After eight years of blogging and reading hundreds - if not thousands - of blogs, I've learned five important things about being a successful blogger...
1. Make the commitment - Think of your blog as part of your marketing activities. It's something that must be done. You have to have the same commitment to your blog as you do towards your business. Create a schedule to post to your blog and write it in your calender as you would a business meeting.
If you just don't have the time to post to your blog everyday or several times a week, you can tap into your network to see if anybody would like to contribute a guest post.
2. Share your experience - I've come to realize that the most successful small business blogs are the ones that tell stories of their experiences in business. They share customer success stories, the lessons they've learned, and personal insights and perspectives on their business.
Most likely you have a personal story to share about your business that can help others better understand who you are, what your business does, or the lessons you've learned. Sharing your story humanizes your brand and creates a deeper connection between you and your readers.
3. Understand SEO - Whenever you publish a blog post, it will be available for the search engines to index and rank, so having a little bit of knowledge about search engine optimization can help you write an article that can be easily discovered on the web.
However, even if you don't know anything about SEO, you may be able to get by as long as you stay focused on writing about your particular niche and sharing the articles with your social network on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Write good, quality content and you'll find that people will happily link to you and share the information with others.
4. Be social - Social media is not going away, so you might as well embrace it and use it to your advantage. When I first started blogging, I was very resistant to Twitter and didn't think it was worth my time. Besides, who cared where I was and what I was doing? Little did I know that I could use Twitter to share my business blog posts and essentially use it as a micro blog.
I'm not big on joining networking groups or constantly going to networking events, so I love the idea of connecting and interacting with people via Twitter and Facebook. I figure that I will eventually meet the people who I really connect with in person, and that has been the case for me.
5. Be consistent - Think of your blog as a newsletter or information resource for customers or potential customers. Posting consistently on your blog gives the impression that your business is active and that you're staying on top of what is going on in your industry.
When you're always sharing information with your readers, they'll come to think of you as an authority and will subscribe to make sure they don't miss anything you have to say. And when you have loyal blog subscribers, it could turn into loyal customers who buy from you again and again.
Do you have any tips you'd like to add to this list?