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B2B blogging for beginners

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Let’s face it: these days, if you don’t have a blog on your website you’re admitting that you have nothing to say about your market, your customers, their problems and your ideas for solving them. Is that really a message you want to transmit?

We try to get every client blogging. But sometimes we fail. Not so much because they don’t see the value in it (the SEO juice alone is surely worth the effort) but because they’re not sure how to go about it and they fear they’ll do a bad job.

Doing a good job is not hard. Here are some tips:

Do a multi-author blog
This spreads the burden out so no single person carries all the weight.

Establish your topics and stick to them
Don’t blog about everything under the sun. Keep your 10K run and your views on Big Brother to yourself. Draw up a shortlist of about 5-7 topic areas and that’s all you blog about.

Shoot from the hip
Blogs don’t need to be crafted to death. Write how you speak. Keep it informal and the reader relaxes too.

Keep up a minimum frequency
It doesn’t have to be three posts a week but if you can’t do it at least weekly, you have to ask if it’s important enough to you (it should be).

Combine brick posts with mortar posts
Every post doesn’t have to be a well-considered argument backed up by evidence and examples. Some of these are essential but they can be mixed with quick, chatty, breezy posts that might just point readers to an exterior web page and say why it’s relevant.

Earn your promotional content
People don’t mind promotional posts if they’re not too crass. But mix in plenty of issues-based stuff that serves your readers. This earns the right to promote things without backlash.

Go beyond text
Broadband is here. Use pictures, audio, video, dance…

Pimp every post
If it’s worth posting it’s worth pimping. Tell everyone on your LinkedIn and Facebook groups about it. Tweet about it. Comment on other blogs about it. Link from your eNewsletters and email footers… You can really drive traffic this way.

Promote your latest content
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re big fans of Content Marketing. Use your blog to promote every piece of content you produce — including new posts on the Slideshare or YouTube versions.

Solicit comments
Actively ask people to comment on your posts (in the post itself and in social media) but don’t feel the effort is pointless if they don’t. Controversial topics help, but don’t go off-strategy just to ruffle people’s feathers.

Get help
You don’t have to write every word yourself. Professionals can help (see Stan’s post on Ghost Blogging for a discussion about this).

Invite guest bloggers
It can keep things fresh, lighten the load and open up links into the wider web community.

Do e-mail interviews
Send an e-mail questionnaire to some experts. It’s a great, easy way to generate interesting posts. The Five-Minute Interviews on mobiThinking.com are a great example.

Don’t forget your keyphrases
SEO is a major reason to blog, so do it right. Use your keyphrases in headlines, tags, descriptions and the URL for each post. And link to your own content that you’ve atomised around the web to boost its SEO juice too.

Keep a list of proto-posts
It’s hard to just sit down and think up a good post. Keep a list of possible topics to inspire you when you’ve got half an hour to post.

Share the love
Don’t be greedy. If you want other bloggers to link to you, link to them.

Don’t get discouraged
Feedback from the market may take a while and you might feel like you’re shouting into the abyss. Don’t. For everyone who comments or responds to a post there might be hundreds who read it. One of the key benefits of our blog is to support sales conversations we’ve already initiated — prospective clients drop in and they do spend time reading posts. Again, this alone justifies our efforts.

We hope this helps.

What do you think?  Any tips you can add to these?  Comments most welcome!

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