Have you blogged lately? It's quite possible that you've been blogging for years. Whether for business or pleasure, blogging is a great way to share information, connect with others and convey important thoughts and ideas. With budgets under ever-increasing scrutiny, however, corporations are looking to identify blogging best practices, rather than continue their free-form blogging approach of the past. Businesses can't afford to undertake projects that don't deliver and blogs are no exception.
The goal, of course, is to maintain a blog that will increase web traffic, deepen engagement with customers, and produce tangible leads for your sales team. The question is, how often do you need to blog to attain that goal? Is there a magic number that will get you where you want to be?
The answer is, not exactly. You'll need to match your blogging strategy to your particular line of business and your unique set of circumstances. Having said that, however, there still exist some blogging best practices that you can use to make the most of your blogging efforts.
Knowing what you hope to achieve with your blog is critical. Do you want as much web traffic as possible? Or would you prefer a more select group of followers? Are you trying to convey thought leadership or build brand loyalty and community? Your answers to these kind of questions will determine not only your blog's style but the frequency of your postings as well. Before your fingers ever hit the keyboard, give some thought to the purpose and intention of your blog.
Know Your Audience
Different audiences have different needs and expectations. If your audience uses your blog as a resource for the latest, up-to-the-minute information about your industry, you may need publish short blog posts on a daily basis, or even several times a day. If your audience tends to be more interested in the technical intricacies of your business or product, a longer, more detailed blog post once a week may be sufficient. It's important to know what kind of people read your blog, and how it is they use the information you send their way.
Experiment and Watch the Numbers
If you're not sure what your blog readers are after, try experimenting with different formats and posting frequencies. For example, try posting daily for a week, and only twice the following week. Continue that pattern for four to six weeks and then compare the web traffic for each approach. You'll quickly gain a sense of which style your readers prefer. They're more likely to consistently follow their favorite.
Even the most enthusiastic blogger can get burned out. That's why the list of blogging best practices always includes finding ways to share the load. No matter how often you post, avoid designating only one person as the resident blogger. Instead, assign blog posts to different individuals throughout the organization. Not only will you avoid overtaxing one person, but you'll also add variety and personality to your blog. You might also consider stockpiling blog articles for those occasions when time or circumstances won't allow regular postings. Simply publish the saved posts when your team is running short on time.
Once you have a clear blogging strategy in place, stick to it. Your followers will expect to see new content on a regular basis. Don't disappoint them. If your content is published sporadically or allowed to get stale, your potential customers won't make reading your blog part of their routine. Work to develop compelling, high-quality content on a consistent schedule so that your readers stay connected and interested.