This guest post is by Angie Picardo of the nerdwallet.
If you own a small business with products that rely heavily on e-commerce, maintaining a website and social media presence is more than a necessity.
As such, procuring web space for a blog is essential in order to make surfers aware of your product or service while driving traffic to your company’s website.
However, simply establishing a blog and updating it with content is not enough.
Massive competition for clicks and views—user attention—is ubiquitous online, so it is wise to employ a variety of tactics and strategies to make a blog stand out and ultimately successful.
A successful blog requires more than a few posts advertising your product or service.
The blogging game involves good branding, smart marketing, great design, and content that is not corny, cliché, or overzealous.
Successful blogs make use of high quality images and pictures, a format or design that doesn’t simply look like a stock template from many of the free blog services, grammatically correct content, a few (rather than many) URL links to a product or service or other posts in the blog.
Repeating a key word three or four times in a 500-word post will help make specific blog posts appear in search results, but blog owners should follow the rules and avoid misleading or deceptive marketing techniques to get attention.
Users will recognize this and often leave your blog—and business—in the dark.
Anything you can do to make the user stay on your blog or visit your website more quickly – the better. Informative content, interactive design, and eye-catching imagery are all things successful blogs strive for.
Advertising your blog offline also helps (i.e with a business card or flyer), but it works just as well when you include a link in an e-mail signature, on other message boards or blog comment sections, and on e-classifieds.
Including information about your blog on a social media site such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or Reddit can also help increase traffic to your own personalized corner of the web.
Maintaining updated content is tremendously important.
While some blogs update daily, other sites recommend updating 3-4 times daily for a truly successful blog. However, it is important to avoid repetitive content, fluff content, and all spelling and grammatical errors.
Clarity, sharpness, creative, and original content will be rewarded with more traffic. Maintaining a consistent effort in updating your blog will eventually land you a valuable product online filled with strong and original content people will actually want to read.
This ultimately means more people are likely to get to know what you’re offering and then go to your website to pay money for it.
As you become more experienced in the world of blogging, more advanced techniques can be utilized to sustain and increase traffic and popularity.
Some websites offer free tests and evaluation of how well a blog is employing a variety of these strategies, so it is often useful to find a free or inexpensive service that will offer a diagnostic test of a blog or website.
Beyond this, maintaining updates and a distinct character will significantly increase the success of a blog, no matter the topic or subject matter. If you build it (well), they will come!