Want to build a really successful business blog?

Darren presents to the blogging crowd with Tim Ferriss.  Yep, that Tim Ferriss.
Photo by Simon Pollock

 

Last week I was able to take day out of the office to attend Darren Rowse’s ProBlogger Training Day. Darren is one of Australia’s most influential bloggers – he writes full time across a couple of sites, while sharing tips and tricks he learnt along the way building his hobby into a full time business on his ProBlogger site.

The second workshop run by Darren (the first was in 2010), this event aimed to bring the blogging community together to share stories, tips and ideas – and help anyone taking their first steps into the blogging world make it a success.  (Because, as Darren says, an unproductive blog is worse than no blog at all!)

We’re big fans of social media here at MYOB, and blogs are no exception.  They’re a fabulous tool that can be used to showcase your business personality, boost your search ranking and build engagement with your customers.  Our Social Media expert, Justin Flitter wrote a great article about this last week, and he ran through some ace tips for getting started.

While Darren focused the event on building a blog into a business itself, the tips and advice he shared are a fantastic starting point for any business owner looking to build a corporate blog.  So many, in fact, it’s impossible to share them all in the one post!  Over the next few weeks, I’ll bring you some highlights from the ProBlogger Training Day, which should get you on your way to an engaging and successful business blog of your very own.

But let’s start at the very beginning.  Here are a couple of things that should be at the focus of every blog:

 

A purpose

Remember that thing I said before about an unproductive blog is worse than no blog at all? If you don’t know what the point of your blog is, how will your readers?  It will also be impossible to build an editorial strategy. (which I’ll discuss later down the track!)

 

A clearly defined audience

With a good understanding of how you will reach them.  (otherwise you’ll essentially be talking to yourself!)  When Darren first started his photography blog, Digital Photography School, most professional and amateur photographers were using Flickr (a social photography site).  Today, most are using Facebook and 500px.  Had Darren continued to focus his promotions on Flickr, he’d be missing the massive chunk of his audience that have already moved on!  Think about who will be reading your blog – customers, companies you do business with, local businesses in your area – and think about where they are.  Facebook is usually a good place to start, and don’t forget local commerce websites, who will usually let you promote for free.

 

A heart

If we could only take away one piece of advice from Friday’s workshop, I’m sure Darren would want it to be ‘Blog from the heart (but smart)’.  While Darren cautions to be smart about your approach (that would be your clearly defined audience and purpose), he also references his early blogging days, where beautifully structured pieces were generally met with silence and low traffic.  Then he started including his life and his family into his posts.  And the traffic and engagement went through the roof.  While it’s completely up to you as to how much you actually share – remember that people who come to your blog want to know about you!  They want to get to know the face behind the business, and a blog gives them the ability to see the business as you do, through your eyes.  So don’t disappoint!  Focus on letting your personality shine through, and in turn, you’ll build some wonderful relationships with your customers.

 

Next week, look out for a list of a few things Cas and Craig from YTravelBlog.com wish they knew before they started their blog.

Do you have a business blog?  Do you plan on starting one?  If you have one, feel free to share the URL below and let us know all about it!

p.s.  Were you at #PBEVENT last week?  We’re always on the look out for new contributors for ThePulse – and if you’d like to guest post, contact me via the social links below.  (Don’t forget, Darren recommends guest posting!)

 

Emma Mulquiney | Online Editor – MYOB