It wasn’t long ago that companies were rushing to get a website built and out on the web. Along with the new, shiny websites many companies started blogs to keep customers informed about specials, industry news and any other sorts of goodies that came along. Now that it’s been a while since your site was established and perhaps almost as long since your blog was updated, is that blog helping or hurting you?
1. Does Your Blog Have a Purpose? – A good blog has a reason for existing on your website. When you built your website, why did you include a blog? Was it because someone suggested it? Or perhaps you felt like it was a good idea? It’s not logical that your blog can help you if you don’t even know why you have it.
2. Does Your Blog Reflect Your Company Image? – Successful companies spend quite a bit of time establishing a brand and image they want to project to others in the industry as well as clients. That attention to brand details should transfer over to the web presence as well. If your logo is on it, it should be making your company look better – a blog full of strange pictures, misspelled words or empty categories reflects poorly on your company and image.
3. Is Your Blog Useful for the Customer? – If your blog is designed to help customers, how is it helping? Are you offering them advice columns? Suggestions for how to use a product? Industry news? Put yourself in the shoes of your customers or potential customers to see if there is anything that would be interesting or useful in place on your blog.
4. Is Your Blog Updated Regularly? – Often readers follow blogs or look for updates frequently. If you’re not posting at least once per week on the blog – and posting something interesting to actually read – you’re losing value and readers. Steady readers stick around for interesting things, not sporadic updates. Always maintain optimal blogging frequency.
5. Do You Have Readers? – If you have a blog, you should know about your readers. If you’re not using some sort of analytics program to track the readers, check out their reading habits and the time they are on your site, you’re not doing enough with your blog. It only takes a few minutes to set up analytics software to monitor web pages and usage. The information is priceless, of course.
6. Are You Active on the Blog? – Let’s say you write a post on your blog about a new way to use the widget you’re selling. A potential customer posts a comment on the post asking a question about the widget. If you’re active on the blog, you can answer the question promptly and hopefully secure a sale. If you’re never on the blog, the customer never gets an answer and a sale is lost.
7. Are You Too Busy For Your Blog? – If you’re doing your very best to blog but you can’t seem to make it fit in your schedule, perhaps you’re just too busy for the routine of it. You have a few options, of course, if blogging is a priority. You can have someone else update the blog for you, you can try arranging your schedule in a different way or you can simply let it go and continue to post sporadically. Remember, the best blogs are those that are updated frequently, however.
8. Is Your Blog Obviously Not Updated? – A visitor sees your website and starts looking around. He then notices that your last blog posting was for the big January special. It’s now July. How much can you possibly care about doing business if you can’t even post a new special in six months? See how frequent you should update your blog.
9. If Your Blog Accessible? – The company blog should not only be full of interesting and useful things for readers, followers and hopefully clients, but it should be easy to find as well. If readers can only manage to stumble across the blog by digging two or three levels into your site through clicks and links, they aren’t going to bother. Consider your site design at this point to decide if you should feature your blog and blog posts more prominently somehow.
10. Does Your Blog Lack Credibility? – Grammar mistakes, misspellings and typos make not only your blog look sloppy, but they make your business appear unprofessional as well. If you proofread your blog posts then this won’t happen. What type of business has blatant typos on the company site?
11. Do You Need the Blog? – Blogs are a lot of work to maintain properly. To make it worth your while, your business should be some sort of return from the project. If you’re getting customers and building consumer confidence with your blog, that’s probably enough to continue the project. But if you’re faithfully updating and not a single person is clicking or buying, it’s as if the blog as no connection with the business at all.
12. Can You Make the Blog More Useful? – If you’ve determined that your blog is there and sitting at a neutral or negative position, are there ways to make it more productive and profitable? Consider your customers and what might help to draw them in. Perhaps include a poll for readers or discuss possibilities with others in your industry through forums or meetings.
13. How Do You Compare to the Competition? – Do other companies in your niche of business have a blog? If so, how does yours compare to theirs? If they don’t have a blog at all on their sites, this may mean that there is little value for you to make a blog for your company. Or it may mean that you’re unique because you can build such a great one. Only research and a bit of trial and error can help you figure that particular question out.
14. Is Your Blog Optimized? – A blog is an extension of your business website. You have probably done a bit of research on your own blog and perhaps you’ve arranged for a company or individual to help manage the search engine optimization of your website for you so that your business is found easily in search results. But have you made certain that you’re optimizing your blog posts as well? Blog posts are easy chances to focus on very specific elements of search engine optimization – it can bring you new customers through good search terms. You can refer 15+ Tips To Optimize Images For Search Engines and other SEO Tips.
15. Does Your Blog Allow Comments? – Comments on a blog are a double-edged sword at times. They can be extremely useful because comments show that others are interested in what you’re saying and they give others a chance to discuss your products, services or ask and answer questions. Of course, there is a down side to this as well if clients complain through comments or if you don’t take the time to monitor the comments carefully, they can reflect poorly on the business overall.
16. Is Your Blog Part of a Bigger Picture? – A blog is an excellent piece of your social media arsenal, but it is not the only weapon in the cache. Your blog should be the starting point for a flurry of social activities every time you post. Write a post, link to it from Facebook. Tweet about your newest post and perhaps even “Pin” a few of the pictures. “Digg” the articles or put them on Google + for additional readers to follow. With a full range of social media possibilities, the blog is simply a starting point for even more effective marketing efforts.
This article is written by Uttoran Sen. He is a freelance writer and an expert Shopify E-commerce Website Builder.