Blogging Best Practices Checklist: Part 1
I have been writing this blog for close to four years now. Looking back, I know I could have done a few things differently and accomplished better results. It is a learning process and I’m happy to share my learning. The one common element in every piece over the years is my strong desire to speak out and share my thoughts on a particular subject. That to me is the most important factor behind the quality and effectiveness of a blog; doesn’t matter whether it is B2B, B2C or a personal blog.
What’s missing in so many business blogs today is the owner’s passion and involvement with the subjects covered. (By owner I mean the person or organization that takes ownership of the blog.) What you see, as a result, is hundreds of faceless, voiceless blogs with repetitive, meaningless, irrelevant content, a.k.a. fluff. Yet, it is published and pushed out to channels. How do the people behind these blogs ever hope to achieve two-way communication and engage their audiences when they are themselves so far removed from being fully engaged?
A well-managed B2B blog can deliver incredible results, both for the blog owner and for the intended audience. Here is a checklist of best practices to help you evaluate your business blog and identify areas of improvement.
B2B Blogging Checklist to Improve Engagement and Achieve the Right Results
1. FOCUS ON THOUGHT LEADERSHIP. Your audience has so many questions and concerns that you could advise them about. It’s important to identify those concern areas and address them in order of priority. As you start becoming a part of the market conversations your customers and prospects are engaging in, you will grow to be recognized as a thought leader. Thought leadership is creating value by sharing knowledge and offering your opinion or perspective on matters that your customers are already thinking about and actively researching.
2. SURVEY YOUR AUDIENCE AND SEEK FEEDBACK ACTIVELY. As you build your subscriber base for your blog, it is important to garner ongoing feedback. I can tell you from my own experience that most readers are not driven enough to leave a comment on your blog directly. But when I poll my subscriber base via email, I always get a high response rate. In addition, my in-person and phone interactions often end up being discussions about a recent blog post. This feedback, gathered both formally and informally is my source of inspiration for ongoing pieces. As I said in the beginning, yes, I like to discuss what I feel strongly about, but I also make the effort to find out what my audience wants to hear and how they are reacting to everything I’m saying here on my blog.
3. BECOME A POINT OF REFERENCE AND A VALUABLE RESOURCE. It was flattering for me to hear that a business management school had featured my blog among the top reference sources for their students. More importantly though, it made me realize that I could not afford to let the quality or value of my blog posts waver. Imagine being a trusted resource one day and being lambasted for sub-par quality the next! Scary. I can’t ever let that happen. Sharing opinions, offering a perspective, presenting case studies, analyzing industry trends, facilitating discussions on challenging issues your audience is facing—these are all good ways to help establish your B2B blog as a point of reference.
4. TAKE A STANCE ON ONGOING INDUSTRY ISSUES. Typically, when there is a major issue an industry is faced with, there are at least two very clear sides of the fence. Too often, it is the customer that gets caught in the middle. By taking a stance and maintaining your position, you can earn the respect of your potential and existing customers—provided, of course that you speak from their side of the battleground! And yet, you know you can’t afford to rile other players in the market. Strike a good balance between empathizing with the customers and presenting the sellers’ point of view.
5. GIVE YOUR SUBSCRIBERS REASONS TO SHARE YOUR CONTENT. Driving traffic from your blog and social profiles to your website is a measurable way to enhance online visibility. But much more than that, it helps you ensure a multi-channel marketing strategy that boosts overall customer engagement levels for your brand. Read an earlier piece I wrote about how to make your B2B content shareable.
How can you use your B2B blog to help accelerate your demand generation process? Feel free to download a free copy of eBooklet: 10 Point Checklist to Get C-Suite Buy In for Social Media by following this link.
I value your feedback on this blogging checklist—do leave me a comment.
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