Using Blogs for Building Online Presence

Blogging, as the practice is neatly termed nowadays thanks to a indirect coinage of “weblog” that came about as a result of an inside joke stemming from clever word play, has had a substantial impact on society at large and the global economy as the most accessible way for denizens of the World Wide Web to publish stories and articles on topics ranging from the latest iPhone app or movie debut to a humorous cover story on a famous politician’s engrossingly intriguing laundry list of political gaffes and mishaps. blog-thought-bubble

Increasingly, it has also become a practical advertising method for companies seeking to interact directly with their customers via an informal platform, which will encourage a unconstrained and easily manageable flow of feedback and suggestions that companies can leverage towards streamlining and enhancing product development. Blogs can help to foster interpersonal relationships between companies and their customers that will undoubtedly assist in strengthening their brands and reputations. Though, if we assume that the inverse is also true, then blog or online-reliant companies will have a far greater stake in ensuring that they keep their existing customer base happy in comparison to their more traditionally established counterparts. As anyone with a considerable amount of experience in online customer service can attest, any perceived indiscretions or lack of attention to customer concerns or wishes can spur an exponentially nasty slough of negative reviews and comments that could effectively demolish the online reputation of a business if not properly and promptly dealt with.

Of course, in principle, blogging has always served as a channel for writers and hobbyists of all kinds to write about their consummate passions or life experiences and shouldn’t be treated any differently, even within a business-oriented context. The idea is to establish a personal and lively theme with a professional appeal that will draw in readers of similar schools of thought who wish to engage others of similar preferences or industry-specific experiences. But, as you have might have already begun to wonder, how do you go about promoting your products and making sales by using a blog? There are several methods which are enumerated as follows:

  1. Integrate backlinks into blog posts by anchoring specific keywords that are relevant to your website or products on your website.
  2. Blog about a certain facet or set of features of your product and how they can be practically applied in real-world scenarios that members of your intended audience are likely to find themselves in on a regular basis.
  3. Post up videos of you carrying out your day-to-day tasks as you practice your craft and offer viewers a glimpse of what you do and how you do it. You can format it as a promotional yet friendly presentation (just don’t make it too “salesy”) or as a tutorial if you can demonstrate a fairly easy task (like a simple sewing technique or baking a certain type of pie) that people can do at home. This will lend credibility to your business in the eyes of your viewers.
  4. Invite customers or other bloggers to post reviews or video demonstrations of their own of your product or service.
  5. Invite your readers to comment on your blog by inserting a question or controversial statement at the very end of the conclusion.
  6. Implement step 1 in all the aforementioned steps in order to drive traffic to your website and maintain a consistent traffic flow.

Of course, you should make sure that commenting on your blog is a straightforward process, as a large amount of comments will help boost your search ranking significantly. However, you should also check for trolling, unnecessary spamming, negative, or inappropriate comments that aren’t really relevant to the topic at hand, as any blog that’s littered with irrelevant topics may not be taken as seriously by your intended audience. Furthermore, your blog should be equipped with the latest social media plug-ins so that readers can share your blogs with their friends via Facebook or Twitter, for example, and should also include survey or poll widgets that will assist you in gauging your readers’ opinions regarding your blog posts.

Another way to encourage blog interactivity is to hold fun contests, and the prizes don’t have to be anything explicitly exquisite or grandiose. In fact, the prize may not even be physical, it could be something that you, as the prize bearer, give by means of a free service or discount of some sort. All in all, if you make it something fun and easy for your readers to take part in, then it will most likely get people involved and naturally encourage contestants and spectators to check back in to keep track of the contest as it plays out.

There are also various factors to consider if you wish to increase the amount of traffic that you’re driving to your blog. For instance, if you use a free service like Blogger to host your blog, this can be good for maintaining a personal blog, but in order to “up the ante” and give your blog a more professional feel and custom look, it would probably be best for you to choose a more customizable platform such as WordPress or Movable Type. That way, you can do things such as create your own domain name and thereby establish your brand without facing the possibility of losing your links in case the host makes any significant changes to its platform. You should also make sure that your post titles are both SEO and user-friendly so that a) the major search engines can find them easily and b) that your readers will want to read the post. For keywords, you can use resources such as Google AdWords keyword tool, or Precision Keywords, which does an excellent job at digging up fantastic keyword “gold nuggets” that will provide you with highly comprehensive and insightfully detailed search result analyses. You should also be an active member on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter or forums that are related to your particular industry or passion because the more you network, the more visible you’ll be outside of your own sphere.