adaption and utilization of blogs in the business world. From Fortune 500 companies and corporations to small businesses just starting out, blogs have made the business world stand up and take notice. In June of this year, I wrote about the BusinessWeek article that followed up on the original groundbreaking story that introduced much of the business world to blogs back in 2005. Business Blogs and Beyond talked about the significant changes in the marketing landscape, and how social media, blogs and other forms of Web 2.0 marketing have opened up the doors to advertising on all fronts, harnessing the ability to connect with customers on levels that were never before possible.

The articles and accolades for marketing with business blogs haven’t stopped. Instead, blogs have become the #1 necessity for business owners looking for affordable, effective marketing that can deliver even in a questionable economy. Recently, Entrepreneur Magazine published an article about getting your business noticed at a minimal cost. Their #1 suggestion was blogs. From the article: “Set up a blog … and begin writing interesting commentary that relates to your business, says Hager. To drive traffic, comment on other topic-related blogs and include links back to your own blog.” Further down the list, they mention “Exploiting the Web” as number 17. This suggestion includes utilizing social media sites like delicious.com and digg.com to advertise and market products or services.
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Business Blogs Deserve Better than Blogspot.com

Warning SignsLet me preface this post by saying I’m a big fan of Google and their online applications. Even Blogger, their online blogging software has its benefits, to some extent. Also, although my company offers business blogs as a service, this post is not about my company or our services, it’s about making the right business decision when it comes to implementing a business blog. An online business deserves every opportunity to become as successful as possible, and Blogspot.com just doesn’t offer the kind of support, services and features that are necessary to get the most out of this marketing device. I’m also not stating these reasons because I have studied other people’s experiences. I myself blogged for over three years using the Blogger service starting back in 2003, before it was even popular. That’s before I found WordPress and became a 100% advocate of their open-source platform and content management system. So when you’re reading these opinions, rest assured it’s from someone familiar with the complete Blogger experience. 
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Business Blogs and Beyond

Business Week Beyond BlogsIn 2005, Business Week premiered one of the defining articles for business owners and their place online. “Blogs Will Change Your Business” was the title, and the article made many waves in the industry as one of the first from mainstream media to truly acknowledge the power and impact of blogging on business. Since then, thousands of articles in thousands of publications have showcased how the evolution of media and the web has made a fundamental impact on how we do business, not just online, but in virtually every corner of our culture.

The original article had a realistic and objective view of how a business could benefit from a blog. From creating an online identity and building credibility, to market testing and customer interaction, business blogs served more purposes than could be covered in one article. Business Week also stressed the importance of clearing away the clutter – although the numbers for this kind of media were staggering, not everything was worth reading. (more…)