How to Keep Your Blog on Track and Keep Your Readers There With You

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freight trainIf your company is considering starting a business blog, one of the possible blogging objections might be concern about whether you’ll be able to keep the blog going.

This is a valid point, and definitely not one to gloss over. It’s crucial to have a solid blogging plan that will carry you through the start-up of a business blog, especially through those first three months when so many blogs are abandoned.

On your blog just like anywhere else, the customer (and prospective customer) comes first, so let’s start with five ways to keep your readers with you and then we’ll look at ways for your company bloggers to stay on track.

Five ways to keep your blog readers with you

  1. Identify the key topics your ideal customers are interested in. Consider frequently asked questions. Think about where people are in their business or life when they might be considering products or services like yours. Scan similar blogs or other industry publications for recurring topics or themes you can personalize for your own business.
  2. Use that information to create a clear, focused category list and stick to your categories. Avoid the confusion and clutter that’s caused by creating new categories on the fly as you’re publishing your latest post.
  3. Pay attention to positive responses. Set up Google Analytics or other monitoring tools to see which topics are being read, opened, shared and “liked,” as well as any direct comments received on the blog or through email. Notice which posts tend to encourage people to spend more time reading other content on your site. Use these insights to create similar posts that give readers more of what they’re already enjoying.
  4. Respond quickly to any public or private comments. This shows people you’re listening and that you care about their insights, questions and opinions. Try an email-based tracking service like Nutshell Mail or mention to monitor responses.
  5. Survey your readers, informally or formally, about questions they have or topics they’d like to read about on your blog. You can use Survey Monkey or a similar service, run a poll on a social media page, create a contact form/page on your site specifically for questions (a “Dear Abbie” approach like the Socially Stephanie column), or simply ask people directly.

Five ways for company bloggers to keep on track

  1. Use your natural energy. Notice when you’re more jazzed for writing tasks versus when you might get a boost from web research like finding photos, ideas or statistics.
  2. Give yourself the gift of time. Work backwards from your publication date so you’re not trying to start, finish, publish and promote a blog post all in one sitting. Plan for all steps of the process (brainstorming, drafting, writing, editing, formatting, publishing and promoting).
  3. Read more. Find inspiration from other experts by following them on social media. Reading their ideas will expand your mind and lead your blog in new directions.
  4. Get out and about. Look for opportunities to mingle with your contacts in person as well. Presentations at events and conferences can stimulate topics for future posts, and so can informal chats in the hallway. Even when you’re not at a business-related event or meeting, if you wear your blogging antennae you can still pick up plenty of blog-worthy ideas.
  5. Be patient for the long haul. Trust that over time, as you build a goldmine of useful content people can discover when they arrive at your website, blogging will help ideal customers find you, learn more about you, and decide your company is the right choice to solve their problem.

How have you kept on track through a blogging slump? How do you retain blog readers? I’d love to hear your comments!

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Linda Dessau

Linda Dessau

Business Blogging Consultant at Content Mastery Guide
Linda Dessau is the author of Write Your Way to More Clients Online and the founder of Content Mastery Guide. Her hands-free blog writing service helps small businesses attract their ideal customers with captivating content.
Linda Dessau

@lindadessau

Author of Write Your Way to More Clients Online. Business blogging tips: http://t.co/GSTj8X87dz. Mom to Patch the greyhound.
@taylerca Thanks for the RT. Nice seeing you this morning! - 9 hours ago
Linda Dessau
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Comments

  1. What an awesome article, supporting business (especially small business) owners in a project that can seem very frightening. They many times just fear putting words on the page, which can make them stray easily from the focus and their reader. Your advise targets that problem with solid advice on how to connect.

    Thank you for sharing,

    Darin
    My recent post Here is what winners do before leaving home

  2. Hi Linda, some nice pointers there. It's very important to identify the topics your audience is interested in. Ultimately, it's not all about you, you readers won't care about you unless you present them with interesting & informative content to engage them.

    I would also like to add my 2 cents here-

    1) Start with an editorial calendar if you're serious about creating content. An editorial calendar also gives you freedom to plan your content for upcoming weeks/months while keeping all the stakeholders on the same page. It's the roadmap of your content production & will help you ensure a consistent flow of high quality content & will also help you map out the content types to capture a wide spectrum of audience.

    2) As you've pointed out, building a community through comments is very important. Publishers, who realized the power of fostering community in their comments section were able to form an active & passionate community of readers. One of the reasons behind the huge success of ‘The Huffington Post’ was its highest level of reader engagement. It's vey important to create a dialogue with your readers.

    Disclaimer: I've been a publisher for last 10 years and have also co-founded Betaout (http://www.betaout.com/), a complete solution for content planning, ideation & production including a powerful editorial calendar.

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