By John Hernandez
RISMEDIA, July 29, 2008-Blogging has changed the face of business by providing an immeasurable and free information database for consumers in exchange for allowing professionals to network and promote their services. Here are some ways to blog for business that maintains the quality and integrity of the blogosphere while promoting your services.
1. Choose a blog in the right area. Big blogging venues like WordPress, Blogger and VOX may have good search engine appeal, but finding a blog for your area of expertise will lead to better networking opportunities and more traffic from your target audience. If you’re a real estate agent, you should look into large real estate blogs like ActiveRain as well as smaller real estate blogs in the area to help you buy and sell homes.
2. Use SEO tactics. Websites are complex when it comes to managing SEO, but blogs are fairly simple. You need good keywords and strong links to and from your blog. Most blogs have the option to submit “tags,” which are keywords and keyword phrases that help search engines and site visitors to find relevant articles and also organize your posts. They also usually place your title at the end of the pages URL so be sure to pick a relevant title that is also catchy.
Many bloggers employ common sense to pick their keywords and title but that’s not always the best method. For example a phrase like “real estate in Florida” may receive significantly less searches a day than a similar phrase like “Florida real estate.” There are many websites that will help you pick popular keywords related to the blog you post. The most popular sites for finding good keywords are Google Analytics and Wordtracker.
Link building is important to increase search engine appeal for a blog. First you must find the most popular websites and blogs. Then request link exchanges and you’ll display their links on your blog and vice versa.
3. Design is pivotal. Most blogs don’t focus that much on design. This is a mistake because they are often passed up for blogs with the exact same information and a little more flair in terms of design. Most blogs have design templates you can pick and other have fully customizable pages. It’s worth it to put as much emphasis into design as possible so you don’t lose potential prospects simply for aesthetic purposes. Here are some other quick tips for design:
– Try not to use dark background colors as they often make it difficult to read the text.
– Put space between the picture and text. Articles that have pictures awkwardly squished into their text miss the whole point of decorating the article with a picture.
– Don’t copy and paste directly from Microsoft Word. Word has programming code within it that may not come up in the editing option but will display in the published version. If you want to transfer a document from “Microsoft Word” to your blog, be sure to filter it through Notepad or another basic program.
– Use the best pictures possible. Pixilated pictures are more of a blemish than an aid in a blog. Find nice pictures that are attractive and interesting to hold the attention of viewers.
4. Being ethical is also practical. If a Realtor blogging about selling South Florida homes, places “free music” in their keyword tags to drive up traffic it’s not only unethical but ineffective as well. Search engines look for repetition. Unless you have free music in your text and are writing on a music blog your efforts will be in vain. Stick with relevant keywords and links for your area of expertise.