According to an in-depth study of 900 marketers by social media marketing expert Michael A. Stelzner as explained in the blog post How marketers are using social media to grow their business the four top social media tools are : Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and Facebook in that order.
Blogging drives traffic to your website
Blogging raises the profile, increases the visibility and builds the reputation of you and your company. Many people I have spoken to who use social networking tools for marketing tell me that blogs and twitter is driving more traffic to their business websites than Google. For me that’s enough of an incentive to get blogging.
Before you begin to blog read this
Blogging, whether it’s for you personally or for your business, is not something that should be undertaken without careful consideration. What you write says as much about your personal brand as it does for your businesses reputation and is going to be read by peers and potential clients most people forget that almost everything posted the internet has the potential to be online forever.
Getting started costs nothing but time
Creating a blog costs nothing but time. I’ve listed below three of the most popular social publishing sites. They are all simple to use and cost zilch.
10 tips to help you write compelling and effective blog posts
1.) Usefulness and uniqueness
The two basic elements of good blog content are usefulness and uniqueness nothing else matters.
2) Stay on topic
Opinions are generally accepted but the content of the items in the blog should all relate to a general theme. Unless you have an uncanny knack for wit, humor or cynicism, the majority of your readers will be interested in the content that relates to a specific defined theme or loosely defined area of interest. Define a topic and stick to it. This will ensure that you create a loyal following of interested readers.
3) Be informative but check your facts
If you are attempting to create the impression that you are knowledgeable about a specific industry, sector or specialist field, be sure that you stay current on news. If you are endorsing a product or voicing an opinion, be sure to check your facts; your reputation is at stake. If you are offering an opinion, be sure to qualify your post, making it clear that the content is intended as an editorial.
4) Old news is not news
While blogging every day is not necessary, it is important that the information presented when you do blog is current and accurate. Writing a post about something that happened 6 months ago will not be of interest to many and will make people question the value of your posts.
5) Adhere to a schedule
Create a schedule and stick to it. Realize that blogging requires time and effort, don’t create unrealistic demands on yourself. An occasional lapse or holiday is generally understood but readers returning to find stale, out-dated content are going to find another blog with similar content. New blogs are popping up on a daily basis. If you have worked hard to develop an audience and a community you don’t want to lose them due to lack of communication. Little and often is a good rule to follow.
6) Clarity and simplicity
Keep your posts and blog entries clear and easy to understand. Remember, the web is global and expressions, idioms and acronyms don’t always translate. Sometimes a little explanation goes a long way.
7) Keyword-rich and don’t forget to tag
If the goal of your blog is to increase your visibility, include related keywords in the title of the blog. Use the title as a headline to attract interest. The title should be no longer than 10-12 words. Make sure you tag your blog post which will help people find it when searching.
8) Develop content and substance
In order to attract the attention of search engines; you will need to develop content and substance. A headline or simple sentence is not going to generate the interest of readers or help with search engine ranking. Be sure to archive old blog posts to develop a large portal of similarly-themed content.
9) Size doesn’t matter but make it visually compelling
Writing long blog posts is perfectly okay as long as it follows all the above rules but small and beautifully formed paragraph is just as good as a 1000 word essay. You must make it look good on screen so spend time formatting text and an adding images, illustrations and or video footage to make it look visually compelling.
10) Spell checking and proof-reading
It only takes a few extra moments and can save you lots of embarrassment. Remember that whatever you publish on the Internet can be found and archived. Think carefully about what you post before doing so. Remember it is as much about your personal brand as well as your businesses reputation.
Blogs I really like:
Event Magazine (this link takes you to the blog section)
Mike Fletcher (event industry comment)
Ian Irving (personal blog from the commercial director of Sledge)
Mashable (everything you could possibly want to know about social media)
Semantic web design (my favorite web designer)
Urban Junkies (music, food, drink and cool stuff)
Creative Review (design reference)
Wired Magazine UK (cool futuristic stuff)
Paul Carr and Milo Yiannopoulos (very witty digital journalists)
Julius Solaris (creator of eventmanagerblog.com and social media expert)
Web Strategy by Jeremiah (Jeremiah Owyang from Silicon Valley)
Event Secrects (event management hints, tips and ideas)