I like going against conventional wisdom.
Some very good people with strong reputations and whom I respect deeply are giving some misguided advice. One such place is the Church of the Customer. Like most blogging professionals, they’re telling people to not be self-centered:
“Do not make your blog a branding exercise of self-centeredness. If you endlessly promote yourself and your services, no one will care.”
That’s one of five points listed on their five don’ts for small business bloggers. I take issue with this one. Such people are blogging like it’s 1999.
There are many different reasons to blog and their are different focuses for every company blog. Depending on the focus of your blog, you may very well want to be self-centered.
We all know about political and social blogs, or personal online journals. They’re written to encourage comment and debate. Up until now, business blogs have too. The future of blogging, however, will be quite different.
For one thing, not all blogs are aimed at customers. Some may be internal company blogs or simply instructional blogs. Let’s run through some of the different types of business blogs:
1) Customer service blog
2) Instructional, or how-to, blog
3) Dialogue between professionals within the same industry
4) Sales and marketing blog
5) One-way conversation about a certain industry
6) AdSense blog
These are just a few of the potential blogging focuses. Obviously, customer service blogs, instructional blogs and dialogues between professionals are blogs where you would want to encourage feedback and discussion. They should be interactive, sparking debate and encouraging criticisms. Other-centered and human-focused.
But what about sales and marketing blogs or AdSense blogs? With an AdSense blog, the most important things should be keywords. You want search engines to recognize your keywords, rank your blog post accordingly, drive traffic to the blog and, you hope, get the click through on the ad.
With sales and marketing blogs, you could style it any way – the first way, with interaction encouraged, or you can approach it from the “hard sell” angle, making each blog post about a specific product or service in an attempt to get your web site pushed up in the search engines. It all boils down to search engine optimization. Your focus is on three things:
1) Link popularity
2) Search engine saturation
3) Fresh content
If your blog is on the web site you want to promote, search engine saturation and fresh content will be more important with link popularity more important at Yahoo! and MSN than Google. If you have an off site blog, link popularity will be your primary focus with search engine saturation a close second and fresh content not at all.
Suppose you have several web sites you want to promote from one single blog? You can do that through an aggressive link popularity strategy by linking profusely to your sites from your blog in an attempt to drive them up in the search engine rankings. Here’s how you do it:
1) Focus on one web site at a time
2) Link no more than three times to that web site in the body of your blog message
3) Include a signature at the bottom of each blog entry that is a link to the site you want to promote (you can promote more than one but not more than three)
4) If you do #2, don’t #3; if you do #3, don’t do #2
5) Keywords may or may not be important, but if they are, don’t use more than two instances of your keyword for every 50-100 words in your blog entry
Remember, every blog entry is counted as a single web page at the search engines. Use the same search engine optimization techniques for each blog entry that you would for a web page. I call it guerrilla blogging and it’s the future.
Allen Taylor is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer. He runs an Internet marketing for small businesses with his wife and manages several company blogs. He also edits The Content Letter ezine and manages the article writing process for Article Content Provider.
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